Most relationship counselors agree that communication is key in successful relationships. Whether it is a budding romance, or a marriage of many years, it needs to be nurtured. Communication is vital for emotionally secure couples. Here's how to keep communication alive in relationships.
- Build a foundation. It takes time to earn trust, and also be able to give the trust that it takes to truly communicate with another person. It's a bad idea to tell your secrets in your first conversation with a potential romantic partner. Some people don't feel close to someone until they have shared confidences. Sometimes that happens too early in a relationship, and someone is betrayed. Take time to get to know the person before bestowing that trust upon them. You will have to ask and answer in order to get to know someone, but tread lightly with the secret stuff.
- Listen when you may not feel like it. If you are in a serious enough relationship with someone that they seek you out to talk, then you owe it to them to listen. My spouse and I have been married for 35 years, and sometimes I want to talk when she doesn't feel like listening. But she listens as patiently as if she were still courting me. And that makes me want to do the same for her. Turn off the TV and look at the other person when they are talking to you.
- Know that communication isn't always verbal. Sometimes we just need a pat on the back, literally. Sometimes we just need a hug. One person can let the other know his feelings without saying a word. Taking someone by the hand can make vividly loud statements while being a totally silent movement. Doing something to make the other person's life easier, without being asked or calling attention to it, will be noticed and appreciated.
- Don't let the kids rob you of your personal time. When couples are raising children, it becomes so easy to let them take your focus off each other. Our kids need and deserve all of our attention at times, but your mate is the one who will hopefully be with you when the kids are grown and gone. Don't lose sight of the person you married. An empty nest is a cold and lonely place when you have forgotten how to talk to the person that helped you build the nest in the first place. Nurture that relationship along with nurturing your children.
Take advantage of life's free and simple pleasures together. Spending time together and nurturing your relationship doesn't have to cost a penny. Take a walk together, ride bikes, watch a movie. It doesn't matter so much what you do, as that you do it together.