Have you ever had trouble connecting with your Christian dating partner? Whether it’s your first date, or one of many, this can happen easily when one or both parties are centering on self and not listening to the signals being given by the other person.
Perhaps you feel that the tension caused has nothing to do with you but perhaps you have subtly given a different impression and especially on the guys side feel that you are being wrongfully accused. Has this ever happened to you, guys? Perhaps you don’t even know what you did wrong to fuel the cold shoulder you’re on the receiving end of but you know that something is just not right. True, you can’t fix something if you don’t know what the trouble is but there are a few places to start so you can make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place.
In a relationship, there will oftenbe conflict as you learn to connect with healthy communication, but healthy communication really does take some work.
How can you avoid conflict and promote healthy communication in your Christian dating relationship?
It begins with understanding exactly what communication is. It is not girly or pansy for a man to know how to communicate his needs, wants and feelings in a relationship as has been taught for generations. Each of us is completely unique. It’s easy to get caught up in our own dreams, experiences and hopes that we forget that others can’t possibly know what we are thinking and what our true intentions are. By not being clear in our communication with others, we can often create situations where the other person becomes hurt, upset and conflict is the result. So what is communication exactly? It is a two sided process in which one person speaks – through the voice, body language, cues etc. – and the other person listens to what has been said and interprets what is being said.
It may sound simple, but it often lands up being a very complicated process that ends in disaster. Many of us listen selectively, as our interest peaks and wanes. With extra noise surrounding us through advertising, mobile phones, internet, and constant marketing as well as all the other people we interact with through the day, we can forget to tune in on the most important relationships in our lives – those with our loved ones.
How to connect emotionally with your Christian Dating partner?
#1: Watch your Attitude
If your buttons are being pushed, don’t get your back up against the wall straight away. Clarify the situation, control your temper and respectfully explain what your impression of the situation is so that your partner has a chance to rectify your impression if you are indeed getting the “wrong end of the stick”.
#2: Don’t use vague and general accusations
There are certain phrases that we tend to fall back on when we can’t remember an exact event that upset us because we didn’t resolve it at the time of the event. These phrases include “You never”, “You always” and “You don’t ever”. These phrases are accusatory and set the accuse on the defensive without being constructive in any way. Rather tell the person how you feel when certain behaviour takes place.
#3: Eye contact is important
Try to maintain eye contact as much as you can during an intense discussion. It communicates that you are interested in the conversation and that you are serious about resolving the problem.
#4: Don’t be overly critical
Try to stay on topic. If you start criticising your partner and adding other unrelated topics will just confuse the issue and mean that resolution of the conflict takes longer. This tactic is often used to avoid the real problem or to avoid having fingers pointed at oneself.
#5: Admit when you are wrong
If it is clear that you are in the wrong, don’t be full of pride and refuse to apologise. Acknowledge your wrongdoing, apologise and ask for forgiveness. Through this, you can regain any trust that has been lost through the process.
In any given situation, it is important to firstly, achieve good communication skills, examine your heart and motivation and acknowledge problems openly and seek resolution to the problem. Sweeping it under the rug, so to speak, is not going to fix it. It won’t go away. When we do this, often the problem just becomes more and more glaringly obvious until the entire relationship falls down like a ton of bricks. God Bless!
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