In love, at some point, you and your partner will likely disagree. You can either be right, or you can be in a relationship. Although more unpleasant than your your romance’s highs, the lows often better predict the likelihood of your relationship’s success or failure. Hurting people hurt people. So, where to do learn to have healthy disagreements and fight fair in love? The truth is: Many of us don’t. Healthy fighting is an acquired skill; don’t assume you or your partner has already mastered it.

Broken Heart

DON’T HIT BELOW THE BELT. Every fight has ground rules. Together, you’ll determine what counts as “hitting below the belt” and you’ll have to agree to not do it. As a baseline, neither you nor your partner should tolerate emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Additionally, common civilities include: listen, don’t interrupt, and stay respectful. From there, build upon “don’t talk shit about my mother” or “can you please stop nagging me about the toilet seat” kind of boundaries.

FIGHT THE PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU. Don’t assume your current love is going to behave toward you the way your previous love(s) did.

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. Slow down. Think. Then, speak. An old acquaintance was accustomed to requesting “Let me sleep on that” before making major decisions. I always loved that idea. Granted, it’s not likely you’ll pause an argument to nap. That said, take a breath or two before speaking to prevent making statements you’ll regret later.

REPEAT WHAT YOUR PARTNER SAID, NOT WHAT THEY DIDN’T SAY. When paraphrasing your partner, if you find yourself accusing “you think” or “you want me to,” stop. Instead, lead in with “I hear you saying” or “if I understand you correctly.” Otherwise, you may find yourself in hours of the Needless Tangle of Misunderstanding. Head’s up: Don’t manipulate your partner or let them manipulate you. If either of you have said words you regret, don’t claim you didn’t say them. Apologize and move forward.


KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY, KNOW WHEN TO RUN. It’s like that old adage: The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it. Relationships take a lot of hard work. That said, if you and your partner fight very often, it may be time to reevaluate your situation.  Determine: Should You Stay or Leave? If you’re sticking with it, good luck. Arguing will happen, and it’s important to know when to walk away. If you are considering leaving your relationship for good, know that breakups are rarely easy. In either case, best wishes for courage in your journey forward.

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