Long term relationships are amazing things. As you spend more time with your special someone, you start to realize that the difference between the complete devotion of love and the insurmountable irritation of hate is minuscule: this thin line between love and hate has been proven with SCIENCE. Since these powerful emotions are chemically interconnected, we have a few tips that will help you avoid fighting over small things and keep the home fires burning. But by home fires, we mean those sexy feelings in your pants and not rage fueled premeditated arson or STIs. Stop fighting over small things because you’re clueless, so love won’t lead to hate, and hate won’t lead to the dark side.
The long term relationship can mean exceptionally different things to different men. Just how long actually constitutes long term is something that will probably fluctuate with your personal dating history. For some, your long term lover could be a childhood friend, a highschool sweet heart, or the co-ed who tamed your wild college heart. Others may have met their match on a dating site relatively recently, but knew right away that they’d found ultimate marriage material. No matter how your personal love story started, we can all agree that the long term relationship is defined by the middle that will always move towards a common end: happily ever after. But what the hell can you do if you find yourself jeopardizing that perfect final chapter by fighting over small things without meaning to?
Stop Fighting Over Small Things – Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That
Here are some of easy ways that you can stop fighting over small things and avoid those daily arguments. I call them easy, because they take very little effort and will help you keep control of your emotions- but it may mean corralling your pride, so just how simple the execution is will depend on you. (Seriously, you can totally do it.) Let’s forget about the small things that seem so important while you’re in a rage over her callous and indiscriminate treatment of your favorite team jersey, and focus on the big picture: your long term relationship is awesome.
I ALREADY TOLD YOU, GET SOME ROBOTIC EARS OR SOMETHING
Sometimes what seems so black and white to you will honestly not be clear for her, and how we communicate in this sort of situation can sometimes break down. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that she’s playing dumb because she wants to see you hulk out, try phrasing what you’re saying differently. While yelling the exact same sentence over and over more and more loudly because she just won’t get it may seem like the most effective tactic, it actually basically guarantees a screaming match. Communicating with each other means exploring ideas from different angles.
YEAH, WELL, YOU HAVE GIANT GORILLA HANDS
Starting on the playground at our most tender age, the insult has always been the most tempting option in a fight. When you know someone so well, there is always the most tender, inside information that you’ll know how to spin into a devastating riposte quickly and cleverly. There is even- and we can admit this here to each other, among friends- satisfaction in landing the killing blow. But when you’re fighting over small things, do you really want to feel proud about emotionally and metaphorically murdering your partner? Let that sink in for a second.
By definition, there’s absolutely nothing small that you can argue over that is worth purposely hurting your lover’s feelings. The irritations that cause small tiffs and the resulting sulky butt hurt that the loser experiences aren’t truly hurt feelings and will fade almost immediately, but the pain inflicted by a calculated personal insult is lasting and almost impossible to undo. The ghosts left by your attacks will keep your partner on the offensive, and will probably do scary Paranormal Activity type things in the middle of the night. You love your girl, and you don’t want that for her; you definitely don’t want to be the cause.
LET’S TEBOW THIS OUT
Celebrate working out the niggling kinks or the times where you’ve avoided fighting over small stuff. I don’t mean throwing a party when you sort out who’s taking out the garbage (although, you know- that would pretty much be the best), but take the time to acknowledge teamwork and a strong, happy relationship. Saying something like, “man, I’m glad you and I work so well together. Fighting over that would have been pretty dumb. I love you!” may sound chintzy, but it shows her that you want to avoid drama and enjoy relationship success. It also tells her that you appreciate her cooperation, and that you hold her equally responsible for keeping things copacetic. Having a warm cuddly experience instead of a stupid spat will only help keep you guys away from fighting over small things.
I NEVER NOTICED HOW BLUE YOUR EYES ARE
Fighting over small things often starts out as a conversation which grows into a monster who eats both of you and shits out evil clones hellbent on conquering the planet. If you can feel that an argument is coming on, take a deep breath, and break the moment to deflect it. Putting a hand on her knee, or taking one of her hands in your own will let her know that there’s no real aggression or anger in your point of view. Sneaking an inside joke or topic-related compliment will take the sting out of your words. If you’re hopeless at this and all you can manage is a cheesy line that makes no sense, well… that will probably at least make her laugh. Take fighting over small things and bring it back down to that cute, manageable conversation that it began as when you first took it out for a walk.
Fighting over small things happens; there’s no way to avoid it altogether. But you can reduce how often it occurs and the damage done. The benefits to keeping these tips in mind are many: most importantly, less stupid arguments (AMEN), but you’re also showing your full commitment to your long term relationship. You love her, and you’re working towards keeping things as perfect as you think she is. If she’s the one, she’ll be doing the exact same for you. Go live happily ever after.
(Photo by Guian Bolisay)