People say that communication or a lack thereof is the second most pressing challenge regarding couples. No one wants to be with someone who they feel like doesn’t understand them and you especially want your mate to be a listening ear to you as you journey through life.

While a lack of communication is a major issue, no one talks about prioritizing the act until all hell breaks loose. Here are three reasons why you should make talking (and listening) a priority in your relationship.

1. It is a way to build trust.

You have more buy-in into any relationship when you feel valued and heard. Talking about what is going on in your life (often) with your mate places them at the top of your list of people to trust. When you feel heard, you are more inclined to share issues with your mate that you are not only facing yourself, but with them.

2. You know what’s on your mate’s mind.

How many times have you thought, “If she/he would’ve just communicated x,y,z to me then it wouldn’t have become such a big deal? Understand that in order for any relationship to work, you have to serve as a safe space for your mate to communicate. Your mate also has to speak up, otherwise you will not be able to fix what you are not aware of in the first place.

3. It allows you not to waste time. 

Let’s face it. Even the best communicators run into someone who just will not talk or who allows anger to either speak on their behalf or silence them. You just won’t click with everyone. Unless you both are willing to work tirelessly towards understanding each other’s communication style (and build trust) you may as well hang it up. Without the freedom to hear and be heard, you pretty much don’t have a relationship.