Do you ever feel like you’re pouring out your heart to a blank stare? When you try to communicate with your love, does it sometimes seem like you're just not speaking the same language? He or she may be trying really hard to figure out what you are talking about, but just can’t make sense of it. You often feel the same way.

If you feel like there is a communication gap between you and the one you love, you are not alone. With practice and intention you two can close that gap and enjoy a closer, more passionate intimate connection.

Even before author John Gray declared that “men are from Mars” and “women are from Venus,” people have perceived a communication gap between the sexes. The stereotype that women are more emotional and men more action-oriented does tend to bear out for some people. Other couples may link their communication gap back to racial, cultural, economic, or other differences. Whether you believe it’s genetic and hormonal or learned and socialized, communication differences feel very real. And they can cause real disconnection between you and the one you love.

Carlo and Rita have been dating a little over a month and both are very happy about how their relationship is starting out—except for one thing. Carlo has noticed that when a potential conflict arises between them, he and Rita have a difficult time talking about it. It almost seems that they speak a different language. He was brought up in a family where debates and arguments were frequent and lively. Carlo’s way is to be completely open when something is on his mind and have it out (verbally) and then over with. Rita shrinks back and even cries when Carlo communicates in his accustomed way. Having grown up in household where raised, challenging voices only happened when someone was in serious trouble, Rita finds herself feeling a little afraid of this man who she really cares about. This dynamic doesn’t feel good to either Carlo or Rita but they don’t know how to change things.

Practice Heart Listening
We believe that a couple like Carlo and Rita can bridge their communication gap and continue building a loving relationship. The first step is for each of them to go within and sort through the possible stories going on in their minds. Rita might realize her tendency to go back to past experiences with her family when Carlo begins speaking in a strong manner. Taking a deep breath, Rita might share with Carlo why she reacts the way she does. At the same time, Rita can internally remind herself to stay present with Carlo and not assume his way of speaking means he is or will be abusive as her family was. Allowing her heart-- and not her past-- to guide her, Rita can listen to Carlo’s words with more openness.

Hearing about Rita’s past may help Carlo understand why she tends to fall apart during heated conversations or debates. He can choose not to judge her and, instead, to be aware of her feelings. This doesn’t mean that Carlo has to always speak in a quiet gentle voice which would not feel genuine to him. What it means is that Carlo can start listening to Rita with an open heart and acceptance of her communication differences as she is beginning to do with his.

Look for Communication Matches
If you were to visit a distant cousin in Japan with no knowledge of the Japanese language while your cousin did not know a single word of English, you would have to find ways to communicate. It probably wouldn’t take long for you and your cousin to use gestures and other signals to understand one another. You would find similarities, or matches, in the ways you communicate and maybe even learn some words in the other’s language.

Similarly, you and your partner can look for and use what matches when communicating. Perhaps Carlo and Rita both place a high value on speaking honestly. Although their “language” is different, neither lies about everything being ok when it’s really not. This match is something to celebrate and build upon! It doesn’t matter how small a similarity appears to be, it can help close that gap.

If you are having a difficult time finding communication matches, sit down—either together or alone—and write about it. Avoid judgments or “good/bad” labels. Write out how you each tend to communicate and what you each prioritize when communicating. If there are no immediately obvious matches, perhaps there are things about your partner’s “language” that you can appreciate and want to learn to do yourself.

When it feels like you and your love have a communication gap, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to expand your view. Acknowledge that there is no ONE way to communicate effectively. From this feeling of appreciation and an intention to hear and speak across the differences, you can enjoy deeper connection and intimacy.

Author's Bio: 

Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, authors of "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "Relationship Trust" and "No More Jealousy" are experts at helping people get more of the love they really want. Learn how to create deeper intimacy and connection in your relationship today. Visit to view a free video sample to find out more.