Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Importance of Speech as a Form of Communication in a Relationship

"I love you." Those three words obviously mean something. It can be said that for each person, they have different meanings. Some say those words trivially and some believe that that phrase should only be said in certain circumstances. Nevertheless, throughout the years, these words have become what is now called "cliche". This phrase has been repeated so many times that to some people, it means close to nothing.

In a relationship, this is usually the most common and most frequently used form of showing one's love towards another. It has become so common and so frequently used that in some relationships, this phrase is a necessity for that connection to work (and to continue to work). For example, if your partner ceases to say "I love you" or doesn't say it as much, you might feel as though your partner does not "love" you. Some expect that the whole bundle of romantic sentiments towards themselves should be contained in those three words.

Of course, there are other forms of expressing one's feelings towards another. Words are only one type of communication. Another kind can be physical intimacy. And yet another can be complete silence. Personally, I do not feel it is necessary to say anything (although sometimes I can't help it) when one can enjoy utter peace with one's partner when both are silent. Silence does not necessarily mean awkwardness or a lack of 'things to say'. As Uma Thurman pointed out in Pulp Fiction, "Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?...That's when you know you've found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence."
Also, after physical intimacy (whatever that may consist of), is it really necessary to add "I love you" to the action? The action itself should be enough to prove not only to your partner but also to yourself that both of you are comfortable and happy with each other.

Personally, those words seem to be a test of the circumstances of the relationship. Early on, one says them to assure himself that his partner actually is happy in the situation. After the first time, it becomes not only easier to say but also one finds that it comes more frequently. Perhaps that is the cause of NRE*, the giddiness and ecstasy one feels after beginning a new relationship. Before other forms of communication can be used due to comfortability, words are the basis of the expression of sentiments. And perhaps after those other forms are discovered, words become less important as a kind of communication.
Nevertheless, there is a reason why we as humans communicate by speaking and less by writing or physical contact and even less, by silence. But there could be a progression of the types of communication based on the intimacy of the relationship of the humans. For example, speech can be a first jump. Physical contact can be a second jump and so on. Do these jumps reach a goal? Yes, they perhaps go to the goal of being completely comfortable with the other person and mastering all of the kinds of communication.

*NRE: new relationship energy

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