For the longest time, and likely right now, I thought communicating with my partner would take away something from our relationship. Surely, if he truly loved and understood me, he could interpret my change in breathing, or remember what I wanted for Christmas, or actually empty the dishwasher. If I were to say something out loud, I thought it meant we were no longer in love.
Truthfully, this is baloney.
And just as truthfully, in past (younger) relationships, I didn’t believe my partner was doing something because he actually wanted to…just doing it because I had asked, which took something away from the action.
The goal of communicating within a relationship is to increase your cooperation, happiness, and respect for each other. Oh, and to get what you want, and make sure your relationship gets what it needs to be healthy. If you’ve got a problem, the goal is to get the problem solved. It doesn’t really matter if a partner really wants to empty the dishwasher, or if he/she is just doing that to make you happy – the dishwasher is still empty. Problem solved.
My favorite sexual feminist issue is consent (read about it here!), and I have come to suspect our distrust and misuse of consent is centered around the same preconceptions I used to have about communication. Surely, we think, if I tell my partner to do something differently, or that I don’t like that position, or that I’d rather not have sex right now, then I won’t be able to enjoy anything ever again and our love is over and this sex is no longer sexy.
Let’s pump the brakes on this, yes?
So many issues can be avoided if we’d just talk to each other! And the worst song offender I’ve found, a song that totally centers the idea of acting without actually talking to the person you’re interested in, is this gem by pop rock stalwarts Weezer (lyrics here)…except the idea is that he says it out loud. Great job, Rivers!
Ryan Gosling knows. #bonusGIF