The Importance of Communication in Dating
By Elizabeth Barrera
Time and time again, we hear about the same issues. Our friends are constantly venting about why their relationships continue to fail. It seems that most of the time, one large component is either missing or completely messed up: communication.
Why is it that we find it difficult to express how we feel? Most of us tend to avoid confrontation, and rather than verbally expressing what’s bothering us, we choose to distance ourselves or disregard the issue altogether and move on from the situation at hand. We’re stuck in between vulnerability and pride. We’re either afraid to be vulnerable, so we hold back. Or our pride is much bigger than our desire to move forward. However, this has never and will never be a healthy option. In order to move on from something, we must address it and then resolve it.
Ignoring the problem at hand only allows room for resentment. We are holding in every single problem and emotion to avoid conflict. Think about the stress we’d relieve if we were to address the things we like and dislike, our expectations, questions, and concerns. We wouldn’t be living in the constant wonders of “what if” because we’d know that everything has been done on our end to communicate exactly how we feel.
Let’s take me, for example. I’m one who tends to steer clear of conflict, or at least that’s who I’ve been in the past. I would always avoid having conversations that address the issues my partner and I were having. I’d wait it out and hope the problems would be solved on their own, or that we’d both completely forget about them. Similarly, If there wasn’t a problem, and I only wanted to communicate my expectations and desires, I would hesitate in fear of rejection. I chose to stay quiet. There’s just one problem with this method of choice: it creates more tension because I wouldn’t know whether to reach out or wait to hear from them, what things I should or shouldn’t say, and I over analyzed every text I wanted to send.
One time, I decided to step out of my warm and cozy comfort zone. I spoke to the man I was dating at the time about our future and what it looked like. It took a night of drinking to convince myself that I couldn’t keep living in the unknown, so I did it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the answer I wanted, but it was a relief to know how he felt instead of making assumptions over and over again. It was that simple to get my answer. Sure enough, we won’t always hear what we want, but isn’t knowing better than potentially living a lie?
So instead of avoiding a conversation, why not grow up and actually have one? Why not be an adult and address our needs, our desires, and our concerns? Life would be so much easier if we only learned to communicate with one another and expressed how we really felt. Because think about it, if you really love them, wouldn’t you want to be comfortable enough around each other to be open and honest.
Be open to communication and allow them to feel comfortable to also communicate with you. If you shut them down whenever they speak, claim to be too tired to talk, or dismiss their every word as “an overreaction,” then you’re not opening doors, you’re closing them.
Avoiding a necessary conversation is an action of immaturity.
Addressing our concerns and desires demonstrates maturity.
At the end of the day, it’s our choice to make. And that choice we make depends on the importance of those being affected. Is the other person of little importance in our life, thus, our continuation of being immature? Or will we care enough to be grown adults and talk this through?
Choose wisely, and ensure to make a decision before it’s too late.