The importance of communication in a relationship

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers

Communication, whether it be with your significant other or just someone important in your life, is something key for the development or maintenance of any relationship. Without communication, things could get lost in the mix or forgotten about altogether. Communication is sometimes entirely looked over or taken for granted. Communicating effectively is something that rarely happens naturally for a lot of people. It is often something that people have to work at in their relationship. Despite being difficult, communicating effectively with your partner is possible and well worth it. Establishing this healthy communication in a relationship is incredibly important for many different reasons.

Why communication in a relationship is important

To reduce conflict and resolve it quickly
Conflict in a relationship is something that every couple will deal with at some point. Truthfully, not all conflict is bad. However, it should be resolved healthily and quickly. When conflict cannot be resolved, and one or both partners are intentionally hurting each other, it becomes unhealthy. As Anne Grady from Entrepreneur puts it, “With aggressive communication, you’re forcing your anger on the other person.” Clearly, this is not a healthy approach when communicating with the person you love most. The most important thing to resolve conflict is to communicate healthily. Telling your partner clearly what they did to hurt you and how you would have preferred them to go about it will help your relationship tremendously. When you have great communication skills, you and your partner will be able to resolve conflict quickly and healthily.
When you are doing long distance
Good communication skills are incredibly important when a relationship has to be long-distance for whatever reason it may be. You may be having to work in different cities or be spending long periods with family away from your partner. Whatever the reason for doing long distances, it can cause strain on your relationship. If there is a lack of good communication, couples can become distant and feel disconnected from each other. Communication is very important when you cannot see the other person daily, weekly, or even longer. This is because you have to choose to communicate with the person consciously. Whereas when you are with them in person, it is much easier to communicate effectively.
When doing long distance with your partner, you must put in additional effort into your relationship. As cheesy as it may sound, good communication, through whatever medium, is the only way you can healthily maintain your relationship. A relationship is not something you can just check in on every once in a while and assume everything will be fine. The development of a relationship, whether it is a new relationship or an old relationship, can depend on the intention and thoroughness to which the people communicate.
They are your best friend
Investing in a relationship can reap so many benefits in your life. The person that you are in a relationship with is probably your best friend, your partner, and your go-to person. Many people consider their partner their best friend. In fact, according to Dr. John Gottman of the Gottman Institute, friendship is the foundation for a healthy relationship. In other words, a great friendship is necessary for a great relationship. But, the term “best friend” only means something if the relationship is developing as time goes on. Your partner can be your best friend, but if you do not communicate with them properly, you can fall out of touch, and your communication link can get lost. It is important to communicate with your partner, so you two can develop your friendship, which also improves your relationship.
Getting deeper than surface level
Some healthy communication is typically better than none at all. However, small talk can sometimes be nothing more than some entertainment or filling silence. Communication is a great tool to dive deep into someone and who they truly are. It can help you understand why they are the way that they are. You may have several surface-level friendships, but you should be on a deeper level with your significant other. At the end of the day, a surface-level relationship will not satisfy you. However, communication will help you have a more meaningful relationship.
It might be hard to open up about something that you keep locked up inside. Common barriers to opening up to people are caused by childhood trauma, eating disorders, previous unhealthy relationships, and more. However, you never know if your partner has gone through something similar and can help you with your journey. So, doing your best to open up about these things can be beneficial. This can improve your relationship overall and help you explore new sides of each other that you would not have found otherwise. If you feel that you have something blocking your ability to connect with others deeply, it is highly recommended you seek out counseling. A professional counselor, such as one from BetterHelp, can help you knock down any internal barriers you have so you can have a deep and meaningful relationship.
How to better communicate with your partner
Learning how to communicate with your partner better can take your relationship to a whole new level. It is important to note that every person communicates very differently. So, keep this in mind when exploring new methods of communication with your partner.
Learn their love language
It may be beneficial to ask the person that you are in a relationship with what their love language is. Love languages could be an important factor to consider because it is directly correlated with communication. Someone’s love language could be words of affirmation. So, how you communicate plays a role in how you affirm someone. In this case, it would be verbally. Another method of communication is physical touch. If you act standoffish or distant, how will the other person feel? Learning how your partner likes to receive love and give love will help your relationship tremendously.
Form a friendship with your partner
As mentioned above, friendship is the foundation of a satisfying romantic relationship. So, communicating and intentionally forming a relationship with your partner will be very beneficial. To form a relationship in the first place, feelings are generally processed and then communicated to ensure that both parties are on the same page. It could be difficult and confusing to navigate through a brand-new relationship if the other person cannot communicate where they are at. You cannot form a firm foundation on something unclear. It is important for both people, in the beginning, stages of a relationship, to define their goals, needs, and vision for their relationship. Even if everything is not written in stone, a general conversation could ensure that everything is heading in a good direction and flowing smoothly.
Remind them that you still care
When in a relationship, it can be highly important to communicate that you still care about your significant other. This sounds like something that would be assumed; however, when life is going and going, expressing feelings and emotions can just get forgotten about or lost in the mix. It is of value to take a second to remind your significant other that you care for them and care about what happened during their day. Providing support is even more important if your partner is struggling with something such as joblessness, an eating disorder, or family problems. Even if you do not explicitly tell each other your feelings every single day, love or fondness could be shown through little acts of kindness. It is possible to “communicate” through the little things. This could include things like cooking their favorite meal for them, writing them a card, folding a load of laundry, or even buying their favorite snack for them at the grocery store.**to be continued next week

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 − seventeen =