Did you know that the most common relationship predicament, when you boil it down to the essence of any given problem, is communication? Yup…that’s right…if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times…Communication is key! Sure we talk in circles at times but do we really listen to what each other wants and needs? Communication is so very important in relationships, all types of relationships, not just romantic relationships, and quite frankly, the communication includes both the verbal and nonverbal varieties.
Let’s get down to the basics shall we? A relationship is a connection and exchange between people. Communication plays a large role in the exchange between people. It exchanges information in the form of ideas, wants, desires, feelings, and much more. Incomplete or stopped communication can create a block in the relationship. The degree of the block can vary with the severity or repeating of the communication stop. A block in the relationship exists or will grow when communication is just flat out avoided.However, in adult relationships, this behavior only avoided the hard issues that people have to work through for the relationship to be healthy and to grow.
- Staying involved with each other. Some relationships get stuck in peaceful coexistence, but without truly relating to each other and working together. While it may seem stable on the surface, lack of involvement and communication increases distance. When you need to talk about something important, the connection and understanding may no longer be there.
- Getting through conflict. Some couples talk things out quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree. The key in a strong relationship, though, is not to be fearful of conflict. You need to be safe to express things that bother you without fear of retaliation, and be able to resolve conflict without humiliation, degradation or insisting on being right.
- Keeping outside relationships and interests alive. No one person can meet all of our needs, and expecting too much from someone can put a lot of unhealthy pressure on a relationship. Having friends and outside interests not only strengthens your social network, but brings new insights and stimulation to the relationship, too.
- Communicating. Honest, direct communication is a key part of any relationship. When both people feel comfortable expressing their needs, fears and desires, trust and bonds are strengthened. Critical to communication are nonverbal cues—body language like eye contact, leaning forward or away, or touching someone’s arm.
Relationship advice for getting through life’s ups and downs
- Don’t take out your problems on your partner. Life stresses can make us short tempered. If you are coping with a lot of stress, it might seem easier to vent with your partner, and even feel safer to snap at him or her. Fighting like this might initially feel like a release, but it slowly poisons your relationship. Find other ways to vent your anger and frustration.
- Some problems are bigger than both of you. Trying to force a solution can cause even more problems. Every person works through problems and issues in his or her own way. Remember that you’re a team. Continuing to move forward together can get you through the rough spots.
- Be open to change. Change is inevitable in life, and it will happen whether you go with it or fight it. Flexibility is essential to adapt to the change that is always taking place in any relationship, and it allows you to grow together through both the good times and the bad.
- Don’t ignore problems. Whatever problems arise in a romantic relationship, it’s important to face them together as a couple. If an aspect of the relationship stops working, don’t simply ignore it but address it with your partner. Things change, so respond to them together as they do. Talk things out…the longer you keep silent and say nothing, the more distance you are putting between yourself and your partner.