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How to Open the Communication Door to Your Partner

Effective communication is a vital aspect of any romantic or platonic relationship. Keeping the communication door open helps to cultivate a sense of closeness and intimacy between individuals. 

Many couples, however, struggle with communicating their needs and wants. The key to effective communication is to express yourself in a healthy way and listen to your partner.

How do you do this?

Determine Your Communication Style

Understanding your communication style is the first step toward opening the communication door. By being self-aware of your communication style, you’ll be able to recognize when you are blocking effective communication and take steps to change it.

One way to evaluate your communication style is to consider the following questions:

  • Is your communication style more passive or aggressive? 
  • Do you prefer to avoid or tackle conflicts? 

It’s also worth noting that communication styles might differ based on the situation and the individual you’re interacting with. Reflecting on your communication style and being willing to make changes can improve relationships and enable you to have more effective communication in all aspects of your life.

Establish a Safe Space

Creating a safe and secure environment is necessary to encourage open communication. It is important to reassure your partner that they can freely express themselves without fearing judgment or negative repercussions. 

Even if you disagree with them, don’t cast judgment or mock them. Instead, respect their feelings. A safe environment encourages open conversation and honesty.

Demonstrate Empathy

Empathy is the ability to envision or understand the emotions and experiences that another person may be undergoing. Practicing empathy allows you to connect with your partner on a deeper level. 

When communicating with your partner, try to put yourself in their shoes and understand their perspective. More often than not, you will gain an intimate understanding of your partner’s emotional state. Seeing things from their point of view can help you resolve conflicts more effectively.

Be Genuine and Truthful

Sincerity is the cornerstone of successful communication and is essential in any relationship. Being open and honest with your partner enables you to freely express your feelings and emotions while fostering intimacy. Be truthful and avoid withholding information that could harm your relationship when speaking with your partner.

Practice Mirroring

​​Mirroring is a communication technique used in Imago relationship therapy to improve communication between partners. It involves repeating what your partner says to ensure you understand them correctly.

When you mirror your partner, you repeat what they said in your own words. For example, if your partner says, “I feel frustrated when you don’t help with the housework,” you might respond by saying, “So you’re feeling frustrated because you feel like I’m not doing my fair share of the housework. Is that right?”

Practicing this technique, you demonstrate to your partner that you value their input and are interested in understanding their perspective. This helps create a more empathetic and supportive relationship.

Pay Close Attention… Especially to the Details

Effective communication depends heavily on active listening. Pay attention to what your partner is saying and refrain from interjecting when they’re speaking. Make sure you understand what was said by repeating it to them. Your partner will see that you respect and cherish their opinion if you actively listen to them.

Opening the communication door with your partner takes time and effort, but it’s essential to any relationship. You can enhance your communication and strengthen your relationship by being open and honest, actively listening, refraining from blaming or criticizing, establishing a safe space, and engaging in empathy exercises. 

Remember that communication is a two-way street, and both participants must be willing to collaborate for communication to be effective.


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Copyright @2020 Dana Cole, LMFT