Conflict in Dating: Tips for Couples

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There are the times where everything is hunky-dory and then…well, the other times, right? You and your partner can blow through your days with nothing but laughter and love but every now and then, you’ll hit a wall with brute force and wonder how you’re going to make it through. I wanted to send along a little conflict resolution advice that you can either take or leave but it’s served me well thus far. Perhaps it’ll serve you, too!

Don’t Yell. Yelling doesn’t do anyone any good. While occasionally, you need to get something off your chest, yelling (as a rule of thumb) only puts the other person on the defensive. And that means they’re going to “turn up the volume,” too! Having a conversation instead of a yelling match will go miles towards a mutually agreeable resolution. Yelling will only bring you closer to buying a year’s supply of ear plugs.

Count to Ten. We all say things we don’t mean. Occasionally, we even mean the mean things we say. To avoid saying things we all wish we could take back, try counting to ten before you let the words fly. Sometimes what you were going to say becomes less important. Sometimes you even think of something more productive to say. Other times, you decide to say nothing at all. It’s amazing what ten little numbers can do to save our hearts and relationships, isn’t it?

Take Some Time Off. No, I’m not saying break-up. I’m saying go get a taco. Take a bike ride. Go have a beer with the guys. Go have coffee with the girls. Get away from the person who’s irritating you for a little bit and put your head back together. As a matter of fact, when your partner seems frustrate with you, encourage them to get away and focus on something else for awhile. When you keep the source of angst right in front of you, it’s a lot more difficult to start seeing things in a productive manner. Breathe, get out, take some “you” time.

Caving versus Compromise. When you cave, you’re giving in unwillingly. When you compromise, you’re both working together for a common good and with decisions that will move your relationship forward. If you repeatedly cave, you’re placing yourself in the position of feeling as if you’re being taking advantage of – never a great mood to endure. Know what you want. Stand by what you want. Be open to hearing what your partner wants. Find ways to have both in your shared life.

Ask and Tell. It’s Simple. We’re all guilty of getting into “mindreader” mode. It’s that mode where we assume our partners should be reading our minds and thoroughly understand our wants and need. Sadly, it’s impossible to find crystal balls these days and ESP skills are hard to come by. Try to make it a habit to tell your partner what you mean or want or feel. Ask them about the same. The dialogue that ensues is sure to be a more productive one than if you just left everything to ESP!

When the day is done, you want to fall asleep next to your partner and wake up happy. These simple tips can help you with the “wake up happy” part instead of starting your day off on the wrong foot. When you’re happy yourself, you make a better partner. Don’t let things fester, address issues as they come up and above all, remember to treat one another with respect. Respect in and of itself will help you appreciate the tips above and the power inherent in communication during conflict.