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10 keys to communicating well with your boyfriend or girlfriend

Communication is key to any good relationship. If you want to stay happy and work things out with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to communicate in a way that works well for your *and* them. But how exactly do you do that? Let us explain... 

1. Talk—don't text—when you're upset. It's as simple as grabbing coffee or picking up the phone. Texting can limit your communication with them because it's nearly impossible to decipher tone and volume just through reading a short message. 

2. Keep calm. Try to be sympathetic and don’t act out (i.e. no hitting, slamming doors, throwing things) if you are upset. 

3. But don’t hold in your emotions. It's OK to cry. That's normal. But through your tears, you should do your best to keep your mind clear and speak to your side of the story/argument/conversation. 

4. Listen to your BF/GF when they tell you how they feel. In a relationship, it is one thing to listen to what the other person is saying and another to actually hear them. When you hear a person, that means you've considered both their verbal and nonverbal gestures. Is he sighing when he says he’s OK? Is she agreeing with you but not making eye contact? This may be a sign that something is still upsetting him, or that she's lying. 

5. Focus on what's important. What they're complaining about may be school, work or something else that has nothing to do with you. Look for ways to cheer them up and see the bright side of things.

6. Be honest. Even the smallest lies can make them lose trust in you. If you want to gain their trust, be honest—it's that simple. 

7. Don't avoid a topic because you are shy. If something is bothering you, you both need to be mature and sit down to talk about it with each other. 

8. Have empathy. Kindness can go a long way into showing how much you really care.

9. Be clear. Sometimes too many details can complicate things more. Bring up only what's truly necessary and then move on to more details if you need to. 

10. Respect one another. Give each other space to get over something you are mad about. Once you have been apart from each other, you will likely get over it.

How do you maintain a healthy relationship with your S/O? Sound off below!

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by Mary Kate Biser | 9/1/2017
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