Then the two of you switch roles, and you will become the sender and your partner will become the listener and you repeat the process again. While this may not feel like a natural way to communicate, be open to it and give it a try! It's harder than it looks, but it is an extremely effective way to build trust and intimacy in your relationship as you support each other through active listening. Sometimes solid listening is all that's needed to solve a problem; other times we may just want to be heard without any intervention from our partner. A client of mine I worked with once said, "I don't want my boyfriend to problem-solve or fix anything. Sometimes I just want him to listen to me and be a sounding-board without offering any advice or opinions." Listening can be very therapeutic for a relationship.
Listening may not solve all your problems, but it helps create an atmosphere of nurturance and safety in your relationship. Listening is a precursor for effective conflict resolution, so don't underestimate its power and avoid jumping into problem-solving mode at its expense, as we guys often do. Look for the positive intent in all your communications and you'll both enjoy a more fruitful and enjoyable sense of connection in your partnership.
© Dr. Brian L. Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach