Communication is the fabric of relationship. It is what connects us. Ever notice how lonely you can be in a room full of people? It’s not proximity that connects us, though when you get close enough to be touching, that too brings connection through nonverbal communication. It is how we talk to each other that attracts us together, pushes us apart, heals and wounds, and everything in between. It is in dialogue that our relationships exist. I am only connected to the people I am in communication with. Feeling connected to my partner is high on my list of relationship priorities. It makes me feel secure, known, accepted and worthy of love. And importantly, it takes away the loneliness. Ever notice how a good conversation in that same room full of people can erase that feeling of loneliness?

I’m not talking about a conversation about the weather by the way. I’m talking about a conversation about you, or something important to you. I live in a ski town, and we can B.S. about skiing and biking and all things outdoors for eons around here, but that is not what leaves me feeling connected. It’s when I share with someone about the difficult day that I am having, or I tell my wife Katie that I am feeling down or scared about something. It’s when I acknowledge my vulnerability with someone that pulls me out of loneliness and into connection.

So, what I am getting at is that what you are saying to your partner and how you are saying it deserve the utmost care and respect. Because that is what is giving you and your partner the experience of being in the relationship together. How we talk to each other either perpetuates the fight or dissolves it. My experience of being loved in this moment has to do with the look in her eyes and how she speaks to me. Presents and flowers are nice and all, but they cannot make up for the absence of kind, loving communication. I want a kind, loving marriage and I intentionally bring those qualities into my communication with Katie (to the best of my ability), especially when I realize that I am upset. Consider that how you talk to your partner and what you say gives you the relationship you are in. I promise you, it gives your partner their experience of who you are.

As communication is the fabric of relationship, this challenge is designed with communication as the medium in which you will transform your relationship into what you truly want it to be. Through communication you will connect with your partner, explore what is working and not working, and find a common goal that inspires both of you to move toward. Through communication you will get to practice being an awesome partner and reach new levels of loving and caring for each other.