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Communications Skills for a Healthy Relationship

Updated on October 3, 2017
Filip Stojkovski profile image

I'm a computer programmer and game developer who is also deeply curious about the arts, psychology, and philosophy.

Taking some selfies during our last summer vacation
Taking some selfies during our last summer vacation

Falling In Love is Only the First Step

Often times when talking about our relationship with my girlfriend, we find ourselves recalling the moments early on in the relationship, and how we have changed since than. Undeniably, falling in love is one of the most beautiful experiences in life. To be naturally attracted to each other is certainly very important, but it’s not the full story. Enjoy the dizziness, highs and lows of passionate love when they happen, that is just fine. For a short time, you really don’t have to worry about anything, but if it works and you stay together long enough, you’ll start getting bothered by “the little things”.

Longer relationships, are going through different phases and that doesn't mean they are better or worse than the beginning, they are just different. Each stage of love, has it’s own beauty to be experienced.

happy couple having fun with some lights
happy couple having fun with some lights

Keep Opening Up Until You are Fully Exposed

Intimacy and being honest is a risky thing in some way. When you expose your weaknesses and most vulnerable parts of yourself, you might get hurt. Many people take a cautious approach, and open little by little, which is a smart thing to do, but don’t wait too long. Waiting for too long and being too cautious, can waste time and make things worst. Why wait so long in the first place?


Don't Bargain - Know Your Worth

If the other person doesn't accept you as you are, and didn't truly fall in love with you in a couple of months, the chances are, he/she won’t in the next 10 000 years. The take away here is “that is not your fault”. You have to be confident. If that one person didn't see the good in you, it doesn't mean you are less than amazing. It simply means the other person was blinded and couldn't see what really makes you special and beautiful.

Learn What is your Partner's Passion

Every person is conditioned to some kind of lifestyle and habits. The things he/she likes or enjoys are very important. Know your partner's goals, dreams, vision. With time, you’ll learn what is that he/she finds important, and how they react to failure and victory. Supporting your partner go in a direction that makes them more fulfilled, successful, happy, loved, safe is very important to the long term health of your relationship. Remember 2 things: 1.be supportive on the important subjects and 2. Be encouraging towards his/her personal growth.


This Is why You Want Your Partner to Grow

Some people feel intimidated by the idea of their partner personally growing and changing. They may remember “good old times” and want to stay like that forever. But nothing ever stands still. Everything in nature is changing and growing, and it’s only natural that people do also. Your partner may get more emotionally mature or may change interests. Change priorities, friend or social behavior. Some people that want to control their partner and keep him/her in a stagnating situation are doing self harm as well. The truth is, you won’t loose anything, if he/she finds who they really are, they will be more lovable and you will be even more loved. Isn't this what love is all about?


The Importance of Novelty

Growing personally and together brings fresh energy and connection that makes all the difference in the world. There is even a scientific reason why you want to keep growing. When your body creates new connections in the brain or builds new tissues in the body, it produces more feel-good hormones. That is why you want to keep learning and exploring, and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Take care of your body and stay creative, it will influence the way you connect on a deeper level.

Still You May Disagree Sometimes(Or Often)

Love is not always structured and logical. It is perfectly okay to have different opinions about something with your loved one. All couples argue or fight sometimes, that is completely natural, it is important to remember that you connect on a deeper level, and not get caught on the level of opinions. Less ego, less trouble.


Make Everyday Life Easier

If you have good communications, and you are quite clear that both of you are on the same track in general. Sharing some core values, that it should be fairly easy to move in the same or at least similar direction. Sometimes getting out of the way of your partner, and understanding when to give them space will show that you deeply understand them and believe in them. Everyday life is already difficult, and getting problems out of the way in a swift fashion will leave more space and energy for things you love, and more quality time you can spend together.


Valuing Quality Time Spent Together

It is important that both partners value the time they spend together, showing each other appreciation and love. If your partner doesn't enjoy good moments with you, and you find him/her liking just one aspect of your personality or lifestyle, it will be probably trouble in the long run. The downside is that you can’t change how they approach this. You can try speaking to them, and encouraging but more often they need to be that kind of person to start with. It’s unlikely that they will change with time on this matter.


How to Criticize Your Partner

Since you probably are his/her closest and most intimately connected person, they are likely to be most sensitive to your criticism, and may react extra emotionally. This holds true when criticizing anyone, but even more so in romantic relationships - criticize what they do, not who they are! Very important distinction. Respect who they are, and love them deeply, but kindly encourage them to correct bad behavior. Be decisive at not accepting bad behavior. They should understand and respect your limits and boundaries. At the same time, you should be helping each other to surpass your personal boundaries, but remember to offer that help only when the other person needs it.


Your Job is Not to Fix your Partner

In the end, all that we discussed in this article are just techniques and strategies, but you have to remember - it is not your job to change and correct your partner. If you find yourself troubled by your partner’s behavior for a prolonged period, and they just don’t listen to you. You really need to consider letting them go. Causing pain and trouble to each other all the time, will just cause suffering, and ultimately won’t work anyway.


Wrap Up

Take time to learn about your partner and his passions. Keep exploring and growing, it will refresh you and keep both of you happy. Learn to talk openly about what bothers you. Agree to manage time in a way that serves both of you. Make an effort to deal with life and problems, but make time to also disconnect and simply enjoy each other's company and presence. Don’t be quick to attack and insult your partner’s personality, rather if you have to criticize them, target their behavior and not their ego. Ultimately relationships are more about intuition, don’t follow strict rules, relax and enjoy as much as possible. If you two match well, you won’t have to do a lot of work to stay together.


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