Do you have a relationship in which mere eye gaze is enough to share your heart? Or does it move to throw pillows on each others’ faces? Either can be your way. But these 15 communication exercises for couples are equally good for all. So, get closer to your loved one! Let’s see how.
‘Communication to a relationship is like oxygen to life. Without it… it dies.’– Tony Gaskins
Summary in Infographics
Communication for Couples
For once, have you felt that you can’t fully express your heart to your spouse? Do you have a hard time while discussing a tender point? At this stance, things seem complex.
And if you note, all the major mess begins with a little rub. Yes, the lack of effective communication. Thus, communication is the means of fruitful interaction in a romantic relationship.
What Are The Communication Activities?
We all want to be understood. On the same note, we often don’t clearly express ourselves or get other’s points. Here begins the conflict. So, experts suggest certain communication games and exercises for married couples. These build communication at a deeper level.
Types of Communication
There are two kinds of communication:
Verbal communication involves spoken and written words. It is crucial in the usual interaction of any relationship.
This involves tone, expressions, gestures, eye contact, and overall body language. Physical communication is crucial to every romantic relationship. Especially, when one wants to build intimacy.
Prior to moving ahead, it is good to be prepared. It gives a right start to your fun couple-time.
Plan your way
For this, propose the idea of communication activities for couples to your partner.
Ask questions – what are you looking for?
Discuss with your partner what you want in your relationship. What are you lacking? What are your relationship goals? In this way, you will be motivated to enjoy the whole process.
Armed with these ideas, let’s dig into the practice.
15 Communication Exercises for Couples to Practice
Are you ready to explore 15 Couples Therapy Exercises for Communication? Great! These exercises are effective in bringing a red hue in your dull relationship. And if it’s already red, it will be even lovely.
Here are the exercises:
Verbal Communication Exercises for Couples
1. Vent your hard feelings
Think about your pantry. You need to clean it from time to time and throw away the rotten stuff. What happens if you don’t do it? The good stuff will also rot and the pantry will stink.
The same is the case in your romantic relationship. You need to vent off your hard feelings. Otherwise, it will ruin the love.
Here are the steps:
- Choose a day and hour of your mutual comfort.
- Stay away from any distractions. Prefer to be alone together.
- Now, each person will tell what hurt them in the relationship.
- When you are speaking, don’t yell or blame. Instead, share how you feel.
- When listening, be all ears. Don’t interrupt.
- Have empathy. Try to connect with your partner.
- Take turns as speaker and listener.
- Repeat the process every week or so.
2. Switch roles
Have you ever thought of how it feels being in your partner’s shoes? Yes! This can be a great way of grasping each other’s feelings.
Follow the steps:
- Decide a time period or day for the exercise.
- Now, for the time being, you are going to reverse your role in communicating.
- You will say what your partner would likely say and vice versa.
- For instance, you are discussing the lunch menu. Now, you will say what you think your partner would. Maybe he/she would order pizza. On the other hand, your partner will speak your mind. He/she may suggest homemade salads knowing you prefer healthy food.
- Repeat the fun activity from time to time.
3. Change communication styles
While talking, do you find any of you recessive and other being dominant? If yes, then this is the time to change it.
Here find out your communication style:
Types of Communication Styles
|Consider both sides.||Don’t consider one’s own view.||Only consider one’s own view.|
|Adjust for mutual consent.||Always compromise.||Always overpower.|
|Express clearly. Use ‘I’ sentences.||Don’t get heard. Prefer not to say.||Yell or shout.Blame.Use ‘you’ sentences.|
|Fair communication.||Damaging for oneself.||Damaging for others.|
|Healthy couple communication.||Unhealthy couple communication.||Unhealthy couple communication.|
Experts suggest that actual saying affects communication by 7% while the way it is said affects by 38%. So, no doubt, both of you need to move towards assertive communication.
Here are the ways:
- First of all, both of you need to find out your communication styles.
- Now, you know if you need to improve.
- Each of you makes a list pointing out what hurts you in your partner’s way. Now, share it. You will see, many words you don’t think about may hurt your loved one.
- Use ‘I’ statements. Like, avoid saying – ‘You always forget things’. Instead say – ‘I would like it if you remember things.’ Passive one should respond.
- As a general, don’t name call.
- Avoid yelling.
- Adapt the assertive ways mutually.
Experts say it as one of the most effective couple’s communication exercises.
4. What’s your vision?
Do you know how much your view merges with your partner? And how clearly can you make him/her understand the same? This is about it:
- Take two sets of building blocks. It can be of any kind. Just make sure both are similar.
- Now, sit facing each other’s back.
- Anyone of you will begin building a structure. Simultaneously, he/she will orally guide the partner to create the same structure. You can’t turn to see or explain.
- When it’s done, compare both of your structures. Is it similar? Viola! If not, then adore each other’s vision.
- Take the turns to guide and follow.
This will let you know each other better. Also, you see each other’s perspectives.
5. Listen to other’s heart
Do you really listen to your partner when he/she is speaking? Or do you just nod your head at him/her while amusing in mind? This can be vice versa.
But what’s the point in talking if none of you actually listen? This communication activity will hone your listening skills.
Follow the steps:
- Sit down at a calm place.
- Set an alarm for maybe 5 minutes. It depends upon your preference.
- Now, anyone of you will begin first. Let him/her fully speak his/her heart out.
- It can be of any sort of matter. Just speak. It will be till the alarm rings.
- Another person will not interrupt in the midst.
- Now, the listener will share how he/she felt about it.
- Take turns to follow the same order.
- Repeat from time to time.
By and by, this communication exercise will improve your listening skills as a couple.
6. Top three pros
What can be more romantic than knowing what your partner admires in you? And it’s fun in sharing the same. This will let you communicate to a deeper level.
Here are the ways:
- Sit down at a quiet place.
- Each of you will now tell about the top three things that you admire in your life partner. This can be anything. Just ANYTHING. Maybe, his curls or her glasses.
- You can even mention any act for which you love your partner. Like, when she brings him flowers. Or, when he gets her the morning coffee.
- Take turns to share what you love with each other.
7. Top three cons
Tell about the three things in you that your partner dislikes. Are you unsure about it? Then how will you improve? Or, at least subside that habit when he or she is irritated.
Know with these steps:
- Sit down at a quiet place.
- Take turns to tell the top three things that you dislike in your partner.
- While sharing your point, be empathetic. Don’t yell or blame.
- It should be like a fun activity, not a duel!
- Take your flaws with a smile. It’s fun.
- Remember, your partner loves you. This is why he/she points it out.
8. Revisit your memories
Every couple shares some intimate memories. Revisiting these beautiful memories will make your day. Here’s how:
- Take some time from your daily chaos to spend with each other.
- Now, each person will say about their sweet couple-memories.
- You can see your photo albums or love letters, cards if any.
- Together, cherish those amazing moments. These are your love moments for life.
- Freely speak about it. Share your feelings about these precious memories.
9. Know me more
Can you tell your partner’s favorite dish or the singer he/she admires most? Healthy communication depends upon your knowledge about each other.
See these fun steps:
- Each of you will prepare a set of questions about your likes and dislikes. You can question any of your cute incidents.
- Don’t discuss the answers beforehand.
- Now, exchange the question lists.
- One of you will begin with answers to the following questions on the list.
- Take turns for the question-answer round.
- It will be really fun. Also, you will get to know much more about each other.
10. Find your common
As life partners, you should share something in common. This can be your common goal, interests, and so on. Finding it out will be really fun. This can be identified with your answers to the following questions:
- What is the activity that both of you enjoy?
- Do you share your preferences in terms of food, movies, places, music, fitness, fashion, anything?
- Is there something common in your interests or hobbies? Etc.
- You can add further questions.
- Discuss it and share your ideas.
Non-Verbal Communication Exercises for Couples
11. Fireside Chat
As the term reflects, it’s about a cozy time spent together. You don’t need to have a ‘fireside’ literally. All you need is a quiet place. And you can spend time hearing each other, with words or without.
- You should not be distracted by anything or anyone.
- Just feel each other.
12. Have a wishlist
You can create a wishlist together to cherish in the future:
- Sit together calmly.
- Discuss what you would like to have or do in the coming future.
- In this wishlist, share your mutual dreams, desires, future plans, etc.
13. Share a love journal
You can also create a love journal as a couple. In this:
- Share your feelings about each other.
- Write your precious memories.
- Share what you couldn’t otherwise verbally.
- You can even write romantic notes for each other.
14. Eye gazing
What can be more satisfying for a couple than understanding each other’s words in the language of eyes? This exciting activity reflects the same.
- Both of you sit in a quiet place. Only you two should be there.
- Now, simply look into each other’s eyes. It should not be like a strain or compulsion. Instead, feel your partner’s feelings.
- Sense the air of emotion between you two.
You may find this activity a bit odd or too much. It’s okay, let it be. Don’t force. Just try to be natural and carry it till you want.
15. Share books/music
As the couples’ therapist Suval (2015) suggests, sharing your favorite books and music can add to your communication level. It is the simplest way to connect with your partner. Especially for newly married couples.
In this, you can:
- Swap each other’s favorite books.
- Also, share your playlist.
- You can, in fact, read or sing together if you like.
- This will add to your strong communication skills as a couple.
Communication is a way of sharing ideas and feelings. It is the crux of social interaction. And when this is about a couple, things are even more critical. Thus, these 15 communication exercises for couples can strengthen your foundation of intimacy.
You can also watch this video to improve communication with your spouse –
These exercises and activities are suggested by relationship therapists and specialists. Still, these may not work with a rigid narcissist. In the case of acute conflict, it is suggested to seek professional help or couples’ therapy.
Importance of These 15 Communication Exercises for Couples
Couples might have a subtle bond or one with red flags showing. Whatever might be your case, honing your communication can only bring good to you. Let’s explore how.
Role of communication exercises in a relationship:
- As mental health advocates and relationship experts suggest, good communication is the basis of a healthy couple relationship.
- If the interaction is clear, the romantic cycle of actions will be smoother.
- Communication exercises can scientifically improve the interaction pattern of a couple. Also, it repairs the damage from toxic communication.
- This addresses misunderstandings. It also improves the bond of happy couples.
- These exercises improve both verbal and non-verbal means of communication. Around 60 to 90% of communication is made of non-verbal communication. This can be enhanced by these practices.
- Also, these boost interpersonal understanding and belief.
- With this, you can effectively show your respect and love for your partner. By and by, your relationship will be more comforting.
Thus, adopting these exercises as couples therapy can be good for your relationship.
The Cycle of Understanding in Communication
‘True love is born from understanding’.– Buddha
In your communication with your partner, understanding completely is really important. For this, practice ‘mirror, validate, and empathize’ model. In this:
- While talking, try to repeat their gestures.
- Validate their right points.
- Empathize if you find something wrong.
This is the cycle of understanding of healthy communication.
Fixing The Snags!
Well, all seemed quite smooth till now. Still, you may have some doubts to overcome. Let’s fix these.
What to do if your partner doesn’t want to carry out these communication exercises?
This is pretty likely for certain couples. If your partner isn’t willing to do these activities, you still have two options.
- First, you can let him/her know about the pros and fun side of these exercises. Don’t compel.
- Or you can simply skip their part. Yes! One part of improved communication can also bring a good change. So, you can practice most (if not all) of these on your own.
Hence, you may tell them or skip it. Just trust in the process. The results will follow!
We are a healthy couple. Do we still need these?
These 15 communication exercises for couples are designed keeping in mind all kinds of couples. It helps in solving the issue of a troubled relationship. At the same time, it improves the bonding of healthy couples. So, you will not regret doing these.
How to seek forgiveness?
Seeking forgiveness is an essential part of a relationship. This requires accepting one’s mistake. And then taking full responsibility for it. With the right communication, things will sort out. Just let it take its own time.
How often should couples practice these?
Relationship counselors recommend practicing these exercises at least once or twice per week. This eventually converts into a healthy habit with practice.
How to resolve conflicts?
Having conflicts is natural in every relationship. Healthy couples don’t try to avoid it. Instead, they handle it positively. Thus, all you need to do is positively communicate with each other. Sooner or later, things will untangle themselves.
7 Tips To Develop Better Couple Communication Skills
Apart from the above discussed 15 communication exercises for couples, you can apply these tips. These will make your relationship smoother.
- Always resolve conflict before bed. In romantic partners, communication is a lot more than verbal. It is more intimate, physical, and emotional. This should not be affected.
- Have at least a meal of the day together.
- Never yell. Always use ‘I’ statements.
- Don’t generalize. For instance, don’t say – ‘You are ALWAYS rude’. Instead, say – ‘I found it a bit rude’.
- If you find something hurtful, ask your partner what he/she meant by that. Often we assume things.
- Assume positive intent rather than drawing a direct conclusion.
- If any argument is getting heated, stop it there. Take a break for some time. Avoid a stonewalling mindset.
Quotes for The Importance of Communication Between Couples
Love blooms when hearts communicate. This has been realized by so many poets, writers, and philosophers. You can too share these with your better half!
Let’s feel it in their words:
1. ‘Between what is said and not meant. And what is meant and not said. Most love is lost.’– Khalil Gibran
2. ‘I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways.’– Rumi
3. ‘The first duty of love is to listen’– Paul Tilligh
4. ‘Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired’– Robert Frost
5. ‘Great communication begins with connection’– Oprah Winfrey
You can simply note these quotes in your love journal or write it around in your room. Every time when things seem troubled, you will have a ray from these!
‘A true relationship is when you can tell each other anything and everything. No secrets. No lies.’– Buddha
Your life partner is one with whom you share your life. You share your smiles and tears with the person. And this can be complete in the real sense only with the sharing of your heart.
Communication is the only key to this. The 15 communication exercises for couples discussed above leads you to the same path. And this path is for both of you.
In this path, you will discover to communicate with or without words. By and by, it will be from your ways. And then, from your hearts.
That one person in the room who is always with a book and gets excited when it's time for some small-deep conversations - that's Kirtika. She loves words, Arts, Psychology, and everything that asks for her creative self. If you smiled more, even a bit, after coming here at ThePleasantConversation, chances are high, she'd be glad!