couple at a lake

Good Relationships Need Good Communication

Whether you’re in a new relationship or been married for years, it is important to consider how you and your partner communicate so that you maintain a happy and healthy relationship. Relationships are all about communication. Without communication how would we know each others strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes?

Communication isn’t just about the spoken word, we communicate more by our facial expressions and body language. Good communication helps to build healthy relationships, to help you through the good and the challenging times. Here are some ideas to help you:

Communication needs trust

hand on handIt’s much easier to communicate with people that you trust. When you trust someone you’re not struggling to find the right words for them to understand immediately what you are trying to convey. When you trust a person, you have less anxiety about telling them what is on your mind. Building trust takes time and patience. You can build trust most with your actions. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. If you arrange to meet your partner at a certain time, don’t be late. By building trust you’re creating a secure foundation for the future of your relationship.

Actively listen

Communication requires good listening skills. Do you really listen to what your partner is saying or are you thinking about something else, like what to get in the shops or what the latest football score might be? Do you listen so that you can respond with a solution to a problem or to add your own more exciting anecdote or experience? It’s not enough to listen once monthly or yearly, you have to listen all the time. This way you will know even after 50 years marriage that your partner wants a gift from for your wedding anniversary. If you listen well, your partner will appreciate the attention you are giving them. This shows that you care about them and want to support them.

Remember what your partner has said

When you listen well, you can gain a lot of information about your partner. Their likes and dislikes, their dreams and wishes. When listening to your partner keep a mental note of the important things they share with you. If in a conversation they have with you they mention a place they would like to visit, surprise them by arranging a visit so you can both go and enjoy the experience and create your own memories.

Your partner may mention something that they like, but cannot justify buying for themselves. They may be deliberating dropping hints! Remember this when you are looking for a gift for their next birthday, Christmas, anniversary or other significant celebration. A spontaneous gift to your partner of something you are aware they like shows that you care and that you’ve remembered what they’ve said.

Don’t judge

Good communication means accepting what is being said without judgement. It is difficult to communicate with someone when you fear their response may be negative, blocking or belittling. Sometimes biting your tongue to stop the first thought being spoken is a good idea until a second, kinder comment comes to mind. Even if your partners opinions, emotions and thoughts are very different to your own, don’t dismiss them. You may learn something and change your outlook or perhaps become clearer in your own mind why you have the views you do. And by not judging, you give your partner the confidence to share and communicate with you more.

Be honest when you communicate

Even if it’s something you feel awkward saying, do your best to be honest and mindful of their feelings. This takes practice. They may be upset at something said that would have no impact on you at all. This is all about learning about each others sensitivities and strengths. Your partner will respect your honesty and will likely reciprocate with their own. Disagreements are normal in a relationship and can help you both grow, just be mindful not to shout, belittle, insult or use swear words.

Communicate without words

A kiss longer than 5 seconds says more than one hundred words. A hug when you meet after a work. Holding hands on a walk. And don’t forget to smile! When out with friends, catch each other’s eyes and smile. Remember the days when you first met and you felt butterflies. Carry on flirting with each other without words.