If you find yourself frustrated, stifled, pushed, or confused about your current relationship — or by the people you attract — take a look at the communication in your relationship and your relationship communication style.
Is your approach to communication well-matched with your current partner or with people you tend to attract? If so, you will tend to be fairly satisfied and content in your relationships. But if not, you will tend to be frustrated, feel either stifled or pushed, and may find yourself confused about the relationship much of the time.
Below is as list of five styles of communication in romantic relationships. As you read this list, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which style of communication do you identify with and are most comfortable?
- What is the style of communication of your current/past relationship?
- What style of communication is your current partner or the people you attract comfortable with?
Five styles of communication in romantic relationships
- The silent couple. In this type of relationship, the partners may talk about the weather, current events, and other surface topics, but seldom speak about personal issues. They rarely share emotions, thoughts, hopes, or wishes. Both guess and/or assume what the other person may feel or think. Both may feel they are living parallel lives; they enjoy that someone is there, but rarely connect in a satisfying way.
- The argument-avoiding couple. Those in this type of relationship are geared to avoid conflict. The couple connects occasionally, but disconnect happens at any moment conflict appears. The disconnect may happen either by one partner becoming silent — perhaps over an extended period of time, or by emotional or physical withdrawal. This is the kind of relationship where one person may say what the other one wants to hear simply to avoid conflict, without any intention of following through.
- The fighting couple. This is a relationship where communication is primarily about what's wrong and how it is the other person's fault. Attempts at communication often disintegrate into arguments. The partners do not intend for the relationship to be this way, and perhaps even try not to fight. This is typically a relationship in crisis.
- The friends/partners couple. In this type of relationship, communication is open and honest on many levels. The couple can speak about a variety of issues with ease, ranging from very personal to very impersonal. The couple may work well together both at home and often on a business front. They are often very good friends and like each other very much. On the other hand, one or both people will avoid deep emotional and physical intimacy, perhaps to the point of not having a physically intimate relationship at all.
- The fully intimate couple. This is a relationship in which almost any topic can and is spoken about openly - from what's wrong, to memories from childhood and past relationships, to deep-held beliefs, to finances. The couple does not fear emotional or physical intimacy. Many people are not comfortable in nor desire to be in this type of relationship — it may appear as too much work. In fact, this type of relationship is difficult to maintain. Only a few couples can be fully intimate all of the time.
Learning to Adjust Your Communication Style
To help you deal with, and adjust, the communication in your relationships, here are some important points to consider:
- It's fine to desire as little or as much intimacy, closeness, and communication as you want. But you might end up with a partner who either doesn't want what you want or cannot grow/adjust to your levels.
- A couple can move from one level of communication to another over time as a normal part of being in a relationship. All is well as long as the couple ultimately returns to the most intimate level of communication they have achieved together.
- Become aware of which level of communication you function on the most comfortably, as well as the level that most suits your partner. Encourage as much intimacy as you are comfortable with. If you are single, date people who ultimately want the same level of intimacy you want. If you are not sure what they want, ask them — they will tell you.
- Sometimes a person only knows how to function on one communication level. This is what you want to watch out for when dating and forming relationships. If you form a relationship and your partner's level of communication does not match a level you are comfortable with, the two of you will struggle.
Your Relationship Coach,
Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Finally, real help for attracting and building a healthy relationship!
This article was written by: Rinatta PariesPhoto Credit: Scott Webb