Creating an environment for open communication seems like a daunting and not so simple task, but these tips can help you take the first step towards a healthy and happy relationship.

I’ve been teasing this topic for quite some time and it’s about time that we finally got down to it. 

In my research of my previous topics like anal play and foreplay I learned the common denominator is communication. How we communicate our wants, needs, expectations, desires, fantasy is key role in our relationships. Without communication none of these can be met which can lead to the downfall of a relationship because none of the partners are happy. 

It is not just in the bedroom where communication is important but it also lies within the core of a relationship. Communicating your expectations for your partner can lead to a more fulfilling relationship. Talking about your personal goals, aspirations, and how your relationship fits into them allows you and your partner to figure out how you can help one another achieve them.

Have you ever been unsure on how to confront a partner about feelings of insecurity? What about suspicion of infidelity? Or the horrifying ‘what are we talk?’ Effective and good communication skills are the core of these conversations. This generation of texting, social media, hook up culture gets all too confusing. We want a relationship but we hate labels; we want to ‘go with the flow’ but our inherent need a definitive answer gets in the way. So what are we to do? Well, why don’t we talk about it.

Over the summer I was on top of my game. I was starting a new job, going out with my friends, and having so much fun. I was radiating confidence and power and the boys that I would meet could definitely tell. There was a time in the summer where I had three dates lined up in a week and then something happened. A person who I had a crush on asked me to hang out and we ended up talking about the way we felt about each other. After that happened, I was so shook because I never was open with someone like that before. Honestly, it was quite unsettling for someone who never expresses how they feel. Between my friends and family asking what is going to happen and between my own anxiety of giving up my freedom of being single, I decided to ask this person what they wanted and where they were at. To be honest, I wish I knew then what I know now about communication. I don’t know if I would have handled it differently.

Here’s the thing, I am so glad I just came out and did it because I would have drove myself crazy wondering where they were at. Also, if it had come out they were hurt about me hooking up with other people I would have felt bad even if I didn’t know. Communication has its strengths and weaknesses but I’m not going to debate that. 

Let’s Talk About Sex

In my research of communication I learned something in the last place I thought I would (a joke) — my psychology class in Human Sexual Behavior. When talking about contraceptives my professor brought up a great way when talking about contraceptives. With his permission, I am going to use his advice to relate them to sex and communication in relationships.

Pick A Strategic Time 

After a night out of drinking is not a strategic time to bring up something about your relationship or sex. A strategic time could be a date night or over dinner when you are alone with your partner.

Talk About Your Relationship, Then Get Specific

You don’t want to spring it on your partner nor do you want to make them feel uncomfortable. So when you begin the conversation about your relationship, start with the aspects of your relationship that bring you joy, make you happy. or enhance your life in some way. Make sure the conversation is natural and allow your partner to freely express what makes them happy about your relationship. As the conversation progresses, direct it towards the more specific topic.

Don’t Apologize

You are not a bad person for wanting to improve your relationship, sex life, or whatever you want to discuss. Everyone is entitled to feel some type of way about something that is bothering them. Do not let your partner feel bad for wanting to openly communicate in your relationship. Nor you as the communicator should make your partner feel bad or make them feel like they did something wrong for not seeing the issue. It is important that you and your partner are comfortable and not on the defense.

Use Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions allow your partner to respond and express their opinions, needs, wants, and desires.

Explore Options and Don’t Make Demands

Ultimatums are not the way to go. It is not your way or no way. That is a toxic way of thinking and it creates a hostile, unhealthy relationship. Again, you and your partner want to be comfortable. If you want to spice up your sex life but one of you is hesitant. To remedy this you can slowly incorporate or build spicier acts into the bedroom. 

I didn’t want to group communication about sex in the bedroom and the defining the relationship talk in the same article. So, stay tuned for those! 

Written by Julie Cappiello