3 Healthy Communication Habits Every Couple Should Develop If You Want Your Love To Last
It's no secret that being able to productively converse with your significant other is an important part of any successful long-term relationship. If things are lacking in the communication department, then chances are, maintaining a healthy relationship might be difficult. Before things between you and your partner get messy, establishing the healthy communication habits every couple should develop needs to be a priority. Waiting for conflict to occur to figure out how your partner communicates isn't the best idea, and makes it easy for you to be blindsided down the road.
On the other hand, if you can, essentially, communicate about communication — which sounds totally confusing right now, but stay with me — then you're paving the way for future conflict resolution. But don't just take my word for it. To bring you the tea fresh from the source, I spoke with intimacy and sexuality coach, Irene Fehr.
According to Fehr, when trying to figure out a way to communicate that works for both you and your partner, your priority should be connection.
"The most important element of communication is connection," Fehr tells Elite Daily. "Too often, communication in a relationship happens without connection and turns into a fight because neither person feels close, open and in tune with the other." Below, the healthy communication habits you and bae should work on, starting ASAP.
1. Make time for communication.
Sometimes, learning to communicate with a new partner takes time. IMO, even if communication seems seamless in the beginning, setting aside time to talk about the things that are important to you from the start is always a good idea.
"Schedule time for important conversations — such as about money, big decisions, children, and even sex," says Fehr. "Consciously dedicating time and energy for these conversations prevents misunderstandings and fights that too often come from discussing topics that are important — and often, laden with charge — on the fly, where it's harder to connect and really listen and be with each other."
2. Choose connection over making a point or proving your partner wrong.
"Too often, we think that communicating is about letting our partner know what we think and need," says Fehr. "The other side is listening: We want them to listen and hear us, not just respond, so we have to do the same. Learn to put the relationship first by creating a safe space for each person to speak and be heard."
That's not to say that expressing your opinion, or letting your partner know how you feel isn't important, but the talking and listening aspects of communication should feel somewhat balanced.
"You have to learn how to listen vulnerably, which is listening to your partner while actually receiving and allowing in what they're sharing with you," explains Fehr. "In situations where you can both handle what happens to your emotions while listening and being there for your partner, this kind of communication builds trust that then creates a space to be able to deliver what you need to share in a way that can be heard."
As someone who feels really comfortable being open about my feelings, it takes me a conscious amount of effort to listen and absorb what my partner communicates to me. But putting in this effort, even when it's difficult, has made our mutual understanding of one another's viewpoints way stronger.
3. Take the time to 'design' your communication.
"This starts with personal awareness about your own individual needs and asking for them," explains Fehr. "For example, an early morning person might ask their partner to not have intense conversations in the mornings."
Everyone is different, so it only makes sense that we all have different ways of communicating. But if you can start communicating in a way that works well for both of you, then the chances of having disconnects that lead to conflict lessen, according to Fehr.
"People whose love language is words of affirmation might need such words to help them feel closer to their partner before they can speak about an important topic," says Fehr. "A person who is a 'touch' person might need a hug or close body contact to feel relaxed."
Once you both become familiar with each other's communication styles, it can be much easier to make sure productive conversations happen within this framework.
While this might sound complicated, Fehr reiterates the importance of establishing solid communication, before things get heated. This way, you can both go into difficult conversations, prepared with the tools needed to solve the issue.
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