The Language Of A Healthy Relationship

Learning how your partner communicates can lead to greater couple cohesion


It’s challenging to learn a new language. New vocabulary, endless grammar rules, exceptions to those rules, and the immersion it takes to fluently speak a non-native language, requires complete dedication. Sometimes, learning a new language can take years and years of practice. Learning how to speak a foreign language is a lot like learning how to communicate with your significant other. As most of us know from experience, effective communication skills are the key to healthy relationships. Miscommunication is often a significant source of chronic bickering that can sometimes lead to relationship apathy, or even a breakup.


Almost daily, moments arise in our relationships in which we reach a state of confusion about what our partner wants and needs. Relationships take work mostly because communication skills take work. Depending on mood, time of day and maybe even what you’ve eaten or not eaten for lunch, there are impending risks of communication breakdowns. It is in those moments of stress and fatigue that fluently understanding and speaking your lover’s language can make the difference in the overall satisfaction and success of your relationship.


A word to the wise: it is of utmost importance to remember when trying to fine-tune your communication practices with your partner that no one communicates effectively 100% of the time. Therefore, the skills of empathy and patience are bare necessities when it comes to learning your partner’s language nuances so that you can both teach each other how you would like to interact, in and out of conflict. This process actually brings to light not just how your other half should speak to you, but how you choose to speak to your partner.


The following are some simple tips to help guide you on your path to learning a new language so that you and your partner can enjoy the art of conversation by breaking the patterns of miscommunication.


Pay attention to what your partner needs (even if they are having a hard time asking for it)

We all want to be one step ahead in the game of life, and in relationships it’s no different. Sometimes we can sense what our partner needs before even they themselves recognize it. Trying to be one step ahead of your partner in terms of physical and emotional needs is going to help both of you communicate without a major blowup.


Patience is your greatest tool

Often, a gesture that you are trying to understand someone’s point of view can be more valuable than anything you can verbalize. When you genuinely attempt to understand a person’s point of view, and where they are coming from, it can quickly diffuse a potentially explosive situation.  When people we love don’t agree with us it may sting a little, but hearing our perspective outright dismissed before it gets heard is a huge upset. Having the patience and maturity to hear your true love’s side of the story is not only a sign of respect, but also an adult thing to do.


Build a tolerance for strong emotions

In between the words we say, there is unspoken emotional coloring. There is a tone to the way we speak, as well as historical context that predisposes us to focus on certain aspects more than others.  Being able to function amid strong sentiments allows you to tolerate and accept things that are hard to hear. Sometimes, negative patterns and ways of interacting need to be pointed out and identified.  Learning to listen to challenging statements made by our partner helps us to learn how to express ourselves in highly emotional situations, even if there is potential to hurt the one we love.


Learn when to problem-solve and when to just listen

Sometimes it’s just best to keep quiet. When tempers are boiling and your skin begins to crawl out of anger or frustration, it is wise to take a time-out. Conversations can be a helpful tool for finding solutions, but there are moments when it is best to stay silent in order to save ourselves from saying things that we might regret down the road. Even if something has been said in anger, and even if we didn’t completely mean it, it’s been said.  It can’t be unsaid.


Communication happens regardless of if your mouth is moving

Sometimes a mere glance, a telling sigh, or a slight shift in the body can convey a wealth of knowledge. The things we don’t say sometimes speak volumes. Keep in mind that body language can be a tool in your arsenal of communication. Loving gestures, tender caresses and tight hugs can mean more than any form of verbal validation.