LISTEN TO EACH OTHER
Taking time to listen to your partner means more than just nodding and smiling as they talk. Drop what you’re doing, make eye contact and give the other person your full attention. You can’t fully concentrate on what someone else is saying if you’re texting or checking email at the same time.
SET ASIDE TIME TO TALK
It’s so easy to get so caught up in the stress of everyday life that you never actually sit down and talk to your significant other. Rather than let too much time lapse between real conversations (i.e. about more than just who forgot to get groceries), set aside some time each day to talk. Head to a coffee shop or favorite pub so you’re out of the house; a fresh setting often stimulates conversation.
BE SURE TO ASK QUESTIONS
Good communication means your conversations aren’t one-sided. Really engage with your partner by asking questions that will help you understand how they’re feeling or what they’re trying to get across to you. Stumped on what to ask? Check out these conversation sparking questions:
- What was the biggest challenge you faced this week?
- What are you most proud of doing this year?
- If you could give your 16-year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
- If you could trade lives with any celebrity for a day who would it be and why?
- What would the perfect day consist of for you?
- If you could go anywhere in the world for an all expenses paid dream vacation where would you go and why?
DON’T BE A KNOW-IT-ALL
It can be frustrating to talk to someone who thinks they know everything about whatever it is you’re telling them. Good communication means listening and asking questions without taking over the conversation with your own opinions. It’s okay to offer advice, but it’s counterproductive to do all the talking.