Communication Activities for Couples

Instructor: Kandi Young

Kandi has degrees in Communications, Human Services, Education and Computer Science. She is a Business, Marketing, and Technology instructor with a Master's degree in Education.

From verbal to nonverbal, communication is fraught with misunderstandings, arguments, and sometimes complete collapse. Couples seeking ways to improve their communication skills will enjoy these activities designed to do just that.

Communicating is always listed as one of the most important parts of a relationship. What is often not mentioned is how truly difficult it is to communicate effectively. These activities are designed to help couples at any stage of their relationship improve their communication skills.

You Said What! Activity

We have all been there: Your significant other is talking about their day at work and your mind drifts. Suddenly you realize you have no idea what your other half has said, and by the expectant look on their face, you are expected to give a response. What do you do? This activity can help!

  • Each couple will take a turn telling a common everyday story, such as, what happened on their commute, gossip about a co-worker, what arguments the children had, etc.
  • At any point during their story that they feel their partner has zoned out, they should add a bizarre word or event into the story.
  • If the partner is paying attention, they should immediately repeat the bizarre word or event and allow the partner to continue their story.
  • If the listening partner misses two cues, the speaker must ask them to explain what distracted them from the story. Honesty is important here, as learning what is stopping the communication is key to keeping it going.

Do You Hear What I Hear? Activity

Have you ever walked away from an argument with your spouse completely confused as to why the argument even began or why it was an argument at all? If so, this activity may be the perfect solution for clearing the air.

  • Choose a topic that typically results in tensions, such as, finances, exes, work, or children.
  • Each partner should have a piece of paper in front of them and something to write with.
  • One partner should start the conversation and the other partner needs to write down, in their own words, what their partner has just said.
  • Once the partner has finished speaking, the other partner should read back what they wrote down.
  • The partner that spoke then needs to clarify anything that is not accurate in their partner's written version.
  • Again, the listening partner should write down what is being said and read it to the speaking partner. Typically by the second or third recording, both partners are in agreement as to what has actually been said and meant.

Mirror, Mirror… Activity

It is easy to color conversations with our own perceptions and biases particularly when dealing with someone we know as well as our significant other. This activity is a nice way to ensure our partners are hearing and seeing what we want them to be.

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