Simple Ways To Improve Communication In Your Relationship

Anxiety about whether or not your relationship is on the right track might arise if communication between you and your partner starts to feel stale, argumentative, or stagnant. If you're in a relationship with someone you feel is worth fighting for, ensuring that your communication is in a good place matters a lot. Letting you and your partner slide through the cracks can be avoided if you prioritize some thoughtful steps to improve the way you speak.


There's nothing cliché about accepting the importance of communication in a relationship. The healthiest couples know how to open up to each other and talk about anything under the sun. Healthy couples don't feel scared to share their truths or shame surrounding their most intimate secrets. Since our partners are unable to read our minds and feel our emotions, we have to do our best to make our feelings known. Here, we've rounded up some poignant tips on how to improve your communication with your partner.

Ask thoughtful questions

Communication with your partner can improve if you start asking them thoughtful questions. After all, thoughtful questions come in handy whether your relationship is brand new or has it been going on for several years. Asking thought-provoking questions will help strengthen the connection you have with your partner. Instead of getting sucked up in the chaos and stress that result from the obligations of our everyday lives, it's important to sit your partner down and show them that you're still curious about them. 


Inquiring about their best childhood memories, their biggest fears, the thing they admire most about their parents, or the most ideal place to relocate are some great places to start. You can ask your partner when they knew for certain that they loved you, what their favorite thing about you is, and what experience they are looking forward to the most in the future.

Be a better listener

Prove to your partner that communication is a priority by becoming a better listener. They deserve to have your listening ear whether they're going through something serious or they simply have a funny anecdote to share. The New York Times says that you can become a better listener by being fully present in the moment while your partner is talking. Even though it can be difficult to be a good listener, it's still an incredibly important art to master, and it's one you can continue to work on throughout your relationship — and your life.


When your partner feels like they are being listened to, it's easier for them to open up to you about whatever is on their mind. If they feel like you don't care much about what they're saying, it's likely that they may shut down and stop trying to have discussions with you altogether. Lend a listening ear to your partner whether you are sitting in the same room with them or on a phone call.

Never assume

Making assumptions in the middle of a conversation with your partner is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. The best thing to do before jumping to conclusions is to wait for your partner to finish saying what's on their mind. Assumptions might be wrecking your mood entirely. You might believe that assuming the worst will protect you from heartache or disappointment, but it actually just leads to unfair dynamics between you and your partner — and it's completely preventable if you can push past it.


Assuming outcomes that are still up in the air means you're taking things for granted without accepting any proof. If you are willing to wait for actual proof to be revealed before coming to a mental conclusion about something, it can save the day in your relationship. As soon as your partner catches wind that you've made an assumption, it can lead to major negativity and drama.

Use 'I' phrases

The healthiest couples know the importance of using "I" statements when communicating with each other. Good Therapy explains that when you use "I" statements, it allows you to focus on your own personal feelings or beliefs rather than coming across like you're trying to speak for your partner. adds that using "I" statements changes the dynamics of your relationship by forcing you to take responsibility and preventing you from shifting blame onto your partner. 


When you use "you" statements consistently, it implies that your partner is always doing something wrong. Using too many "you" statements can make your partner feel resentful and defensive, which is never healthy for long-lasting relationships. To make matters worse, "you" statements can provoke anger in your partner since they feel like they need to stand up for themselves against you. Instead of pushing your partner to the point where they feel attacked or punished, keep up with "I" statements instead.

Chat throughout the day

Chatting throughout the day is a great way to remain as communicative as possible with your partner. Psychology Today explains that constant chatting can be beneficial with your partner, until or unless you start noticing red flags. Chatting with your partner via text, email, FaceTime, or phone calls throughout the day is great for couples who aren't able to spend all their time together, but it doesn't need to be taken to an extreme level. 


Furthermore, chatting with your partner throughout the day showcases a mutual interest in each other. It's easy for both partners involved to feel secure in a relationship if you pay attention to texting styles, frequency, emojis used, pictures sent, and more. If your partner starts to show signs that they need constant attention and nonstop communication from you though, that may actually be a sign of control issues. There is a fine line between two people chatting throughout the day because they both want to, versus one person staying glued to their phone to avoid the wrath of their partner. As long as you know the difference, you'll be able to keep yourself safe.

Give compliments often

You might not understand how valuable compliments are in a relationship, but it turns out that they actually mean a lot. According to Psych Central, compliments are incredibly powerful in relationships because they can help both people involved feel appreciated, adored, and loved. You can't just assume that your partner knows how much you cherish them. You should make it a point to verbally express that to them through compliments as often as possible. 


The more you compliment your partner, the stronger your relationship will be. There has to be a heavy contrast between negative criticisms and positive compliments if you are striving for a long-lasting relationship. For every negative thing that has been said, you should aim to mention about 20 positive things about your partner to their face. You can compliment them about physical characteristics like their hair or eyes, or you can compliment them about personality traits such as their friendliness or patience.

Use eye contact when talking

Maintaining eye contact while discussing different subjects with your partner is a huge sign that you care about having great communication patterns with them. Insider explains that eye contact can be incredibly powerful because it helps the other person feel validated, understood, and recognized. Moreover, eye contact helps you bond with others, displays honesty, increases your resistance to persuasion, and helps build respect. 


If you have any experiences in your memory bank of times when you talked to someone who struggled to maintain eye contact with you, then you probably already know how frustrating that was. Looking past your partner's eyes might leave them believing you don't care about what they have to say. Avoid frustrating or upsetting your partner by looking directly into their eyes whenever they're opening up to you about things that matter to them the most. Interestingly enough, the more eye contact you make, the easier it will be for you to absorb their words.

Call time-outs during arguments

Sometimes, the best thing you can do with your partner is call time-outs during arguments and heated discussions. Being in long-term relationships means that things aren't always going to be rainbows and butterflies. That doesn't mean you and your partner should force yourselves to talk through tough things when you're both feeling extremely angry with each other. Taking time-outs gives you and your partner a chance to cool off and let things settle before one of you says something you'll regret. 


One of the most classic anger management tools to use is taking time-outs in the midst of being in a heightened emotional state. It's important to regain control over the situation by taking deep breaths, calming down internally, and grounding yourself. It's best to communicate with your partner when you both feel a little more relaxed in each other's presence.

Express yourself candidly

It's paramount to express yourself candidly in your relationship. If you feel like you can't be open and honest about everything, you have a bigger problem to address. Expressing your emotions can be challenging, but it's still necessary if you want to strengthen your bond. Keeping things inside is unhealthy because it leads to the suppression of emotions, and you never want this to go on long enough that it leads to an eruption of bottled upset.


If you suppress your emotions too much, you're bound to explode at one point or another. Your partner might not be aware that you're going through such emotional turmoil until the moment that you blow up at them. You can avoid this type of scenario altogether if you figure out how to get comfortable expressing yourself candidly. If something is bothering you, your partner should be the first to know. Keep in mind that speaking to them candidly doesn't have to mean you're speaking to them harshly or rudely.

Lean in while your partner is speaking

It's easy to showcase the fact that you are really listening to your partner when they communicate with you if you lean in toward them. suggests avoiding nervous responses such as repeatedly clearing your throat, clicking a pen, wiggling your foot, biting your nails, tugging at your hair, or fussing with your clothing. Instead, remain calm and lean toward your partner as they talk to you about what's on their mind. While these aren't easy to abstain from for many, even trying may be able to help, as it shows that you're willing to do anything to make your relationship work.


It's important to make your partner feel heard through the art of active listening. One of the ways you can prove that you're an active listener is by leaning toward them as they speak to show that you are interested in what they're saying without getting distracted by anything else. The worst thing you can do is slouch away from them, lean back in your seat apathetically, or tilt your head in the opposite direction like you're bored.

Write your feelings down on paper

Talking out loud isn't the easiest thing for every person in the world to handle. For this reason, writing your feelings down for your partner to read on paper is a great thing to do if you want to strengthen your communication. One action you could take is to write a love letter to your partner that starts with a meaningful greeting, recalls romantic memories, and closes out with candor. 


Writing down your thoughts and feelings on paper helps clear your mind, prepares you for decision-making, assists you in dealing with stress, helps you clarify your emotions, and gives you the chance to take action. If there's something you want to talk to your partner about, but you know that you'll stumble over your words out loud, grab a piece of paper and write it down. Even if your partner isn't able to hear you say these things out loud, letting them know how you feel on paper is just as thoughtful.

Unplug together

Communication between you and your partner can improve exponentially if you are both willing to unplug together. Unplugging means putting all of your devices aside for a while so you can give each other your undivided attention. Taking a break from social media and other pieces of technology for the sake of your relationship is a brilliant move to make, and it's an easy one. Set your phones aside and do something together. You won't remember the last time you felt so at ease.


Unplugging with your partner gives you both a chance to shield yourselves from the constant influences of relationship memes and celebrity couple drama that floats around online. Having your phone right in front of you is an easy way to get distracted as different notifications come pouring in. If you decide you want to leave your phones, laptops, smartwatches, and tablets in the other room for a couple of hours so you can enjoy a deep conversation with each other, it can be hugely beneficial.

Apologize as quickly as possible when you're wrong

Nobody likes being wrong, but if you realize that you are the one who was wrong in a specific situation, you should be willing to apologize as quickly as possible. Apologizing means setting aside your ego and pride for the greater good. You can showcase remorse and regret by accepting responsibility, showcasing repentance, and requesting forgiveness from your partner. 


Offering restitution is another thoughtful thing to do to prove that you really care about making things right. Offer solutions and suggestions to regain their trust and receive their forgiveness. It's important to apologize if you've lost your temper and said something you regret, if you've blamed your partner for something that wasn't actually their fault, or if you've done anything that threatens the well-being of your romance. If it's important to you that your relationship lasts for the long haul, apologize quickly and genuinely.

Pick up on nonverbal cues

The longer you've been dating someone, the easier it will become for you to pick up on their nonverbal cues. Help Guide explains that nonverbal communication and body language includes one's posture, tone of voice, hand gestures, and facial expressions. If your partner is upset with you about something, it's probably easy for you to tell before they've even opened their mouth to say a word. 


Nonverbal communication is important to identify if you want to have a close connection and bond with your partner. If your partner usually kisses you as soon as they walk through the door after coming home from work but suddenly they come home acting a little more distant than usual, you know that it's your chance to ask them what's going on. It's the perfect time to check if there is anything wrong. Ignoring nonverbal cues can make your partner feel like you simply don't care about them or what they're going through.

Ask open-ended questions

Asking open-ended questions is similar to asking thoughtful questions, but it's a little bit different. Open-ended questions are important on their own because they create an opportunity for your partner to comfortably disclose more information with you than they normally would. Asking open-ended questions goes beyond asking how their day went or what they ate during their lunch break. In other words, this is all about transcending past small talk — something we should strive for daily.


Open-ended questions give your partner a chance to provide elaborate responses filled with tons of detail. You'll be able to gauge your partner's thought process and personal interests a little better when you start asking them open-ended questions which give them the chance to express themself. Asking what they believe true self-improvement looks like or what a truly fulfilling life looks like are some great places to start, and from there, you can build bigger conversations by asking questions based on their answers. You'll get to know each other on levels you didn't even know existed.

Be direct about your needs

There's a good chance that communication patterns with your partner will improve if you start being more direct about your needs. Communicating your needs isn't selfish at all. In fact, it's actually the more selfless thing to do. If you skip out on telling your partner what your needs are, it will create distance between you as you grow more and more resentful. 


Odds are, your partner will be excited to meet your needs if they know exactly what those needs are. All you have to do is comfortably tell them what's lacking in your relationship so they know the areas where they can start stepping up for you. Long-lasting relationships consist of partners who are equally happy to meet each other's needs, no matter what they look like. You should never feel like your needs are being neglected because you don't want to tell your partner what's going on.

Don't interrupt

Interrupting your partner while they're talking is one of the biggest mistakes you can make on a journey to better communication. Interrupting your partner can leave them feeling disrespected and unheard. Give them a chance to completely finish their sentences so they know that you've truly absorbed their words in full. Cutting them off means you didn't give them a chance to say everything on their mind, and when this happens repeatedly, it leaves a bad taste in their mouth.


As such, interrupting your partner is an incredibly bad habit that needs to be corrected as soon as possible. Instead of accepting your constant interruptions as a character flaw, realize how important it is for you to bite your tongue and show your partner that you value what they have to say. Nothing that pops into your brain is more valuable than your partner's peace of mind, which means interruptions are simply not worth it.

Don't try to read their mind

There's no possible way you'll be able to read your partner's mind, so you should simply stop trying. There's nothing beneficial about communication between two people if you waste time trying to read your partner's mind. Their thoughts will remain a mystery until they voice them out loud for you. Attempting to read someone else's mind will lead to negativity bias and personalization. 


Your own thoughts and opinions will certainly taint whatever thoughts and opinions you believe your partner might be having. You have to constantly remind yourself that you don't share the same brain as your partner. You have different life experiences, memories, traumas, and more. That being said, you will never view the world in a way that perfectly replicates your partner's view of the world. This isn't a bad thing at all, but it's something to remember before you start attempting to guess what they're thinking.

Treat every conversation as a two-way street

Every conversation shared between you and your partner should be treated as a two-way street. The best communication between couples includes two people dancing back and forth between being listeners and speakers. One person shouldn't take on the singular role of listener or speaker every single time, or it will lead to a significant imbalance. 


You'll be able to notice whether or not a conversation is being treated as a true two-way street if you pay attention to how long you've been talking. There's nothing wrong with getting lost in the heat of the moment and droning on about an interesting story or anecdote, but out of respect for your partner, it's only fair to give them a chance to respond to what you're saying instead of dominating the conversation the entire time. Their responses should be just as important as whatever story you're sharing. 

Think before speaking in heated moments

Most couples understand how heated an argument or bite can be. The best thing to do in these instances is to take a beat and think before opening your mouth so you don't say something incredibly hurtful. Thinking before you speak is a huge step in developing healthy relationship habits. If you want your relationship to last, you can't say harsh words in the heat of the moment and expect that everything will simply bounce back afterward as if nothing happened. 


Thinking before you speak might include asking your partner for more time, practicing awareness, and taking deep breaths. No matter how angry you might be, don't let criticism, judgment, or angry words spew out of you. You might feel justified in the moment, but you'll likely be left feeling regretful after the fact. Think before you speak so you can avoid hurting your partner's feelings.

Use the criticism sandwich technique

Not everyone agrees with or approves of the criticism sandwich strategy, but it's a great thing to lean on if you're uncomfortable telling your partner about something you're unhappy with. When using this technique, you'll tell your partner something nice before expressing to them what's really been upsetting you. Then you'll finish off by adding something sweet and encouraging to ease the sting. 


This technique can help individuals feel more receptive to the criticism you include in the middle of the "sandwich." Furthermore, squishing negative feedback between two comments of praise helps you start and end on a good note to avoid friction or drama. The purpose of the criticism sandwich technique is to ease any anxiety you might have when telling your partner something that makes you antsy or something that could possibly threaten the relationship.

Set aside time to talk about heavy subject matter

It isn't always necessary to schedule time on the calendar to sit down with your partner to talk about serious subjects, but sometimes it's absolutely imperative. Making time to talk to your partner is a brilliant way of showing them that your relationship is a top priority. What's more, setting aside quality time will help enhance your emotional connectedness, whether you're adding a full-on date night to the schedule or simply just making time for a face-to-face chat. 


Life can get extremely busy when you're juggling work obligations, kids, school assignments, platonic friendships outside of the relationship, and more. If you and your partner start feeling like you're simply too busy for each other, prove that your relationship is important enough to fight for by setting aside some time to talk about any heavy subject matter that needs to be discussed.

Be open to suggestions from your partner

When communicating with your partner, it's possible that they'll bring things to your attention that you might not want to hear. In other words, your partner might have some grievances about you or the relationship that need to be addressed. Having strong communication skills means that you'll be open to suggestions and willing to change for the better. Change only starts if you are willing to make an effort. 


It might feel uncomfortable at first, but the process can be totally worth it in the long haul. People who are willing to take suggestions from their partners about improvement can end up more successful, happier, and more fulfilled. Wanting to become better for your partner is one thing, but a true willingness to change is an entirely separate thing. Sometimes, a lot of inner work is required in order to break old habits and become a more loving person in your relationship.

Avoid beating around the bush

Beating around the bush when discussing things with your partner only weakens your case if you have something serious to talk about. A lot of people end up beating around the bush out of discomfort, but being honest and upfront is more valuable to you, your partner, and your relationship. You might fall into the trap of beating around the bush because you fear whatever you say will upset the person you're talking to. 


When you beat around the bush, you do everything in your power to avoid talking about something directly. Instead of giving in to your anxiety, face your fears head-on and approach your partner with what's on your mind. The more time you spend dancing around the subject, the more you build it up to become more dramatic than it needs to be. Rip off the Band-Aid quickly and say what you need to say.

Meet your partner's level of excitement

Have you ever been super excited about news only to have your enthusiasm squashed by a person who acted like they didn't care at all? This is one of the worst things you can possibly do to your partner. Instead, you should always meet your partner's level of excitement when they're sharing something they find meaningful with you. You can do this by mirroring your partner's behavior. If they approach you with an elated update about a work promotion or an amazing gift they received from a friend, it's your job to share the happy moment with them. 


Psychology Today explains that mirroring your partner should be authentic instead of superficial. When you truly love someone, it's easy to get hyped about the things they're stoked about. Acting bored, disinterested, apathetic, or annoyed by your partner's exciting news will destroy their blissful moment. Show them you love them by celebrating with them and meeting them with the same level of energy.