Anyone who has been in a long-term, caring relationship learns to be careful how they speak of their partner. Careless or critical words and overly personal details shared can damage trust and cause lasting harm to a relationship.

But what about single people who are looking to find love? They may be surprised to learn that the words they speak can make a big difference in both their ability to attract a mate and build a healthy relationship.

This is because language is a lot more than the words we use to describe our lives. It shapes our emotions and, for better or worse, how we see the world. In other words, our talk shapes our reality, affecting how we see ourselves and how others view us.

How does a person know if they are talking themselves out of love? Following are some tips:

For people seeking relationships:

1. What are you saying (to yourself and others)? If you’re committed to being in love, what do you talk about with your friends? Start paying attention to what you tell yourself and others about your love life. Do you give a lot of air time to what you don’t have? Are you always bemoaning the scarcity of good men out there? Do you swap war stories about how badly that last date went or share personal details with the guys that would embarrass the person you are dating? If you're constantly complaining about your prospects and the people you do meet, guess what? You’ll probably continue to have bad luck and bad dates to complain about.

2. What are they saying? Are your friends and family quick to find fault with people you meet, looking for what might go wrong? Do they put down your “relationship history” with comments about how you pick losers, and ask why you don’t pick partners who are good enough for you? Are the people around you positive about your relationships and supporting you, or focused on what’s not working? The conversational waters you swim in will color your views.

3. What could you say instead? If people say negative things about your love prospects, don’t engage. Instead only engage in conversations that will move you closer to having love in your life. With some people, you might want to find other things to talk about. With others, you may want to shift the direction of the conversation to emphasize what you’re committed to. Talk about what you want, instead of complaining about what you don’t have and why you’re not getting it. For example, acknowledge there are great men and women out there and then discuss how to find them. Then start taking actions consistent with that.

For people currently in relationships:

Is your bedroom too crowded? Here’s how girl or guy talk may be sabotaging your love life and what you can do to prevent that from happening.

1. What are you saying? If someone asked you, you’d probably say you’re committed to having a great relationship, to being in love with your partner. But what do you talk about with your friends? Do you complain about your man or woman constantly? Be sure your words reflect your commitment to stay connected and in love. If you're constantly complaining about your partner, you’ll be watching for what’s wrong with him or her, what’s wrong with your relationship, and missing the good stuff.

2. What are they saying? Are your friends in the habit of complaining about their partners? Are they always putting down men or women? Listen and pay attention to what they say about their relationships and their partners. Are they saying something positive? Or are they complaining and bitching?

3. What to say instead. Speak about your partner in a way that reflects what you’re really committed to. Do you want a really intimate relationship? Do you want to share adventures and create a closer bond? Then have your conversations reflect that, instead of complaining about what you don’t have, what’s wrong, or why it continues to be a problem.

Speaking the language of love is all about having conversations that nurture and build your relationship, rather than tear it down. Choosing your words with an eye on what you want to create generates a spark of possibility that ignites both you and others.

Author's Bio: 

David Cunningham is a communication expert and seminar leader for Landmark Education, a personal and professional growth, training and development company that's had more than 1.2 million people use its programs to cause breakthroughs in their personal lives as well as in their communities, generating more than 100,000 community projects around the world. In The Landmark Forum, Landmark’s flagship program, people cause breakthroughs in their performance, communication, relationships and overall satisfaction in life. For more information, please visit www.landmarkeducation.com.