Communication is one of the keys to a successful and healthy relationship. But what does effective communication mean? How does it impact a relationship?

Like any skill, communication in a relationship takes a lot of practice. And perfecting it is easier said than done. Communication is more than just talking. It’s more than expressing yourself and getting everything off your chest. Be amazed at the wonderful things effective communication can do for your relationship. If you want to learn to communicate effectively, consider the following points.

Set a schedule for regular bonding time

couple talking over tea

Create time to bond and have meaningful conversation

Spending your free time together is different from spending quality time. It is not enough that you spend all your free time sitting on the couch watching your favorite series. You must spend at least a couple of minutes every day where you two can hang out. Have quality time for honest and good conversations.

Acknowledge your partner’s feelings

When you make a mistake or somehow make your partner angry, acknowledge your partner’s feelings. You may want to get defensive but it will do you no good. It will only aggravate the situation. Instead, admit where you went wrong and understand why your partner feels that way.  And of course, make sure that you apologize.

Don’t play the blame game

All couples deal with conflicts and disagreements. Even those who are compatible in many ways still argue and disagree about certain things. That’s only because we are all unique. You and your significant other may have a lot of common ground. But it doesn’t mean you also have the same exact values, beliefs and principles in life. When there is a disagreement, it would be best to find a way to meet halfway instead of playing the blame game. Identify where the conflict started and why it started. Then, look for ways on how you can solve it. If you arrive at a resolution, also think about the ways on how you can avoid the same situation in the future.

Don’t keep bringing up past issues

Conflicts and misunderstandings happen every now and then. And that’s normal because no relationship is perfect. When you try to resolve a problem, don‘t bring up issues from the past. Especially  when they were already resolved. It won’t help your relationship if you will always bring back past problems and mistakes.

Be objective

When you’re emotional, thinking straight is a real challenge. Your emotions can also lead you to say things you’re not even supposed to say. And sometimes, your complaints are based on feelings and emotions instead of facts. So no matter how hard it is, try your best to take your emotions out of your issues. Make use of the facts and data when you settle conflicts with your partner.

Address issues as soon as possible

One of the reasons why relationships fail is because of the issues that left unresolved. When you know that something needs to be discussed, take time to discuss it as soon as possible. Don’t delay it or resentment will grow in your heart for keeping your feelings way too long. Don’t allow issues to be left unsettled. They will creep into your relationship and start destroying you without you noticing.

Set clear expectations

Misunderstandings happen because couples fail to set clear expectations early on. Both people in the relationship need to understand what their partners need and want. Both of you must take time to know the things that you value in the relationship.

Don’t take criticism personally

Good relationships encourage open and honest criticisms. And there’s nothing wrong with that. When your partner criticizes you about something, receive it with your whole heart. Don’t take it personally and don’t get defensive right away. Assess the situation first. Determine if your partner is actually attacking you or not.

Good communication isn’t something that you can learn overnight. It’s a process that takes practice and habit formation. Learn how to perfect the art of effective communication, whether in online or traditional dating. It will be easier to handle conflicts and disagreements.

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