By Ché Blackwood

It seems like everyone says “Let’s talk” these days, but it often comes across as little more than whining. If you have a day job, you can’t be expected to stay up all night talking, but there still is a certain amount of conversation required for a relationship to stay healthy. If you’re having trouble communicating with your partner, it could be a sign that your relationship is headed for trouble, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time for a breakup. Instead, try to approach your partner calmly and lovingly explain your need for dialogue. You’ll be able to talk about your problems without breaking up if you consider these following tips:

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1. Pick the right moment: It’s one thing to feel neglected because your sweetie didn’t call to say they were running late, but it’s another thing entirely if they’ve done this every night for a week. If you stress the need for communication after one slip up, your beau is going to think you’re overreacting. However, if you have a series of examples that have led you to feel the way you do, your honey will be more prone to take a step back and hear you out.

2. Think before you speak: The most important step to take before entering into a serious conversation is to analyze your own point of view. While every person has a right to their feelings, emotions can run away from us if left unchecked. It’s vital that you know why you’re upset. Does the lack of communication leave you feeling lonely? Disconnected? Uncared for? When you can pinpoint the exact reasoning behind your negative feelings, you’ll be better able to explain them to your sweetie. If you don’t fully understand why you feel the way you do, it’s unfair to ask them to.

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3. Assert your expectations: Everyone needs their partner to act a certain way, but unless they express those requirements, their partners can’t possibly get it right every time. Know what’s important to you and articulate those expectations to your beau. Once they know the type of communication you require to be happy in a relationship, they’ll be able to assess their own ability to deliver it.

4. Be fair: Communication is never one-sided, so you need to let your partner speak as well. They might not be very happy with what you’ve been sending their way either. Be open to hearing what they have to say, even if their feelings are different than yours. If you want to really communicate openly together, you need to be willing to listen just as you would like to be listened to.

5. Remember who you’re talking to: Your significant other is a unique individual, with their own way of doing things. You need to understand the person you love and their way of communicating in order to successfully express your own feelings to them. While you may need constant affirmation or hour-long talks after dinner, they might be happy with a ten minute phone call before bed. By understanding the motivations behind your beau’s actions, you will better understand how to approach them.

How have you started communicating in your relationship? Tell us below.