This refers to communication with your health professionals about treatment options and sexual function outcomes or problems you are having. It also refers to communication with your partner. Sometimes sex is hard to talk about, family, religion, cultural norms, etc.. can all impact how comfortable we are talking about sex. Communication is key. Learning to work together is an important part of sharing pleasure. Patience is with yourself, your partner and your health professional. We are all human and this is hard but worth it.
Communication takes work. A lot of it. How often have you walked away from a conversation with your partner feeling angry, disappointed or misunderstood especially when it has to do with sex? How often have you said things you regretted, things that hurt your partner unnecessarily? How often have you wished for more open and honest communication with the person your intimate partner?
You’re not alone.
Good communication is as important in committed relationships. When couples discuss serious or provocative issues, one or both involved can often feel frustrated. It can be even trickier when trying to discuss anything around sex.
Here are some suggestions to help;
1. Be timely
Important conversations need to be had in a timely manner and not at awkward or inappropriate times. Don’t bring up issues relating to sex and intimacy at the beginning of your partner's favorite sports match or try to get into a deep serious conversation at a party. Set aside a specific time to have an important talk so that neither of you is blindsided by the discussion.
2. Be flexible
Let's face it conversations are not always predictable, especially the deep ones. That and there is more than one person in the conversation and you cannot control how the other reacts. Know what you want to say but be prepared to be flexible, the more attached you are to how the conversation should play out, the bigger the chance you will be disappointed by how things play out.
3. Be patient
Have you ever struggled to express yourself? Found it hard to find the perfect words? We all have. No one is perfect. It’s important to be patient with yourself while you find the words you are looking for. It is also important to be patient with your partner while they find the words they are looking for. Listen to them and don’t plan your responses before they’ve finished sharing their thoughts. Listen to what they’re saying, with an open mind and patience.
4. Be open and listen
We’ve all been misunderstood, and it never feels good. There are more than words at play when you talk with your partner. Be open to read the energy in the space and to tune into your partner's body language.
5. Be accepting
It’s impossible to communicate with love and clarity when you are busy judging. Find acceptance for your partner — no matter the topic of discussion and approach the discussion from that place. When we feel judged, we either get defensive or shut down, neither of which encourages an open conversation. When we accepting of our partner we allow them to reveal themselves in a more vulnerable and honest way.
6. Be honest
Probably the most important thing you can bring to your communication with yourself and with your partner. Speak your truth, as much as you are able, with clarity, love, and kindness. When you avoid the truth you build walls in your relationship be it with yourself or with your partner.
Communication can make or break a relationship. The more open and connected the dialogue, the healthier a relationship is likely to be. Take responsibility. You are in control of the way you communicate with yourself and with your partner. Make a conscious effort to be kind to yourself and with your partner when you communicate.