Well, a lot of it is, but the real secrets to a happy relationship go beyond communication.
Expressing your ideas, needs, desires and feelings in a positive way to your mate is essential for building a strong relationship … and there’s more.
Relationship experts have studied the components essential to a happy and loving relationship and have identified the skills found to be important in creating and maintaining happiness in romantic relationships.
Researchers have taken the data and ranked skills in order of importance (which skills had a strong correlation to relationship bliss).
In addition to communication and conflict resolution skills, other competencies included stress management, life skills, sex and romance, self-awareness and self management, and knowledge of partners.
It is no surprise to find that couples who reported good communication skills showed the highest satisfaction with their relationships.
However, the knowledge each partner has of the other, their preferences, values, dreams, etc. and a person’s life skills (how to navigate through life) were the surprising runners-up.
That changes everything.
This means that meeting each other’s emotional needs isn’t the only focus in a relationship.
You are in a relationship not just for emotional happiness, but on a more practical level, to help each other out as partners-in-life.
So when a couple isn’t compatible in their everyday and mundane interactions, happiness will go down.
Creating a home life together is much more than romance and dinners out.
It involves ever-growing knowledge about your partner and how to deal with his or her quirks and weird habits. Essential knowledge includes: the names of his or her relatives, remembering birthdays and anniversaries, self-care habits (exercise, hygiene, nutrition, etc.), housekeeping preferences, his or her desire to have children (or not), parenting values, food preferences, expectations about financial collaboration, home management, skills with money, work ethic, etc.
When a couple is under stress – financial stress being the #1 cause for argument – communication isn’t enough.
If one partner clearly expresses to the other that the out of control spending has to stop… but the other partner doesn’t exhibit any financial self-control – then the conflict doesn’t get resolved through communication alone.
The necessary SKILLS must be taught.
So, like any other life skills, it can be beneficial to talk to a coach who can help partners develop the necessary life skills to ensure compatibility.
One might need to learn better housekeeping skills; the other may need help with organization.
Dr. Robert Epstein created a “skills test” for couples called the “Epstein Love Competencies Inventory” (ELCI).
Why don’t you take this test?
This test will help you to identify the key “relationship competencies” that may make the difference in your relationship.
Your results will give you a greater understanding of where your relationship is at present and what work may be needed to move to the next level.
The key is to know all you can about your partner, support and uplift each other, so that you present a united and compatible front to whatever comes your way.
Remember to always think of yourselves as partners in life.
It’s not the two of you against each other… it’s the two of you making for yourselves a happy relationship and a joyous and meaningful life.