Long about a year into my relationship with the boyfriend, I started getting the comments.
“Chickadoodle, your relationship is perfect!” (Me, thinking: It’s pretty damn good, but I wouldn’t say perfect. Perfection is boring, anyway.)
“Chickadoodle, you and the boyfriend get along so well!” (I’d hope so. Kinda hard to have a good relationship when you don’t get along with the person you’re in it with…)
“Chickadoodle, how can I make my relationship more like yours?”
Okay, not really on that last one.
But really, I’ve gotten “How do you do it?” quite a lot.
The answer is, like most good relationships, communication.
We communicate frequently, and we communicate well.
So, here’s a how-to. It’s not hard and fast, but it’s worked well so far.
0. Let’s start from the beginning.
1. Do you talk at all? (Yes—proceed to 2. No—Repeat the question until Yes.)
2. Do you talk about things that make each other happy? (Yes—proceed to 3. No—Go back to 0.)
3. Do you talk about things that might potentially upset the other person? (Yes—proceed to 4. No—Go back to 2.)
4. Do you handle upset well? (Yes—proceed to 7. No—Proceed to 5.)
5. Does not handling it result in all-out screaming matches or violence? (Yes—Rethink your relationship! No—Proceed to 6.)
6. Does not handling it well result in the silent treatment? (Yes—Go back to 1. No—Proceed to 7.)
7. So, you probably handle upset well enough. Same with actual conflict? (Yes—Proceed to 8. No—Go back to 5.)
8. Good! This is good! Do you talk about deep things, like your feelings, dreams, desires, etc.? (Yes—Proceed to 9. No—Repeat until Yes.)
9. I have nothing left to tell you.
Well, it’s really not that simple. There are nuances. But you get the idea. If you can’t get the basic stuff down though—and treating anyone, but especially your partner with respect should be quite the no-brainer—well, maybe you want to work on that. Humans are social animals, communicative ones, even.
So… yeah. Not really that talkative tonight, strangely enough. There you have it. Chickadoodle’s guide to communication.