You always remember to pick up the Ziploc bags, the eggs and the fabric softener that you’re out of. You know your guy’s birthday, along with his mother’s and sister’s and his best friend. You make a note of when the dog needs to be groomed and on what days you have to pay the electric bill before your lights get shut off. Sure, you’re the keeper of the household – and your man will probably admit it – but you might let the responsibility of the day-to-day take over your choice of words in your relationship. And that is a recipe for a disaster.
Women talk much more than men – nearly four times as much! It’s not that we have a lot to say, it’s that we just tend to analyze and verbalize topics and conversations in a way that’s different, and well, a little more complicated than our male counterparts. It’s because of our willingness to open up and express how we feel that we often get frustrated when our guy doesn’t want to do the same in return. After a long day, he’s quiet. If he’s upset about something, he’ll spend time shooting hoops and processing before talking to us. Yes it drives us (very!) crazy, but to really be a great girlfriend – and eventually wife – you need to learn how to listen and communicate with your partner in a way he’ll understand and relate to.
Here are 3 tips to help you:
Next time you’re frustrated…
…simply just say that you’re discouraged by his communication style. Then, calmly ask him to express what is going on and promise not to cut into the conversation until he’s finished. Give him ample time to really say and decode how he feel and instead of plotting your attack plan or master rebuttal, really listen to him. Watch his body language. Note how the tone of his voice goes up or goes down. Once he’s done, comment on things he’s said and move forward with positivity.
Compliment the good
It’s easy to focus on the parts of your relationship that are bad – he never does that and he always leaves that laying around. He has his faults – just like you do – but there are several reasons why you decided to move in together. (And hopefully one big one that will take your couplehood to married life.) Every time that you find yourself about to go off the deep end about how he left the toilet seat up or forgot to pick up the laundry, take a second and count a few things that you love about him: he remembers your favorite flower, he sends you emails at work when you’re stressed out, he cooks the best pasta you’ve ever had. When you start seeing him in a different light, your arguments over petty things won’t happen as often, or be as important.
Stop trying to win
Even when you know you’re right in the desperate part of an argument, you can save yourself, your guy and your relationship a lot of trouble by coming to an agreement. This might mean that you don’t “win” each disagreement or that you give into something and compromise when you really don’t want to. It may be a tough pill to swallow but when you stop, breathe, and think about what’s really vital – your relationship – picking a fight about the dishes may not seem like a big one to win.
By Aurora Brown