If you find yourself frustrated, stifled, pushed or confused about your current relationship or by the people you attract, take a look at your relationship's communication style. Below is a list of five styles of communication in romantic relationships. As you read this list, ask yourself the following questions: With which style of communication do you most identify? With which style of communication would you most identify your current partner or the people you usually attract? Which style of communication of represents your current or most recent relationship? 1. The Silent CoupleIn this type of relationship, the partners may talk about the weather, current events and other surface topics, but seldom speak about personal issues. They rarely share emotions, thoughts, hopes or wishes. Both guess or assume what the other person may be feeling or thinking. Both may feel they are living parallel lives; they enjoy that someone is there, but rarely connect in a satisfying way. 2. The Argument-Avoiding CoupleThose in this type of relationship are geared to avoid conflict. The couple connects occasionally, but disconnect happens at the moment conflict appears. The disconnect may happen either by one partner becoming silent or through emotional or physical withdrawal. This is the kind of relationship where one person may say what the other one wants to hear simply to avoid conflict, without any intention of following through.
3. The Fighting Couple
This is a relationship where communication is primarily about what's wrong and how it is the other person's fault. Attempts at communication often disintegrate into arguments. The partners do not intend for the relationship to be this way, and perhaps even try not to fight. This is typically a relationship in crisis.
4. The Friends/Partners Couple
In this type of relationship, communication is open and honest on many levels. The couple can speak about a variety of issues with ease, ranging from very personal to very impersonal. The couple may work well together both at home and often on a business front. They are often very good friends and like each other very much. On the other hand, one or both people will avoid deep emotional and physical intimacy, perhaps to the point of not having a physically intimate relationship at all.
5. The Fully Intimate Couple
This is a relationship in which almost any topic can and is spoken about openly -- from what's wrong, to memories from childhood and past relationships, to deep-held beliefs to finances. The couple does not fear emotional or physical intimacy. Many people are not comfortable in nor desire this type of relationship -- it may appear as too much work. In fact, this type of relationship is difficult to maintain. Only a few couples can be fully intimate all of the time.
To help you deal with and adjust the communication in your relationships, here are some important points to consider: It's fine to desire as little or as much intimacy, closeness and communication as you want. You might end up with a partner who either wants what you want or can grow or adjust to your levels. A couple can move from one level of communication to another over time as a normal part of being in a relationship. All is well as long as the couple ultimately returns to the most intimate level of communication they have achieved together. Be observant of at what level you would like to function with your partner and at what level your partner comfortably functions. Encourage as much intimacy as you are comfortable with. If you are single, date people who ultimately want the same level of intimacy you want. If you are not sure what they want, ask them -- they will tell you. Sometimes a person only knows how to function on one communication level. This is what you want to watch out for when dating and forming relationships. If you form a relationship and your partner's level of communication does not match a level you are comfortable with, the two of you will struggle.