Communication in relationships

Relationships, at their core, are an exchange of ideas between people who care for one another deeply. The measure of how well those ideas are taken on board by the other party, though, can determine the health and longevity of the relationship. Communication is important at every stage (and in every kind) of relationship – you are, in essence, telling your partner your life story, and them you. And of paramount importance when being told a story?

1) Listening

We bid for attention, ever since childhood, and it is those behaviours we carry into adult relationships. How positively you respond to what’s being said by your partner – how well you ‘turn’ towards what they’re saying – will influence the course of the relationship. By listening, acknowledging and responding positively, you are well placed to meet your significant other’s emotional needs.

2) Don’t make it personal

No relationship is ever without a rough patch. Couples argue, it’s a fact of life. However, by indulging in toxic responses to what you partner is saying, you are hastening the demise of the relationship. Don’t go in for personal attacks – refrain from criticism of the other party, avoid defensiveness and mocking language. Men, especially, adopt silence as a means of punishment within a relationship; don’t switch off, and instead respond to what your partner is saying.

3) Negotiate a compromise

“It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along…” (Maroon 5, ‘She Will Be Loved’)

Truer lyrics were never sang: be kind, be generous, understand that being in a relationship is being part of a team, and that teamwork is always involved. Give and take is a fundamental part of any successful relationship.

Bear in mind that no relationship is fixed in stone – things will always be in a state of flux. Any successful relationship, though, can be measured by how well both parties respond to changes. Indeed, both parties should relish the opportunity to make positive changes for the better in their relationship – are you willing to do the same?