10 Tips for Effective Communication in a New Relationship
Relationship
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Relationship
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Entering a real, new, long-term relationship brings with it a lot of learning instances. Transitioning from ‘me’ to ‘we’ takes some serious getting used to. But amongst all the things you will be adjusting to, new partners’ biggest challenge is communicating with each other in a way that’s effective, healthy, and works for both of you. 

Learning how your partner forms their thoughts and chooses words and sentences take time. If you are an active listener and patient, you will be able to communicate with ease. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever argue or have disagreements. With these tips, you can navigate through difficult conversations with a clearer mind. 

But before that, let’s understand the importance of communication in a new relationship. 

Importance of communication in a new relationship

A healthy communication style helps partners understand one another and accept their growth. The goal of effective communication is perceiving things the way they are meant. Partners can feel disconnected and disengaged in a new or long-term relationship without healthy communication. 

Being present and understanding where your partner is coming from can ease the conversation. In case of disagreements, too, healthy communication, that is, without yelling, name-calling, belittling, insulting and being judgemental, becomes all the more vital. 

When going from dating to a relationship, couples may find it hard to communicate their feelings or opinions. It requires practice and hard work. But, don’t worry if it’s not perfect all the time.

Effective communication leaves no chance for guesswork. Partners maintain mutual respect. They make each other feel heard and understood, if not always agreed upon. All in all, communication helps build a stronger and healthier partnership. 

Partners who understand the importance of effective communication talk with each other clearly. They know the simple fact that they are not mind-readers. Partners communicate to eliminate the chance of assumptions which may lead to anger, hurt, resentment or just confusion. 

Take a look at the tips for effective communication in a new relationship or when going from dating to a long-term relationship. 

Tips for Effective Communication in a New Relationship 

1.  Don’t Make Assumptions 

Jumping to conclusions and assuming that your partner might have meant something can be damaging to the connection you share and the relationship. Don’t assume your partner’s intentions when they say something. When in doubt, ask. 

“Could you explain what you meant?” 

“I don’t wish to misinterpret. Could you tell me what you mean by ___?” 

Anytime you are confused or uncertain about what your partner said, ask them- hopefully, they will make an effort to clarify what they meant to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunication. 

2.  Don’t worry if texting is not happening like before. 

In the honeymoon phase of a new relationship, partners want to be around or available for each other. However, as you begin the relationship, the texting frequency may decrease. Do not associate it with their lack of interest in you or their love dying for you. 

Your digital habits change over time because of work, driving, and many other factors. And it’s completely natural and normal. The only work you may need is to be secure that your partner will respond if a response is needed or when they are free. 

3.  Don’t let overthinking drive your actions. 

While dating, it’s common to have doubts and questions about your new partner. However, what’s important is not to let yourself be overwhelmed with insecurities about little things. 

We all tend to read between the lines and analyse what our partner said and what they may have meant (guilty as charged). But overthinking makes you doubt and undermine the relationship. Not every partner says ‘I love you’ every hour. Many people have their way of showing affection and love. However, with an effective communication style, you can let your partner in on your love language because it’s possible that they may not be aware of it. Do not let your fears or insecurities get in the way of a budding relationship. 

4.  Let them finish their thought.

When gone from dating to a relationship, you may feel you know everything about your partner. However, even if you know them enough to finish their sentences, you don’t have to. Allow your partner the space to form and speak what is on their mind. While you may know what they are trying to say, do not cut their sentences short. They may feel unheard or get frustrated. Sometimes the partner falls completely silent and does not express themself once interrupted. Let them finish their thought.  

5.  Argue in a healthy way. 

Where there are two people, there is bound to be a difference of opinions, disagreements, and subjects of argument. But how effective communication will help you navigate through these conversations is when you argue without: 

Name-calling, yelling, abusive language, gaslighting, insulting one another, and personal attacks. Because in the presence of any of the above, the argument turns hurtful and may cause irreparable damage to the relationship. 

Also, read: 35 Signs of a Healthy Relationship.

6.  Acknowledge your mistakes and apologise. 

In any successful relationship, one thing is the most common- partners apologise when they make mistakes. It’s not uncommon or unnatural to be imperfect. Partners make mistakes all the time. Things go wrong. They may not always be in the mind space to hold space for each other. And it’s fine! But what is more important is that they acknowledge it and take responsibility for their action(s). The right way to communicate an apology is: 

  • Acknowledge and accept that you made a mistake- I snapped at you yesterday.
  • Take responsibility for your action- It was not right of me to do so
  • Acknowledge your partner’s feelings- I can see how it hurt you; I understand you must have felt upset.
  • Apologise- I am sorry. 
  • Do not add ‘but’. 
  • Ask for their forgiveness- I know it will take time, but I really hope you can forgive me. Is there anything I can do to make it right?
  • Work on the changed behaviour- I know I struggle with managing my anger, but I am working on it. I am trying to be more mindful of how I express myself. 

7. Active Listening is a Must! 

The key rule of communication is active listening. You and your partners are not debate competitors or age-old people where communicating with the other half is merely limited to issuing instructions. Partners can communicate effectively only if they know how to actively listen to each other, whether in a new or long-term relationship. Knowing when to stop talking to allow the space and time for your partner to speak is important. Wait and honour what the other is expressing. 

8.  Sweeping problems under the rug is a no-go. 

It can be scary to voice your fears, concerns, or the things that bother you to your partner. But it’s more unhealthy to bottle your feelings up and try to get on with life. Because eventually, a small incident will trigger the volcano within you and outcoming of it may prove disastrous. However, how do we address what bothers us? 

  • Acknowledge the fact that you are bothered or concerned, or scared. 
  • Use ‘I’ statements- I feel ___ when ___ happens. 
  • Keep your calm; take a deep breath. 
  • Stick to one issue at one time. 
  • Eliminate negative words from your sentences. 
  • Suggest solutions using ‘we’ statements- Is it okay if we ____? 

9.  Take their feelings into account. 

“I know how it must have made you feel.” or “I can see how it is affecting you.” saying your concern with these statements makes your partner know that you acknowledge their feelings. As a result, your partner feels seen and understood and is keener to listen to you and vice versa. People who have been single for a while take time to get used to someone else’s presence in their personal life. However, when you get into a relationship, you make decisions that would work for you and your partner together. 

10.  Trust your instinct. 

We are talking about red flags. It’s easy to overlook your partner’s red flags in a new relationship. That’s why communication becomes all the more important. Something at the beginning may look like a general thing they do. But if your instinct says something else that should be addressed, then address it. These observations allow the person to explain it and help them realise that you aren’t afraid to address something that may be uncomfortable. It also allows them to realise that they may need to work on certain behaviours. 

Winding up

In a new relationship, communication is as important as showing your love for one another. At the same time, communication doesn’t need to be an alarming event. Look for ways to have fun, make little jokes, laugh and do silly things together. Do everything you see as a chance to better know one another. Because the more comfortable you’re, the easier it will be to communicate. Communication in a new or long-term relationship has one ultimate goal- working through the fears, concerns, insecurities, and issues as a team! Happy communicating! 

 

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