Communicating your needs can be hard at times. You may feel like a toddler unable to truly express your wants and needs. And you know what? That’s okay!

When it comes to relationships, it can become even more difficult. Two people. Two different personalities. Two different wants, needs, desires, dreams, goals, and more.

One of you may have had a long or hard day at work. Maybe you’re hoping to come home and push it out of your head and relax for the night, but as soon as you walk through the front door, your partner greets you with a smiling face and asks how your day went.

Here are 5 tips to communicate better with your partner.

1. Be Clear, Concise, and Direct.

You two could be two peas in a pod or maybe you’re polar opposites that balance one another. You may have been together for less than a year or over ten years. No matter how long you’ve been together or how perfect you may be together, you can’t read each other’s minds. And that’s okay! You shouldn’t have to, especially if you’re communicating effectively.

You’re two completely different people that share a love for one another. There are certain cues you may pick up on that your partner may not. For example, if your partner comes home after a long day of work, you may be able to see their hunched shoulders or tired eyes. Or maybe they’re really good at hiding it or leaving their work at work.

On the other hand, your partner may notice dirty counters, dog hair all over the floor, or grass that needs to be mowed. You both can’t assume that the other person will notice the same things.

If you want help with something, ask for it. If venting is what you need, vent.

Be clear, concise, and direct with your wants and needs. You can’t do it all by yourself and they can’t either. Meet one another halfway.

2. Don’t Play the Blame Game.

With tough conversations, it’s easy to place the blame on the other person. Sometimes this can happen without you even realizing it. Think before you speak.

Choose your words carefully because, in the heat of the moment, they could be taken the wrong way. It’s easy for a conversation to turn from open and honest to blaming and defensive. Try to use “I” instead of “You”. Take responsibility instead of placing the blame on the other person.

3. Share Positive Feedback with One Another.

Communicating doesn’t have to mean sharing feedback or criticism. Positively communicating with one another could be as simple as a compliment! If you like their outfit, tell them.

Maybe you’ve noticed how nice the house looks lately. Let them know how much you enjoy, respect, and love them.

4. Schedule Time Together.

Balancing everything in life can be a challenge. You’re both balancing careers, friends, family, and your relationship. Find time to actually be with one another, interruption-free!

Schedule date nights once a week to go out and have fun or just talk to one another. This will give you an opportunity each week to talk, listen, and grow together.

5. Seek Help.

Seeking help from an outside third party doesn’t mean you have a bad relationship or should just break up. Sometimes, it can be exactly what you need to move forward into a healthier and happier relationship with one another. A therapist can help you figure out the best way to communicate with one another and improve your relationship to meet both of your wants and needs.

If you’re looking to improve your communication with your partner, get started with us today by booking a free consultation.

Our couples counseling therapists are based out of Los Gatos. We’re here to help. Get in touch any time.