Communication in a committed relationship doesn't come easy for all of us. I know for Ryan and I it was a struggle. We knew we were in love; we knew things wouldn't always be easy, but we hadn't prepared for the communication process that came with the not-so-good moments in our connection. He'd never been in a relationship that required communication that "mattered." Being alone for so long, I had gotten to the point where I didn't want to have to teach someone how to love me. Well, that was silly and not effective to say the least.
For months, I have been talking to friends and strangers alike about how important communication is and how learning it with my partner made a tremendous difference in our love + friendship. I wasn't on the journey by myself, which helped me open my mind and heart more than I ever had before. Being a team and building our love language took time and is a daily learning process. With that being said, I KNOW we are not the only couple who is working on building a healthy love that speaks volumes.
I created a worksheet that I think will help people in relationships grow taller, love harder and communicate better. It's pretty straightforward and anyone can create one. I welcome you to alter the one I am going to share to fit your relationship's communication needs. The goal when filling out the worksheet is not to point fingers (or play the blame game) but to be expressive during times when it might be verbally difficult to do so. I know with Ryan and I, we need time to cool off before we are ready to talk and actually hear one another. If you are at all like us, during the "time apart," filling out the worksheet is a great way to start healing from the miscommunication.
Below you can find a mockup with the responses. It's important that that both partners are ready and willing to be expressive and open to learning new communication techniques. If one partner is ready, but the other is not, do not force the communication exercise. Simply do your part and hand your completed worksheet to your partner to read. Hopefully, they will come around and be open to participating in the exercises with you. Remember, relationships take work, understanding and they require compromise. Love is not forced, allow things to flow. If both parties are ready to explore open communication it will happen with time and dedication.
You can download your Love Building worksheet here. Good luck and happy communicating!