I’m hearing you
“Nobody can predict the future. You just have to give your all to the relationship you’re in and do your best to take care of your partner, communicate and give them every last drop of love you have.” — Nick Cannon
We live in a throwaway society. When the latest electronic gadget hits the market, we don’t hesitate to hit the buy button and toss out our old devices. That attitude isn’t just restricted to consumer products. When it comes to relationships, we’re just as likely to favor trading in the old for the new. But there’s a problem. Separation or breaking-up isn’t the easy solution it sometimes appears to be.
When people tell one another that they’re having a tough time in their relationships, they often want to be told that they should hit the eject button. But relationships aren’t like bad investments. They can’t be ditched as soon as their value drops. Your partner isn’t a stock option but a person with whom you develop a deep bond founded on love, even if only for a certain period of time.
When you want to build a strong and healthy relationship with your partner, loving communication has to be a cornerstone.
English, Mandarin, Swahili, the world is full of languages, and most of us don’t understand a single word if a person talks to us in a language we don’t speak. In fact, trying to communicate without a shared language is fertile ground for misunderstanding, conflict and resentment. Fortunately however, most of us speak the same language as our partner. Or do we?
It’s not always easy to communicate in a loving way. Many couples struggle with loving and thoughtful communication. That’s why communication is such a critical part of any healthy relationship.
Dr. John Gottman, professor emeritus of psychology at University of Washington, is “the” guy when it comes to relationships. He’s that researcher featured in Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” who, after just a few minutes, could predict with uncanny accuracy whether a couple would end up divorced.
At the Gottman Institute they bring couples in and watch them talk to one another. Researchers study the content of the conversations and then track how the relationships fare over time.
So what do the successful couples talk about? Gottman discovered the content doesn’t matter. What mattered was what they weren’t saying. What was beneath the words. And whether their partner was paying attention, being responsive, and being supportive.
Throughout this post you’ll see how loving communication can be integrated into listening, talking, body language, and daily habits — how every word and action can be used to express love.
Are you ready to create a magical relationship through loving communication?
Read on and discover how to use all these forms of communication to enhance your relationship, and experience a more joyful and fulfilling love.
When communicating with your partner, listening is even more important than speaking. It’s crucial that you listen carefully to your partner.
Unfortunately, it’s easier to speak than to hear each other.
Many couples develop habits such as tuning out the other person or nodding their head in agreement without listening. They may learn to ignore each other rather than focusing on each other during their conversations. Unfortunately, these actions can spell doom.
You can use the same conversations to strengthen your relationship, instead, by taking advantage of them to show your love.
Try these ways to show your love when you listen:
Look at your partner when they’re talking.
They’ll be pleased that they have your full attention. This action allows you to start off the conversation in a positive, respectful, and complimentary light, even when you’re not the one talking.
Practice active listening.
This is a type of listening that shows the other person you’re engaged in the conversation.
Active listening can take many forms. Some examples of active listening include nodding your head, saying something in agreement, or asking questions to clarify their meaning.
Show that you understand.
Sometimes a smile or a nod is enough to show this. Other times you can show understanding by continuing the conversation and providing advice or tips.
Whether your phone goes off during a conversation, or you stop the speaker in the middle of a sentence, interruptions can be annoying and break down communication.
Turn off your phones and other devices while you’re listening to your partner.
Make the conversation a top priority.
Show how much you care by the way you listen.
Your partner will notice the loving difference!
“Technology is a compulsive and addictive way to live. Verbal communication cannot be lost because of a lack of skill. The ability to listen and learn is key to mastering the art of communication. If you don’t use your verbal skills and networking, it will disappear rapidly. Use technology wisely.” — Rick Pitino
The way you talk to each other has a huge impact on your relationship. From small talk to terms of endearment,
your voice has power.
Many couples are able to share their love through conversations in the beginning of a relationship. However, they struggle to keep the momentum going, and loving words fade as the relationship ages.
You don’t have to forget love while talking!
Consider these tips for keeping your love alive:
Give small talk a chance.
It’s not always necessary to have deep and meaningful conversations. There are times that small talk is appropriate and can be used to convey love.
Small talk can be an easier way to start a conversation with your partner. It can show that you still care about each other by sharing things.
Remember to use loving terms.
Terms of endearment can make a big difference in a relationship.
Using affectionate terms or cute pet names is one option.
Keep saying you love them.
Many couples who have been together for a long time forget to say “I love you.” Remember to tell your partner that you love them.
Although there are many ways to express your love, sometimes it’s important to just say it out loud. These three simple words, “I love you,” can serve as verbal reassurance.
Express yourself with love.
Sometimes anger and resentment can boil over in a conversation, but it’s important to resist them.
Try to avoid using language that’s hurtful and negative with your partner.
Consider how your partner will feel after hearing you talk.
Avoid letting anger and the passion of the moment cloud your judgment.
It often helps to take a break or walk away to cool off during a serious argument. But remember to use words that still contain love when you return.
The way you talk matters in a loving relationship.
Ensure you communicate your love through your words on a daily basis.
“We can begin to become more diligent and concerned at home by telling the people we love that we love them. Such expressions do not need to be ﬂowery or lengthy. We simply should sincerely and frequently express love.” — David A. Bednar
Do you pay attention to body language while near your partner?
Your body language is another way to show love in a relationship. Whether you use your eyes or a smile, the subtle things can express love.
Your body language is important to your partner.
They can pick up on non-verbal emotions from your body language, so make it count!
Try these strategies to show love with your body language:
Focus on the eyes.
Do you look at your partner while talking, or are you staring at the TV or your phone?
Researchers have found that partners who gaze at each other lovingly have stronger relationships.
So it’s important to look at your partner while talking and listening.
Of course, you only want to smile during appropriate times, but many couples simply forget to smile at all. And yet this simple gesture can carry a lot of meaning.
Face your partner.
While you’re talking, face each other. This shows you’re focused and interested in them.
Lean in a bit while they’re talking. This also shows that you care and are involved in the conversation.
Other body language tips.
Use these actions, too, in your body language, to communicate your love:
- Nod your head at appropriate times during the conversation.
- Point your feet toward the speaker because this moves the body in that direction and shows you’re interested.
- Crossing your arms is often viewed as a defensive and negative tactic, so leave your arms in a more natural position. One study found that people who cross their arms are also less likely to retain information from the conversation.
- Hold your partner’s hands. During a difficult or emotional moment, this can express your love.
Body language is a crucial part of communication.
Practice these body language tips each day to enhance your relationship with more love.
“We’re losing social skills, the human interaction skills, how to read a person’s mood, to read their body language, how to be patient until the moment is right to make or press a point. Too much exclusive use of electronic information dehumanizes what is a very, very important part of community life and living together.” — Vincent Nichols
How do you use daily habits to show your love?
Whether you pour your partner the first cup of coffee each morning or fold their clothes a certain way that they prefer, your daily habits in a relationship can make a big impact.
Consider how your daily habits affect your partner.
These habits can bring even more love into your relationship:
Keep writing love notes.
Although love notes are a classic way to express love, they still work in these modern times.
Love notes never go out of style!
Write a short love note on a sticky note.
Send a love note through email or social media. It doesn’t have to be hand-written on fancy paper to have meaning.
Even a loving text message can brighten your partner’s day.
Make date night part of the schedule.
Although date night may not be possible every week, you can still make it a habit.
Try to add at least one date night a month to your schedule.
Date night is the perfect opportunity to practice your loving communication and reconnect.
Keep in mind that date night doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. A quiet and simple dinner at home or movie night in the living room can make for a perfect date night.
Sharing small gifts.
Although gifts are often expected on holidays and birthdays, you can share smaller ones throughout the year.
Consider giving each other small and meaningful gifts more often.
They don’t have to be expensive, and they can be useful gifts. For example, think about giving your partner a new notebook or pen set if they love to write.
Even a photograph of you and your partner in a new frame can make for a perfect gift.
One of the biggest complaints from couples is housework and sharing chores.
You can show your love by doing chores ahead of time with no need for nagging.
You can also help by taking on your partner’s share of the chores.
When one person does an unfair share of the housework, it can strain the relationship.
Add more joy and laughter.
From sharing funny jokes to watching more comedies, adding humor can help you connect with each other.
By adding more joy and laughter, you’ll notice that the relationship feels lighter, and yet stronger, as you enjoy your time together.
Try to add more humor to your daily interactions.
Give foot rubs and massages.
After a long day at work or at home, your partner will appreciate such a loving gesture.
Foot rubs and massages are free and are an easy way to show you care.
They’re great romantic gestures that don’t require a lot of planning or time.
Spend more time together.
Not every moment has to be planned in advance.
Focus on spending more time together each day, and you’ll notice a stronger bond.
You don’t have to make it a big event, and it’s normal to simply read the paper or eat a meal together. Sometimes it’s these simple and quiet moments that matter.
Snuggle up together on the couch, go through paperwork together, or watch a show on TV.
The key is to be with each other and just enjoy each other’s company.
Your daily habits play a big role in loving communication. Add your own ideas to these. Find some habits that bring you closer together and
make it a point to show your love each day in your normal routines.
“Love is fed by the imagination, by which we become wiser than we know, better than we feel, nobler than we are: by which we can see life as a whole, by which and by which alone we can understand others in their real and their ideal relation. Only what is ﬁne, and ﬁnely conceived can feed love.” — Oscar Wilde
When you want to build a strong and healthy relationship with your partner, loving communication has to be a cornerstone.
Every word and action can be used to express love.
From daily habits to how you listen, you can use each moment to show your partner that you care about them.
Keep in mind that loving communication takes practice, so give it time.
Have fun as you practice and try new ideas together!
Over time, loving words and actions will become a natural part of your communication style. Your emotional bond will grow stronger as you show your love in these ways.
Yes, you can create a magical relationship through loving communication!