Healthy Communication for Healthy Relationships: Love is Respect.

When you think of the perfect romantic relationship, what are some aspects that come to mind? Similar interests? Date nights once a week? A sizzling sex life?

These are all great qualities of a relationship. However, arguably none of these could exist without healthy communication.

Open, honest communication is an essential ingredient for any healthy relationship. Below are some strategies recommended by to create an environment conducive to effective communication.

Find the Right Time: As anxious as you might be about whatever is going on between you and your partner, it is important that a conversation take place at the right time in order for it to be effective. So if your partner is watching the game or is in the middle of a task, it’s a good idea to hold off until they are ready. Set up a time to talk where both of you will be able to feel calm and engage.

Talk in Person: Have you ever noticed how people can be so friendly in person but then come across as terse or cold via email or text? Subtle cues like body language, tone, and eye contact get lost in written communication. Serious topics are best discussed in person.

“I” Instead of “You:” When pointing responsibility on the other person, it can come across as attacking or blaming, even if you mean well. This can cause the other person to get defensive. In addition, the only perspective you can be 100% sure of is your own. It is helpful, therefore, to frame things in terms of your point of view. For example, instead of saying “You never want to do anything with me anymore,” you could try “I feel like we haven’t been as close lately.”

Be Honest: Yes, the truth can be painful, but it is crucial to having a healthy relationship. Not expressing what’s on your mind is not fair to either you or your partner. Of course, there is always a way to be honest in a way that does not come across as harsh or hurtful. Again, instead of placing full responsibility on the other party, try to express the situation in terms of how you feel. Remember that your partner can’t read your mind. So if something is bothering you, say it.

Use the 48 Hour Rule: As discussed earlier, it is essential to communicate with your partner if there is an issue. However, you don’t have to discuss it right away. Along the lines of finding the right time, it might not be helpful to bring up an issue when you’re angry, overwhelmed, or not in the right frame of mind. You can take some time to process the issue. If the issue is still bothering you in 48 hours, talk to your partner. If not, you might consider letting it go.

Opening up the channels of communication can give your relationship the opportunity to prosper. If you are in need of marriage counseling, couples counseling or are experiencing relationship communication issues, South Denver Psychotherapy can help. Contact us today.


Love Is Respect. How Can We Communicate Better?