10 Everyday Ways to Improve Relationship Communication

Communication is the key to any successful relationship. And while communication in general might seem like a huge abstract thing, it’s actually just the sum of small actions and habits. If you feel like you are having communication issues in your relationship, or if your communication could be better, consider making small, everyday changes in your communication patterns. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. In some cases, communication problems are indicative of other bigger problems in your relationship, which can require professional help to address or a more concerted effort to fix. But other times, doing little things on a day to day basis can do wonders for improving your relationship communication. Prioritizing communication in your everyday life, and paying attention to small things that can improve your communication will help your relationship thrive.

Here are some simple, everyday tips to improve your relationship communication:

1. Leave your phone outside the bedroom

It’s important to unplug from your phone and really engage with what you are doing not only for your own mental health and wellbeing, but also for the sake of your relationship. During the day it can be hard not to check your phone, especially if you use your phone for work or essential communication. But constantly being on your phone, or having the temptation to scroll through your apps can really take a toll on the communication in your relationship. One simple way to improve your relationship communication is to make your bedroom a phone free zone. Unplugging together will encourage more communication between you and your partner in a distraction free setting. Plus, leaving your phone out of your bedroom is also proven to improve your sleep patterns.

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2. Make eye contact during discussions

Eye contact is such a key part of communication. A part that is often overlooked or avoided when the conversation is difficult. Even if you aren’t having a tense conversation, people sometimes forget to make eye contact. This is often because you are doing other things while talking to your partner, but other times it’s just a lack of awareness about where you are focusing. Eye contact can be very intimate and some people tend to avoid it, even when communicating with their partner. Instead of actively/passively avoiding eye contact or multitasking while your partner is trying to communicate with you, focus on giving them your undivided attention and making eye contact. This will show your partner that you are really listening to them, which will make them feel heard and respected. Making eye contact during discussions is a simple way to improve your communication as a couple. The importance of eye contact really can’t be overstated here. In addition to making eye contact during discussions, it’s also important to make eye contact while you are being intimate with your partner. Eye contact communicates trust and vulnerability, so prioritizing eye contact in your intimate life will also make you closer to your partner.

3. More physical touch

In a relationship, communication is about more than just verbal communication. Nonverbal communication through physical touch and intimacy is also an important aspect of communication. Increasing the amount of physical touch in your relationship, whether it’s through hugging, back scratches, foot massages or other more intimate things, will make you closer and will even improve your verbal communication. This is because couples that are more intimate are often more in tune with each other’s emotions. A certain level of physical connection creates trust that is necessary for good relationship communication. But aside from sex, it’s important to priortize other forms of physical touch in your relationship as well.

4. Offer words of encouragement

At the end of the day, most people just want to be told that they are doing a good job. Or have their hard work acknowledged. Your partner is no different. Offering words of encouragement to your partner about their career, their personal goals, fitness goals or anything else will help them feel supported in the relationship. A lot of people don’t realize how important it is to actually vocalize encouragement and support, thinking that their partner knows they support them and their endeavors. But it’s super important to vocalize these things through verbal communication so that there is not doubt in your partner’s mind that you are supportive of them. Creating a supportive environment in your relationship will create trust and admiration, which will improve verbal communication.

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5. Ask open-ended questions

When you’re communicating with your partner, it’s important to ask open-ended questions to spark conversation. It can be easy to get in conversation ruts or to run out of new things to talk about. To avoid talking about the same things over and over again and to improve your relationship communication, it’s important to ask your partner thought provoking questions. In addition to asking them how they are feeling and how their day went, ask open-ended questions. If you can’t think of any thought-provoking questions to ask, you can turn to the internet where there are tons of conversation starters for couples. Engaging in conversations in this way will improve your relationship communication and make it more natural.

6. Take walks together

Taking walks together is a great way to carve out time in your days to talk to one another. On a walk you can’t be on your phone, or glued to the TV or computer screen, so you have no choice but to give your partner your attention. Taking walks together encourages more verbal communication, and offers a great opportunity to chit chat. Plus you are getting your exercise in! If you aren’t into walking, that’s fine too - there are plenty of other similar activities that you can do as a couple that promote spending quality time together and promote better relationship communication.

7. Communicate throughout the day

If you feel like you and your partner are having trouble communicating, try to check in more throughout the day. You don’t have to talk about important things all day, but checking in through text messages, a quick call on your lunch break or a phone call during your commute can increase the amount of communication in your relationship. And more communication leads to better communication. Even just sending a quick “thinking about you” text will show your partner that they are on your mind and that you want to talk to them. Communicating throughout the day will show your partner that you care. Communicating throughout the day may feel odd or even a little forced at first, but over time it will become routine and your communication will benefit in the long run.

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8. Know your love languages

Every person has a preferred way (or combination of ways) to give and receive love; these preferences are known as love languages. There are five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts. Knowing your partner’s love language(s) and showing them affection in their preferred way will make them feel seen and appreciated in the relationship. Even though it’s not a form of verbal communication, giving your partner gifts or providing an act of service is an important form of non-verbal communication. Doing things for your partner that they like communicates that you are there for them and that you care. Feeling seen in this way will increase feelings of trust as well, which is also an important part of relationship communication.

9. Compliment each other

Even if your partner’s love language isn’t words of affirmation, it’s important to compliment your partner! Saying one nice thing about your partner every day or once in the morning, once at night, is an easy way to improve positive communication in your relationship. It’s super important that your compliments are genuine, so that your partner feels seen by you. This is a chance to get creative and think out of the box about all the things you love about your partner. But you also don’t need to stress about coming up with a new thing everyday. It always feels great to hear that your hair looks good, or that your outfit is on point or that you made an excellent cup of coffee, even if you’ve heard these compliments before.

10. Listen

We can’t overstate how important listening is. If you are looking for ways to improve your relationship communication, focus on being an active listener. Active listening requires you to focus all of your attention on the conversation at hand, make eye contact, and show your partner that you are following what they are saying by doing things like nodding and asking relevant questions. Focusing on your listening skills is an easy way to improve your communication. Even if you think you are a good listener, it’s always a good thing to really work on. If you feel like your partner is not being a good listener, you should bring this to their attention by suggesting they put their phone away while they are talking to you, or requesting they may eye contact. Our modern lives are full of distractions that can really impede our listening skills, and oftentimes people don’t even realize that they are tuning out. Cultivating an environment where you feel heard and seen in the relationship is critical to improving relationship communication.

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