When you first started dating, your conversations were filled with a ton of different questions. You were getting to know one another, sharing your interests, likes, dislikes, passions, hobbies, and more. Your conversations eventually grew to discuss your goals, visions, views, and more.
But the honeymoon period seemed to pass. You’re not quite sure when this actually happened, but you don’t seem to ask each other as many questions anymore. Your communication style has changed. Sure, you’re both busy. You each have your own life. That’s important, but lately, it’s felt like you’ve become friends or acquaintances instead of partners.
Here are 5 tips for reopening the communication lines in your relationship.
1. Be Open and Honest
You can’t expect your partner to be a mind reader. No matter how you’re feeling, you need to make sure you’re open and honest with your partner about it. You can’t just expect them to do the dishes or take out the trash. If you need a little extra help around the house, kindly ask them if they can put in more effort. You can’t expect them to know that you want these things to be done if you’re not telling or asking them.
2. Actively Listen
One of the most important parts of communicating effectively has nothing to do with talking. Listening is just as important, if not more important, than talking. You and your partner should both have time to share your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Instead of planning the next thing that you’re going to say when your partner is done speaking, make sure you’re fully engaged and tuned into what they’re trying to tell you. Show them the same amount of respect that you hope they’re giving you.
3. Stay Present
There can be a lot of distractions in today’s world. Make sure you’re fully present with your partner, especially when you’re communicating with one another. If they’re speaking to you, put away any and all distractions. This means putting your phone away and turning off the television. Lean in and be fully engaged when they’re speaking to you. Do not interrupt them, but feel free to ask questions to make sure you understand them correctly.
4. Choose Your Words and Emotions Carefully
When you’re involved in a disagreement, fight, or heated conversation, it can be easy to say things you don’t mean or get caught up in your feelings. Make sure you’re not fighting to win for yourself. Any conversation, even fights, should come to a resolution that benefits both you and your partner. Try to steer the conversation in the right direction by being mindful of your tone and word choices. For example, use phrases like “I feel” instead of placing the blame on your partner. When you use these types of phrases, your partner is more likely to be welcoming and accepting instead of feeling like they have to go into defense mode.
5. Seek Additional Help
Going to therapy doesn’t mean your relationship is over. It actually means that you care enough about your partner and your relationship that you want to make it work. Some couples just need a little extra support. An outside third party, like a therapist, is a great way to see one another’s point of view and learn how to communicate better with one another. A therapist will be able to work with you and your partner to help you better manage your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. They’ll also give you tips and tricks on how to communicate better with one another.