If you want to build a healthy, lasting relationship, learning how to effectively communicate with your partner is absolutely crucial: a couple can't stand the test of time if they're unable to express their needs, feelings, frustrations, and fears. It's not always easy to look at your relationship objectively and evaluate how good your communication is, but it's important to try — otherwise, you won't have a sense of what you and your partner are doing "right," and what could use some improvement. So what are some of the telltale signs your communication skills are on point?
"People who communicate effectively in their relationship collaborate and are truly a team," Lisa Concepcion, Life Coach, Relationship Expert, and Founder of LoveQuest Coaching, tells Bustle. "There's no feeling of competition and no desire to be right but a big desire to be happy. There's agreement, respect, more connection sexually, and the ability to problem solve, set goals and meet them. There's also a high level of security in oneself and in the relationship. People with enough communication feel connected to the other person yet not in a codependent way. They feel as if they can say anything to their partner and commit to communicate with love and respect."
No one is perfect, and it's not realistic to always expect flawless communication with your partner. What's really important is that you're both willing to improve your communication skills — as individuals and as a couple — and are committed to making each other feel loved, respected, and understood. If you want to make sure you're on the right track, here are nine ways to know there's already plenty of healthy, effective communication happening in your relationship.