Effective communication is a crucial part of healthy relationships. However, many couples need to catch up on one of the most important parts of communication, that is, effective or active listening. An absence of active listening can lead to misunderstandings, confusion and conflict. It can also leave your partner feeling unheard and frustrated. Thus, active listening is essential to healthy relationships. In this article, we will explore the meaning and benefits of active listening, while also looking at some tips to incorporate it into everyday conversations

What is Active Listening?

Active listening is a skill that goes beyond simply hearing words. It involves fully engaging with the speaker, understanding their perspective, and responding in a way that conveys empathy and interest.  in how the other person feels

Many times, partners listen only to respond, without trying to understand each other’s perspective. However, when you actively listen to your partner, you are completely present with them, showing genuine interest in what they are saying and responding appropriately without judgment. It also involves asking questions to clarify your understanding

How Does Active Listening Help Couples?

Active listening can bring many benefits for couples, some of them are:

  • Improved Communication

One of the most important advantages of active listening is enhanced communication for couples. Active listening sets the foundation for open communication. When both partners feel heard and understood, they are more likely to express themselves freely and address issues effectively. This creates healthy communication patterns and a supportive environment in the relationship.

  • Helps Create Trust And Empathy

Active listening indicates that you value your partner’s perspective and are willing to understand their experiences, while also giving them a space to talk about their emotions  This builds trust and empathy, as your partner feels heard and validated, leading to a deeper connection between you both.

  • Promotes Conflict Resolution

In relationships, conflicts are inevitable, but how you approach and resolve them can make a significant difference. Active listening can help in resolving conflicts effectively, as it encourages both partners to listen to and understand each other’s perspectives. When both partners feel heard, they can collaborate on finding solutions that are acceptable to both.

  • Improved Intimacy

Active listening creates a safe space for both partners to be vulnerable and share their feelings. When you listen attentively to your partner’s emotions, it indicates support and acceptance.  This creates a healthy and positive relationship atmosphere, setting a foundation for deeper emotional connection.

How To Practice Active Listening In Your Relationship?

Having understood the benefits of active listening, let’s explore a few practical tips to incorporate active listening into your everyday conversations

  • Be Present By Eliminating All Distractions

A key component of active listening is giving your partner undivided attention. So make sure that you are fully invested while listening to your partner. Avoid multitasking while practicing active listening

  • Notice The Body Language

Active listening not only involves focusing on what your partner is saying but it also involves understanding their body language. Noticing your partner’s body language will also help you understand their mood, allowing you to respond appropriately. 

You can use non-verbal behaviours such as eye contact, leaning in, smiling and nodding to show your interest and attentiveness in the conversation as well.

  • Reflection

After your partner has finished talking, take time to reflect and summarize your understanding of what your partner has said. It is likely to make them feel validated and understood, while also allowing them to add to your understanding or clear any miscommunication

  • Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions encourage the other person to share their feelings and situation in detail. Open-ended questions also convey that you are curious and keen to understand your partner.

  • Avoid Judgement

The most important part of active listening is to avoid judgment. Being non-judgmental allows your partner to express themselves freely and makes them feel safe. To avoid judgment, start recognizing judgmental thoughts and practice stopping them when they arise.


Active listening is an essential skill for a healthy relationship. However, most couples find it difficult to practice active listening as they don’t know where to start. The tips mentioned above can help couples start with the practice of active listening. Remember that active listening just requires genuine interest and a non-judgmental attitude towards one’s partner. By practising the skills above, couples can slowly learn to incorporate active listening into their lives. 


  1. 7 Active Listening Techniques to Practice in Your Daily Conversations. (n.d.). Verywell Mind. Retrieved April 25, 2024, from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-active-listening-3024343
  2. Dawn, I. (2021, May 23). Impact of active listening and empathy on your relationship. https://www.innerdawn.in/2021/05/23/how-can-active-listening-and-empathy-help-improve-your-relationship/
  3. How to Listen Better in a Relationship. (2016, May 17). Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/relationships/listen-better-in-relationships
Dhruva Koranne

Dhruva Koranne has completed his Masters in Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, BALM. He has been practicing as a counsellor since 2020 and works to create a safe space for clients where they can open up. In addition to this, Dhruva loves researching and studying about upcoming theories in the field of Psychology. Connect with him on Linkedin