Relationship Expert Details 4 Signs That Your Communication Is On The Right Track

Modern dating is intimidating. Even once you've locked down a relationship, it can be hard to know if you're on the same page or on the right track. Have you built a foundation that can support something long-term? Are you loving your partner without forgetting what it feels like to love yourself and your independence? 

Love experts like Natasha McCrea have emerged to help people get the most out of their lives and relationships. Through her community initiative, the Love CEO Institute, she aims to "improve your life satisfaction, connect to your most authentic goals, and boost your confidence." Now, she's shared with Glam four sure signs that your relationship and its communication are in a healthy place. You can use this article as a checklist or a bucket list. You're sure to either find reassurance in your current position or establish actionable steps to strengthen your relationship and communication tactics. It's time for a relationship reset, guided by an expert. 

You have healthy self-love and self-awareness

Romance movies, books, and music have offered the same advice for decades: You need to love yourself first. While it's true that you can have (and deserve!) fulfilling relationships while going through struggles, having healthy self-love can help you to identify what you deserve. According to Natasha McCrea, it can also help you to attract healthier partners. 

McCrea also points out that living every day in self-love allows you to practice love intelligence and build a solid foundation for a relationship to stand on. In her practice, McCrea defines love intelligence as an "array of characteristics and behaviors that displays compassion for one's self and others." Regardless of your relationship status or desires, love intelligence is worth cultivating. It includes skills like perception, understanding, and self-expression — traits that are useful in all facets of life.

If your communication is rooted in self-love and self-awareness, you're already on the right track. Not only will your relationship prosper, but McCrea is confident that you can also "become a magnet for the good things in life." 

You have shared goals (and your own life)

Finding shared passions is a common first step in relationship-building. To take your connection and communication to the next level, however, you can establish shared goals to work toward as a couple. Whether these goals are financial or fun, you'll have a new way to bond with your partner and ensure that your relationship is future-focused. "Having shared goals is often overlooked because of the fear of losing your individuality," Natasha McCrea tells us. "That can happen off and on in long-term relationships, but when you have a sense of self-awareness you are able to have the best of both worlds."

You may not have the capacity to open a joint business or climb Mt. Everest. McCrea even provides examples of sustainable yet fulfilling goals that can be incorporated into a standard relationship. Things like saving for a vacation or making healthy lifestyle changes together can add a healthy dose of teamwork to a growing partnership. You can even start with a goal-oriented date night! Team building activities can create great memories and re-establish your footing. 

While developing shared goals, McCrea emphasizes the importance of retaining your individuality. With self-love and a relationship grounded in mutual aspirations, you can have the best of both worlds. 

You have healthy conflict resolution

Arguments can be toxic and draining in a relationship — yet still slightly exhilarating. The urge to prove that we are "right" can cloud our judgment and take precedence over healthy communication. Natasha McCrea recommends shifting your focus to a different — but equally rewarding — end game. Instead of convincing your partner to admit fault, you can instead aim for a peaceful compromise. In this scenario, you give up the individual feeling of "rightness" for a team win instead. 

"The old adage 'agreeing to disagree' goes a long way in long-term relationships," McCrea shared. "If you practice this, your relationship will go the distance." It may seem hard to give up fighting for your side, but it's essential. According to the Gottman Institute, 69% of relationship conflicts are categorized as "perpetual." This means that more than half the time, you and your partner are disagreeing on something that won't be fully resolved due to lasting and fundamental differences in personalities and needs. That doesn't have to mean you're incompatible! Instead, it's a healthy reminder to step back, listen, and place yourself in your partner's shoes (even if they may seem a bit ill-fitting). 

You have strong sexual communication

Now, for the sexiest part of healthy communication: sex. Natasha McCrea posits that sexual intimacy "is a must" in any well-rounded relationship. Of course, what this intimacy looks like can vary from couple to couple. Every relationship has different needs, levels of drive, and preferences. Communicating your wants and boundaries helps to set precedents so that you can focus on pleasure. 

At different times in relationships, sex can play different positive and negative roles. McCrea notes that early in relationships, sex can cloud your judgment and prevent you from choosing a well-suited, long-term mate. Once you're already in a committed relationship, however, sex can be useful in fostering a sense of day-to-day closeness and pushing through small pet peeves. 

"Even though sex is only 15% to 20% of relationship satisfaction, your body releases dopamine and oxytocin that bond you to your partner," McCrea shared. "Not only the act of sex, but your communication about sex improves the relationship. So consider more quality sensual connections when considering going the distance." Ultimately, setting intentions in a relationship can be intimidating and reassuring, but with a little practice, you can be more confident not only for your own good but also for your relationship.