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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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                                                      20 Totally Awkward (But Hilarious) Valentine’s Day Cards 26 Effective & Creative Ways to Communicate with Your Significant Other

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                                                      Last Updated on June 12, 2018

                                                      Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                                                      Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                                                      A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

                                                      You know how this looks:

                                                      • Parents constantly comparing children.
                                                      • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
                                                      • Domestic violence.
                                                      • Adultery…
                                                      • And many others.

                                                      For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

                                                      Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

                                                      Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

                                                      This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

                                                      In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

                                                      If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

                                                      How to fix a dysfunctional family

                                                      In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

                                                      And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

                                                      Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

                                                      It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

                                                      Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

                                                      Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

                                                      There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

                                                      Dysfunctional… Or just average?

                                                      Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

                                                      The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

                                                      You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

                                                      A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

                                                      Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

                                                      Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

                                                      • Unrealistic expectations
                                                      • Lack of interest and time spent together
                                                      • Sexism
                                                      • Utilitarianism
                                                      • Lack of empathy
                                                      • Unequal or unfair treatment
                                                      • Disrespect towards boundaries
                                                      • Control Issues
                                                      • Jealousy
                                                      • Verbal and physical abuse
                                                      • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

                                                      You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

                                                      If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

                                                      Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

                                                      How to turn it around

                                                      When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

                                                      But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

                                                      One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

                                                      We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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                                                      As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

                                                      What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

                                                      Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

                                                      Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

                                                      Correction is possible

                                                      In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

                                                      Verbalize it.

                                                      All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

                                                      Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

                                                      This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

                                                      But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

                                                      So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

                                                      Putting it to work in real life

                                                      In real life it would be something like this:

                                                      “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

                                                      Or:

                                                      “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

                                                      Or:

                                                      “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

                                                      As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

                                                      This is what you have to remember:

                                                      1-Stop.

                                                      2-Why it’s wrong?

                                                      3-What you need.

                                                      And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

                                                      It’s a family thing

                                                      A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

                                                      Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

                                                      In other words, you will need cooperation…

                                                      So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

                                                      Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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                                                      We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

                                                      You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

                                                      It’s not a free-for-all battle

                                                      In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

                                                      No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

                                                      Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

                                                      And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

                                                      The method

                                                      1. Drop the ego

                                                      Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

                                                      You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

                                                      Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

                                                      What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

                                                      It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

                                                      After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

                                                      Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

                                                      Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

                                                      Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

                                                      And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

                                                      You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

                                                      2. Not blame, but responsibility

                                                      When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

                                                      But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

                                                      When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

                                                      What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

                                                      Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

                                                      As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

                                                      You will do something like this:

                                                      “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

                                                      I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

                                                      You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

                                                      I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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                                                      It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

                                                      What happened here?

                                                      We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

                                                      We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

                                                      We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

                                                      And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

                                                      You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

                                                      This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

                                                      3. Doing the work

                                                      What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

                                                      This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

                                                      Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

                                                      If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

                                                      It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

                                                      “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

                                                      I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

                                                      But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

                                                      You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

                                                      Love is all you need

                                                      You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

                                                      That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

                                                      And what happens if it simply is not there?

                                                      What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

                                                      What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

                                                      There is only one thing you can do:

                                                      To break away.

                                                      Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

                                                      There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

                                                      “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

                                                      If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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                                                      Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

                                                      You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

                                                      Putting distance

                                                      So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

                                                      What do I mean?

                                                      Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

                                                      Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

                                                      Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

                                                      Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

                                                      They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

                                                      Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

                                                      I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

                                                      I choose my peace of mind.

                                                      And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

                                                      Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

                                                      Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

                                                      How to prevent it

                                                      There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

                                                      • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
                                                      • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

                                                      Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

                                                      You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

                                                      Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

                                                      Priorities and clear thought

                                                      You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

                                                      You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

                                                      You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

                                                      Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

                                                      If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

                                                      And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

                                                      Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

                                                      But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

                                                      Featured photo credit: Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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