Having disagreements or even arguing with your significant (or insignificant) other is an inevitable part of every partnership. Anyone who says they don’t argue is lying, or, there is something seriously wrong. It’s completely normal and natural to disagree. Often times, these lead to miscommunication, and, other times, breakup. It’s a part of life, and the risk you take. Any time you enter into something with someone, whatever it is, you take a risk that something will go wrong and it won’t work out. You wouldn’t be the first, nor the last. Now when this happens … what is the first thing you do? You run to your friends or family don’t you? You want to get their opinion or even just vent or maybe a shoulder to cry on. Why? Well, they’ll always take your side, even if you’re at fault. Your partner will never win with them. It helps your ego more than it helps anything else, doesn’t it. I’m here to tell you that in order to fight fair, you need to get rid of the dating and relationship third wheel and communicate with your partner.
Get Rid of the Dating and Relationship Third Wheel
Friendships are an essential part of life. There is nothing more valuable than having someone to lean on who you know will be there for you regardless of what happens. They will always take your side, even if they don’t completely agree with you. Friends are friends, they’ve got your back. Nothing wrong with that. We need these types of people in our lives. But, when it comes to dating and relationships, these are the same people that might just ruin it for you. Sometimes intentionally but mostly unintentionally. Why? Well, they usually can’t be objective with you. In their effort to be supportive they end up backing you up even if you’re in the wrong.
Think of your latest breakup. What was the first thing you did? You vented to someone. Maybe you were angry, maybe you were hurt, maybe even confused. Whatever the case may be, you went to your friends. What did they do? They comforted you and agreed with you that your partner was an asshole and that they were in the wrong and you were in the right. It was all your partner’s fault. Your friends told you that you deserve better, that your partner didn’t deserve you and they weren’t good enough for you. Right? Right? You know I’m right.
Your friend immediately became your dating and relationship third wheel. You added a third person into the equation. Let me ask you something else, did you give the WHOLE story or just your version of it? Were they even there? Are they in the situation with you? Did you factor in where your partner was coming from when you were telling your story? Probably not, and even if you did it was just a small insignificant part. You wanted to make them out to be the bad guy right? We’ve all done it. You come out smelling like a rose and your partner / ex-partner, well, comes out smelling like something out of the back of donkey’s ass. You’ve essentially changed the way everyone looks at them. Permanently. But, what if you decided to get back with them? What happens then? You can’t always undo people’s perceptions of them (or you for going back to this person you made out to be an asshole). Think about it. How do you avoid this? By communication and fighting fair WITH your partner and keeping everyone else out of it. If you really need to talk to someone, seek out the friend who is most objective, who’ll listen supportively without judging.
Communication and Fighting Fair
Imagine that, fighting fair will HELP you. Plain and simple. It’s a learning process and not always easy to do, trust me I know, especially if you’re angry and hurt and tend to be a reactive person. I know personally it’s hard for me not to react, but I’m learning (slowly). The less you react to things, the more you solve things peacefully. But what happens if someone really knows how to push your buttons? Well, learn to pick your battles and ask yourself if it’s really worth it. How do you communicate effectively and fight fair? Here are some tips:
- keep it between you and them, keep the third wheel out of it
- before reacting walk away and calm down, this will help you think more clearly and not emotionally or reactively
- acknowledge what the real problem is and know the root of it
- start your discussion by saying how the situation made you feel and not accusing the other person, for example say “when you did that you made me feel like this”, never attack them or hash up old hurts or things you’ve already forgiven
- recognize where the person is coming from and where they’re at, this will help you see things from their perspective, you don’t have to agree with their perspective but at least you will understand why they did what they did
- be completely honest with each other, always, the only way to solve things is if all the cards are on the table
- actively listen, be present in the conversation, respond by paraphrasing, this shows you actually care
- be open to compromise, there is always a middle ground, you can’t always get your way but if salvaging the partnership is important to you then you need to give and take, meeting halfway by compromise will help you end up with a better solution
- no abuse, physical or verbal, is ever ever OK
- stick to the topic and don’t exaggerate
- don’t ever make assumptions
So there you go, fighting with your partner is inevitable, but, if you communicate and fight fair rather than bringing in the third wheel, you will be able to solve things amicably and peacefully with minimal casualties. Even if you don’t stay together, you will at least leave with your dignity intact.
READERS: How do you fight fair? Have friends ever ruined your relationship or given you bad advice? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Copyright Single Dating Diva