It often amazes a lot of people that my husband and I have lasted as long as we have. That’s a long time for most modern couples in their thirties. How on earth have we lasted so long?
Psst.. I’ll let you in on our little secret..
I don’t just mean the basics either, but real, deep, honest and sometimes frank discussion. Not just “how was your day?”, but really understanding what made a day bad, or extra special.
Even after 13 years together, Matt and I are still discovering new things about one another and communicating like never before. I know about the weird things he collected as a child (and he knows how I used to stuff my pockets with pebbles to take home as souvenirs). He knows my favourite school dinners dessert, my favourite Linkin Park song and even what my dream house looks like. We also have little gestures, looks and words that we use with one another to communicate particular needs and wants, or other ways that we can communicate with one another throughout the day. Here are just some other ways we keep communication open:
Electronic – I’m encompassing all forms here, email, text, social media and phonecall. When you aren’t together, these can be an invaluable tool to help you communicate your wants, needs and desires. You can always have some saucy fun with sexts and phone sex and the like, but they are equally important for addressing the everyday nuances. For example:-
If there is an unexpected change of plan for our evening, I can email Matt at work and say that we’ll have to postpone date night. As long as I’m only telling him to come home as usual and we aren’t making alternative arrangements via his work emails instead, his company has never had a problem with it. He is a human being with commitments outside of work, and they fully understand that.
If I’m struggling emotionally, Matt will call me. For someone with anxiety, just hearing the voice of someone you trust can be incredibly comforting and soothing.
Then there is social media, like WhatsApp. If I want Matt’s opinion on something for the home, I can send him a link and forget about it until he’s on his lunch. Being able to do little things like that allows us to keep the discussion going, as we’re free to read our messages, even when we’re apart.
Eye Contact – If you’ve been with your partner for any length of time, then sometimes, you can communicate with your eyes alone. If someone is annoying Matt or me, we can often catch one another’s gaze and understand exactly what the other is thinking. Maybe a topic of discussion is uncomfortable, we can also communicate that to one another. Of course, it’s rude to have lengthy private discussions in the company of others, but if you can sneak a quick glance to one another, it can really help you work together to help keep one another more comfortable.
Body Language – One of our biggest fears on our wedding day was that we would both do our little affectionate gesture. When Matt and I see one another, we wrinkle our noses at one another. We don’t actually think the other is gross or disgusting! It’s just a silly little thing we’ve developed that we’ve kept going through the years. Find a little gesture to that you can share with one another that reminds you that you’re a team. Oh, speaking of teams, we high-five a lot, too.
Journals- Journals can take many, many forms but they can be so invaluable when it comes to discussing thoughts and feelings. You might want to keep a shared one, you might want to keep individual ones, or you might want to keep one each and sign it once you have read what your partner has written. No way is right or wrong, it’s all up to you.
Some people like to get all nostalgic and have a real journal. A real one, made from paper. If you’re good at losing things,, you have a handicap (like me) that prevents you from writing or you just prefer typing to writing, then you may decide on an electronic journal. Personally, we use Google Docs which I archive and create a new document once every 14 days, but do find what works for you.
And finally. some oh-so-useful, BDSM-specific tools to spice up your relationship!
Checklists– BDSM Checklists allow us to talk about our kinks and fetishes with our partner in a way that we can talk about both what we have and haven’t done, and what we want and don’t want to do. Think about it less as a to do list and more like a menu. If you don’t want the artichoke soup, don’t order the artichoke soup – it’s just that simple!
Many checklists exists and some are more extensive than others. It is also important that you both complete the list individually so that you can discuss any interests that you don’t quite agree on. It’s important not to pressure each other, but rather to understand each others interests and hang-ups.
You can find my own free sample checklist here.
Safewords- Safewords really are key in BDSM relationships, and they allow you to communicate when something has gone wrong. The most popular, most famous and most commonly used safeword is “Red”. Think traffic lights, red means “Stop!”. It makes perfect sense, right? We also use “Yellow” to say “Please slow down”.
In my relationship, I also have “Burgundy”. Burgundy kind of means the same as “Red”, but it’s for use in situations, particular public or group situations, that aren’t inherently kinky. It’s still a safeword of sorts, but it can be dropped into conversation much easier and generally causes much less hassle than trying to catch my husband’s gaze. “Can you see if they have any burgundy at the bar please?”. “Do you think burgundy cushions will suit our lounge?”. Even if somebody does notice, I can always say that I changed my mind afterwards!
Do you have any special communication techniques you’ve developed in your relationship? Why not share your ideas in the comments?
Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,