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How to Improve Communication in a Relationship

Updated on June 14, 2017
Michael Kismet profile image

Michael is a self-taught expert in human behavior. He enjoys writing and sharing his insights on the human condition.

how to communicate better in relationships
how to communicate better in relationships | Source

Looking for a way to improve your relationship with your girlfriend? So, you're here, you've made it. No longer wading through women in the gauntlet of dating. Dating dynamics aren't too different from the relationship paradigm, but there are subtle variations. Many women who are in relationships don't realize that men desperately want the same things out of a relationship.

However, men and women do not concur on how to approach and attain what they want. Most relationships that are failing are mainly due to poor or total miscommunication. There are many factors that contribute to a relationship's success. Most if not all successful relationships share three main components--the most important among the three, "communication".

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#1 How to Improve the Relationship

Let's be honest, generally men aren't the best representatives when it comes to communicating in a relationship. But in my experience with happy and productive relationships, the one factor that made most of the difference was clear and concise communication.

There's just no getting around this, if the woman you're going steady with isn't receptive to your methods and patterns of communication, it's most likely a doomed union. Here are some signs that you're in a relationship with a woman you're not able to effectively communicate with:

  • If you both can't sit down and speak calmly to one another.
  • If you can't have a heated debate without it turning into a shouting match.
  • If you do not have many overlapping areas of passion or interest for conversation.
  • If you feel the continual need to not share your thoughts or feelings.
  • If you avoid or limit any actual conversations, mainly pertaining to the relationship.
  • Lack of things to talk about, due to no overlapping areas of similar interest.

If you're experiencing any combination of these social symptoms, but still feel she is the "right one" for you, there are some things you can do to improve the communication skills between you and your significant other. But my first suggestion would be to really be honest with yourself and the current relationship you're in. It's hard for most men to admit that they're in a toxic relationship.

ways to improve communication in a relationship
ways to improve communication in a relationship | Source

Improving Your Communication Skills in Relationships

Learn to listen, don't be so quick to write off another person's opinions or feelings. Go a step further by repeating a bit of what your partner just spoke about, this is called "reflection". When your partner feels that you're actually hearing and listening to what they have to say, they'll feel more validated and more open to your feedback.

If you're truly interested in communicating better with your partner, you'll learn to listen and be more attentive to her feelings. Another way to improve upon your communication, is to voice your appreciation for your significant other. If she is a important part of your life, you need to voice it every now and then, woman like to hear it as much as they like to see or feel it.

Many men in committed relationships take their wife or girlfriend for granted. Not showing and being vocal of your appreciation for them leads to a more disconnected state and possibly more resentment. Here are few tips on being a better listener:

  • Try not to interrupt her, if there's something you want to say, wait for her to pause.
  • Be mindful of your body language, a woman can easily detect if you're distracted.
  • Show genuine interest in the subject she's talking about, don't fake it.
  • When you give her feedback, don't be judgmental, avoid this at all cost.
  • Never get into shouting matches, learn to compromise and agree to disagree.

Questions to Improve Your Relationship

A healthy and worthwhile relationship should be open and honest. Isn't that the whole point of sharing your life with someone? If you feel the need to hold something back from her, that isn't the best sign. Little deceptions will inevitably lead to much bigger deceptions and more detrimental, deceptive behavior. A relationship build on a foundation of fallacies and miscommunication will not endure for long, no matter how much effort you invest into it.

Another way to improve upon your communication, is to voice your appreciation for your significant other. If she is a important part of your life, you need to voice it every now and then, woman like to hear it as much as they like to see or feel it. Many men in committed relationships take their wife or girlfriend for granted. Not showing and being vocal of your appreciation for them leads to a more disconnected state and more resentment.

what to communicate in a relationship
what to communicate in a relationship | Source

#2 How Important is Sense of Humor in a Relationship

Another quality of happy couples with longevity is being able to be amused by the same things, including being able to laugh at each other and themselves. Happiness in a relationship is synonymous with a consistent amount of laughter that permeates nearly every aspect of the relationship.

Many psychotherapists concur that when a couple no longer exhibits the sharing of laughter, they are headed for an inevitable end. It's not hard to surmise why this is.. Because life, for the most part should be fun, filled with adventures, with someone you can envision laughing the rest of your life with. Here are some signs that you possess different sense of humors:

  • If you're watching a movie or a television show, and you laugh at different moments in the movie/show. One of the biggest turn offs for me personally is when a woman laughs hysterically at something that I thought was just dumb.
  • When you only offend one another when you put each other under comical scrutiny. As aforementioned, when a couple fails to laugh at one another, there's no release valve for stress and tension.
  • When you're attempting to be humorous(a joke, a prank, a snide comment) and she genuinely thinks it is not funny, maybe even inappropriate.

If you know for a fact that you both possess a different sense of humor, it's not the end of the world. But a couple that doesn't laugh together often, can put a serious strain on the relationship. Laughter is like a release valve, helping to ease tension by not letting it build up. Most men and women will need a challenge to stay interested, find a way to incorporate humor while doing that, it can do wonders.

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#3 Having Mutual Respect in a Relationship

If there is no mutual respect, possessed or shown between you and your girlfriend--it is a telltale sign of incompatibility. I hate to sound and appear pessimistic, because I've been conditioned in my life to be an optimist.

But when it comes to relationships, you have to approach the matter with a considerable amount of realism and maturity. If you're constantly miserable with a woman you have no joy being around, what is the point? Additionally, you should treat your wife or girlfriend as an individual. I've seen lots of men in committed relationships crash and burn because they feel they can arbitrarily make decisions on their significant others behalf.

If you're mulling over a big decision, consult her, if you're out to dinner, make suggestions but don't order for her, also if there's a group discussion, don't speak for her, women hate that quality in men. Respect for a girlfriend's point of view, her time, and her individuality can make all the difference in the overall tone of the relationship. If you found this article useful, please feel free to share it.

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    • Michael Kismet profile image
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      Michael Kismet 2 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you Lynda for sharing your insights on the matter. I agree that women, especially strong minded women don't need a man to rescue them, but just simply empathize--and give affirmation. Although there are a myriad of things critical for success in a relationship, love cannot exist without respect. Thank you again for your input, it is humbly appreciated.

    • lyndapringle profile image

      Lynda Pringle 2 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Good blog. Being a woman myself, I have one more piece of admonition. Don't offer advice to a woman unless she asks for it. There are times when I discuss my bad days at work with my husband or a certain bad situation about a friend with him. His natural inclination is to try to fix the problem and give advice but most of the time we women just want to vent about the matter. We may not be ready to resolve the situation yet; we just want to talk it over. The best thing for the man to do is simply commisserate by saying such things as, "I'm sorry you had such a bad day at work especially since you work so hard and are a great employee. That's too bad your friend didn't have your back. It is sometimes hard to figure out what sets people off." These words may seem pat and useless but it shows your woman that you are listening and understanding. When she wants a resolution, she will then say, "So, what do you think I should do about these things?"

      Sense of humor is so essential to a good relationship even if the partners have different ideas about what constitutes good humor. I love puns and slapstick humor which my husband hates. His humor is more of a rapier wit but we have learned to appreciate our differing styles at laughter. He will listen to my punny jokes and may say, "Oh Gawd! Honey, that's awful. You love to torture me!" But at least he listens. Rapier wit is not my style but I can certainly appreciate a good turn of phrase such as when my husband referred to an enemy of his in this fashion: "Everyone has enemies but it really sucks when I have an enemy that I can't even respect. I wish I could find a new enemy who I respect." It takes time to understand differing senses of humor but it happens. All humor is good.

      As you mentioned, respect is key to a lasting relationship. If the two of you have that, respecting each other's choices and convictions then the rest will be easy.

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