Go One Step Deeper than Good Communication

Go One Step Deeper than Good CommunicationIf you spend even a little time reading up on what makes a relationship work, you’ll come across a lot of advice on improving communication. Happy couples have good communication, right?

Well, yes. But are they happy because they have good communication, or do they have good communication because they’re happy?

A recent study from the University of Georgia[i] confirms that good communication and romantic success DO go hand in hand. But good communication seems to be a side effect of relationship success, not the reason for it.

Think of it like this.

If you’re fit and healthy, you likely exercise and eat right. While being in shape makes it easier to choose to hit the gym, you don’t work out because you’re already in shape. Rather, being in shape is one of the results of regular exercise and a smart diet.

Good communication happens when there’s already a special foundation built on something deeper than just conversation. To go beyond mere communication, you need a unique and powerful kind of intimacy.

Psychologist Douglas LaBier calls this level of romantic intimacy “Radical Transparency.”[ii] Radical transparency happens when two people are able to really be themselves around each other, totally open and honest at all times.

If you want to take your relationship to that level, you’ll need to do two things.

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Be Ready for This Question BEFORE He Asks You

What do you do for fun

Hey, it’s James with a tip for the early phase of a dating relationship.

“So, what do you do for fun?” It’s a question that usually comes a little while after, “What do you do for a living?” and, “Where are you from?”

Few people are adequately prepared to answer this crucial question. Most people, when put on the spot, stammer something vague like, “Uh…I don’t know. I guess I like to hang out with friends, um… or read a good book, or…um…I don’t know. The usual stuff I guess.”

This is a pretty lame answer. Of the three “get to know you” questions I mentioned before, which is most likely to directly influence his experience while dating you?

1.Where you are from?

2.What you do for a living?

3.What you do for fun?

You could make the argument that if he settles down with you and marries you, what you do for a living could have a significant impact on his life. But when he is just beginning to show interest in you, your relationship is nowhere near a point where your career is going to directly affect his experience of being in your presence.

When you spend time hanging out with your boyfriend, you are basically just trying to enjoy life together. You’re trying to have fun. One of the reasons we seek out relationships is because most things we do for fun become even more fun when done together.

Take just a moment right now to prepare your mind to give a really great answer to the question, “What do you do for fun?”

Don’t get stuck listing generic past times. Instead, focus on the idea of fun itself.

What do I mean by “fun itself?” I mean you should focus your response on describing the emotional experience of fun. Here’s an example:

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