When you first meet someone new you can’t wait to hear and learn more about them, but once you are coupled up communication can take a nosedive. Here’s how to improve or maintain healthy communication.
Eye Contact Is A Must
Even if we’re just gaming or chatting with friends, we are all constantly connected to our electronics. But when your loved one is speaking to you—put down the phone or notebook and make eye contact. Otherwise, you aren’t fully listening. Hearing them maybe, but true listening requires no other distractions.
Listen To Learn
Not everything our partner shares with us about their day needs a solution or a response. Sometimes we just need to be heard. So instead of listening believing you already know what they are going to say or how to ‘fix’ things, listen to learn something new. Then ask more questions to learn more. Before offering your opinion, ask if they want it—or if they just need to vent. Also, let them finish and don’t make it about you, what you would do, what you think they should do, or about similar circumstances.
The last part of good listening is to follow up. Depending on the timeline for what they have shared, you should follow up the next day—or at least in the next week. Do so in a way that is genuine and sincere, not obligatory or pressure-filled.
If it makes it easier, schedule daily unplugged time together to encourage healthy communication with your partner. This could be the first hour you are home together at night and during dinner—but always during date night and one you head to bed.