Yes, fighting with your partner is probably one of the most difficult parts of a relationship, but it's also one of the most necessary. It's inevitable that somewhere down the line two people, no matter how similar they are, will encounter points of difference that will lead to an argument. Sometimes these arguments can be huge and decisive, like when the dreaded “Where do you see yourself in five years?” convo goes completely awry or when you realize your partner doesn't hold the same key values as you.
When it comes down to it though, you need to pick and choose your battles. Popping off on your partner over every little thing could leave them exasperated and ultimately be the final nail in the coffin of your relationship. But similarly, if you never tell your partner that something is bothering you, you two can't begin to reach points of compromise that will only make you a stronger couple. All things in life need to find a balance, but it's not always obvious where the happy medium of disagreements is, and how you can navigate it. And though it's the #struggle, I can tell you this much: When it comes to deciding which topics are worth getting into fights about, know that these small, insignificant differences should be avoided completely.
1. If You're Feeling Jealous
Jealousy is one of the worst emotions you can feel within a relationship, compelling you to do and say things that may push your partner away. If your relationship is built on a solid foundation of trust, but you're beginning to feel insecure because your partner has friends he/she enjoys spending time with, it may be best to keep that to yourself and work it out. Unless you have just cause to believe your S.O. is cheating – i.e, you found out from a reliable source or they truly are spending way too much time with that person and not enough with you – then try to keep your jealousy at bay. It's difficult when you feel like the person you care about is surrounded by temptation. But give them the benefit of the doubt that they won't give in, rather than having a fight that ultimately leads to your trust in them being questioned.
2. What You're Doing For The Holidays
'Tis the season for stress and frustration, but don't let that stress cross over to your relationship! If you and your partner are in a serious LTR where the two of you will be spending the Holidays together, discuss a plan of action right away so you won't end up fighting about it later. Maybe his/her parents do a bang up job over Thanksgiving, but yours want to have a family trip to Florida for your Turkey Day. Spend Thanksgiving with his/her family, and then December holidays with yours.
3. The 'Pick A Side' Argument
Stay away from this, always! If your S.O. is caught in the middle of a disagreement between you and someone they're close with, whether it be a family member or a friend, do not ask them to choose sides. It's a touchy subject that will seriously divide their loyalties. What's more, you may not like who they pick if you do force them to choose. And most important of all, tread carefully if the person you're not in agreement with is one of their family members.
4. Anything Regarding A Small Mistake
We're talking super tiny here. Let's say your partner accidentally deleted your fave show on DVR or chipped your favorite mug. Don't lose your cool, especially if they apologized! Your partner may be perfect most of the time, but they're still human and we all make mistakes. Rather than turning something small into something huge, take the apology in stride and move on.
5. Minute Differences Of Opinion
You may be a dog person and your partner may be a cat person, but that doesn't have to turn into a week's worth of debates regarding the superiority of some species over others (although dogs always win, of course). Unless this difference of opinion regards a value very dear to you, don't fall into this trap. Your BF or GF might be voting for Hillary while you're feeling the Bern, but that doesn't mean tensions should get heated.
6. Taking Out Your Frustrations On Them
Most of us are guilty of this from time to time, but avoid this as much as you can. If you've had a hard day at work or your family is seriously frustrating you, the last thing you want to do is take out your anger on your S.O,, especially if they didn't do anything wrong. When you come home angry, take a moment to breath or do something that will help calm you down so you feel less on edge around them. Better yet, talk with them about what's going on, or let them know you need some space. This way you prevent passive tension that will only result in a massive eruption later.
7. The Cleaning Or Decorating Argument
This one pretty much falls under differences of opinion but with a roomie twist. If you're living with your partner, you're bound to clash over certain lifestyle habits that you're used to, but they might not be. Renting an apartment together could possibly mean disagreements over how to decorate, or cleaning habits. The best way to avoid this one is to share the work completely. If you're choosing the curtains, let them hang their favorite picture in the living room. And if you're doing the dishes that night, then they should have no problem moping the floor. Easy peasy, people!
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