Open communication means that you never expect your partner to read your mind or randomly guess how you are feeling. It means you never claim that you are fine and sweep your problems under the rug for the time being.
If something is bothering you, you let your partner know about it in the most respectful way possible. You don’t start the conversation by screaming at them or calling them a fucking idiot. You keep your temper. You keep things mature.
Open communication means that you have important conversations face-to-face instead of over a text message, so that there isn’t any miscommunication. So that you don’t assume that their tone is nasty when they are actually trying to be nice. So that you can actually understand how the other person is feeling instead of attempting to read between the lines in a text or getting angrier and angrier when they take too long to respond.
Open communication means that you tell each other how you are feeling, even when you would rather keep your emotions locked up inside. Even when the situation seemingly has nothing to do with them. It means you’ll let them know if your job is stressing you out so much that you’ve been considering quitting. It means you’ll fill them in when you get in a fight with your parents or stop talking to your best friend.
Open communication means that you talk to each other before you make a decision that impacts them. You tell them about the dog you were thinking about adopting, the ex you were thinking about meeting for coffee, the vacation you were thinking about taking over summer. Even though what you do is ultimately up to you, you are also a team, which is why you let them become a part of the decision making process.
Open communication means that you create an environment where you’re both comfortable talking about anything. Where you aren’t scared to approach a certain subject. Where you aren’t worried that you could cause a breakup by being honest.
Open communication means that you discuss your problems before they turn into relationship-ending blowups. It means that you do more than talk — you actually listen.
And you take each other’s complaints seriously, even if they seem silly. Even if they’re mad about something as small as the way you leave hair in the drain or the toilet seat up. It doesn’t matter. You respect their feelings, even if you don’t understand them.
The last thing you want is for your partner to be upset because of you, so if they are (reasonably) upset by your behavior, then you try to change it. You both work hard to keep the relationship strong, to fix what is broken. You put in equal effort, because you both want the love to last. You both want to stay together forever.
Open communication means that you tell your partner everything. That you never keep any secrets. That you fully let them into your heart.