Bring on the Boxing Gloves.

Any time you are in a relationship, it is bound to happen. You will have a disagreement. The first instance can range from a very minor argument to a full on, knock-down, drag-out fight. The first fight is a very important one. It can either cause you to break up, or can help you actually become a true couple.

The first fight a couple has is usually over something rather minor. It comes in the form of a disagreement over expectations that one party has that the other is not meeting. Usually this happens because the people involved do not know each other well enough to know exactly what kind of expectations the other has.

Often times, if this first disagreement comes too early in a relationship, neither party is willing to actually discuss what needs to be discussed to work through the issue. Or, one party or the other is not vested enough in the relationship to put forth the effort that it requires to actually listen to another person’s concerns, and possibly even admit that they have done something wrong. However, if there is indeed a vested interest, and both parties are willing actually discuss the problem, often times it can actually help make the relationship stronger.

A first argument can only be successful if some very basic rules are followed. First, it is very imperative that the problem be discussed in the least confrontational method possible. If one party “attacks” the other in an accusatory manner, the one being attacked may determine that the other person is not worth all of this hassle. After all, we tend to be on our best behavior when a relationship is still new. If they are attacking in the beginning, what will happen a year from now when the newness has worn off? No one wants to stay with “that guy”.

The second key is that you must try to leave emotion out of the equation as much as possible. This is very difficult, considering it is often hurt feelings that have caused the argument in the first place. But, if both parties are able to keep an open mind and think in a logical manner, a calm, rational discussion can take place, resulting in a far better outcome for both parties.

Third, it is important that both parties keep an open mind as to their role in the misunderstanding. Both parties must be willing to apologize if it is necessary. Even if one person is the “wrongdoer,” the other party may have been partly to blame as well, possibly by not effectively communicating what exactly they want and need. They may also have helped instigate the problem without even knowing it. Often in an argument there is not just one person who is completely to blame. If both parties are willing to accept responsibility for their part in the problem, there is a much better chance that the end result will be favorable to everyone involved.

In the end, a fight does not have to be the end. It can help a new couple learn how to communicate more effectively with each other. It can help define boundaries and expectations. And it helps show the layer below our best face that we always put forward in the beginning. Or, it can show that two people were truly not meant to be, as their expectations are radically different, or they have different ways of communicating that do not mesh. It can also show an ugly side of a person that is simply not tolerable. But, if both parties are willing to put forth just a little effort, it can actually bring them just a little closer together.

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