Online Magazine For Black Men
The Most Important Thing In Your Relationship

Relationships Yes - this topic is actually very unique to each relationship, and sweeping generalizations do not apply. However, there can be no doubt that communication between a man and a woman, is one of the most important aspects of a relationship. If it is not the most important thing in your relationship, maybe it should be.

Being in a long-term relationship is like learning how to drive an automobile -- you won't learn the best tactics for getting from point A to point B, until you jump out there and actually start doing it. In a relationship, this analogy applies to not only effective communication, but also compatibility, trust, making sacrifices, and all other aspects of being in a meaningful relationship.

Unfortunately, there isn't an owner's manual to help guide you through the time you'll spend with a significant other. In fact, that time is unique to your relationship. It has never been chronicled by two persons before, and will not be matched by any two persons later. We are all creating an unparalleled historical marker during our relationships, so we should do our best to leave an indelible mark.

With that, we've identified several key facts men must know when it comes to effective relationship communication:

  • Learn To Listen
    Probably the most important (and positive) thing you can do while communicating, is learning how to listen to your mate. Men are notorious for mentally plotting their verbal comeback when they should be listening. This creates communication distance where one person won't comprehend what is being said since they are not truly listening.

    • To better concentrate on listening, be sure to look directly at your mate. If possible, turn your body towards her and try to place other thoughts aside.
    • Use positive body language to show that you are listening. Give a nod or two, and say words of agreement like, "Yes", or "I understand".
    • To show that you've been listening, repeat some of the things she's said by using her words to ask for clarification. This shows that you are paying attention and understand the subject matter.
  • Develop A Talking Style
    Some people have problems communicating as a result of their own voice tones. This may seem trivial, but it's true. If your speech patterns are received as condescending or negative, it is very likely that you will have a harder time getting your mate to listen.

    Conversely, a jovial or excessively playful tone, will make it difficult for your mate to take you seriously during those important conversations. For good measure, practice using different voice tones when engaged in specific dialogues:

    • Emotional or serious conversations should be met with compassionate and serious sounding tones. One of the best ways to show your mate that you're listening, is to reflect the tone of the conversation in your voice.
    • If your mate is speaking in general terms, or not really talking about anything in particular, using your keen problem-solving skills in your responses is be unecessary. Men are often accused of seeking a quick-fix to a problem that the woman never wanted resolved. More time than not, she only wanted someone to listen.
    Once you know the type of conversation you're in, you can better develop your talking style.
  • Be Courteous
    When all else fails during your conversations (and you will have many!), be sure to remain cognizant of your partners' needs:

    • Don't interrupt. Interrupting is probably the most common grievance given by those experiencing communication disconnect in their relationships. When your mate is interrupted, she will feel unheard. A good strategy to follow, is to learn how to recognize your partner's signals for conversation shift. During your conversations, she may slow down when attempting to end her portion of the dialogue -- or she may attempt to pass control to you by asking a question.
    • Talk about something other than yourself. Unless the conversation is specifically about you, try not to steer it into a, "woe is me", or a "I had the same problem" type of conversation. Doing so will give the appearance that you've already listened to your share of information from her, and now you're no longer interested in what she has to say.
    • Break the silence. No woman likes talking to a brick wall. Especially when she expects the wall to listen and respond on occasion. As outlined in the previous step, Learn To Listen, acknowledge her words with positive body language and affirmative words.
Don't forget that effective communication with your mate is crucial to the growth and success of your relationship. Without it, your partner is likely to feel lost, disconnected, and wishing she had someone to talk to.

About The Author - Mybrotha.COM Staff Writer

©Copyright 2002-2015 - Mybrotha.COM. This article was written and edited by a Mybrotha.COM staff writer. Articles may not be reproduced, rewritten, or retransmitted without the express written consent of Mybrotha.COM
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