Relationships and How to Safely Let Your Guard Down

It can be scary to let your guard down. We’ve all been there. We’ve been hurt. We all have a past. Some of which may be scary, dark, and full of grey skies. However, it’s important to remember that it’s in the past

You’ve been blessed with this new relationship. A relationship so great, and with someone so wonderful, that it pushed those grey-skies aside, covered you with warm sunshine, and allowed you the space to take a deep breath. Due to past fears and triggers, it feels nearly impossible to let your guard down, but in order to keep the sunshine and fresh air flowing, you’ve got to start the process…

Trust isn’t built overnight, and neither are healthy relationships. They take hard work, dedication, and a great deal of respect and honesty. Nonetheless, regardless of the scary what-if’s, the sooner you begin to move forward, the better.

NOTE: It’s crucial to keep in mind that this is NOT your last relationship. If you had any doubts, you would have probably run for the hills by now. Clearly, there is a reason you’ve stuck it out this long. Trust yourself—know that you are choosing wisely. Continue to utilize those awful, hurtful lessons learned to keep your heart safe; those lessons help you make better choices. Put your fears aside, let your guard down, and take a risk—it’s possible that you may find exactly what you’ve been looking for…

Here are some simple steps to help you let your guard down:

Trust

This can literally be one of the hardest things to accomplish. Trust is earned, and it takes time, but when you have it…you’ve got gold. Try to trust your new partner. When I say trust, I don’t just mean knowing that she won’t lie to you. I mean giving him the kind of trust that will allow him to see the real you—the kind of trust where you let him in.

Stay positive

Keep things light and happy—try not to go to your dark place. Consider the positive things, and focus on the good. Allow yourself, and your new beau, the opportunity to have fun and enjoy the time you spend together.

The good stuff

Take notice of how great your partner is. Even if it takes you writing down or verbalizing five things you like about your babe every day, do it. This will help you build trust, and also focus on the positive. You’ll thank yourself later…

Family and friends

Introduce your partner to the important people in your life. Trust that she will behave appropriately, and expect her get along with your loved ones. If she fits you, she’ll fit them too…

Participation

Allow your partner to participate in your life—include him in the things you love to do, whether solo or in a group. Providing your partner with this opportunity will help you evaluate if you want him to be included in exciting parts of your life. It’ll also help you discover how well you two fit together.

Also, having fun is necessary in all successful relationships.

Honesty

Be honest with yourself, and with your partner. If you’re having triggers, or feel smothered, let her know. If you want to spend more time together, or feel that you’re unable to trust him, share your thoughts. Honesty is truly the best policy…

Communication

Along with honesty, remember to communicate as clearly as you can. Don’t sugar-coat things, and know that people don’t read minds. Ask questions—share concerns—express gratitude and joy—communicate. Being open, honest, and expressing yourself will deter arguments and will keep you focused on the fun stuff.

let your guard down | relationships | trust | communication | love

Not sure if your relationship is healthy? Review the signs of an unhealthy relationship…

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xx,

Paula

Finances and What to Ask Your Partner Before Committing

Discussing finances can be one of the most difficult things to do, especially if there’s love involved. If you feel that a future is in store for you and your beau, talks about monies are crucial. Have you ever considered how your partner manages their finances? Or what they choose to spend their money on? Or how much they save every month?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s super important that you ask. The way in which a person spends money says a lot about who they are, and if you two are financially compatible. Let’s stop and think for a second: if you were to be married, do you expect you and your spouse to have a joint bank account? Wouldn’t it be important to know where your half of that account is going prior to committing? I think so…

Yes, love is about more than money. Survival is also about money, and safety, and enjoying life with the person you love.

But if you have expectations for what your future is going to look like, consider asking your partner the following questions:

Debt

Let’s start with the big guns—does your partner have debt? Personal? Student loans? How much is it, and how is your partner managing it? Is it being paid off? Is it being ignored? Or is your partner proactively seeking other options, i.e. deferment, loan forgiveness, etc. You don’t only marry your partner and his family, you also marry his debt

Credit score

If you want to someday buy big things, like a car or house, having a strong credit score will get you the best offers. If you and your partner are legally linked via marriage, financing agencies will look at both scores. Be sure that your beau is winning the game of adulting with a high credit score.

Spending habits

We all have those silly things that we spend money on, and if it’s not going to destroy your future household, it’s cool. But if your partner needs to have the newest, sportiest, Benz every year when he’s sitting on 100K of debt, you clearly need to have a discussion about how he’s managing his finances.

Addiction

Spending money can be addicting. Does your partner gamble? Use drugs or alcohol? Or shop too much? These habits can get to be very expensive, and sometimes, one is unable to stop. Figure out where money is being spent and if it’s detrimental to the accounts and beau’s health.

Budget

Do you budget your money? Does your partner? Make sure that you’re on the same page re: where money goes and how much of it goes where.

Future spending

The future is something we all look forward to. Do you want a big house with an even larger kitchen, and double sinks in the master bedroom? Knowing that you and your partner are managing money to reach these future goals should be at the top of your list.

Savings

Do you and your partner have savings accounts? Is this money you two plan to never touch? Or money you’ll eventually invest in property, stocks, a CD, or a mutual fund? Talk about where these big bucks will eventually go. If it just so happens that your savings is only there as a security blanket for that rainy day, that’s good to know too…

finances | Money | communication | relationships | future

Are you and your partner also having talks about moving in? Here are some things to address before making a decision…

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xx,

Paula

7 Things to Consider Before Moving in with Your Partner

Doesn’t the thought of moving in with babe make you feel giddy?! Just knowing that you’ll get to wake up to your partner’s gorgeous face every single morning gives you happy feels so gooey that it’s kind of like a scoop of melting vanilla-bean ice cream on a just-out-of-the-oven molten chocolate cake. But is moving in simply about the happy feels? Or is there more to it?

There is a lot to consider when cohabitating, as it is a bigger step than most imagine. At the end of the day, it is two independent people joining forces to share a space. This gives me the feeling that things might get sticky if they’re not handled appropriately.

Yes, you love your partner. And yes, you two basically stay over all the time. But, you still have the ability to return to your own space when you need some alone time. Even though the idea of moving in is bright and beautiful, like a diamond-covered unicorn flying in sky, it doesn’t always lead to a happy ending.

Research has found that compared to Gen X, more Millennials are choosing to move in prior to tying the knot. So before you and your partner jump into cohabitating, like many other millennials, be sure to have a discussion about what living together will look like and how co-adulting will be handled.

Not sure what to talk about? Here are some ideas…

Finances

Money is just that, money. Loving someone is much more important than dolla dolla bills, but we all work very hard to make a living. Considering this, things need to be fair. Talk about who’s paying for what: Will you divvy up all bills? Will you split rent and each pay different utilities? Will one person cover groceries, and the other pick up the tab when dining out? Regardless of your plan, be sure to set some ground rules so that no one feels taken advantage of.

Discussing the “what ifs

Unfortunately, happily ever after isn’t guaranteed. What happens if you two decide to part ways? Will only one of you be on an existing lease? Will you both be on a brand new lease? If things don’t work out, who gets to keep the apartment? How will you split up furniture and belongings? Who keeps the dog? Does the other get visitation rights? A lot of couples invest quite a bit in creating a beautiful home for themselves but don’t consider who-gets-what if things go sour. Not to encourage negative thinking, but this should be discussed prior to potentially signing your life away…

Future goals

Moving in a huge step forward, so it’s important to know whether this is the last step, OR just a stepping stone to the next step. It’s important that you’re both on the same page about where you are in your relationship, as well as what you want in the future. Do you want to get married but your partner doesn’t? Does he want kids but you don’t? It’s important to consider these matters before taking such a big step.

Cleanliness

How do you like to keep your home? Sharing a space with someone can be very difficult if you’re on opposite ends of the spectrum. Many people have tidy living conditions, while others don’t. Are you a clean freak, but your partner’s a messy slob that never does the dishes and puts her dirty shoes on the bed? This can ultimately make or a break a relationship. Making sure that some ground rules are established for tasks such as cleaning, cooking, chores, etc. before the big move is crucial to surviving cohabitation.

Dividing responsibilities

Along with cleaning come many other housekeeping things that need to get done. The list literally feels endless, but who is going to do the laundry? And clean the bathroom? Who’s changing sheets? Who is walking the dog in the morning? Who picks up the mail? Again, talk about the things that need to get done in your home and equally divide tasks. Regardless of how you choose to share responsibility, you should each hold your own and contribute to the household.

Lifestyle

The way in which you and your partner live day-to-day can also determine whether cohabitating will work for you. Do you like to go to bed early, while your partner stays up until 3AM binge-watching GOT? Do you enjoy hosting, but your partner doesn’t like people in his space? Does your partner have friends over all the time, but you prefer less frequent guest visits?

Especially for those who live in small spaces (i.e. studio apartments), this can become a huge barrier to enjoying your living situation. With this, a great deal of negative feelings can arise, which can potentially lead to arguments. Be sure that you have some rules in place. Maybe your partner can use headphones while watching late-night TV, and you and your friends can go to the local bar for drinks. Whatever it is, come up with a solution before you share a space.

Communication

Most importantly, talk to each other.  You partner is not a mind reader, so tell him if something is bothering you. This is a two-way-street, so be sure to encourage your partner to also share any concerns with you. If you two aren’t able to talk things out and come up with a compromise, cohabitating may not be the best move for either of you.

Moving in is such a significant step in a relationship—be sure that you’re both ready to walk up to the ledge and leap…

moving in | cohabitation | love | relationships | dating | communication

Think moving in will cause a lot of fights? Check out these suggestions on how to choose your battles…

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xx,

Paula

Arguments and How to Best Pick Your Battles

Arguments in any relationship are unavoidable. Two people, with two separate sets of needs, calls for the occasional battle. Whether with a friend, sibling, or your partner, fights are definitely in your future.

Arguments can vary in level of seriousness, or possible detriment they can cause. Regardless, the vast majority may not be worth losing that person, or somehow destroying your relationship. The key to surviving arguments is which ones you choose to pursue.

Picking your battles is something I learned at a young age. My older sister used to always remind me of this in the midst of an argument, and it was definitely a lesson I was happy to learn. Now that I am older, I am able to decide which battles are actually worth fighting. Which battles I’m actually passionate about. Which battles are important to me. And which battles can somehow improve the relationship versus damage it.

In my relationships, I find that there are several ways to decide which of those fights to choose. Many of them require a thought and time to decide if it’s worth the trouble.

How to best pick your battles:

Level of importance 

Is a particular issue an annoyance vs. an actual problem? We all have good and bad days, and some things, like the direction in which the toilet paper roll hangs, can drive you nuts. Be sure, though, to consider how fighting a battle that inferior can ultimately affect the other person. Will they be hurt? Will they feel unappreciated? Sometimes it might be easier to just flip the roll and move on…

Timing

There’s a time and place for everything. Is it the right time to discuss this issue? Or could this be better handled in the future? Somethings just don’t need to be addressed right away. For example, you’ve just gotten engaged, and you are not sure where to send your kids to school. Are you planning on having kids in the next year? If not, maybe it’s not something that you need to get into right this second…

Ability to compromise

Being able to compromise is crucial to the success of any relationship, especially when it comes to potential arguments. Is this a topic that isn’t very concerning to you? Pizza vs. Thai? Or which coffee table to purchase? Which color to paint the new room? Again, take into consideration how important this is to you vs. your partner—will it affect them more than it will affect you? Sometimes it’s worth the compromise…

Is it life altering? 

Fights can vary from life altering to unworthy. Whether it’s relocating to another city/country, or deciding whether or not to have children, these decisions can completely change your life. How significant is the issue? And where do you stand compared to your partner? These types of discussions may be worth the battle—just make that you are able to appropriately get your point across.

Can you let it go? 

If you decide to completely drop a topic and not pursue a discussion, you actually have to drop it. Don’t avoid the problem because you don’t feel like dealing with it, otherwise you can develop negative feelings like resentment and anger. If you’re choosing to comprise, be 100% okay with your decision…

Be constructive

If you choose to pursue the battle at hand, come prepared with valid points, and be constructive. Actively listen, and try to understand the other person’s point of view. Choose your words wisely, and be kind. Take time to think about things first, and engage in discussion after you’ve had time to calm down. Remember, it’s of the utmost importance to always be respectful.

arguments | relationships | compromise | pick your battles | dating | love

Not sure how to share your feelings with your partner? Peek our tips on how to best communicate your thoughts…

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Paula

Is Social Media Destroying Your Self-Esteem?

Social media has such a significant influence on society, and the vast majority of posts involve adveritsements. I can’t remember a time when there was such an emphasis on things as there is now. Not that I’ve been around that long, but it seems as though material objects matter more now than they ever have before. There are many factors that can potentially be responsible for this phenomenon, however, it seems as though the Instagram and Facebook feeds may be the culprit.

From the fashion bloggers, to the travel bloggers, or anyone who is paid to advertise a product or location, you find yourself somehow sucked into the “wow I wish I had that” mindset. This newfound desire for things has created such a significant emphasis on having more, wanting more, needing more. From the fancy designer handbag, to the newest fancy iPhone, to the fancy hotel vacation—YOU NEED TO HAVE IT.

Not only is social media keeping us from appreciating the amazing things we do have, but it’s also creating a sense of inferiority. I am not enough. Not rich enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough…

This is absolutely invalid. You are everything. You don’t need things to be happy. You don’t need to go into debt in order to buy the lavish items being advertised on your feed.

Here is why It’s important to keep media at face-value:

1. Work, work, work

Bloggers get paid to look good. They get paid to write a review on a new product. They get paid to tell you what’s cool. Does that mean whatever they’re advertising is necessarily the new cool thing? Maybe, maybe not. Also, they usually get the item for free, whereas most normal people don’t have that luxury.

2. It’s a team effort

From photographers, to videographers, to make-up artists, chefs, or personal trainers, to a writing team, it’s not a one (wo)man show. Everyday people leading normal lives cannot be expected to have the same appearance or lifestyle because between work, family and friends, laundry, making dinner, walking your dog, and sleep, it’s impossible to live a life such as those displayed on social media.

3. Why can’t life always be this breezy?

Life isn’t always about rainbows, unicorns, and Bentleys. Life is hard. Based on the images presented to us via social media, we are expected to believe that life is perfect. Perfect relationships. Perfect bodies. Perfect homes. But that’s exactly what it is, a belief. Our imperfections make us who we are, and they should be valued.

4. The exhaustion factor

Between everything going on in life and working crazy hours, I have no desire to be fully made-up every single morning. Sometimes I like throwing my hair up in a bun and wearing my most oversized, comfy sweater. Once my smile is on, I have all I need.

If feeling comfortable in your own skin isn’t considered beautiful, I don’t know what is.

5. The comparison

Please, please, please do not compare yourself to any of the people portrayed on your Instagram feed. These are images of people who are hired to look/act/do things a certain way. It is not realistic. Again, take it at face-value—that’s all it is.

6. That money, money, money

Seriously, don’t go broke for buying items you don’t need because social media tells you it’s supposed to be cool. What’s actually cool is not spending a fortune on random objects and owing a big bank somewhere a lot of money. You’re already a badass without all the extra stuff…

7. You are enough.

Don’t ever allow anyone to make you feel that you or the things you have are not enough. You are perfect just the way you are. You are beautiful. You are talented. You are intelligent. You are the perfect version of yourself.

social media | self esteem | online | you are enough | unplug | self love

Feel like you’re missing out on your life because of social media? Read up on why it’s important to unplug

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xx,

Paula

FOMO: Why You Need to Unplug

FOMO is real. Seeing all of the photos and videos of friends traveling and going on fun adventures makes you want to do that too, right? You want to be at that big party. You want to be at Coachella. You want to be part of all the fun—it’s near impossible to unplug.

So you spend a lot of time looking down at your device feeling left out and uneasy about what you’re missing. Even if you’re out doing your own thing, your focus is on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook—you just can’t seem to unplug.

What if the real fear is that you’re actually missing out on right now. By taking time away from your friends and your own life to look into the lives of others, you are missing out on time that you’ll never get back. Moments that you’ll never get back. Missing out on making the memories that you’ll never forget.

Yeah, it’s cool to look at photos of others and seeing what they’re up to, but taking time away from your life to stay plugged in is not healthy. It’s important to remember that photos are only a partial, and potentially skewed, representation of what’s actually happening. So why live “vicariously” through others, when you can reap joy from your own life?

Have you ever considered what it would be like for you to put your device down and focus on the activity in which you are engaging? To really live your life? What are the benefits of unplugging…?

Here are the possible benefits when you unplug:

1. Live in the moment

BE PRESENT. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, be there. Mind, body, and soul, be there. Drop your device, unplug, and enjoy yourself. When you’re present, you’ll notice people and things you never did before, which can be a blessing.

2. Be social

Focus on those sitting across from you at dinner, or those around you at an event. Make eye contact, smile, ask questions, laugh. There’s nothing more exciting than getting to know someone new, or further establishing an existing relationship. Network and get to know others—you may be surprised by what you learn.

3. Enjoy the simple things

Look up. Look around. What do you see? When you’re not staring down at your screen, you are exposed to the beauty that surrounds you. Unplugging is super important for your overall wellness. Awareness can be a very powerful tool, especially when it supports your efforts to appreciate the little joys in life…

4. Go with the flow

Sometimes the things that we least expect end up being the most valuable—go with the flow and see what life hands you. This idea goes hand-in-hand with living in the moment. Constantly having plans isn’t always the best thing…

5. Fly solo

Spending time alone, without your device, allows time for self-reflection, relaxation, and the possibility of new experiences. Maybe you’ll meet someone new, or explore a new place—flying solo can be exciting.

6. Feel less pressure

When you’re not stalking others or posting photos of everywhere you go, everything you do, and everything you eat, you provide yourself with space. Depending on how often you choose to post, there’s a sense of pressure to keep up with those in your social circle, or interact with your audience. When you decrease the amount of time spent staring at your phone, you may feel less pressure to do things for the sole reason of posting.

Don’t live so you can post, post so you can remember how you lived.

7. Appreciation

When you’re not focused on what others are doing, you have the ability to appreciate your experiences and the life that you live. You will be more fulfilled, and will have acquired the key component to happiness…

8. Quit comparing

Living in your moments, rather than those of others, will help emit the fear of missing out. Having realistic expectations is also crucial. Live within your means, and don’t compare yourself to others. The majority of people in the world are not fancy bloggers, models, or millionaires—they are regular people like you and me. Always remember that you are blessed with wonderful friends, family, and experiences.

Bottom line, quit comparing yourself to others because it’s just not healthy.

9. Be yourself

Being online can require a bit of a façade sometimes. When you’re not attached to your phone, you get to live a real life where you can be yourself. Being present and feeling alive doesn’t require a façade, it doesn’t require a device, it just requires you.

Be you, love you, and live your life to the fullest—without your phone! Just unplug…

unplug | fomo | social media | be present | communication

Feeling like you need to take better care of yourself? Check out these tips on how to give your body some TLC.

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Paula

How to Keep the Novelty Alive in Your Relationship

The Novelty can wear in any long-term relationship. That doesn’t mean that your love is fading, but rather, that the honeymoon phase is long gone. You two have fallen into a routine, and even though you still enjoy each other’s company, that spark seems like a distant memory. That flame doesn’t burn as bright. And the romance is beginning to dwindle.

Relationships, no matter how long, can always maintain a sense of novelty. That sense of newness and intense desire doesn’t ever need to fade. The secret to keeping the novelty alive is being present.

Be involved in your relationship. Be open, be interactive, and keep the flame burning bright. If you and your partner don’t create a nurturing environment for your relationship, it will wither.

As in all aspects of a healthy relationship, communication is also important. Tell each other what you need, find new ways to expand your love for one another, and make plans to keep your relationship alive.

The earlier you start this process, the better. If you build this concept into the foundation of your relationship, you will thank yourselves later. My boyfriend and I plan something special for each monthaversary because it gives us a reason to celebrate our love, be romantic, and spend quality time with one another. We also take a few minutes to chat before bed every night. This really helps us stay connected to one another…

What will you and your partner do to maintain the glimmer in your spark??

10 ways to keep the novelty alive in your relationship:  

Say I love you everyday

This is a super basic concept, but it makes a huge difference. Remind your partner that you love him or her each and every day. It will allow you to keep the lines of communication open, and it is also a way to nurture your relationship and let your partner know that they’re an important part of your life.

Schedule date night

Life gets busy and time escapes us, so make sure to regularly plan date nights. Whether it’s going out to dinner, having a Saturday picnic at the park, or staying home and playing board games, you and your partner will get to spend some quality time together.

Laugh together

Engage in activities that allow for a lot of laughter and fun. This is also a way to provide your relationship with a re-boot, especially if things have been a bit rough. With this, you and your partner will be reminded of why you love one another so much, and it can also provide you with a fresh perspective on your bond.

Engage in new experiences

Try new things together. Whether it’s bungee jumping, traveling to a new country, or taking a cooking class, this too will help keep your relationship alive. Engaging in new experiences will allow both you and your partner to learn new things about yourselves and each other. It also provides a lot of room for excitement, and to support and care for one another if needed.

Get physical

Hug and kiss each other every day, even if you’re mad. Physical touch is a way for couples to connect and be intimate. Also, who doesn’t love to be cuddled? I sure as hell do…

Say thank you

Day to day life becomes so normal and tedious that we forget to say thank you. Your partner makes breakfast every morning, which even though may be an obligation, is also very kind. Saying thank you can truly make all the difference.

Give positive feedback

Similar to saying thank you, tell your partner when they’re doing something you like, or something that makes you happy. Positive feedback will reinforce this behavior. Also, it will help your partner see that you’re aware of, and recognizing his or her efforts. That’s really important.

Communicate

Talk to each other. About what? Anything. Pass time chatting—it’s such a great way to connect. Regardless of your conversation being that of a serious nature, or making silly jokes, just talk to one another. Feeling comfortable sharing things with your partner will absolutely help strengthen your bond. With this, you and your partner will be able to jointly embrace the joys of life, and also lean on one another in times of hardship.

Just the two of you

Whether you have kids to care for, or it’s just the two of you, make sure that there is something that is just yours. As a couple, have a special TV show you watch before bed, or have a quick phone chat each day at lunch, or a coffee date before work every morning. Whatever the situation, this mini-date every day will provide you with an extra opportunity to connect and know that you’re thinking of each other.

Be present

Being present is vital to keeping the love alive. Be there. When you’re together, be involved, be aware, be part of the conversation. If you’re engaging your phone instead of your partner, you’re sending a very clear message that he or she is not important. When spending time together, be conscious of where your mind is. When not present, there is a clear distance that will begin to tear apart your relationship.

Be kind, be loving, and be supportive. Love is a such a beautiful thing, and we need to care for it as best as possible…Keep the love alive!

novelty | keep the love alive | love | relationships | hope

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Paula

How Communication Can Make or Break a Relationship

It’s all about communication. Having a healthy relationship also includes trust, love, and respect, but I don’t think any of that is possible without clear communication…

The concept of communication can seem so basic because people just talk to each other, right? How can it be so hard? Well, it’s important to realize that communication can either be extremely complex, or very simple—it all depends on whether you’re utilizing the appropriate tools or not.

So, one might wonder, what constitutes good communication? Is it how a couple speaks to one another? Is it when they speak to one another? Is it about feeling safe enough to openly share thoughts and feelings? Is it about being kind and listening?

The answer is YES. All the above create for healthy, clear, and concise communication. Being able to respectfully speak and listen to one another, and engage in a dialogue vs. a fight, is what communication is all about. Allowing enough space for each person to express his/her thoughts about an issue, have a discussion, and come to a compromise, is truly the epitome of love.

Ok, so now that we’ve got that down, why can communication make or break your relationship? Let’s discuss…

1. Back to the basics

Let go back to the basics: how do two people get to know one another? They talk.

Above all else, learning about your partner is what it takes to build a relationship. By openly speaking to one another, whether it’s sharing your deepest, darkest secrets, or talking about your favorite dinosaurs and make-believe lands, engaging in any kind of talk that provides comfort and freedom is crucial. This will allow couples to really get to know each other.

2. Safety in speech

Feeling safe sharing anything and everything with your partner is such a vital factor when it comes to healthy relationships. How can two people have a relationship, and potentially build a life together, if they’re not comfortable sharing things with one another? It’s basically impossible. If you don’t feel safe talking with your partner, this will most likely lead to fights and/or break-ups.

3. Respect

Respect is the most important aspect of communication. Speak respectfully to your partner. Try not to be hurtful, don’t place blame, take responsibility for your feelings, listen to one another, and tell the other person what you need in that moment. The sooner you start, the better. It makes all the difference…

4. Discussing needs

Expressing your thoughts, feelings, and needs is necessary for a healthy relationship to continually move forward. Happiness is super important, and when you’re not able to share what you need with your partner, happiness just won’t be in the cards for either of you. Being unhappy is not only detrimental to you, but also to the relationship. Some of the negative feelings that may also occur when needs aren’t met are anger, resentment, and frustration. They’re not fun, I promise.

It’s of the utmost importance, to both your wellness and the vitality of your relationship, to feel comfortable sharing your needs with your partner…

5. Compromise, compromise, compromise—cheese or fries?

Making changes in a relationship so that both parties are happy requires compromise. This can sometimes elicit a little bit of a back-and-forth discussion, and will also involve a great deal of open and clear communication.

Remember when we talked about respect and safety? These aspects are particularly valuable in a situation of compromise. Talking about “issues” in your relationship can potentially bring up negative emotions, however, with listening, respect, and feeling safe with your bleeding heart wide open on that table, you’ll find a way to work out your differences.

6. Communication styles

The more you talk to one another and share how you feel, the sooner you can learn about your communication styles. Maybe during a heavy discussion, one of you needs to step away to cool down. Some people may potentially be offended by this, but if you’re aware of the way in which your partner communicates, you will allow them the space they need without it damaging the trust in your relationship.

Everyone communicates differently, and that’s okay. Just make sure that you’re aware of the differences…

7. Body language

Communication isn’t just about words, it’s also about body language. Body language can be conveyed positively with kisses, hugs, smiles, eye contact, and all those fuzzy things. However, it can also suggest negative or mixed emotions. If your partner says he/she is “fine” after an argument, however, is rolling their eyes, has crossed their arms, and won’t look at you, you’re faced with conflicting verbal and physical reactions. Definitely something to discuss using our handy-dandy communication skills, right?

It’s important to be aware of those frowns and mean faces, or anything that is out of the ordinary, as it’s a good indicator that something is going on…

The first step to improving your communication is remembering that patience is a virtue. Sooner or later you and your partner will have communication down, and you’ll function like a well-oiled machine. Until then, continue to learn about one another, love one another, always respect one another, and forgive one another quickly.

communication | trust | respect | body language | relationships

Is there something you’re not sure how to share with your partner? Check out some tips on how to say the difficult things here!

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xx,

Paula

Communication: How to Say What You Need to Say

Communication can be super tricky….

Have you ever had an interaction where you wanted to say something totally different than what you actually got to say? Yeah, I’ve had a lot of those lately. What would the world be like if we could say what we wanted to say? What if we could be direct? What if we didn’t need to sugarcoat everything? Yeah, that would be awesome. But how can we do that and get away with it? Let’s discuss…

Saying certain things to people can be seriously frowned upon, socially speaking. This can be true especially if someone is sensitive, or if you’re in a professional setting. Regardless, I believe that people should be able to freely express themselves without being hurtful to others.

I know this may seem impossible, but it’s definitely not. So what can you do to make this a reality? Open and honest communication is key. Regardless of what you need to say, the way that you say it makes all the difference. What the hell does that mean, right? It means that you can say what you need to say, but word it in a way that is respectful and kind.

Being open and honest can potentially benefit you and the other person. But again, it needs to be done appropriately.

Check out these tips on how to say what you need to say:

Know your audience

Depending on the setting, and who you are with, decide if this is the right time and place to say what you mean. Know your audience.

Is this a battle worth the fight?

It can be difficult to discuss certain topics with certain people, so it’s important to figure out whether it’s even worth saying whatever it is that you need to say. If it’s a work thing, you may just need to go up the chain of command. Not everyone is willing to engage in an open dialogue, and that’s okay.

Stop and think

How’s the best way to phrase what you need to say without being hurtful? Take a second to think about it—rushing in a situation like this can potentially cause a lot of harm. It’s possible to completely step away from the situation, collect your thoughts, and re-visit the issue at a later time. Regardless of when the interaction takes place, be cautious, and be thoughtful.

Use “I” statements

Using “I” statements can be really beneficial in a situation like this because you are taking responsibility for your thoughts and feelings. With this, you will not be placing blame on anyone else, and it is purely a reflection of your perspective.

Body Language

Body language is a huge aspect of communication. Tone of voice and facial expressions can sometimes convey a lot more than words, so be aware of some of the other messages your body might be sending…

Don’t be hurtful

I really can’t stress this enough: we can say things without purposely offending or hurting someone else. Again, take your time, think before you speak, use “I” statements, and be as kind as possible.

Be prepared to explain 

Sometimes people may ask for additional feedback on what’s making you feel the way you do—be sure to have some follow-up info to back your statement. This definitely helps the other person, and also provides support for the issue you’re addressing.

It’s always the things that are hardest to say that hurt the most, so be aware of the words you are using, as well as your body language…

Be bold. Be strong. Be kind. YOU GOT THIS!

Communication can be stressful—check out my article on how to cope with stress here.

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xx,

Paula