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How to Tell How Your Partner Feels and Learn to Read Their Mind

Whether your communication skills are lacking or you just want to be more in sync with the one you love, you can learn how to tell how your partner feels.

How to Tell How Your Partner Feels

After years of listening to friends vent about their relationships and having readers email me questions about their relationships, one statement always seems to come up. “I don’t know how my partner feels.” Wanting to know how to tell how your partner feels is something I have heard repeatedly from all sorts of couples, regarding all kinds of disagreements or issues.

Lacking an understanding of your partner’s mental state and feelings can feel put a damper on your relationship. This uncertainty can be temporary, but it can also linger and create a gap between you two.

Learning how to tell how your partner feels is an important part of maintaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Your relationship should add safety and assurance to your life, not doubts.

[Read: Why being an empath in a relationship is both a blessing and a curse]

Why can’t you tell how your partner feels?

You may not know how your partner feels about you, about the relationship, or your future. There are a lot of reasons you may feel unsure of how your partner feels but narrowing it down can help you to figure it out.

Think about your interactions with your partner. Do you communicate your feelings and encourage them to do the same? When they try to open up, are you actively listening or distracted?

Are you in-tune with their behavior? Do you know when something is off based on their behavior or attitude? Does your partner clam up and keep to themselves? [Read: 14 steps to feel closer and emotionally connect with someone you love]

Learning why you are having trouble understanding your partner will lead you to connect with them further. If you can work on where this problem began, you can figure it out and you and your partner can get on the same page.

Getting to the source of this confusion within your relationship is what will help you take steps to more openly communicate. You and your partner both deserve to know how the other is feeling so you can trust each other.

You also have to know how to be open to all possibilities here. Maybe your partner has a hard time opening up but that doesn’t mean you can blame or shame them for your uncertainty.

Maybe they have tried to open up before and you shut them down or were distracted by the television or your phone. You may not even realize this behavior.

You really have to be willing to open your eyes to the reality of why you can’t tell how your partner feels, not just what you think or feel. [Read: 16 non-sexual touches to feel more connected and loved]

How to tell how your partner feels

If you are expecting advice on how to tell how your partner feels by snooping, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Any solid relationship is built on trust and communication. So, trying to read between the lines in order to tell how your partner feels will only push you further apart.

Sure, there are little things you can pick up on that might steer you in the right direction as to how your partner feels, but your investigation cannot end with signs.

But there are steps you can take to find out how your partner feels and improve your overall emotional communication. [Read: 15 signs and reasons why an emotional connection is so important]

#1 Be alert. Before confronting your partner, consider their body language, changes in their behavior, and even subtle differences in your relationship. Have you stopped having date nights? Do they stay late at work? Have they started sleeping in front of the TV at night?

Before asking your partner if something is wrong or letting them know you don’t know how they feel, observe any changes. Can you tell when they’re stressed or tired? Don’t assume you know what is going on, but just being more alert can guide you in the right direction.

#2 Think about your level of openness. It is easy to blame your partner for not opening up when you don’t know how they feel, but look in the mirror first. Do you open up? Does your partner know how you feel? Could they be hesitant because they don’t know how you’ll respond?

Look at your own behavior before accusing or questioning them. [Read: 13 characteristics of people who lack empathy and how to fix it]

#3 Consider why your partner isn’t opening up. Do you know that your partner has trust issues or takes time to process things before sharing? What happened last time they were honest with you? Were you receptive or closed off and stubborn? Are you an active listener?

Maybe there is something you can do to make them feel more comfortable sharing how they feel.

#4 Express your desire to listen to your partner. Let them know you are there and willing to listen. Don’t jump on them with advice or questions. Simply let them know you’d love to hear about their day. A gesture as small as that can make them feel more ready to share.

#5 Why do you want to know how your partner feels? If you are worried your partner is stressed or worrying about something alone, it is good for you to show interest in listening to them. Let them know you are happy to hear them vent and that is what you’re there for. [Read: 10 communication techniques to get anyone to open up to you]

But, if you only want to know how your partner feels because of your own fears and insecurity, it can be unfair of you to push them to reassure you. If you are feeling insecure about how your partner feels, it may have more to do with your own issues, not your partner communicating.

Look at their behavior. Maybe they don’t say they love you 4 times per day but they do make sure you are all packed for your business trip, make sure the house is stocked with your favorite chips, and that your shows are always saved on the DVR.

These things can show you a lot more than words. Sometimes you just have to know where to look.

#6 Ease into it. If you want to ask your partner how they’ve been feeling because you are unsure, don’t sit down for an in-depth and heavy conversation right off the bat. Start with something more simple. Share how you feel. Let them know you wish you went out more or tried new things together.

Ask them how work was or how their friends are doing. Take a true interest in their independent life so they feel that you are actually invested in what they have to say. [Read: What does it mean to be vulnerable and share your true thoughts with others?]

#7 Just listen. One reason a lot of people don’t share their feelings or struggles with their partner is their reaction. A lot of people hear their partner vent and feel the need to take action or offer advice when most people just want to be listened to.

#8 Ask what they want from you. To show your partner you not only want to hear their feelings but want to make them feel better, ask how you can help. Maybe they just want you to listen. Maybe they want you to open up more or to spend more time together.

#9 Be honest. Be honest with your feelings and your response to theirs. You don’t need to freak out if they say something you don’t like but you can be honest about your fears or worries in a calm manner. The space between you and your partner should feel safe.

[Read: How to get someone to open up so you can really connect to them]

It doesn’t require pulling teeth to find out how to tell how your partner feels. With patience, honesty, and self-reflection, you and your partner can be in sync and learn to read each other’s minds soon.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...