3 Ways Communication Confirms Love & Respect In Your Relationship
When in a relationship you sometimes wonder if it's going as well as it should. The newness has warn off a bit and now you're feeling like it's settling. But you're not sure what it's settling into, and if the love and respect you were first shown still exists.
As you settle into a relationship, communication can start to get lazy. We don't work as hard to be interested in the other, and fail to pay attention to the changes each of you are experiencing as the relationship matures.
Then months or years go by and you feel like you're less connected. Conversations are reduced to small talk and there seems to be this lack of interest in each other.
The relationship has settled into a comfy existence.
How to Tell if Your Relationship Is Communicating Love and Respect
Here are three ways that communication can tell us if we're still respected and loved in a relationship, and yes, that it hasn't settled!
Your partner allows you to finish what you want to say without interruption. Many times people who you are talking with will be so anxious to give their opinion or solve your problem that they cut you off when they've heard enough. This means they're assuming they know what you're going to say, act or behave and this can lead to misunderstandings. When your partner takes the time to listen to you they are showing they care.
They're interested in what you want to do and what your opinion is—always! If the other person gives you attention or shows interest when you withdraw from them, they're doing it out of fear—fear of loneliness, or fear of change. This means they've put the relationship on auto pilot and only have to pay attention when it experiences turbulence. Each of you in the relationship should have your own interests and opinions—that's what makes your relationship dynamic!
When amongst friends and family your partner involves you and includes you in conversations. If your partner engages with others and doesn't include you or acknowledge you, then they're focused on feeling like they're the important one in the room. This means your relationship has moved from a partnership, to a mine and yours arrangement. This is a huge sign of respect from your partner, since they feel proud to have you by their side.
If Love and Respect Lack In Your Relationship, Here's How to Start Communicating Your Needs
By communicating your needs, wants and desires to your partner, you can start to open up the discussion. This might be a simple conversation to make your partner aware of the lack of communication, or the absence of love and respect you feel.
As you delve deeper into why communication has lessened, you may find that your partner is dealing with something brought on by personal or professional challenges. Sometimes we shut down while struggling to figure how to handle a situation.
Either way, opening up the conversation can help move into a more loving and respectful relationship.
5 Ways To Be More Successful When Bringing Up Relationship Issues
Here's a few tips to make that conversation more successful:
Pick a time when there are very few distractions and you're both in a positive mood.
Get into the frame of mind to solve the problem that the both of you will work on.
Start the conversation with "I noticed that...." or "Tell me..." That moves the conversation forward.
Stay away from starting the sentence with "why." This will put others on the defensive and feel as though you're accusing them, rather than trying to understand.
Be compassionate. This may be a simple misunderstanding that's needs clarification.
Experiencing healthy communication in a relationship does take much awareness—and equal participation from all involved. Although, if you feel that you're not valued in the relationship, then it's a good time to consider your choices.
You shouldn't be in a relationship out of fear. You're together because you love and respect one another, and you do that by building connection through healthy communication.
Christine Hourd is a certified success and leadership life coach in Calgary, Alberta who helps clients, in-person at her Calgary office or online, to be more successful communicators in their personal and professional relationships. Discover more about her personal coaching programs and what difference it can make in your life.