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When entering into a brand-new relationship, we often spend hours chatting with our love interest. As our relationships become more serious, however, the ways in which we communicate tend to change. Instead of flirting and complimenting our partners, our conversations tend to center upon more practical matters. Instead of whispering sweet words in our partner’s ear, we’re more likely to end up ranting about a rough day at work. Instead of chatting about our hopes and dreams for the future, we often crash on the couch, watching a TV show or movie together in near-silence.
Focusing on the way in which you communicate with your love interest can radically transform the nature of your relationship. From building up a foundation of friendship to keeping the sensual spark alive, here are a few tips for making all of your conversations more meaningful ones.
All relationships require having routine conversations. Practical conversations allow us to manage household chores, errands, schedules, and daily decision-making. Though these discussions are necessary, they don’t do much for fostering a sense of emotional connection in a relationship. Though these conversations will rarely be intimate ones, it is important to focus on your tone when conversing with your partner. Speak in a kind, conversational manner and stay open-minded. Being critical or demanding will only harm your relationship over time.
Most happy relationships are built on a foundation of friendship. Over time, however, we stop trying to get to know our partners. Healthy relationships, however, involve asking our partners questions. Try talking to your partner as you would your best friend. At the end of a long day, check in and have a good chat about what you’ve done throughout the day. Ask open-ended questions and really listen to your partner. What are they excited about? What is causing them stress at the moment? Discuss current events as well as plans for the future. What are your goals and dreams? If one of you has good news to share, celebrate it! Commemorate happy moments with small gestures, like hugs and kisses, or honor things with a larger celebration, such as a fancy meal at a restaurant. Show interest in one another’s passions and hobbies, and go out on fun and adventurous dates together on a regular basis. By having positive experiences together, you’ll remind yourself why you love your partner and enjoy spending time with them.
Feeling safe and secure in a relationship is one of the best signs that the bond is built to last. Emotional and physical support from a partner are crucial to maintaining a healthy and happy relationship. We need to feel as though our partner has our back, and can support us during times of stress and sorrow.
Express support by truly being there for your partner. Being there in person is best, but being supportive via text and over the phone is important, too. When you sense that your partner is struggling, boost your levels of support. Offer to do things you don’t normally do; perhaps complete certain chores or run errands to alleviate the stress they may be experiencing. If your partner needs encouragement, offer it. Allow your partner to vent. Instead of striving to resolve their problems on your own, simply listen. Sometimes, listening is far more powerful than offering advice. Strive to offer emotional as well as physical support. Hug your partner, hold their hand, and remind them of their self-worth. Encourage them to pursue their dreams and goals. Remind them that you will continue being there for them.
Consider asking your partner how you can better support them. Some people may need a listening ear; others may prefer physical comfort. By supporting your partner in the right ways, and asking for support when you need it, you can build a relationship that will survive even the toughest of times.
Affectionate, Praise-Centric Conversations
Your love interest likely does things that you appreciate on a daily basis. How often do you clearly express your gratitude to them? Instead of simply thinking good thoughts about your partner, speak up! Rather than merely thanking your partner for making dinner, really take a moment to praise your partner’s willingness to cook a healthy and delicious meal for both of you. Is your partner a good listener? The next time you’ve finished telling them a story, let them know that you really appreciate the fact that you can share your experiences with them. Express appreciation towards your partner frequently. Consider asking your partner if there are other ways in which you can better express your gratitude, too. Some individuals may feel most appreciated when their partners praise them verbally; others may crave physical forms of affection, such as smiles and hugs. Though praise may not feel like a deep form of conversation, expressing gratitude in little ways on a daily basis is one of the best ways to enhance the quality of your relationship.
Relationship-Focused, Conflict-Resolving Conversations
Perhaps the most difficult form of relationship communication is the dreaded conflict-resolution chat. Nobody wants to fight with their partner. Instead of trying to communicate when you and your partner are already upset, set aside time to communicate with one another about the “big issues” on a weekly basis.
Set aside at least half an hour to talk to one another. Start by identifying a few things that you love about one another. Praise these traits in your partner, and remind them that you’re grateful to be with them. Next, allow your partner to discuss the things that went well in your relationship during the previous week. Once they’ve finished speaking, offer your own insights.
Once you’ve shared all of the positives, it’s time to conquer the problem areas. Ask your partner, “What occurred this week that we can work on improving?” Instead of discussing these areas of improvement in depth, simply strive to identify situations that could be worth focusing on. Once your partner has spoken, voice your own observations. Strive to really listen to one another. Talk to your partner and identify one key subject that you feel is particularly worth discussing. Strive to reach an understanding; work to find a solution that’s agreeable to you both. Perhaps there’s a new approach that you’d both like to take in the coming week. Maybe discussing the problem has already resolved the issue. Regardless, try to come to an understanding regarding the week’s area of improvement.At the end of your conversation, thank one another and name something that you love about each other. Ask your partner if there’s anything else you can do to make them feel more loved in the coming week.
Though this approach to conflict resolution isn’t perfect, it’s one of the best ways to address relationship conflicts without resorting to fighting and bitterness. By expressing gratitude and love towards your partner, discussing a particular issue in a calm matter, and coming to a mutual resolution, you can avoid bigger conflicts in the future.
Physical intimacy can be a tricky subject, even when conversation isn’t involved! Research has proven, however, that most sexual issues can be overcome through open and honest communication and a willingness to explore things together.
Over time, many of us stop talking to our partners about sex and our desires. Instead of flirting and exploring one another’s mental and physical arousal, we simply dive into the act of sex.
Take the time to really communicate with your partner about their desires. Though this can be awkward at first, openly communicating your desires and needs is the best route to long-term sexual satisfaction. Have a relaxing evening together and explore one another’s bodies. Are particular areas especially pleasurable? Are there certain erogenous zones that you’ve been neglecting? Explore one another’s genitals, and see if there are new ways to experience intimate pleasure together. Make an effort to be sensual and passionate throughout the day, too. Instead of a peck on the lips in the morning, spend a few minutes really kissing each other.
Mix things up, and continue learning about your own sexuality. Try new positions and sexual techniques together. Have sex in a different place! Read books or watch some videos from sex educators who promote sex positivity and self-exploration.
If your sensual connection is still lacking, take a step back and look at the other ways in which you are communicating in your relationship. If you’re both holding back unvoiced resentments or haven’t taken the time to re-establish a friendship with one another, your struggles with intimacy may be tied to a broader lack of connection in your relationship. By improving communication on all levels, you can likely deepen your sexual bond, too.
Communicating openly and honestly can be challenging. It’s almost always easier leaving things unsaid! Vocalizing praise, listening to your partner, and discussing problems before they escalate into resentments, however, are crucial tools for improving the quality of your relationship.
If you’re struggling to have meaningful conversations with your partner, remember that you’re not alone. Start small, working to improve your communication skills in one area. Re-establish a deeper friendship with your partner, or work on the ways in which you offer your emotional support. Once you’ve mastered these areas, you can tackle trickier types of conversations, such as conflict-resolution discussions. Build a better relationship by continuing to re-focus on positive communication every day. In the future, you’ll be glad that you did!
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