I have often found myself over-communicating and over-sharing in relationships. My biggest pitfall would be that while I’m over-explaining and over-thinking, my partners would be wishing that I either go away or stop talking. So being the accommodating person that I am, I would then over-compensate by being overly quiet, while feeling hurt and abandoned in my thoughts. Sounds nuts, doesn’t it?
Then one day, I got some insight from a wise friend. She pointed out to me that maybe it’s not me over-communicating, it’s them, under-communicating. What? You mean to tell me that after all of these years, maybe, just maybe, it’s not me?
The point I’m trying to make is, communication style – finding someone with a similar style is indeed truly essential for relationship success. The correct analysis of the above scenario is that I’m neither an over-communicator nor were my past partners under-communicators. Our styles just didn’t match.
Eventually, after much introspection, I realized that I had to stop dating the same types of quiet guys that I seemed drawn to and I prioritized communication style as one of the fundamental criterium for my selection. Imagine my surprise one day when I met someone who asked me: What is your communication style? How long do you believe phone conversations should be? How often do you think you should communicate with your partner? How do you prefer to communicate? Simply delightful! These are the types of questions we should all be asking at the beginning when we first start dating. I knew right-away that we were on the same page, just from the asking of those questions.
And so the beautiful relationship began where I no longer was sending texts that would go unanswered for hours. Imagine receiving sweet texts saying good morning and texts during lunch that made me smile and nicely written emails!!! Just heaven! However, as I was bragging about it to my Father, he commented how overbearing that sounded. And so it shows just what I said earlier, communication styles differ from person to person and to make a relationship work, you just can’t have one partner basically doing most of the talking while the other is wishing for silence. How miserable is that?
If you are currently in a relationship and are feeling unhappy, please take notice of who is doing the brunt of the communication in your relationship. Is it a give-and-take? Or is one partner communicating more while the other is passive aggressive? Going back to my past relationships with someone with the opposite communication style from mine, I actually found myself asking my partner whether their needs were being met and having them answer that they were, just to find out later during a fight that they were not being met. I have found that the partners I had that did not like to communicate, would usually present their grievances during a fight and blind-sided me without much notice. It’s a no-win situation. In the long-run, the relationship becomes lop-sided where one is doing all of the relationship maintenance and the other is barely participating.
From the perspective of the more quiet partner, think of the nightmare of having someone constantly nagging and criticizing at them. If you believe that ‘no news is good news’, as my Father often says, think about how much this person must crave some alone time and some peace-and-quiet time. Imagine this person sitting next to a quieter partner and the two of them happily reading their books side-by-side…
I used to believe in finding my opposite because I thought that opposites made each other’s lives interesting and they complemented each other. I’m not so sure I believe that any more. There’s something to be said about dating someone that has similar communication style as you, someone that gets where you’re coming from without much explanation, and who is generally accepting of your beliefs because you are rather similar. I go for boring any day over being described as overly dramatic!