Fights with your romantic partner can be the worst. You could be having a grand old time, and then suddenly you’re fighting over whether or not McDonalds removing the Supersize option was a great choice for the health of society or a way of taking away the individual’s right to choose.
Yeah…that really happened.
Like a few months ago.
I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I am saying that after participating in enough petty arguments, I’ve collected quite the collection of tips for avoiding them.
Arguments happen for all kinds of reasons and can serve a purpose. They can strengthen your relationship by learning how to communicate better and understand each other more. On a sadder note, they also can provide warning signs that help you decide if this person is the right match for you.
This post, though, is about the fights that aren’t useful or warning signs—they’re just us being petty for one reason or another. Below are some of the ways I’ve learned to prevent the unnecessary fights so that life is so much more peaceful.
Tip #1: In a crappy mood? Give your partner a heads-up.
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve caused a fight just because I was moody and misdirected my frustration. Sometimes I just have to check my perspective, but if that doesn’t work, I’ve learned to tell my husband, “Hey, I’m in a bad mood, just to warn you.” Then if I say something rude, he doesn’t take it as seriously as he would have if I had thrown it at him unexpectedly. Next time you aren’t feeling the kindest, let your person know. Chances are they’ll thank you.
Tip #2: Yes, they should probably “just know,” but don’t expect them to.
It amazes me some of the things my husband forgets or doesn’t realize. But it also amazes me some of the things I forget or don’t realize. As much as we’d love our partner to know exactly what to do when we need it, it’s not realistic. Remind yourself of this next time this frustrates you. And if there’s something that’s extremely important to you that your loved one remember, tell them. It may not be as romantic, but subtle hints and passive aggressive comments don’t always translate clearly.
Tip #3: Know each other’s trigger topics.
We all have something that gets under our skin. The longer you’re with someone, you start to pick up on what those things are. For example, I know that if I bring up politics, it’s very likely my husband will get irritated. It has nothing to do with me personally; it’s just a topic that makes him very upset with the world. If you know of a topic or two that is likely to upset your partner, try to avoid talking about it. If it’s something you have to talk about, figure out a way to approach it delicately. It even helps to be open with them and ask them how they’d prefer you bring the subject up in the future.
Tip #4: Pick your battles wisely.
Before you bring up a topic that you know may result in an argument, consider if this is worth it. You can usually ask yourself a couple questions. Does this issue directly affect your life or your relationship? Is this important to you? If you answer “no” to either or both of those, then chances are it’s not a battle worth fighting. A great example of this is my recent argument over the Supersize option at McDonalds…It didn’t even make sense. We barely even eat there.
Tip #5: Always remember that this person is the same one you fell in love with—flaws and differing beliefs and all.
Chances are you probably don’t agree with everything your grandma or dad or even your best friend thinks. Similarly, you’re not going to agree on everything with your partner. And that’s okay. Sure, it can be annoying, but remind yourself why you love this person. Often times, switching your perspective to a place of love helps soften your criticism and heightens the likelihood of compromise.
As I said in the beginning, fighting can be the worst. However, it is a part of life. There is no way to share life with someone and not disagree about a thing or two—and sometimes those things are big things. What’s important is learning how to tell between the big and the small, so you don’t waste all of your energy on the less significant issues. It does take time and practice, but it’s well worth the effort for the sake of your happiness. Your future self will thank you.
What are some strategies you have used to avoid bickering? Let me know in the comments below!