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Communicating With Your Significant Other

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I get a lot of questions about my relationship with Paul. We are clearly very open about our life together and honestly, Paul loves nothing more than to give relationship advice. If he could respond to all of your DM’s asking for relationship advice he totally would. Maybe one day I can get him to do a Live session so he can answer your questions (maybe help me convince him do that?!). Today I want to cover what we find to be the #1 most important part of a healthy relationship–communication. There are obviously other important elements of a relationship such as trust, respect, etc., but in my opinion open communication sets the tone for your entire relationship.

As a Scorpio / introvert I have the tendency to internalize a lot of my emotions, but when something bothers me (especially within my relationship) I need to vocalize my thoughts immediately. This kind of applies to any relationship with people I am close with. If we aren’t that close, I’m most likely internalizing how I feel because I don’t want to come off confrontational, but if we are close I will let you know. When it comes to Paul I have zero hesitation about expressing myself. If it’s not the right time / place (aka in front of others) he can very easily read my face and know that we will be having a discussion later. And vice versa. Paul is actually a little scary with his facial expressions because he is the complete opposite of me. He is incredibly expressive, opinionated, and vocal about his views / thoughts. He doesn’t have to be close to you to share how he feels. BUT, he respects that I don’t always like to discuss my feelings in front of others so he won’t make me get into it at the wrong time / place, either. However, he does have one of those scary “mom” faces that will let me know that we will be having a talk later…LOL.

So many people are afraid to vocalize their feelings with their significant other and it’s such an unhealthy habit to develop. You start to harbor emotions and eventually it will build and turn into resentment and then you snap. In relationships I believe it’s better to get uncomfortable with your conversations and get it out in the open than to hold it in for the sake of avoiding a reaction. Often times I know the type of reaction I will get out of Paul before we even have the conversation, but that doesn’t stop me from saying it. I hate to say it, but that’s part of being an adult–having uncomfortable conversations will happen and you need to be okay with that. However, if your significant other is the type that can’t handle an uncomfortable conversation, or overreacts to things easily, that is an entirely different issue at hand. I definitely took note of this about Paul in the beginning of dating. How mature of a guy is he? Can he handle a tough convo? I guess it goes without saying that yes, he can handle it, and in fact, he has helped me address some not-so-fun topics in life along the way. A keeper, in my opinion.

Not to stereotype men, but I’m aware that many of them aren’t big on talking about relationship stuff. The thing I feel like many women don’t understand it the approach. If you come at your guy with tears and hysterics then yeah, they are most likely not going to respond in the best manner. I find that the best way to approach a guy with a not-so-pleasant convo is with complete composure and rational points. Things might get heated and escalate and emotions run high, but the initial approach (to get him to take the conversation seriously) should be a little more pulled together. When things happen in the moment it’s different, but if you have something planned that needs to be addressed try to control your delivery to a little less drama queen hot mess and little more well thought out.

Communication isn’t always about the bad stuff, either. I do feel like most relationships struggle with open communication about tough subjects that usually result in conflict, but we always maintain a level of respect for each other so nothing hurtful is said out of emotion. You can read about our arguing “style” here. And that’s not to say we haven’t said things we don’t mean to each other, but honestly, in the last few years we have both learned and grown so much that arguing is no longer a nasty fight, but rather a productive and constructive conversation.

Open communication means sharing your goals, ideas, random thoughts, etc. with each other. It’s how we fill our time together. When we are out to dinner we discuss our days, which usually spirals into random tangents about the people we encountered, which spirals into plans we want to make, which spirals into a conversation about what is going on around us, etc. It flows. It comes naturally. A lot of it might even be insignificant or mundane, but not every single conversation will be riveting, because life isn’t always that exciting. That is a realization many couples need to accept–regular everyday conversation will happen and it doesn’t mean your relationship is stale or boring. It’s just part of life. I’m a notorious over-sharer with Paul but I feel like it keeps things interesting since it usually sparks other conversations.

In my opinion, open communication shows that you are comfortable with your significant other. It’s a sign of strength in your relationship. I couldn’t be with someone who holds in their feelings / thoughts when you know there is something going on in their minds. And on the other side of that, I couldn’t be with someone who isn’t open to hearing me out. I feel physically lighter after I share how I feel with Paul. It also helps that I married a man who takes a complete interest in my life and truly listens. What do you guys think? Do you value communication as much as we do? Any tips you have for overcoming that initial discomfort of sharing? Would love to know!

Penny for your thoughts?