The Art of Communicating

From The Book of Love, Dr. Laura Berman shares tips to establish and finess the communication between you and your partner. Click here to purchase your copy.

Posted on | By Laura Berman

Tailor Your Message

The first rule of communication is to target your audience. Not everyone communicates in the same way, and this is particularly true of different genders. Men tend to report facts with few details, whereas women speak at length with lots of detail to build rapport. Men come to the point first, and add color afterward. Women build up to the point and enjoy the telling of the story. Tailor your approach accordingly: get straight to the point for him; supply the detail for her.

Men also tend to make less direct eye contact than women, an aspect of male behavior associated with power and status. Give her a little more eye contact and him a little less, and you will both feel more comfortable.

Every couple has a different communication style. Some use baby talk or inside jokes; others rely on body language to deliver their message. If you haven't yet found your ideal method, explore some new ways of staying in close contact.

Speak Intimately

One of the fun parts of being in a relationship is that you get to develop your own language and vocabulary. Using a secret language, such as baby talk, pet names, or code words, can help keep you bonded and allows you to converse without anyone else being able to understand what you are saying.

Try subtle ways of talking privately to each other. Some couples use code, such as "I wonder what the weather will do tomorrow," to signal when they are ready to leave a party. Others even have an "I love you" code, such as "Can you pass the pepper, honey?" These codes can help you to communicate with your spouse whenever the mood strikes, no matter who is in earshot!

What's Important is to Understand Each Other.

The main objective is to communicate in ways that work best for you. Every couple interacts differently depending on the personalities and dynamics in the relationship, and there are no rights or wrongs. Be guided by your experience. If using baby talk or code words doesn't flow naturally, then it's probably not for you. Most couples rely on a mix of styles to get their messages across. Make your own rules--nobody knows your relationship better than you.

Article written by Laura Berman
World-renowned sex and relationship expert, New York Times bestselling author, and thought leader in her field.