It is poor communication that often leads to arguments, misinterpretation, and sometimes even the ending of relationships. In a perfect world, we would all be star communicators and fear would never come to play in our discussions. But alas that is not the case. Sometimes a couple has one party that is better at communicating than the other and other times both parties have a hard time communicating difficult issues. When both individuals in a relationship have poor communication it is a recipe for disaster. If you want to keep a healthy relationship with your significant other, and grow positively with one another, the best thing you can do is to improve your communication skills with each other. Here are some exercises that can help you do that:
1. Compare Love Languages
One major misconception couples have is thinking they both love each other in the same way. Gary Chapman’s #1 New York Times bestseller, The Five Love Languages, spells out new ways to communicate, based on understanding the way your partner shows love. The idea is that everyone expresses love differently, and yearns to be loved in a unique way. Try reading the book together (and try the workbook also by the same author to figure out your own love languages together). This will lend itself to you learning how each of you expresses your love. Many times couples miss expressions of love from their partner because they don’t realize these actions are how they show affection.
2. Reminisce About The Past
This exercise can be very beneficial for couples who have been together for a long time. On your next date night try looking at old pictures together and discuss your favorite memories over dinner, hot chocolate or a cup of tea. Reminiscing about the past is a great way to remember why you both fell in love with one another. If you have an anniversary coming up, instead of doing anything extravagant try making it a priority to spend time talking about your favorite memories. It will surely make your heart smile.
3. Never Go To Bed Angry
Going to sleep on an unresolved argument is never a good idea. This not only makes it harder to sleep but can cause you to wake up with a negative mind set. Don’t let an argument linger, as much as you want to ignore your significant other, this will only make you resent them. If you have a hard time letting go, try reverting to the idea that ‘life is too short’ to carry a grudge. And who ends up suffering? A lot of the time it’s the grudge holder more than the other person. You do not want to waste a day not speaking to your loved ones over a fight that can be resolved.
4. Do Something Special
Life can get easily consumed by our hectic schedules. Whether it’s work, children, illnesses or parents, stress can overpower our days and make us forget to show our partner appreciation. Once a week try and do something special for your partner, it can be small, but it will go a long way. Knowing your partner is thinking about you during a demanding week will make you feel loved and remind you that they do care about you.
5. Make a FUN list
Sit down with your significant other and come up with twelve fun things you want to do together. Schedule them on your calendar each month and cross the activity off once you’ve done it together. This is a great way to come up with a bucket list that we should all have, create memories with one another, and have something to look forward to each month!
6. Uninterrupted Listening and Cuddle Time
This is one of the simplest exercises, yet the most ignored. Phones, computers, tablets, and TV’s often distract us from our significant others. Before bed add an extra thirty minutes before you both go to sleep where there are no electronics. Use this time to cuddle, and talk about your day with each other. This is some of the most intimate time you can have with one another and a great way to strengthen your relationship. We never want to feel as if we are being ignored for social media on our phones or work emails, so put the electronics away and add thirty minutes of intimate time with your loved one!