While it might make for entertaining reality TV, fighting in a relationship is not fun and is not really healthy for the longevity of a relationship if you don’t learn how to navigate the conflicts well.
To minimize frustration and hurt feelings, you need to learn the importance of communication in relationships and how to communicate effectively with your partner. If you commit to practicing these principles, regardless of what your partner is doing, you will eventually experience more satisfaction in your conversations and therefore your relationship!
Do’s and Don’t’s of Communication in Relationships
DON’T bombard them with heavy conversation the moment they’ve come home from work, during the game or her favorite show, or in the middle of a fascinating article they’re reading on their iPhone.
DO wait for a moment in private when they’re relaxed and there’s nothing to distract them.
DON’T set your significant other up for failure.
DO remember that they cannot read your mind! Tell them that you really want to see that concert instead of hoping they’ll buy the tickets.
*Hint* Leaving hints is NOT effective communication in relationships. They’re never as obvious as you think they are.
DON’T quietly wait to see if they remember your birthday or anniversary.
DO remind them of important events every chance you get! And DON’T get all pissy if they ask, “What day was that again?” The fact that they asked shows that they care.
DON’T let little things grow into big things.
DO talk through stuff that bothers you a little so it never has the chance to grow into a “relationship gremlin.” I just made that up. You’re welcome… Unless you were born after 1990 and don’t get the reference.
DON’T explain your side of things expecting to win them over or make them see the light.
DO listen closely and value clarity over agreement. Understanding your sweetie’s point of view will be even more important for resolving conflict than trying to convince them to see things your way.
DON’T complain about your significant other behind their back.
DO demonstrate integrity by only speaking highly of them in front of others. If you wouldn’t want what you’re saying to get back to them, then you shouldn’t be saying it at all.
DON’T make them out to be the enemy, even if it seems that’s how they see you.
DO remember that you’re on the same team! All communication should be for trying to understand the other better and to build up the relationship.
DON’T take things personally or be offended easily, which are signs of immaturity and selfishness.
DO make yourself a safe person who can gracefully take a little criticism. And remember that it’s not always about you.
DON’T hold onto your pride thinking that your honey was the one who sinned against you so they should be the one to apologize first.
DO be humble and take responsibility for your part in what happened. It’s okay to apologize first. Learn how to apologize well, asking forgiveness from the other person.
DON’T expect your significant other to have read and memorized these tips.
DO respect them and your relationship enough to act the way you’d want them to act towards you (i.e. apologize first, put the phone down and turn off the TV when they’re trying to speak with you).
DON’T fall into the trap of thinking that you don’t have to act properly and give them what they need emotionally because they’re not acting properly or giving you what you need emotionally. Two wrongs do NOT make a right — it just makes everybody miserable!
MEN – DO treat her tenderly and with love, no matter how she’s treating you, so that it will be easier for her to feel respect for you, therefore treating you with more respect eventually.
WOMEN – DO trust him and treat him with respect, whether you believe he’s worthy of it or not, so that it will be easier for him to feel love for you, therefore treating you with more tender love eventually.
IF YOU’RE MARRIED, DON’T dole out or withhold sex as if it’s a gold star to be earned or taken away.
IF YOU’RE MARRIED, DO get naked together as often as possible! Sex is one of the best “reset buttons” God gave us. So have fun with it!
Being happy in a relationship has very little to do with who you’re with and everything to do with what you do. Look at some successful relationships and you will find great communication in relationships. I encourage you to let go of pride and past hurts with your partner, and begin learning how to communicate well together… for as long as you both shall live.
Genevieve West is a professional Matchmaker and personal consultant for marriage-minded singles in Portland, Oregon. Genevieve has been called a ‘prolific’ blogger and speaker, perpetual manuscript attempter, wine-drinking, coffee-chugging, sometimes irreverent, often overwhelmed housewife, and home-school mom of three, redeemed by God’s grace.
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