I was told once that I have two ears for me to listen twice as much as I talk. However, growing up an introvert, that logic didn’t work to well for me early in life.
Although it is important to listen to what your partner is saying, it is just as important that your partner hears what you have to say. Again, being the introvert that I was, this wasn’t working too well. There were a lot of problems that went unaddressed or that were swept under the rug. You only can sweep so much under that rug before the pile underneath gets too big. And, unaddressed issues can create tension and tension leads to explosions.
Early on in the relationship, it is important to sit down with your partner and set some ground rules. Both of you should walk away from that conversation – or conversations – with an understanding of each other’s communication style; what works for you? What don’t? When is the best time for you to have important conversations?
You also need to discuss how to handle heated conversations. Maya and I have don’t like conflict at all. We don’t run from these conversations because they need to be addressed. However, if tempers are flying a little high at the moment, we have agreed that we first recognize that this is becoming a problem for us. Second, we need to acknowledge that this conversation is not going at all like we thought it would. And, third, this conversation needs to be sat to the side to be revisited later. Now, there is a difference in setting the conversation a side to be revisited and dropping the conversation all together. If you agree to set it aside, you have to be prepared to continue the discussion in a calmer manner when the topic comes back up.
A few keys that we have to consider in our communication with the opposite sex – or in some cases the same sex – is our tone of voice and our rate of speech. Certain tones can take a person to a place that none of us want them to go. Your rate of speech can garbled the message that you are trying to get across or it can be offensive and the message will still not be received how you intended it. Something that you will learn as you and your partner grows together is that their background will set the standard for how they perceive certain things. Although you can’t control or change their background, you do have to respect it and come to some agreement on how to move forward from those difficult conversations. Maya and I have had moments where we look at each other like “okay, you just had a moment. Are you okay now?” And I’m sure that as we move forward into our marriage relationship and out of courtship, we will have more of those moments. If you can’t work through those moments then in my opinion the two of you need to either revisit the conversation were you sat those communication ground rules or you two should reconsider having a relationship all together.
You have to be able to communicate well with your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/partner (or which ever term of endearment you choose for each other) in order for your relationship to go the long haul. If you talk to many of those couples that have been together fifty plus years and still happy, they will tell you that communication is what have helped them get to last as long as they have.
That’s my take on it.