The old adage goes “a chain is as strong as its weakest link“.
If falling in love and staying in love is the chain, then disagreement between partners is the weak link.
Arguments are an unavoidable aspect of any kind of relationship so if you don’t know how to disagree, it is high time you learned.
The basics of constructive relationship arguments
Effective communication despite disagreement means that you both can move on. It encourages positive conflict resolution like hugs at the end of a disagreement instead of sulking.
Constructive disagreement also means that the issue being discussed is in the present, not dragging past or unrelated grievances into this one.
Sometimes, it simply calls for you to accept your partner’s habits that grate on your nerves.
Here are five things that will help you have amicable disagreements and to establish communication in the new relationship:
1. Mutual respect
Maintaining respect for your partner’s their boundaries, interests, family and worldview is important. Don’t try to change them, which will backfire anyway. In fact, most disagreement arise when boundaries are crossed and people are not always conscious of these especially in new relationships.
Hold off the urge to treat the person like they are supposed to know you ‘by now‘.
2. Defining the relationship
According to dating coach Hayley Quinn, have the talk about who you are to each other. Being on the same page about your relationship status will help you establish boundaries and expectations. In the modern dating culture, the lines can be blurred between casual dating and being in a relationship.
Clue: If you find yourself wondering, it is time to ask.
With the security of knowing who you are to each other and where you stand, it becomes easier to even start building ‘how to argue’ recipes.
3. Communication language
It might seem like all new couples do is communicate all day long in the ‘honeymoon’ phase. But are likely to avoid clear communication about their disagreements because they don’t want to ‘ruin it‘.
But using silent treatment, brushing off things, and other miscommunication techniques will bring frustration and also damage trust. Then when disagreements start, you will not know how to handle them with proper communication. Keep blame and accusations out of the discussion, express yourself.
4. Making time for in-person talk
Prolonged physical absence fosters miscommunication and feelings of not being heard, distrust and loneliness, which stirs trouble. Physical and emotional intimacy grows with physical contact, even disagreement in person is made better because of being present, according to Quinn.
Create a ‘we-time’ when you engage in activities that only involve the two of you.
Be ready to let things go. Compromise comes out of having realistic expectations and understanding that you both cannot have the same preferences. It will be easier to let small issues slide, find balance and establish a give and take atmosphere in your relationship.
Be careful to not abandon your boundaries and needs, consider when your boundaries are nudged or bumped and when they are crossed.