When it comes to dating in 2023, learning how to communicate with your partner is the key to your relationship’s success. It lets you both convey your thoughts, feelings, and needs, which helps build your bond and create a stronger connection. Without proper communication, it’s easy for your lines to get crossed, leading to misunderstandings, resentment, and even blame. However, if you can talk through the tough stuff and be honest about any situation, you’ll have a much easier time navigating a relationship together.
If you’re wondering how to communicate in a new relationship, we’re here to help. We’ve provided some of our top communication relationship advice for guidance. From setting aside special times to chat to learning how to argue in a healthy way, these tips will help you and your partner communicate better in your relationship.
Create Time to Chat
You might be wondering, should you talk every day in a new relationship? And the answer to that question really depends on your specific relationship. While talking every day is a great way to get to know each other and build your connection as you just start dating, you may need some time and space to reflect on your budding relationship.
That said, we recommend setting aside time to chat with your new partner, even if it’s not every single day. For example, instead of going to the movies right after work, eat dinner together beforehand so you can recap the day and fill in each other on the latest life events. Or, before going to brunch with some mutual friends, meet up for a coffee and share a conversation before joining the others. But if you want to be even more structured about it, set aside a certain time each week, put away any distractions, and have an intentional one-on-one conversation.
So, how do you communicate in the early stages of dating? A big part of learning to communicate with your partner involves actively listening. This means instead of mentally preparing what you’re going to say next or opening your mouth to interrupt during a conversation, you’re listening to and engaging with what your partner is saying. It’s not just hearing the words coming out of your partner’s mouth but also understanding the meaning behind them.
To practice active listening, be 100% present in the conversation, maintain eye contact, and listen before responding. Let them finish their thoughts and then ask open-ended questions or paraphrase what they said to ensure you interpreted it correctly. Active listening can help cultivate more intentional and productive conversations, which can help strengthen your relationship.
Look for Nonverbal Cues
Looking for nonverbal cues is another aspect of active listening that can help you communicate better in a relationship. This involves looking for meaning in the things your partner isn’t saying.
For example, maybe they’re not making eye contact, speaking really fast, and fidgeting with their hands, which may signify they’re feeling anxious or nervous. Or, maybe their arms are crossed, signaling they’re feeling defensive, or their tone of voice is flat, meaning they may be annoyed or angry. The more you pick up on these nonverbal cues, the easier it will be to understand and connect with your partner.
Understand You May Communicate in Different Ways
Another one of our favorite pieces of communication relationship advice is understanding that you might prefer to communicate in different ways. In fact, the sooner you realize this, the sooner you can avoid any problems that it may cause.
Let’s say your partner loves texting. They fire away hundreds of texts a day, from short and sweet “thinking of you” messages to long, drawn-out paragraphs. You, on the other hand, much prefer a phone call or a voicemail. In turn, your partner thinks you’re ignoring all their text messages and assumes you’re not interested in talking, while you believe they’ll pick up the phone and ring you if they have something important to say to you. Neither communication style is wrong, but you must learn to adapt to one another’s preferences.
Don’t Be Afraid to Communicate Your Feelings
Wondering how to fix communication in a relationship? One way is to be open and honest about the way you feel.
For starters, your partner is not a mind reader. No matter how close you are with them, they won’t necessarily know that you took offense to something they said, feel annoyed about a work assignment, or want to scream about some recent news you received.
While it’s important to work on being happy with yourself before entering into a new relationship, in order to build a strong foundation on which your relationship can grow, you need to be willing to let your partner in. You don’t need to put up a wall to protect yourself and your feelings—it’s ok to be vulnerable. Express how you feel and convey your emotions so your partner understands what you’re going through so you can go through it together.
Communicate What You Need, Too
Just as you shouldn’t bottle up your feelings, don’t bottle up what you need. Are you feeling like your partner isn’t giving you the attention you deserve? Or do you need a soundboard because something is bothering you at work? Your partner can’t help you if you don’t communicate what you need from them.
Try to work on conveying what would help you feel better. For example, if you think your partner is spending a lot of time hanging out with friends or playing video games, you might say something like, “I appreciate that you have other interests, but I’m feeling a little neglected lately. Do you mind if we reserve Friday evening for date night?” Or, if your work situation is keeping you up at night, you could say, “Hey, I’m struggling with this thing at work, and I’m looking for some advice. Do you mind if we discuss it?”
Of course, this goes both ways. If your partner opens up to you about their wants or needs, be sure to be attentive and respectful of their wishes. Allow them to speak and then ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand.
Learn to Argue in a Healthy Way
Especially if you’re in a new relationship, you may find yourselves wanting to avoid conflict and arguing in any way. After all, isn’t arguing bad? The truth is, conflict is part of any relationship, and arguing isn’t bad if you do it in a positive and constructive way.
Disagreements are bound to arise in your relationship, so it’s just a matter of how you address them. Remember the active listening tips above, and come to the table with a calm and open mind. Be willing to share your feelings without pointing blame and give your partner the same opportunity, and don’t be afraid to compromise. It’s ok if you don’t come to the same conclusion or an immediate resolution as long as you had a meaningful and respectful conversation.
Consider Relationship Counseling
Learning to communicate with your partner isn’t something that happens overnight. Everyone is different, and finding ways to connect can be particularly challenging for some. If you’re asking yourself, why do I struggle to communicate with my partner? Or, if you two just can’t seem to click when it comes to communicating in your relationship, you may want to consider meeting with a relationship counselor. These experts are trained to provide couples with professional advice and guidance on improving the way they interact.
Even if you’re two peas in a pod who are falling in love, effectively communicating together isn’t always a walk in the park. Try some of these tips above to help improve your relationship.