Ah, new love. It's so amazing. Everyone's got the happy feels, and life couldn't be better... until something bad happens.
No matter how good relationships are, at the end of the day, love is a battlefield. Pat Benatar called it in the 80's.
Yes, we all bicker and argue about the little things, which is totally normal.
Each person has their own needs and desires, and things like Pizza vs. Thai can be an issue sometimes. But hey, no biggie.
Remember those happy feels we just talked about? Yes, being in love feels like you're floating on a cloud with a unicorn, all while munching on cotton candy.
And then, you have your first real fight.
It feels like someone's punched you in the throat and knocked the air out of you. Your gut is filled with doubt, and you feel like you're going to vomit.
Those really big fights are the worst. They're the ones that make you question why you chose to be with your partner. They're the fights that make you question your partner's values. They're the earth-shattering fights that make you wonder if you two will ever even make it. These are the fights that can potentially end your relationship.
These fights are especially terrifying if it's a couple's first big fight.
These early fights simplify things just a tad because it's easier to walk away when you haven't invested a ton of time. Realistically speaking, your foundation probably isn't strong and sturdy enough to withstand something so big just yet.
BUT, how you handle your first fight with your beau really sets the stage for all the fights you'll have in the course of your relationship.
If you really care about this person and are hoping for a happily-ever-after, here's what you need to keep in mind during your first fight:
The bottom line is: communication is key. If you forget to do this, your relationship will fail, no matter how many fights you end up making it through.
2. Seriously, don't panic.
Think things through. Making decisions while you feel emotional will not benefit you.
3. Pick your battles.
Again, take some time to think things through. Is this really a fight worth fighting? You two will have plenty of fights, so make them count.
4. Be respectful and kind to one another.
Always remember to do this. Starting any discussion with blame or shouting can lead to miscommunication and resentment: two of the worst possible things that can happen in a relationship.
Be kind. Only say what you mean, and try saying it without shattering your partner's spirit.
5. Express yourself.
Use "I" instead of "you" when you describe how you feel. This allows you to take responsibility for your thoughts and emotions. It eliminates blame.
For example, "I feel that sometimes you don't understand what I'm saying" is much less destructive than just saying, "You don't understand what I'm saying."
6. Take the time to listen to your partner.
This is crucial. Allow them to share their perspective.
Many times fights and arguments are caused because of misperception or misunderstanding. Really take the time to listen; it may save you a lot of hurt and wasted energy.
7. Validate your partner's feelings. Don't dismiss them.
Sometimes it is hard to see things from another person's perspective. Even if you don't agree with their opinion, respect where they are coming from and acknowledge that you heard them.
8. Make sure your partner understands why you're actually upset, and vice versa.
Sometimes fights can be easily resolved if the root cause is clear.
At first, it may not be easy to figure out what is causing you or your partner to feel upset. But if you take time to listen and share your perspective, the problem will become clearer.
9. Discuss what's important to you.
If you and your partner don't understand why the issue is an issue, then you need to have a discussion about what is important to you.
This may be a good time to also talk about what things are not acceptable to you.
10. Talk about what needs to happen to make things better.
How will you stop this from happening again? Make a list of things you can each do. Check each other's lists often and make sure those things are still happening.
Encourage one another, and try to make it fun. You will thank each other later.
11. Don't walk away or hang up while you're still upset.
Take the time to make things right. This will show your partner that you are committed, and also that you value them and your relationship.
Plus, who likes going to bed angry? I sure as hell don't…
12. Hug it out.
Physical contact can reconnect couples and create feelings of support and love. It can also help you remember why you care about your partner so much.