Best communication exercises for couples (Best 11)

In this blog, we will discuss the Best communication exercises for couples and answer the question “why is effective communication among couples crucial for their relationship?” 

We will also look into a list of exercises that can help you improve your communication with your partner and what research says about couple’s communication.

Best communication exercises for couples

The best communication exercises for couples are:

  • How was your day? How are we?
  • Using I statements
  • What our future should look like
  • I win by complimenting you
  • Love letter
  • Compassionate visit to the past
  • Eye to eye
  • Loving gesture
  • Talk to listen
  • Share books and music

Why is healthy communication important in a couple’s relationship?

Communication is a strong predictor of a couple’s relationship satisfaction and the quality of their relationship. As social beings, we communicate even in silence. 

Unhealthy communication patterns or lack of communication could break the relationship, as it becomes a breeding ground for misunderstandings, arguments, conflicts, isolation, etc.

Although not every person might know how to communicate effectively, Communication is a skill that could be learned and thereby enhance the quality of your relationship with your partner.

How do couples communicate?

Couples communicate in different ways. Common ways through which every person communicates is through verbal communication: includes both oral and written communication. 

Nonverbal communication: Includes silence, body language, facial expressions, gestures, etc.

Couples must aim to develop their communication holistically.

What are the benefits of healthy communication in couple relationships?

There are several benefits to healthy communication among couples. Below is a list of a few benefits:

  • It helps to avoid misunderstanding and arguments
  • It helps in effective problem solving
  • It helps to effectively express one’s own needs in a relationship as well as respect and honor your partner’s values and needs,
  • It helps in building a stronger bond through better companionship.
  • It allows for open communication between partners.
  • It improves relationship satisfaction

How could you improve your communication with your partner?

As we discussed earlier, communication is a skill that could be learned. 

One could learn to effectively communicate by understanding the deficits in their communication style and practicing to fill those deficits using some communication exercises and games. 

However, what is crucial to improving your communication with your partner is the willingness to put in the effort to change your relationship for the better.

Top 10 communication exercises for couples:

Below is a list of the top 10 communication exercises for couples:

  • How was your day? How are we?
  • Using I statements
  • What our future should look like
  • I win by complimenting you
  • Love letter
  • Compassionate visit to the past
  • Eye to eye
  • Loving gesture
  • Talk to listen
  • Share books and music

How was your day? How are we?

Set aside time every day to talk with your partner about how their day has been. Go with interest and curiosity to know about your partner’s day.  It communicates interest to your partner. 

Talking about how we are as a couple helps to find the opportunities for growth in the relationship and continue to make your relationship better.

Try to be consistent and follow this on most days. Choose a time and place where you and your partner are most likely to not be distracted.

Note that, there could be days when your partner might not want to talk. Remember that it is alright and respect your partner’s space. 

Using I statements:

It is quite easy in a relationship to blame and criticize the other person as well as to generalize their behavior. It might lead to defensiveness and stonewalling. It is important that one effectively communicates their feelings and thoughts and takes responsibility for the same. 

Using ‘I’ statements could be a great tool to do that. How to use I statements?

You could use the following structure:

I feel ________ because______when_____What I need is______

An example of using I statements as opposed to ‘you’ statements might look like this:

‘You’ statement: “You are always late to our dinner. I hate this completely”

I statement: “I feel disappointed because you are late for this dinner when you had promised to be on time. I would like it if you are on time from the next time.

‘I’ statements open up opportunities for communication while ‘you’ statements might lead to defensive reactions and close up all communication channels.

What our future should look like:

Talking to your partner about your future goals and dreams both as an individual and as a couple can lead to sharing those dreams and goals and open opportunities to support and feel supported by your partner. 

Knowing that your partner has your back can lead to feelings of belonging, companionship, and acceptance and to overall relationship satisfaction.

Set aside time to share and discuss your short-term and long-term goals in this relationship.

I win by complimenting you:

Every person loves to be complimented and appreciated. It boosts their self-esteem and morale. 

Find things about your partner that you like and compliment them. Appreciate their small achievements.

It communicates to your partner that you are interested in them and noticing their efforts. Be specific about the compliments and achievements. 

For example; “you look good in this dress”. “I appreciate that you make it a point to leave a cup of coffee for me”. “I am thankful that you exist”.

Love letter:

Writing love letters can help improve intimacy in your relationship. Sharing these written messages not only communicates your care, love, and interest in the partner, it also becomes a memory which both of you could cherish.

Compassionate visit to the past:

There could have been times where you felt that your partner let you down, felt insulted, and so on. The wounds of which might still be open for you and you might want to bring it up. 

Set aside a time to talk about this. Inform your partner that you would like to revisit this incident. Practice and structure what you want to share. 

Some tips to keep in mind while doing this. 

  • Focus on your feelings. 
  • Target your partner’s specific behavior and not the person. 
  • Share with your partner that why was it important for you to revisit. 
  • State your expectations from this conversation. Find a middle ground.

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Nonverbal communication exercise:

Eye to eye

This is an intimate exercise that involves maintaining eye contact with your partner. 

You could engage in activities such as sitting opposite each other or even dancing without breaking eye contact for a few minutes.

During this time connect with your feelings and your thoughts for your partner. Share this and also get to know what your partner’s experience was.

This helps in enhancing connection and understanding the nonverbal messages better.

Loving gesture

Show that you care through simple gestures. It could be getting your partner’s favorite food or simply giving a hug and patting them when they look tired or demotivated. Hold their hands when they feel stressed or nervous. 

These gestures although might look simple could improve the connection and bond with your partner. It communicates that you care and you observe and are mindful of what your partner is going through.

Talk to listen:

At times, you don’t have to do all the talking. Simply listening to your partner without disrupting them could make all the difference.

You could do this by taking turns and listening to each other without disrupting. After which you could share what you listened to and clarify if you have understood them right. Also, ask how they felt when they were being listened to.

Share books and music:

Exchange your books and playlists with each other. If possible, spend time together while reading each other’s favorite book or listening to your partner’s playlists. This might give an entry into your partner’s inner world to understand their likes and interests.

Communication is about sharing not just information but also needs, wants, desires, expressing appreciation, gratitude, disappointments, and joys. 

When two people are living together as partners, communication becomes important to keep the relationship going, to help each other grow in this relationship, and to grow as a couple. It helps to avoid the relationship from reaching its end. These couples exercises will help you in improving the relationship. 

Conclusion:

In this blog post, we answered the question “why is effective communication among couples crucial for their relationship?” We also look into a list of exercises that can help you improve your communication with your partner. Note that it is the willingness that matters. It is the willingness to improve your relationship that will drive you to practice with them.

Frequently asked questions: Best communication exercises for couples

How could couples practice communication exercises?

Communication is a skill that needs to be learned. It could take time, effort, and commitment to effectively learn them. Making a commitment to practice these exercises is important. 

Willingness to work through your relationship and consistency in practicing these exercises can pay off in a stronger, closer, and intimate bond.

Some things to keep in mind before you practice any of the exercises 

  • Find a place that allows you to practice these exercises. Preferably a place that is quiet, free of distractions, and without interruptions from kids or work.
  • Promise each other and commit to practice these exercises regularly and with the willingness to work through your relationship.
  • There could be times when doing an exercise becomes discomforting and difficult. Take this as an opportunity to know about each other and challenge yourself to continue with the exercise. 
  • If practicing an exercise triggers negative emotions, feel free to stop it and revisit when both of you are ready. 
  • Journal your experience and learning from practicing the exercise and how it has affected your relationship. 

How to have a difficult conversation with your partner?

Some conversations could be extremely difficult and discomforting. However, a relationship might require you to be vulnerable and just let your inner self be. 

Some ways through which you could have a difficult conversation are:

  • Structure your talk beforehand: Think about what you want to talk about and how you want to express it. Focus on feelings and specific actions and take responsibility for it.
  • Choose an appropriate time
  • Let your partner know beforehand about what you want to talk about and how you are feeling.
  • Clearly state your expectations and what you would like to achieve by the end of your conversation.
  • State what your partner could do to help you ease out during the conversation.
  • Be realistic and find a middle ground.

How could couples improve their communication?

  • Understand your communication style and communication deficits
  • Understand what could be changed and decide on what you would do to change it. 
  • Understand your feelings and then communicate them.
  • Timing is crucial.
  • Feel free to take time off
  • Rehearse your talk with your partner
  • Set clear goals and expectations while having a conversation.
  • Do not digress or get carried away, stick to the topic.

References:

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Improve Your Relationship | ReGain. Retrieved 11 June 2021, from https://www.regain.us/advice/marriage/13-marriage-communication-exercises-to-improve-your-relationship/

Burgemeester, A. (2021). 16 Effective Communication Exercises

for Couples (Recommended by Therapists). Retrieved 11 June 2021, from https://thenarcissisticlife.com/communication-exercises-for-couples/

Davenport, B. (2021). 13 Of The Most Effective Communication

Exercises For Couples. Retrieved 11 June 2021, from

https://liveboldandbloom.com/10/relationships/communication-exercises-couples

Hartle, A. (2021). 9 Therapist-Recommend Couples

Communication Exercises. Retrieved 11 June 2021, from https://aneverlastinglove.com/couples-communication-exercises/

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Cannot Afford Counseling. Retrieved 11 June 2021, from

https://hellorelish.com/articles/free-communication-exercises-for-couples.html

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Retrieved 11 June 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/lack-of-communication

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Couples To Grow Closer. Retrieved 11 June 2021, from https://defeatingdivorce.com/communication-exercises-for-couples/#Exercise_4_Eye_See_You

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