You’ve heard the phrase ‘good communication and trust are the foundation to a long-lasting relationship’. Often it’s hard to be open and honest, plus it’s a process. But vulnerability, as fragile as it is, is all the more necessary. Imagine yourself as a book, you’re probably more like the whole Harry Potter series; your life is so complex. Don’t open yourself all at once; you should not be a “binge read” in a couple of days. Instead, open yourself up one page at a time, in little ways, on a daily basis. After a while, you’ll see that your significant other may even know you better than you know yourself.
1. Don’t interrupt each other when talking. I am so guilty of this, but it is important to be an active listener and really understand what your significant other is trying to say.
2. Whether you are frustrated, angry, sad, joyful, or just feeling the love, express your feelings in a letter. It’s a way to get it all out without interruptions. They’re also a way to make yourself vulnerable if you don’t want to say something out loud. If you save them as a couple, you can go back and look at them to see your progress.
3. Tell your partner your needs explicitly. Ask for a massage if you need one, or if you need more reassurance, or if you want a hug. Don’t think they can read your mind.
4. Intentionally talk about things, don’t just wait for them to come up eventually. This is especially important when discussing where you stand on the physical aspect of your relationship. If you are not on the same page about this, issues will arrive and feelings will get hurt.
5. Write each other long cards on birthdays and holidays to remind them how you truly feel about them.
6. Come up with code words for things that only you two will know. Whether it’s something that’s hard to talk about or something just funny, it will make your communication unique. You can also make up weird nicknames for each other.
7. Have a way to indicate you are upset, when you don’t want to directly bring it up. Saying just “K”, does not mean everything is okay.
8. When necessary, painfully admit to them that were right. It’ll make the situation easier if you just admit, “You were right”.
9. Say, “Thank you” and “I love you” often, especially through the rough times because those will come.
10. Communicate about communication. Talk about the ways you best communicate with each other whether through FaceTime, letters, or planned conversations. Figure out if you feel like whether or not you’re communicating well so you can gauge where to improve.