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10 Communication Styles Couples Should Have In Place Before Making A Long-Term Commitment By Ricki Goldstick, Allison Wengerhoff, Ashley Bakal, Lauren De Vries, Meghan Rettig, Jenna Ferguson

These ways of communicating should be set in stone before couples engage in a long-term commitment to ensure their relationship will only get better.

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Self-Disclosure: Tell your partner about yourself. Tell them your thoughts and feelings and the events that are occurring in your relationship. Without full self-disclosure, you are making yourself hard to understand to your partner, which can create conflict (Scott & Schwartz, 2012).


See situations from your partner's POV, as well as your own: This allows possible conflict to be resolved in a quicker manner, rather than creating new conflicts from arguing after the original conflict was brought up (Scott & Schwartz, 2012).



3-Step Process: Mirroring (restating what your partner says), validating (reassuring your partner that their POV makes sense to you), and empathy (genuinely understanding your partner's feelings) can strengthen the relationship with your partner (Scott & Schwartz, 2012).



Make time for each other: Making your partner a priority can result in less conflict between each other because of the way you're treating them. How you make your partner feel can have great effects on the relationship.


When communicating, avoid direct criticism: "Criticism involves attacking one's partner's personality or character, rather than complaining about a specific behavior" (Schwartz & Scott, 2012).



Don't set yourself up for negativity: Contempt involves intentional negative thoughts about your partner (Scott & Schwartz, 2012). Understand that being defensive can make a problem worse. When you feel like you're starting to become defensive, use your words to express that instead of putting up a wall.


Accept responsibility when you're wrong: Don't put the blame on your partner. Try not to counteract what your partner is saying to you and make sure you take ownership of what you may or may not have done.


Avoid stone-walling at all costs: Make sure you don't refuse to speak to your partner even if it's a self-defense mechanism. Try and communicate however you can with your partner to create a resolution.


"It's not what you say, it's how you say it": Although cliché, it's true that what you say can have an entirely different meaning after you've said it a certain way. The actual way you work through a problem with your partner and address a conflict is more important than what you're saying.

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