Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Communication Tips for Romantic Relationships


2
Learn to listen.
When you listen to your partner, act as if he or she's the only person in the world.
When you listen to your partner, act as if he or she's the only person in the world.
Philip and Karen Smith/Getty Images

According to Elizabeth Bernstein, a relationships columnist for the Wall Street Journal, there are two categories of people: talkers and non-talkers. The world would be a wonderful place if talkers and non-talkers matched up, but even if they do, it's not always an equation for romantic bliss. It seems that many non-talkers are also non-listeners: they simply tune out the chatter [source: Bernstein].

Are women always the talkers? Not necessarily, although there is evidence that men and women process language differently: Understanding, producing and listening to speech is easier for women because they have more nerve cells in the left half of the brain, where language is processed.

Whether you're the talker or the non-talker, learn to practice active listening. Look at the person who is speaking, respond occasionally with some verbal cue like "hmmm," "uh-huh" or nod your head. Together, you should set aside some time to talk (and listen) every day, and ask each other questions to clarify thoughts and get more information. Most important, respect one another's need to be able to talk or to spend more time in silence. If necessary, let the talker phone a friend while the non-talker reads a book or enjoys a hobby quietly.


More to Explore