When you enter into your first ever real, long-term relationship, there’s a hugelearning curve. Even if you’re totally smitten with your new partner, transitioning from being just a “me” to being one half of a “we” takes some serious getting used to. But of all the things that you’ll have to adjust to, by far one of the biggest challenges you’ll face with your first serious partner is learning how to communicate in a relationship in a way that’s healthy, effective, and works well for both of you. The good news? It’s totally doable — it just might take a little time.
“You may not have any actual relationship experience, but if you make an effort and are patient, you should be able to adapt to your partner in many ways — including communicating with and without words,” Davida Rappaport, Speaker, Spiritual Counselor & Dating Expert. “Learning how your partner forms thoughts, ideas and chooses their words and sentences takes time. If you are an active listener and patient, you will be able communicate with ease. Not all partners are open and able to communicate well. It is up to both of you to find a way to communicate — perhaps you will create your own method.”
Simply put, no two couples have exactly the same communication style, and it’s up to you and your partner to find what works for you (and what doesn’t. If you’re a relationship rookie, figuring out the do’s and don’ts of communicating with your partner is something that happens gradually — but if you want a head start, here are 11 expert tips that can help put you on the fast track to becoming an awesome communicator.
1. Don’t Make Assumptions
You know what they say about people who make assumptions… and when you’re in a relationship, jumping to conclusions about what your partner might have meant by something can be seriously damaging. “Do not assume you know what your partner’s intention is when they say something,” Rappaport says. “If in doubt, ask. Anytime you are confused or unsure about anything your partner may say, ask them what they meant. Hopefully your partner will make an effort to clarify their intention so there are no misunderstandings between you.”