How To Listen Better In A Relationship (13 Vital Ways)

There is a clear difference between hearing a person and listening to them. Listening comes with extra attention and the aim to understand what or whom you are listening to. What’s more, listening skills are something most people would be quick to say they have, meanwhile they only hear.

Also, listening goes beyond hearing what your partner is saying. It includes empathy skills. Communication is the foundation for a long-lasting relationship and it's almost impossible to communicate if you're not a good listener.

Listening better would cut off most of the issues in your relationship. It gives room for intimacy as well. A listener is patient and thoughtful. A good listener takes note of her partner's point of view. Talking to each other grows into conversations with each other if you both are good listeners. 

No doubt, words are very powerful, and I bet you already knew that. However, do not only listen to your partner's words but also listen to emotions, reactions, and so on. There's a lot more you can learn about your partner if only you listen. Below are ways to be a better listener.

13 Ways To Listen Better In A Relationship

1. Do not interrupt

Interrupting your partner while he’s making a point that’s important to him shows that you have no regard for him or the discussion at all. It also shows a lack of patience which is one of the most important qualities of a good listener. It’s possible to learn how to not interrupt a person who is having a talk with you. 

First, you have to keep an open mind about what they have to say to you. Your attitude at the talk is determined by the value placed on the subject. No matter how much you think you think you know about what your partner has to say, perhaps you even feel irritated by the subject, keep your cool, and wait your turn to speak. 

2. Make mental notes

Some of us do make mental notes about our partners, their feelings, attitudes, thought processes, abilities, and whatnots. However, the problem is that we do not refer to those notes anymore, even when we need them. Making mental notes, for the benefit of the doubt means “Keeping something in mind”. 

Always keep in mind things that your partner dislikes as much as the things he likes. Keep the situations that make him uncomfortable in mind so that it does not repeat itself and be generally empathetic toward your partner. 

Doesn't it feel nice when someone remembers something specific about you and acts around it for your sake? I bet it does. That's the effect of a mental note. This is one of the ways to resolve unspoken issues as couples.

3. Be calm

There's no need to be agitated when you're listening to a partner. Your boyfriend would not be able to communicate well if you're not calm and attentive while being spoken to. I understand how difficult it may be to keep your cool, especially if you’re feeling irritated by the topic of the conversation but if you want to listen better you need to learn to control yourself. 

Pay attention to the talking as much as you can and always remember to be open-minded towards it, there’s always something new to find. You would not enjoy talking with someone who isn’t calm, you will feel very unheard. That’s exactly how your boyfriend feels if you’re agitated while he’s talking.

4. Look for hints

Hints come in many ways. Whether in the person's actions, words, emotions, or whatnots, there’s always a subtle hint in there they’d like you to notice. I bet you too drop hints for your partner and perhaps get upset when they don’t pick up those hints. Listen to your partner enough to pick up the hints they leave you. 

However, this doesn’t always mean looking for the meaning behind the meaning of something. Sometimes, it’s as simple as giving your ears, you just have to know the kind of communicator your partner is. 

Watch for how he conveys important information to you and learn that method enough to recognize it. I can’t overstress how attentive and caring you need to be able to pick up hints quickly. However, take it one day at a time to achieve growth. 

5. Focus

If you're holding your phone, drop it! You need to focus on the conversation to be able to understand the message being passed. Plus, it’s disrespectful to your partner that you're being distracted while he’s speaking to you. 

It shows that you do not care about the entire process at all and are deliberately trying to hurt his feelings. Keep good eye contact, it shows you are with the person and following up as you should be. 

Focus on the thoughts and feelings of your man helps you be a better listener. The moment you lose focus, you lose information, keep that in mind whenever your mind wanders off. 

6. Be patient

be patient

One of the most important characteristics of a good listener is patience. Listening takes a process and you should be patient through it all. You also have to practice being a good listener, even if it means timing yourself to see how long you can keep going. 

Everyone, including you, wants to be listened to, however, if we’re all talking who’s going to hear us? No one! We all need to practice patience, as much as you would like to be heard, so does your partner, give him time to speak up as well. 

Don’t be aggressive or quickly judgmental of your partner, it happens as a result of a lack of patience to hear him out. Lack of patience will have you jumping to silly conclusions that may cost you your relationship. 

7. Keep eye contact

Eye contact is very important in a conversation, it shows how attentive you are to what a person is saying to you. A person can see how interested you are by your eye contact with them while you're being spoken to. 

Avoid darting your eyes everywhere but the face of your partner during a conversation, you’re going to miss the point. Hold the hand of your partner if you have to do so to stay connected with him. 

Lack of eye contact can be translated as you belittling the opinion of your partner so if that’s not the case look him or her in the eye. Eye contact would also help you read the true emotions of your partner on a particular subject. 

8. Don’t belittle perspectives

Treating everyone’s opinion as important would make you more open to listening to them when you’re being spoken to. If you're honest to yourself, most of the reason you’re not listening to your partner is that you don’t care about their opinions. 

As a poor listener, you would be acting like a know-it-all and as a result, the opinion of your partner would be as good as nothing. It’s so unhealthy for your partner to be in a relationship with you if you're a poor listener, you’d kill his or her self-esteem in the long run. 

Make a conscious effort to place good value on the perspective of others, especially your partner. Treat the opinion of your partner as you would like yours to be treated. 

9. Don’t ignore it

The worst characteristic of a poor listener is ignoring. It sends numerous negative signals to your partner that would break the relationship eventually. Try as much as you can to follow up the conversation and give the necessary responses when you have to. 

As much as this seems wise to do in a situation where you feel like you would be misunderstood, don’t. Find a way to pass your message without being hurtful. It’s possible to be a better listener if you’re diligent with improving your listening skills.

10. Respond properly

The only way you can respond properly is if you’ve been following attentively and making a mental note of your partner's points. To prove you’re a better listener you must respond properly to the thoughts and emotions of your partner.

11. Be enthusiastic

Being enthusiastic about conversing with your partner will help you keep an open mind to what she or he has to say to you. 

12. Give way for two-way communication

give way for two way communication

Often, we forget that communication is a two-way street. This means that there has to be feedback in communication. Don't be a spotlight hugger, give room for feedback after you've put your point across. Try not to speak out of turn or cut your partner off as he's making a point. Take time to listen and talk only when allowed. 

Don’t talk over your partner, that never ends well, trust me. If you have to allocate time to yourselves so you both get an equal opportunity to say something, do it. Do anything you can to achieve good communication but don’t be the only speaker. 

13. Make adjustments

What’s the point of a conversation if you’re not going to make necessary adjustments based on your partner’s emotional needs? The only way your partner can see you’re listening is when you make changes for them, without that you’re still just hearing. It makes no sense to do all of the above but still not make adjustments concerning your partner in the areas you should. 

Good adjustments are the effects of good listening. Once you start paying attention as a couple, you’d realize how smooth and healthy your relationship would be. Couples must make adjustments for each other.


How can I listen to my partner better? 

Listening to your partner is a skill that can be learned. You listen better the moment you stop taking your boyfriend's opinion for granted. You listen better when you're not always doing the talking. 

You also listen better when you take time out to reflect on the actions of your partner and what he meant when he said something to you. If you're always the speaker you're going to overshadow whatever is being said. Always make a conscious effort to understand your partner. 

How does poor listening affect relationships? 

Poor listening leads to bad communication. If couples don't listen to each other, they would not know how to settle disputes amongst themselves. Poor listening can cause resentment, yes! 

Your husband or girlfriend can resent you deeply for never listening to them. It hurts your partner and eventually breaks him. Inability to listen is a huge relationship challenge that may affect your mental health in the long run. 

How do you listen to your partner's feelings? 

Listening to your partner's feelings is as good as putting them in your shoes or having empathy towards your wife or husband. You listen to your wife's emotions by taking mental notes of how she said she's felt before and applying them in a similar situation either to make her feel good again or to stop her from feeling terrible. 

You listen to your partner's emotions daily because they grow. 

What are the 3 A’s of active listening? 

It's important to know the three As of active listening if you want to listen better. They are Attitude, Attention, and adjustment. Attitude refers to your behavior whilst listening to your partner. 

Always keep your mind open to the subject being discussed whether or not you have a prior opinion. Attention refers to keeping yourself focused on the subject, don't be easily distracted by your phone or something else. Lastly, adjustment refers to going with the flow and making changes based on your partner's opinion. 

What are the signs of poor listening? 

Jumping to conclusions. Always judging your partner too quickly and harshly. Lack of communication growth and always responding thoughtlessly. Only looking at situations from your perspective. Always interrupting your partner and acting like you know it all. You belittle the complaint or opinion of your wife or partner. You act unfairly at the slightest chance you get. 

The Bottomline 

I hope you enjoyed this article and you see the difference between a good listener and someone who only lends an ear. Go over the article and study areas of your weaknesses, I promise your listening skill by going up a notch every time you take the points to action. I would love to read your thoughts in the comments section below, please share this article with your friends as well. 

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