Arguments and How to Best Pick Your Battles

Arguments in any relationship are unavoidable. Two people, with two separate sets of needs, calls for the occasional battle. Whether with a friend, sibling, or your partner, fights are definitely in your future.

Arguments can vary in level of seriousness, or possible detriment they can cause. Regardless, the vast majority may not be worth losing that person, or somehow destroying your relationship. The key to surviving arguments is which ones you choose to pursue.

Picking your battles is something I learned at a young age. My older sister used to always remind me of this in the midst of an argument, and it was definitely a lesson I was happy to learn. Now that I am older, I am able to decide which battles are actually worth fighting. Which battles I’m actually passionate about. Which battles are important to me. And which battles can somehow improve the relationship versus damage it.

In my relationships, I find that there are several ways to decide which of those fights to choose. Many of them require a thought and time to decide if it’s worth the trouble.

How to best pick your battles:

Level of importance 

Is a particular issue an annoyance vs. an actual problem? We all have good and bad days, and some things, like the direction in which the toilet paper roll hangs, can drive you nuts. Be sure, though, to consider how fighting a battle that inferior can ultimately affect the other person. Will they be hurt? Will they feel unappreciated? Sometimes it might be easier to just flip the roll and move on…

Timing

There’s a time and place for everything. Is it the right time to discuss this issue? Or could this be better handled in the future? Somethings just don’t need to be addressed right away. For example, you’ve just gotten engaged, and you are not sure where to send your kids to school. Are you planning on having kids in the next year? If not, maybe it’s not something that you need to get into right this second…

Ability to compromise

Being able to compromise is crucial to the success of any relationship, especially when it comes to potential arguments. Is this a topic that isn’t very concerning to you? Pizza vs. Thai? Or which coffee table to purchase? Which color to paint the new room? Again, take into consideration how important this is to you vs. your partner—will it affect them more than it will affect you? Sometimes it’s worth the compromise…

Is it life altering? 

Fights can vary from life altering to unworthy. Whether it’s relocating to another city/country, or deciding whether or not to have children, these decisions can completely change your life. How significant is the issue? And where do you stand compared to your partner? These types of discussions may be worth the battle—just make that you are able to appropriately get your point across.

Can you let it go? 

If you decide to completely drop a topic and not pursue a discussion, you actually have to drop it. Don’t avoid the problem because you don’t feel like dealing with it, otherwise you can develop negative feelings like resentment and anger. If you’re choosing to comprise, be 100% okay with your decision…

Be constructive

If you choose to pursue the battle at hand, come prepared with valid points, and be constructive. Actively listen, and try to understand the other person’s point of view. Choose your words wisely, and be kind. Take time to think about things first, and engage in discussion after you’ve had time to calm down. Remember, it’s of the utmost importance to always be respectful.

arguments | relationships | compromise | pick your battles | dating | love

Not sure how to share your feelings with your partner? Peek our tips on how to best communicate your thoughts…

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xx,

Paula

Why It’s Important to Travel with Your Partner Before Tying the Knot

Travel is such an important part of life. Travel allows for new experiences, personal growth, and the ability to really get to know someone else. Whether doing it solo, with friends, or with your partner, your joint travel experience can define that relationship.

 I’m one of those people who can’t travel with just anyone. Because of this, I was pretty nervous about taking a 3-week international trip with my beau. We’ve been together for over a year, and our local trips have been great. I literally can’t get enough of this guy. BUT, traveling across the world, while trying to navigate a new place, in a foreign language, with varying cultural norms, can create some friction. 

The primary question I got from friends when we got home was, “did you guys fight?” This was confusing to me—were we supposed to fight? Luckily, there were no arguments, and we had an amazingtime. 

Having had the opportunity to spend 24-uninterrupted-hours together each day for 3-weeks helped me realize just how much we love each other. However, if we weren’t compatible enough, many things could have gone wrong. And if they did, we may not have returned as two people in love…

Consider these 7 things when traveling with your partner before tying the knot: 

1. Making plans

Making plans is so important. Whether it’s for dinner, travel, your new apartment, or your future family, being on the same page is crucial. What’s your travel destination? What attractions will you visit? What type of food will you eat? Will you rent a car? Or utilize public transportation? Will you stay in a hostel? Or a fancy hotel?

Being able to weight the pros and cons, and make a joint decision that both parties are comfortable with is just the first step. If the two of you desire different things, making plans can potentially become a barrier to moving forward in your relationship. 

2. Compromise

Compromise is also part of making plans—can the two of you work together to settle on something you’ll both be happy with? It can be one person choosing hotels, and the other booking tours, or both of you planning everything together. Whatever it may be, make sure you are both happy with what’s coming. 

3. Lifestyle

Leading a similar lifestyle is vital when it comes to travel. Are you wanting to go on a foodie tour? See the sights? Visit the museums? Or climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Will you both agree on engaging in the same activities? Or will it become a battle? 

My beau and I decided early on that we wanted to eat our way through Europe. We wanted to get lost in each city, and take in as much of the culture as we could. We did not plan any tours, nor did we engage in the craziest activity that city had to offer. Our desire was to enjoy our vacation and go with the flow.

If we hadn’t agreed on the same things, it would have been totally possible for conflict to arise.  

4. Spending time 

I think spending an extended period of time with someone and not wanting to punch them is a reallygood sign, lol. Are you able to tolerate your partner 24/7 for several days and/or weeks? Are you able to remain patient? And kind? And not find something to bicker over? 

If you can handle constantly being in close quarters for several weeks, sometimes under difficult circumstances, you and your beau can really get through anything…

5. Having fun

Do you have fun with your partner? Does your partner suggest activities that you both enjoy? Taking pleasure in the time you and your partner spend together, even if you’re doing nothing, is crucial to the success of a relationship. 

You can’t always be happy, and life isn’t always fun, but there should be more good times than bad… 

6. Listen to your gut

Are you at ease? Or are you anxious? Are the butterflies in your tummy from excitement? Or from nervousness? Listen to your gut. Our bodies can sense things that we might not yet realize. Living a life where you’re constantly on edge is not healthy. Be aware of what your body is trying to tell you…

7. What’s next?

Will you come back from your trip knowing that this person is the one for you? Or will you return wanting to end things? Long trips can do that, and it’s okay. If you can’t tolerate two weeks with your partner, how are you going to endure a lifetime? 

Traveling with your partner before tying the knot can reveal a great deal about both you and your partner. If you’re both on the same page, and have the ability to work together as a team, your relationship is probably in a healthy place…

travel | dating | marriage | relationships | travel with your partner | compromise

Love your partner, but not sure how to show it? Read up on how to love your partner wholeheartedly…

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xx,

Paula

10 Ways to Love Your Partner Wholeheartedly

Love is selfless, love is kind, love is a gift.

Love is one of those things that we can feel, see in the eyes of another, and verbally express. However, it’s not something we can measure. One can say they will love their partner to the moon and back, or more than unicorns love cotton candy, but actions speak much louder than words.

In my current relationship, I have been able to recognize real love. The difference is that rather than hearing simply hearing “I love you,” I can feel it in my bones. I can see it in how he treats me. I can experience it in how we communicate. I know we are right for each other because he loves me the way I need to be loved.

Love languages are real. The way each person expresses and interprets love is unique—if someone can love you the way that you need to be loved and vice versa, you’re definitely ahead of the game.

Above all, choosing to love someone is much stronger than the love itself.

You can love a flower, but if you neglect to nurture and water it, it will die. Relationships are similar—to maintain a strong and healthy relationship, you must invest an appropriate amount of time and effort into nurturing that connection and meeting the needs of your partner.

Please don’t confuse meeting the needs of your partner with neglecting yourself. You can engage in a great deal of giving in a relationship, all while not losing sight of your own needs and boundaries. Remember that compromise is vital in the success of a relationship, and it’s important to maintain a balance.

Balance is key.

Love is different for each person, but the foundation of a relationship comes down to a few things…

What is love?

1. It’s a choice

You and your partner must choose to be with one another—to be present, to be invested, and to be engaged. If one person is not as interested in the relationship as the other, problems will arise. Don’t stay in a relationship if it’s for the wrong reasons, as it is emotional torture for both parties.

2. It’s a priority

You can include someone in your life, but not prioritize him or her. Create a life together, and include that person in your decision process. Whether deciding if you’ll relocate for a job, or what to order for dinner, include your partner in making a decision. This person is your other half, and should be allowed an opinion and choice.

3. It’s compromise

Put your partner first. Sometimes it’s the little things, and sometimes it’s the big things. As long as you know what your limits are, it is okay to put your partner’s needs before your own sometimes. Sacrifice is a huge part of relationships, and it will show your partner just how committed and invested you are. However, it’s important to remember that this is a two-way street.

4. It’s being dependable

Be there. No matter what it is, be there for your partner. If you two cannot be there to care for and support one another, who will be? Again, prioritize your partner and relationship over other things.

5. It’s being present

Be there—emotionally and mentally. This is crucial to the success of any relationship. Presence isn’t necessarily a physical concept, and we are able to see that in long-distance relationships that are healthy. Connection isn’t about where you are, but rather, at what capacity you’re present. Be involved.

6. It’s putting up a fight

Fight for the person you care for, no matter what the situation is. If you want person this person to be a part of your life, fight. 

7. It’s picking your battles

Some things are worth fighting for, and others just aren’t. Decide when you’re willing to compromise, and talk to your partner when you’re not. As long as you communicate, things will be okay. 

8. It’s getting physical

Physical attraction and love are a huge part of relationships. Be intimate and love your partner. I’m not just talking about sex, but rather, connecting with your partner. Whether it’s cuddling, holding hands, or engaging in a mere kiss, it’s the simple things that can feel the most intimate…

9. It’s not taking your partner for granted

Love your partner and treat them with kindness and respect on the regular. If you knew today was the last day you would see your partner, what would you say? What would you do? Yeah—that’s how you should treat your partner every single day. You never know when the last time is the last time…

10. It’s a package

Respect, commitment, trust, compromise, fun, laughter, etc. Love is a package. How you choose to seal, wrap, and deliver that package is what makes each relationship unique. The basic foundation of each relationship comes down to a few vital and necessary qualities; this allows for a healthy relationship to continually thrive and develop.

Choose commitment. Choose happiness. Love wholeheartedly

Love | wholehearted | compromise | relationship | commitment

Wanting to reignite the spark in your relationship? Check out our ten tips on how to keep the novelty alive!

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xx,

Paula

How Communication Can Make or Break a Relationship

It’s all about communication. Having a healthy relationship also includes trust, love, and respect, but I don’t think any of that is possible without clear communication…

The concept of communication can seem so basic because people just talk to each other, right? How can it be so hard? Well, it’s important to realize that communication can either be extremely complex, or very simple—it all depends on whether you’re utilizing the appropriate tools or not.

So, one might wonder, what constitutes good communication? Is it how a couple speaks to one another? Is it when they speak to one another? Is it about feeling safe enough to openly share thoughts and feelings? Is it about being kind and listening?

The answer is YES. All the above create for healthy, clear, and concise communication. Being able to respectfully speak and listen to one another, and engage in a dialogue vs. a fight, is what communication is all about. Allowing enough space for each person to express his/her thoughts about an issue, have a discussion, and come to a compromise, is truly the epitome of love.

Ok, so now that we’ve got that down, why can communication make or break your relationship? Let’s discuss…

1. Back to the basics

Let go back to the basics: how do two people get to know one another? They talk.

Above all else, learning about your partner is what it takes to build a relationship. By openly speaking to one another, whether it’s sharing your deepest, darkest secrets, or talking about your favorite dinosaurs and make-believe lands, engaging in any kind of talk that provides comfort and freedom is crucial. This will allow couples to really get to know each other.

2. Safety in speech

Feeling safe sharing anything and everything with your partner is such a vital factor when it comes to healthy relationships. How can two people have a relationship, and potentially build a life together, if they’re not comfortable sharing things with one another? It’s basically impossible. If you don’t feel safe talking with your partner, this will most likely lead to fights and/or break-ups.

3. Respect

Respect is the most important aspect of communication. Speak respectfully to your partner. Try not to be hurtful, don’t place blame, take responsibility for your feelings, listen to one another, and tell the other person what you need in that moment. The sooner you start, the better. It makes all the difference…

4. Discussing needs

Expressing your thoughts, feelings, and needs is necessary for a healthy relationship to continually move forward. Happiness is super important, and when you’re not able to share what you need with your partner, happiness just won’t be in the cards for either of you. Being unhappy is not only detrimental to you, but also to the relationship. Some of the negative feelings that may also occur when needs aren’t met are anger, resentment, and frustration. They’re not fun, I promise.

It’s of the utmost importance, to both your wellness and the vitality of your relationship, to feel comfortable sharing your needs with your partner…

5. Compromise, compromise, compromise—cheese or fries?

Making changes in a relationship so that both parties are happy requires compromise. This can sometimes elicit a little bit of a back-and-forth discussion, and will also involve a great deal of open and clear communication.

Remember when we talked about respect and safety? These aspects are particularly valuable in a situation of compromise. Talking about “issues” in your relationship can potentially bring up negative emotions, however, with listening, respect, and feeling safe with your bleeding heart wide open on that table, you’ll find a way to work out your differences.

6. Communication styles

The more you talk to one another and share how you feel, the sooner you can learn about your communication styles. Maybe during a heavy discussion, one of you needs to step away to cool down. Some people may potentially be offended by this, but if you’re aware of the way in which your partner communicates, you will allow them the space they need without it damaging the trust in your relationship.

Everyone communicates differently, and that’s okay. Just make sure that you’re aware of the differences…

7. Body language

Communication isn’t just about words, it’s also about body language. Body language can be conveyed positively with kisses, hugs, smiles, eye contact, and all those fuzzy things. However, it can also suggest negative or mixed emotions. If your partner says he/she is “fine” after an argument, however, is rolling their eyes, has crossed their arms, and won’t look at you, you’re faced with conflicting verbal and physical reactions. Definitely something to discuss using our handy-dandy communication skills, right?

It’s important to be aware of those frowns and mean faces, or anything that is out of the ordinary, as it’s a good indicator that something is going on…

The first step to improving your communication is remembering that patience is a virtue. Sooner or later you and your partner will have communication down, and you’ll function like a well-oiled machine. Until then, continue to learn about one another, love one another, always respect one another, and forgive one another quickly.

communication | trust | respect | body language | relationships

Is there something you’re not sure how to share with your partner? Check out some tips on how to say the difficult things here!

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xx,

Paula