As anyone who has ever dated another human being knows, disagreements are bound to pop up in any long-term relationship. But it's how a couple chooses to deal with such disputes that will determine the fate of the pair. Not addressing certain issues with effective communication can cause emotional buildup and lead to unnecessary arguments days or weeks later, while the ability to recognize what's actually worthy of a heated dispute will keep the love going strong.
The following issues simply aren't worth fighting about in the first place:
Unless he or she is a former priest or nun, chances are that your boyfriend or girlfriend dated another person prior to meeting you. Together, they shared fun, cool experiences, and might have even been in love. But always keep in mind that relationship (or relationships) ended for a reason, which led your partner to you. Although our dating histories are important parts of what makes us who we all are today, recounting the intimate details of a past relationship (especially regarding sex!) with a current partner is rarely productive -- if anything, it's only likely to make him or her feel jealous or insignificant.
You both surely have 100 other things you'd rather do than clean the bathroom or kitchen sink, so it can be frustrating to feel as if you're taking on more housework than your partner. Therefore, dividing up the chores evenly will absolutely help avoid arguments. If you don’t mind vacuuming, but your boyfriend absolutely despises it, then don't be afraid to claim that Hoover as your new best friend. Or if you hate taking out the trash, and he sees it as a chance to get some fresh air, then that can be his chore. Whatever you do, always remember that the health of your relationship is worth more than a clutter-free, spotless home – don't let a few dirty dishes spark a war!
The Remote Control
Fights over which show to watch or what movie to see in the theater can get pretty ugly. In the grand scheme of things, any entertainment-related decision definitely falls under the category of “small stuff.” Whether Fashion Police or Game of Thrones, you'll always have those shows that your honey simply doesn't understand, so try to DVR or watch them online so that the two of you can spend your time in front of the tube together watching stuff that you both enjoy. And for bonus points, play nice and give your significant other's faves a second (or third, or tenth) chance. Don’t make comments or act bored -- just grab some popcorn and appreciate the moment with your sweetheart.
And here are two topics that are worth fighting over:
Communication truly is the key to a healthy relationship -- don't endanger the romance by making a habit of hiding the truth. Shady acts such as hiding your phone, a schedule, or current location can give your significant other reasons to question your behavior and must be dealt with directly. Hurt feelings and jealousy can turn into frustration and anger very quickly when a person feels as though he or she can't trust a supposed lover and best friend. Be honest and open with your partner, and don't be afraid to share feelings of concern if you suspect deceit or feel uncomfortable with his or her actions.
Conflicts about money can surface when one member of a couple feels as though he or she is being taken advantage of – especially when the couple lives together. While it might not be possible for both members of the relationship to financially contribute the same amount to paying for rent or utilities, both should feel comfortable with whatever system of payment is in place. If you continually find yourself burdened with bills while your partner carelessly blows through cash, you have the right to express your concern. Talk through the issue peacefully and thoughtfully before this seemingly smaller issue blows up into a bigger one.
By Amanda Caswell