Awkward Silence vs Comfortable Silence in the Relationship

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Have you ever been in a situation where you were with your significant other and then the silence got threateningly loud? Of course, you have. To tell you the truth, we’ve all been there. But how do you distinguish the famed awkward silence from a healthy, comfortable one?

Silence depends on your perception.

As do most things in a relationship. See, silence isn’t necessarily good or bad, it’s the thoughts racing through your mind that gives it such an attribute.

  • Often, we’re worried that we have to say something to fill the silence. Or we’re afraid that the other person is getting bored or uncomfortable. That is what is known, in relationships, as an awkward silence.
  • On the other hand, when we’re able to spend time with someone and not feel worried or afraid of how they might be perceiving us, then we’ve reached a place of comfortable silence.

So how do you go from one to the other?

Often, going from awkward silence to a comfortable one is simply a matter of time and perception.

  • At the beginning of any relationship, we’re stressed and try to be on our best behavior. We don’t know the other person so well and it’s easy for us to not know what they’re thinking or whether or not they mind the silence.
  • When you’ve been with someone for a long time, you don’t mind their silences as much and are comfortable knowing that they don’t mind yours either.

Comfortable silence stems from confidence.

Confidence in your relationship, yes, but also self-confidence. While many couples get over the awkward silence stage, some still have trouble with it after years of being together. It’s often a partner who lacks self-confidence and who is overly eager to please, that worries about such things.

In these cases, it’s a sign you need to work on your feelings and thoughts because something is missing. Something that is making you doubt yourself so often. If you find yourself trying to fill the silence, even though your partner doesn’t seem to mind, then that might be worth looking into.

Comfortable silence isn’t just about the silence.

Often, when a relationship has reached the ‘comfortable silence’ stage, you’ll feel generally at ease with your partner when doing other things as well.

  • Farting is one example of this. Older couples don’t mind farting in each other’s presence. This is not a sign of disregard for your partner, but rather that you are comfortable with them. That being said, you shouldn’t let one rip just to show how much you love them! :p

  • Likewise, in the beginning, you were trying not to eat too much and be very well mannered at the table. In a comfortable relationship, you can pig out every once in a while, and not worry your partner will think less of you.

Essentially, the difference between awkward silence and a comfortable one is the amount of confidence and ease you have in yourself and the relationship. If the silence is being troublesome for you, we’d say you have two options: either wait it out (if you’re in a fairly new relationship) or look within yourself (if you’ve been together a while and you still feel awkward).

Lastly, there is the possibility where you’ve been together for a longer time and you’re both still awkward, in which case we’re afraid it might be a sign it’s just not working for you.