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26 Effective & Creative Ways to Communicate with Your Significant Other

26 Effective & Creative Ways to Communicate with Your Significant Other

Love is all about communication. Whether you have been together for days, months or decades, your significant other is someone to whom you express all your warm fuzzy affection and who you can be as mushy with as you’d like. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to remind that certain someone how much they are loved. Instead of the usual texting of “I love you”, add variety to your daily communication and try one of these creative ways to express yourself.

1. Write it on steamed mirrors

i-love-you-mirror

    It’s early morning and you’re taking turns to shower before running off to work. Knowing they’re next in line, surprise them with a message and it’d be a wonderful way to start their day!

    2. Write on a banana

    love-note-banana

      When you pack them lunch, add on a banana as a healthy mid-day snack that’s high in potassium. It’s a thoughtful gesture and they will be smiling and laughing at how silly you are if you use a marker to write directly on the peel.

      If you prefer to be sneaky, use your banana as a secret message! When you use a toothpick to scratch a message on the banana peel, it does not appear visible until an hour later.

      3. Place notes on the fridge

      nakedfridge

        There will be no excuse for not reading your message (Everybody walks to the fridge, right?) Use alphabet magnets to craft your message so you can reuse and rearrange them from time to time to add fun into your daily lives. If you do not have those, post-its will work just as well.

        4. Use a Pillow Talk

        pillowtalk

          Maybe you are in a long-distance relationship, or you don’t Iive together just yet. Launching soon, Pillow Talk is a wearable product that lets you send your heartbeat to your loved one, and by putting the speaker in the pillow you are able to hear theirs too – therefore providing the illusion of closeness no matter where you may be.

          5. Dedicate them a song

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          old-radio-set-igor-kislev

            Very old-school but nevertheless always a romantic thing to do. Is there a song that describes your relationship well? Dedicate that song with a heartfelt message on the radio and telling them when to listen. Make sure you know their schedule at that time so they don’t miss the perfect timing!

            6. Start a love diary

            love diary

              Make it a project to take turns to fill it up with pictures of the most memorable moments, write short letters for each other, share secrets so you have nothing to hide, create love lists of about you like about them and share everything that is on your mind. You can also keep a box of memorabilia of things that are special in your relationship, such as movie ticket stubs

              7. Install LoveByte – an app for couples

              readsecretmessage

                If writing in a physical diary is too troublesome, let technology make things easier for you. Search for couple apps and share with your significant other in a private space that you can call your own. It’s like a shared treasure chest of all your memories so revisiting the best times of your relationship is accessible and instantaneous.

                8. Read together Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages” book

                love-language-book

                  Find out what makes each other tick and how we express and receive love in different forms. It’s one of the best ways to build understanding between the two of you.

                  9. Invent your own secret code

                  kids-sharing-secret

                    Come up with some signs that only the two of you understand so you can slip it in your conversations without anyone knowing! Like in 50 Shades of Grey, there’s “red” and “yellow”. You can make it as sexy or ridiculous as you want, as long as you are having fun.

                    10. Buy a pair of tickets to their favourite show/concert

                    tumblr_n6sj239IE91sbafcao1_500

                      Is their favourite band coming to town? You know they want to see it but can’t bear to pay for the expensive tickets? Pamper them by getting them a ticket. If you can, accompany them to watch it (even if you don’t really want to!) to let them know you take interest in what they like and enjoy. Sometimes love is best communicated by your actions, not your words.

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                      11. Make your own scratchcards

                      scratchcardpack_lovebyte

                        Don’t worry about not having handcrafting skills. There are tutorials to follow to make your own scratchcards where you can write in your own message, cover it up with paint and let the recipient scratch to unveil the message. Try typing in Google keywords like “DIY scratchcards” and you’re good to go. All you need are some cards, dish soap, silver acrylic paint, clear tape and a small container.

                        12. Make a heart-shaped meal

                        heart-shapped-pizza

                          Prepare their favourite meal and display it a heart shape. (Whether or not the food tastes great, that’s a separate story!) You can prepare almost any food shaped into a heart: cut out toast, pizza, cookies; as long as you have a heart-shaped cutter. You can even use them on your fruits.

                          13. Slip a surprise note into their bag

                          love post it note

                            Write a sweet message on a post-it note. It can be something as simple as “Have a great day!” or an appreciation note to thank them of their presence in your life. Place more notes in random places where they will find it – in their dresser, fridge, in their car, bathroom mirror. It’d be something they come across later and you will keep them wondering when you managed to sneak it in without them knowing.

                            14. Embark on a ’30 Day Relationship Challenge’ together

                            couple-hand-love-nails-pinky-promise-Favim.com-412886_large

                              Is it true that it takes 21 days to form a habit? Spice up your everyday interaction by committing to doing an activity daily together. It can be as simple as doing house chores together, giving each other a massage, or looking at old pictures. To make the challenge even more meaningful, brainstorm together to make your own list or search the net for some ideas.

                              15. Scavenger Hunt

                              3_scavenger-hunt

                                On some coloured paper place clues and hints, and hide them all around the house. Ask your partner to solve the questions. You can ask some questions to remind them of special days in the relationship (e.g. when you had your first date). Get them thinking about the good times and how you both felt in the beginning.

                                16. Couple Quiz

                                couple

                                  Pick up a book of questions and fire them at each other. You can choose any topic or keep it to relationship questions. You will learn from the answers and discover each other’s preferences, attitudes, perspectives and desires – some of which you may not even have known about yourself! This is a fun way to get to know each other and bring you closer as a couple.

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                                  17. Make them a wallet card

                                  walletcard

                                    Write a heartwarming message that is loving and motivational to your partner so they can always see it whenever they open their wallet. It is something they carry along with them all the time so it serves as a great reminder.

                                    18. Surprise them with flowers

                                    lovenotes-flowers

                                      Perhaps your partner has been getting stressed at work, or you know they are going through a tough week. Have a lovely bouquet delivered to their workplace – even though there’s no special occasion or celebration – when they are least expecting it. Just because you want to see a smile on their face (Aww!) Plus it’s cheaper than getting them on peak periods like Valentine’s Day. Be sure to add a personal, encouraging message to add a special touch!

                                      19. Make short videos

                                      couple-taking-picture-and-smiling

                                        In case you were thinking dirty… No, that’s not what we meant. Make recordings of simple daily happenings, or talk about something you recall. Over time you will have built a record you can fondly look back at together and see how much you’ve both grown.

                                        20. Quiet places for heart-to-heart talk

                                        couple-lie-down-nature-sweet-Favim.com-440397

                                          Visit new, quiet places where you can be away from the crowd and just sit down, hold hands and have a good heart-to-heart talk. Sit on a park bench or lie down to watch the night sky. Make it a point to travel even if it’s a little out of the way. Soaking together in a bathtub is considered a pretty unconventional place for a good, relaxing chat.

                                          21. Make love vows

                                          lovebytereasons

                                            Spend a good evening and write down some promises of love to each other. Hang it up on the wall and be constantly reminded of the commitment you’ve promised each other – put down on pen and paper.

                                            22. Make a bookmark

                                            7_bookmark

                                              If your significant other is a bookworm, it would be nice to print out nice images and paste a love quote on top of it. Get it laminated and put it in to a book they are reading.

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                                              23. Mail them a handwritten letter

                                              loveletter-480x404

                                                Because nobody takes the time to write to each other any more. The love letter is a classic way to show them how you feel. Express your gratitude and thank them for the little things they do for you. It’s something that they can keep for a long time and they will always feel good reading it again and again. Sit down and take the time to put in your best effort to write something down on pen and paper.

                                                24. Lipstick on the mirror

                                                mirror7

                                                  Use lipstick to write a romantic message on the mirror. It’s a cheeky way to leave a short message (If you are worried about the stain, liquid dish soap and hot water will do the trick!)

                                                  25. Get your dog to fetch it

                                                    If you are lucky enough to have a dog who will learn special tricks, train your dog to bring a letter in its mouth to your partner.

                                                    25. Candy Hearts

                                                    candy-599884_1280

                                                      Printed with cute messages like “Kiss Me” and “XOXO”, these ‘conversation heart’ candies make great gifts to send a message. If you want your message to be more special you can even have them custom made, so that it will be one of a kind.

                                                      Featured photo credit: Wokanda via pixabay.com

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                                                      Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                                                      The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

                                                      The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

                                                      In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

                                                      Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

                                                      Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

                                                      Conflicts are literally everywhere.

                                                      Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

                                                      Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

                                                      Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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                                                      Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

                                                      Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

                                                      Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

                                                      The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

                                                      Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

                                                      Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

                                                      How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

                                                      Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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                                                      Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

                                                      Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

                                                      How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

                                                      Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

                                                      Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

                                                      Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

                                                      How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

                                                      Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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                                                      Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

                                                      Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

                                                      How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

                                                      Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

                                                      Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

                                                      Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

                                                      How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

                                                      Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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                                                      Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

                                                      Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

                                                      How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

                                                      Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

                                                      Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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