During the honeymoon phase with your partner, it’s hard to believe that you will ever reach the moment when you’ll disagree. How could you two fight? You’re in love, and you can’t imagine the first fight in a relationship!
With time, the honeymoon phase will slowly subside, and the real differences will start to show. This isn’t a bad thing; everyone is different, and arguments are bound to happen. You can have differences in your relationship and remain happy and in love.
But what’s important is that together you use the argument as a tool to improve your relationship.
[Read: Why fighting in a relationship is so important and how to do it right]
If you want to make conflict a positive tool, you must learn not only how to argue, but also what to do after an argument. After a disagreement is when you can form constructive solutions that will improve your relationship. So, having fights are normal, and they will happen.
Here’s how to use your first fight in the relationship as a way to help your relationship and solve issues before they become bigger. Because not all fights are bad ones.
Yes, you just had your first fight. You thought you would never disagree with your partner? Fights happen in relationships, but they don’t mean your relationship is doomed. All this means is that you have a difference of opinions on a topic and need to talk about it.
There’s no point in panicking. When you panic, you overreact and make decisions purely out of emotion. [Read: 13 relationship mistakes new couples make all the time]
We’re not two years old. You would probably love nothing more than to give your partner the cold shoulder, but this isn’t a sign of maturity.
If anything, this shows your inability to communicate your feelings to your partner. Push through this and try your hardest to say how you feel openly, with the intention of expressing yourself instead of trying to hurt them with your words. [Read: Relationship arguments – 27 dos and don’ts you should never ever forget]
If it was a heated argument, give each other a little bit of space. Now, you shouldn’t give them days and days of space, that won’t help. You don’t want to talk about it days later when everything has passed.
When you’ve cooled down *either in a couple of hours or after a good night’s sleep*, re-approach your partner and see if they want to talk about it.
Someone must make the first move after the first fight in the relationship; it may or may not be you. But someone will have to re-approach the subject again.
If you feel it’s the right time, then make the first move and extend the olive branch. You don’t need to talk about it right away; a hug can help ease the tension. [Read: 15 romantic gestures in a new relationship all new couples need to know]
Saying, “I’m sorry” doesn’t mean much unless it comes with some sort of action or solution. If you yelled at them, for example, you cannot just say, “I’m sorry.”
Instead, after apologizing, explain what your apology means and how you’ll change. Don’t forget; you’ll need to actually live up to your words. [Read: How to apologize and say sorry to your lover]
If you want to resolve this conflict after the first fight in your new relationship, sit down with your partner and listen to how they’re feeling. They need to express themselves without you getting angry or judgmental. Simply listen to their side of the story, and then, when it’s your turn, talk.
There were two of you in the argument, right? Sure, your partner may have been in the wrong, but you probably weren’t an angel either.
So, if there’s anything you need to own up to, take responsibility for it. If you said something hurtful towards your partner, own up to it. [Read: 12 new relationship boundaries new couples must draw early on]
Your partner may come back to you to talk about the problem after a couple of minutes of cooling down. And this is them extending the olive branch.
It takes a lot for someone to swallow their pride and ego, and humble themselves to make the first step, and you shouldn’t walk away from them if they reach their hand out.
You should listen to your partner and their side of the story, but they should also listen to your side and how the argument made you feel.
But what’s most important is that you do not shift the blame and point fingers at them. Simply express how the first relationship fight made you feel. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]
It’s easy to use low-blows and insults against your partner during the first fight in a relationship. You want to come out as the winner, and this tactic is when you don’t want to take responsibility for your own actions.
Low-blows and jabs won’t make the situation any better; it’ll only make your partner feel bad about themselves.
After everything has settled down from the first relationship fight, it’s important to take a look at the real root of the problem.
It wasn’t the fact your partner forgot to buy you the lemons you asked for; there’s something deeper behind it. Sit with your partner and dig into the real meaning of what’s going on.
After your first fight in the relationship, you’re probably a bit shaken up. It makes sense. But this doesn’t mean you should just put the issue aside and live your life.
Come up with a solution for this problem with your partner, or else it’ll keep coming up. [Read: New relationship advice to make sure you have a perfect start to your romance]
Maybe your first argument didn’t happen exactly how you’d like. Maybe there was way more yelling than necessary.
If that’s the case, it’s important you and your partner look at preventative methods. It could be avoiding certain trigger words or knowing when to pull back when things are becoming a little too heated.
There will be many fights where you will never re-discuss the topic ever again. But then there will be some things that will reoccur several times after your first fight.
If this happens, and you’re unable to come up with a solution, seek a professional. They have the tools to help you get on the right track. [Read: Why you keep having the same fight over and over again – How to break this unhealthy habit]
You’ve watched enough rom-coms to know that after a fight, couples would have hot and steamy sex. But that’s not something you need to do.
If you’re not feeling like being sexual with your partner, you don’t need to be. But, let them know you love and care for them, give them a hug or tell them you love them. [Read: How to have make up sex – The art of mastering the romp after the rage]
Most people hate to fight because they think it harms their relationship. However, that’s not necessarily true. It can be true, but not always.
The thing you need to know about conflicts is that it’s a natural process. Whenever you have two or more people together, having differences of opinions is inevitable. So, we just need to accept it as a fact of life instead of trying to outrun it or pretend like it doesn’t exist.
So, conflict in and of itself isn’t inherently good nor bad. What matters is how the people handle the conflict. Most people aren’t taught how to handle a fight effectively, and that’s why most people hate to have any conflict at all. [Read: How to stop fighting in a relationship and 16 steps to really talk]
When most people hear that word, they think of “fighting.” But having a conflict doesn’t mean that you have to fight in your relationship. Fighting is negative because you are competing with each other in order to “win” and be “right.”
But all conflict really is this: perceived incompatible goals.
In other words, you both think you want different things. The emphasis on the word “perceived” means that you might actually agree, you just don’t know it. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re fighting too often]
Believe it or not, conflict can be productive. That might sound really difficult to believe especially after the first fight in a relationship, but it’s true. But of course, it can be destructive. And here’s why.
First, fighting the wrong way increases strain on a relationship. It makes both people defensive, and they feel emotions like distrust, anger, and stress. When this happens – or goes on for a long time – it can create a lot of resentment on both sides. Eventually, it can ruin relationships.
But if you handle conflict the right way, it can be productive to your relationship. It can actually enhance it and make it better. However, you can’t fight when you are angry. Instead, you have to cool down so you can talk calmly and rationally to work out your problems.
When you are cooling down, then you should look at yourself and your emotions. It’s a time when you should understand why you see things the way you do, and why you feel the way you feel. Once you understand this, then you can share your perspective with your partner, and they should do the same. [Read: How to stop fighting with your boyfriend and hurting each other]
Most people have a dominant way that they “fight” and approach conflict. A lot of them are very toxic to a relationship and should be avoided. Let’s look at them.
This style is almost always destructive to a relationship, whether it’s the first fight or the hundredth. When someone has this approach, they see their partner as their “enemy.” They feel like they need to “win” the argument against their opponent.
But when you do this, you’re really fighting against yourself – even though it doesn’t seem like it. You should view yourselves as a team, not two individual competitors. When you fight against each other, then nothing will get resolved.
This isn’t a healthy approach either. It’s understandable that most people want to avoid fighting. But when you do that, you never solve any problems. And that doesn’t mean they go away.
When you avoid your problems, they just pile up over time. Then one day, there are just too many problems that weren’t dealt with, so it feels like it’s impossible to solve them all. [Read: Power struggles in a relationship – 19 signs and ways to overcome it]
This occurs when one person just gives in to the other one and lets them “win.” Now, this isn’t always a bad idea. It depends on the situation.
For example, if you’re out to dinner with your boss and spouse, it’s not worth fighting in front of your boss. So, you should just give in for the moment.
But if this is a strategy that is used all the time, then it can be destructive. Especially if it’s always the same person giving in. Over time, resentment will develop for never getting their needs met.
These are the best two styles to use in every relationship fight, and not just your first one. Compromising happens when you both give a little and get a little. You both make a compromise and meet in the middle. Even though no one gets exactly what they want, it’s at least a fair strategy.
Collaborating is when you look at all the underlying issues involved and try to please both people. That way, everyone is happy. It’s not easy to do, but in the next section, we will outline the steps you need to take in order to do this. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship and not feel like you lost out]
As you can see, you want to try to use this collaborating approach in the future. Now that you’re past the first fight in your relationship, here’s how to learn to collaborate and fight in a way that’s productive for you, your partner and the relationship, every single time.
You both need to agree on the central problem. Then you both have to present to each other what your unmet needs are. What do you want to happen? What does a good solution look like to you?
Schedule a time for you to sit down with each other and talk through the problem and figure out solutions. It might sound silly to actually schedule a time to talk, but it helps hold both of you accountable. [Read: How to resolve conflict – the 15 best ways to cut out the drama]
Since you both have examined your individual needs, you need to present them to your partner so they can listen and try to understand what you want. [Read: How to handle the awkward tension after a relationship argument]
Don’t just focus on your needs. You really need to be a good listener and have empathy when listening to your partner. See it from their point of view, and tell them how you feel about it.
Now that you have everything out on the table, then you should figure out a solution that you are both happy with. Keep talking until you are fully satisfied. [Read: Why fighting in a relationship is important and how to do it right]
It’s not enough just to talk and come up with a solution after a relationship fight. You actually have to follow through with taking action. Now that you’ve had your first fight, learning to change your behavior in the future is key to following through with your mutually agreed-upon solutions.
[Read: 25 things couples in happy relationships always talk about]
Having the first fight in a relationship is inevitable. It’s something that is unavoidable. But not only you can decide how you’ll handle the aftermath, but you can also handle conflict better in the future now that you know the right way to do it.
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