Survive the First Fight: 5 Conflict Resolution Tips for Couples

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Did you know disagreements are actually beneficial for new couples? It’s scary to fight with someone when the relationship is still new, but if conflict is handled correctly, this process could actually strengthen your bond as a couple and set the relationship up for success in the future. These conflict resolution tips help guide new couples through their first fight so both parties can find peace, forgiveness and, eventually, happiness.

When tension builds and stakes are raised, it is natural for people to engage in fight, flight or freeze behaviors. It is important to identify your arguing style to successfully diagnose yourself, treat the problem (miscommunication), and successfully mend your relationship. Which argument style describes you?

The Fighter: You don’t have to throw punches to be a fighter in this case. Fighting includes continually arguing your point in hopes that the other person will “wise up” and see things your way. This usually does not happen, so anger remains and builds, sometimes getting so extreme that grudges develop.

The Runner: This person avoids conflict at all costs, sometimes avoiding the issue so extensively that the argument ends up becoming a greater problem than it ever was initially. Passive aggressive and avoidant personalities fall under this category.

The Empty Shell: This person has effectively “frozen” their emotions and no longer cares about the argument, despite going through the motions on the outside. This type of arguing style is deceptive because the person looks fine, but has already checked out emotionally.

So, what is the healthy way to handle an argument? “Successful” arguments, if you could call them that, should follow a pattern of steps.

Step 1: Address the Issue
One or both partners need to recognize there is a situation causing dissatisfaction. Since both parties care about one another, anything that causes distress to either of you needs to be discussed and resolved as quickly as possible. Your “job” in a relationship is to look out for the happiness of your significant other. Now is the time to show you care by validating your partner’s concerns.

Step 2: Talk About It
What caused the disagreement? Was it something one of you did (or didn’t) do? Is this an inherent rift in core values? Determine where miscommunication occurred and remain open to the idea that both of you are at fault. Refrain from name calling or swearing, as this type of exaggerated language indicates a self-righteous perspective unwilling to listen to others. Keep the doors of communication open by treating each other with respect.

Step 3: Propose Solutions
A majority of arguments are caused by miscommunications or simple misunderstandings. Perhaps your needs were not made clear or your date has had a busy week and was distracted when you originally spoke. Try to understand the other person and develop realistic solutions that involve compromise from both parties.

Step 4: Create an Action Plan
Now that you understand what caused the argument and have discussed why it happened, what are you willing to do about it? If tension is high and you are unable to develop an unbiased plan of action, it’s okay to step back and give yourself some time before continuing with this process. The important thing is that you and your date understand what needs to happen in the future to avoid this situation again.

Step 5: Let it Go
Arguing with a significant other is unpleasant enough so once you have resolved the disagreement, do not bring it up again. Fights are not ammunition to be pulled out at a later date or “Get out of Jail Free” cards if you’re the argument’s victor – they are opportunities to grow as a couple and reinforce the idea that you care about the other person’s well-being. If it hurts your partner’s feelings, make the grown-up choice to keep it to yourself.

Arguments are unpleasant mostly because resolving a disagreement requires a certain element of swallowing your pride and recognizing the world does not revolve around you. In a relationship, there is another person to think about. The whole point of dating is to work together as a team and to fight for each other – not with each other. At the end of the day, your partner is on your side. Let down your guard and allow that person to look out for your best interests the same way you do theirs. It takes a great deal of emotional intelligence to resolve arguments; if you are ready to meet someone who makes the fight worth it, call a Kelleher Los Angeles elite matchmaker today and discover a bond so strong you’ll never want to fight with anyone else.

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