You’ve been dating someone and everything is blissful. You get a twinkle in your eye whenever he calls; you get butterflies in your stomach when you’re about to see him again.
Then…boom! Just like that, you’re right in the middle of your first major disagreement and now your stomach is just in knots. What just happened? Is this the end of bliss as you know it, or just your first big bump in the road? How do you recover in a healthy way without ruining the progress you’ve made together?
Guess what? You will recover and this is the natural progression of your new relationship! Here are nine (matchmaker-approved) tools to help you get through it with flying colors.
Take A Deep Breath
It’s so easy to want to get your point across and be ready to jump in as soon as each other says their very last word. But did you really hear what your partner said? Make it a priority to focus more on hearing the other party’s point of view with the goal in mind of finding an actual resolution rather than just deciding that someone is “right.”
Respect The Process
Just because you feel more comfortable taking a few minutes to breathe, gather your thoughts, and come back hours later to tackle the issue, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what works best for your partner…and vice versa. They might be someone who needs to resolve the issue right then to be able to move forward. And, neither is necessarily wrong. Respect and recognize the way that both of you resolve conflicts and try to bend a bit each way to find a happy medium.
Don’t Immediately Resort To What Happened In Past Relationships
Ok truth moment. We would love to act as if there is no baggage taken into the next relationship but when things hit the fan, it’s almost impossible to not think about how this was handled last time or automatically think this is it, it’s over, and I’m out. Guess what, you’re 2 different people from different backgrounds, upbringings, etc. and there will be disagreements no matter who you’re with. So face it head on knowing that this argument should be handled with just the two people sitting in front of each other and whatever happened in the past is not guaranteed to happen in the future.
Avoid The Clam-Up
Some people would rather just not touch the subject at all when conflict arises whether or not they have an opposing opinion just to keep the peace and thus the “clam up.” It could be because you’ve heard lots of arguing growing up or you’re not confident in the relationship anyway so you think any little thing you do to ruffle feathers will be the tipping point. But you deserve to have your viewpoint heard and yes that might mean you end up in tears or getting emotional and that’s ok. It’s not his fault if you never show him how to love you or your true feelings.
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Don’t Automatically Bring Others In
“Whew girlfriend let me tell you, he got on my last good nerve.” “Can you believe this man did this?” “I can’t with him right now, I’m so done.” Now granted as women we have an extensive use of the English language and we just naturally need to unravel all the details somewhere. And your girlfriend will most likely say those comforting words, “Girl start from the beginning.” I’m glad you asked. But just know, with sharing every detail of the feud that’s going on in your relationship, she is knowingly or unknowingly forming an opinion about him and sometimes that can’t be shaken should things work out.
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It is often said there are 2 sides to every story; his side, her side and the truth. If you really want to move forward, just know there is a possibility that some part of his argument is true and there are some things you could do differently in the future. If you know you’re truly in a good relationship, your ultimate goal should always be how to make the other happy and if someone is mentioning there is a problem don’t leave it unattended being fully open to the part you might have played in the scenario.
Love Each Other Through It
OMG, we know this one is a tough pill to swallow. But if you normally call at 8 a.m to say Good morning, push yourself to continue the pattern even if he’s not your favorite person at the moment. If you normally call him a term of endearment, try not to all of a sudden change from Hey Baby to Hi Brian. It’s always better to keep the foundation consistent and a safe place so that when you can talk about it, you’re still ahead of the game and not 10 steps backward then trying to play catch up. What we’ve found is depending on how many steps back the relationship has gone, it may not be guaranteed to rebound because the atmosphere and tone has now changed.
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Praise Each Other For Growth
Once the argument is resolved and one or both of you have vowed to make some changes, when the issue comes up again take a moment to praise each other when things are handled differently. So often we might notice a change and smile inside but how much better would it be for both of you to recognize it openly and say, “I see you trying. Thank you for loving me enough to make that change.” Now both of you are smiling and have moved that much closer after conquering that hurdle together. Lesson learned and moving on!
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This Isn’t A Game, and There Doesn’t Have To Be A Winner!
Remember this is a real world you’re living in, and you don’t always get to “win.” Two great ingredients to the “relationship recipe” are communication and compromise. It may have worked in your favor this round but it may not the next. There’s no reason to gloat or walk around like a peacock but remain humble and grateful. It’s called maturity.
When that first real argument arises, remember the fond memories that brought you both together and at the end of the day, that you care about each other deeply. Just know, this is normal couple behavior, and this too shall pass.
For more advice from The Matchmaking DUO™ (Kelli Fisher & Tana Gilmore), visit their site or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.