couple hugging

Communication is the one key component of every successful relationship. It can help you to better understand your partner, to increase your connection together, to help you both feel seen and heard and strengthen your sense of positive regard. Good communication takes time and effort to achieve. If you’re ready to put in the work to be a better communicator, read on for helpful tips to build a better partnership through communication. 

Practice Compassionate Honesty

From the moment you were set up by matchmakers or met at a friend’s party, you strived to communicate to serve your relationship in positive ways. Every partnership has its ups and downs by default, but sometimes some of them communication dynamics that develop over time can overcomplicate things for the both of you. Trust and honesty are incredibly important for a relationship. 

This doesn’t mean you need to share every thought you have with your partner, but it does mean that you need to maintain an open and honest line between the two of you. Your partner deserves to know how you’re feeling and what you need, and the reverse is true for you, too. Speak with both honesty and compassion for yourself, your partner and your relationship at all times. 

Learn Each of Your Communication Styles

Some people prefer to sit down and talk about an issue over dinner, while others find they feel safer writing it down. It’s important to understand whether your partner is comfortable expressing their emotions and can communicate them effectively or if they feel safer bottling them up and remaining passive to keep the peace. Likewise, you should turn inward to discover how you feel most comfortable communicating. The goal is for both of you to know yourselves well enough to communicate about the way you’re interacting as well as what you’re interacting about. 

Learn to Listen

Far too often, people in relationships consider themselves good listeners just because they remain quiet and let the other person finish speaking. The hallmark of a good listener is not only the absence of interruption, but it’s engaged energy, thoughtful questions about what was said and attempts to make sure that the ideas are being understood fully and correctly. 

Rather than listen only to respond with your own thoughts, take time to validate what your partner says before adding anything else to the conversation. Good communication is as much about hearing what is being said as it is about speaking yourself. When you model good listening skills, your partner is also more likely to do the same in return. 

Assume the Best Intentions

Miscommunications are often the result of self-preserving mechanisms in the brains of you and your partner that have made assumptions about the intentions, or lack thereof, of the other person. To avoid miscommunications, ask any clarifying questions with a real sense of seeking to understand rather than assign blame or call out any potential misbehaviors. It’s also important to remember that your partner isn’t trying to hurt you, and anything that seems a little off is likely the result of a misunderstanding or a simple mistake. Assume your partner has the best intentions, and clear anything up if you need to with gentle, firm communication. 

Put In the Time to Be Present

Communication isn’t always about what is said, but it’s often about the circumstances that surround the conversation. Verbal communication is one thing, and nonverbal communication is entirely another. When you or your partner want to talk, put down your phone, look into their eyes, eliminate distractions and let them know you’re there to listen and share a moment with them. 


It’s important to be present even when your partner isn’t making a bid for connection, too. Show your partner attention every day, and you’re both more likely to feel safer and more attended to the next time an issue arises that requires your mutual communication efforts.