By Ellen Klein
As the world evolves, so does the love within it. Relationships aren’t what they used to be. Changes in technology, social norms, and cultural values have seen a surge in less traditional partnerships.
New dynamics are being created, and old ones are abandoned. We get the freedom to choose our partners more consciously without the constraints of conventional dating practices.
However, some things do remain the same. While modern love is not subject to the restrictions of age, race, or gender, it’s still bound by good communication.
This can be difficult to do, but that’s why we’re here to lend a helping hand. Our series of tips for communicating in healthy ways with your partner can be a relationship game-changer!
Approach Conversations With An Open Mind
In today’s world, we’re allowed to have different opinions and lifestyles. A big challenge in modern relationships is navigating the conflict that may arise because of these differences. Having an open mind will help you navigate these differences in a positive way.
Actively listen to what your partner is saying when they are communicating these differences. This means not interrupting or jumping to conclusions. Give them a chance to explain where they are coming from.
Approaching conversations with an open mind means challenging your own assumptions. You should be open to the possibility that you may be wrong. Be flexible in your approach to the conversation. Ask them questions about the topic to understand them. You may find that after gaining a deeper perspective, you agree with them or that you’re open to trying new things that you previously were avoiding. This could be anything from taking up a new hobby to learning how to use a butt plug when you've previously avoided backdoor action.
Practice empathy when trying to understand their beliefs and avoid judgment. It can be embarrassing and daunting for them to talk about some of their desires that you may not agree with. Recognize that they are also in a vulnerable position, especially when opening up to you sexually.
Think Before You Speak
It’s all too easy to blurt out our feelings when we feel hurt. But this can cause a lot of damage, especially if it involves sex, pleasure, or stimulation.
When you start to feel angry or frustrated, try to take a deep breath. Calm yourself down before speaking. This can help you center your thoughts more constructively and clearly.
Avoid blaming your partner. Rather, use ‘I’ statements to express your feelings. There is a big difference between saying ‘I feel hurt when you don’t listen to me and my needs aren’t met’ versus ‘You don’t listen to me so I’m never satisfied’. The latter is accusatory and can immediately put your partner in defense mode.
Consider your tone before you speak. Try to focus on getting what you want to say across calmly and respectfully. Choose your words wisely and leave out unnecessary name-calling.