I'm sure you've heard it a million before, but good communication skills in relationships are the key to making things last. Allowing yourself to open up to your partner, and talk about what is on your mind can both show your partner that you trust them and allow them to feel comfortable sharing things with you. But beyond sharing the many facets of yourself, communication is essential to navigating fights in LTRs. If both of you face a disagreement, there is no way you will get beyond it if you don't sit down, and talk things out. Keeping your feelings about a fight to yourself will only make you more angry, which will lead to resentment, and you guessed it, the end of your relationship.
But good communication in your relationship is not just a one time thing; if you guys opened the channels to speak openly with each other once, you have to keep it going or else risk it breaking down altogether. And there are a few ways that open, comfortable communication can deteriorate within a relationship. So if you're looking to make things last, stay away from any of these habits.
1. Showing Suspicion
Showing you're suspicious of your partner is one of the quickest ways to make your partner no longer want to share things with you. If you feel your partner isn't being honest with you about something, be it cheating or something else entirely, discuss it with them first before jumping to conclusions. The first time you cast suspicion on your partner, they will likely talk with you to squelch your worries (if they are being honest of course), but the more you accuse them of things, the less likely they are to be willing to talk about them. Ultimately, showing them that you no longer trust them will make them feel communication is useless, because not much that they can say will change your mind.
2. Shooting Down Any Point Your Partner Has
If conversations you have with your partner are always one-sided, with you being the eternally right one, and them being perpetually wrong, they will likely stop bringing things up. Whether this is happening in a fight, or you guys are choosing what you want for dinner, shooting down most opinions or ideas that your partner has will make them feel like they have nothing to contribute, and so they won't. Worst of all, being made to feel that you are always the wrong one will lead your partner to harbor resentment that they now will not share with you.
3. Never Validating Their Concerns
It's important in any relationship, whether romantic or otherwise, to listen to someone's feelings, and try to understand where they are coming from. Sometimes during a fight it can be easy to dismiss how someone is feeling out of anger, but if a person is opening up to you, and you are continually telling them what they feel isn't valid, they'll likely not tell you anything.
4. Using The Silent Treatment As A Form Of Retaliation
We've all done it, as childish as it is. If you're in a fight with your partner, and you want to use a pointed way to show them just how angry you are, you refuse to answer anything they say. When you do this, you're not only literally cutting off communication in the moment, if it becomes a habit, you're possibly cutting off communication for good. When you start playing petty games that withhold communication, you're setting up a divide between you and your partner that makes them feel, “Well if she can do it, I can too.” Before you know it, not discussing things out of anger becomes the norm, and the steady communication habits you had developed are suddenly gone.
5. Telling Everyone Else Your Problems With Your Partner Before Telling Them
Sharing problems you're having with your partner with everyone you know, aside from your partner is a huge problem. First of all, you're failing to talk to your partner about what is making you upset, which means you can't solve that problem with them because they don't know the problem exists. Secondly, if they find out that you don't feel comfortable speaking with them, they'll start to feel upset over your inability to open up, and probably angry that now a lot of outside people know the problems of your relationship. It's OK to ask a friend for advice every once and a while, but if you spend your days complaining about your S.O., and your S.O. has no idea, it's safe to say there are bigger issues at play.
6. Keeping Secrets
It may seem obvious, but if you're keeping a lot of things from your partner, you're automatically destroying any trust that has opened up communication lines. Similar to the first point, keeping secrets may cause your partner to be perpetually suspicious of you because you feel, for whatever reason, you can't talk to them. And this doesn't have to mean cheating—if you're keeping secrets about small things, like telling your partner who you share your finances with or that you spent less money than you actually did, then you're making it harder for your partner to come to you with things in the future.
7. Failing To Open Up Out Of Fear
When a relationship is new, it's important that you try and open up to get the communication lines going. Failing to share things with your partner will keep them from feeling safe to open up to you, and your relationship will never be allowed to progress. LTRs, and the love that comes with them, are built on a solid communication foundation, and if you can't start that, you won't see your relationship get off the ground.
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