#BYSYSERIES: HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE?

Now that we have established why you want to get married, we can now move on to other important topics. Like How do you communicate?

These days, we often mistake conversation for communication in relationships. When asked if we communicate, the first response is usually ‘yes, we talk about everything and anything’. I remember once saying the reason I chose to marry my ex, was that we could talk for hours, which to me meant we communicated but one thing I never realized was all we did was gist, pointless gisting if I am to be completely honest with myself but not actually communicate.

The truth is, just because you can spend 22 out of 24 hours in a day talking about everything does not mean you are actually getting across to the person, especially someone you plan to spend the rest of your life with.

So my question to you today is, before you say yes, how do you communicate?

By communicate I mean, do you both spend the time to talk and also take mental (or written) notes of what your desires are. Or are you just talking and brushing everything under the carpet, because, at some point, you’ll be forced to lift up that carpet and face them one after the other all over again. In order to answer that question, here are a few things to think about:

  1. Are you able to talk about everything honestly? – I am talking from your fears to your fantasies. I say honestly because you do not sugarcoat them, or make them appear less serious than they really are. It is very important to be able to bare it all and not be afraid that you will get judged.
  2. Are you able to explain yourself? – Especially after a misunderstanding because arguments WILL happen, some nasty ones too but communication is when you both can sit down and understand each person’s point of view, make a conscious effort to do better and not repeat the same mistakes. Think back at the last few arguments you’ve had, has there been any change? Do they change the topic while you try to speak your mind or are you hoping that he/she would eventually get the message?
  3. Are you able to tell them when they hurt you? – Sometimes unintentionally things happen or statements are made that could hurt your feelings. You need to be able to tell your partner how you feel without the fear of having another world war. You should be confident knowing that telling your partner your grievance would not mean them turning it into something about themselves and you must be open to listening to their explanation if any.
  4. Do they REALLY apologize? – I cannot stand is when the word ‘Sorry’ is thrown at you, to me it’s just another way of keeping you quiet. One of the ways of knowing if you are communicating is in their apology, A real apology takes into account what happened and promises not to repeat those hurtful events.
  5. What is your nonverbal communication like? – Not everything has to be spoken about. Sometimes you might have nothing to say immediately and ideally, your partner, will be sensitive enough to notice when you are uncomfortable with a particular statement or situation and not force you to be what you are not. To be fair, not everyone is skilled at nonverbal communication so know who you are with and be free to tell them how you feel (Re: #3) in case they didn’t notice.

If you and your partner at the moment have huge communication problems, then you need to sit back and re-evaluate. Do not say yes thinking things will ‘change’ because in some cases it doesn’t and in others, it will take a few fights that could have been avoided if you sorted things out from the start.

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