If you want to communicate on a deeper more intimate and genuine level try this exercise.
It is not only for romantic partners, but works for parents and children, coworkers, even strangers. If you want to skip the small talk or false talk, as I like to call it, spend the first one minute of your encounter looking into each other's eyes.
Do not speak, do not look away, just look.
It is really amazing the emotion you will really see when silent and staring. This emotion might be anger or sadness or joy or happiness, but the eyes don't lie.
It will put you and your partner in a place much more authentic than any other minute spent can. Please try this and send me feedback.
If you really want to improve an ongoing relationship do this once a day for a month.
It might bring up hard conversations, but growth through conflict is a great outcome.
A testimony from a client:
A wife in a happy marriage of twenty years was complaining to me that she didn't think her husband listened to her because she always had to repeat herself.
She was getting frustrated and angry with him.
She asked me for help and instead of telling her what to say since he didn't listen anyway I encouraged the "Silent Treatment" for a minute a day for a week.
The first day she reported that it was hard to look for a whole minute without talking or looking away. The second day she said he was much easier to talk to and was listening better. The third day he brought her flowers, which he has never done in twenty years.
I could get into the neuroscience of why this works, but sometimes the mystery is better. Try it for yourself.