All relationships have struggles and your relationship is no exception. According to Utah State University, in an online article, "Communication, Conflict and Commitment," the critical factor in any relationship is in the way a conflict is handled, not that there is a conflict. Successfully handling conflicts strengthens relationships and confirms the commitment to each partner. Additionally, taking measures to improve your communication makes discussing and resolving issues easier and more productive.
Consider the appropriate time and place to discuss a problem. For example, a family dinner or an outing with friends is not the place to talk about relationship problems. Wait until you are alone and can talk in private. If you have hectic schedules, schedule a time for discussion. Don’t bring up an issue when either of you are tired, stressed or angry. Wait until you both are calm, have a clear head and can communicate in a mature manner. Understand how you feel and what you want to accomplish. “If you are out of touch with your feelings, and don’t understand how you feel or why you feel that way, you’ll have a hard time communicating your feelings and needs to others,” according to an article, "Effective Communication," on HelpGuide.org.
Stick to the point and use 'I' statements. For example, say “I miss going on dates,” rather than “You never take me on dates anymore.” Do not place blame or be confrontational. Think before you talk and do not drag the past into your conversation. “Affection, caring and hope have to be expressed so that your partner feels like it is worth it to work through the problem and make potential changes,” reports Utah State University. Maintain positive body language. For example, sit in a relaxed, comfortable position and maintain eye contact. According to the American Psychological Association, in its online article, "Happy Couples," “Couples that use destructive behavior during arguments, such as yelling, resorting to personal criticisms or withdrawing from the discussion, are more likely to break up than are couples that fight constructively.”
Allow your boyfriend to speak his mind and actively listen to him. He may see the issue in a completely different light. Do not interrupt. “Successful listening means not just understanding the words or the information being communicated, but also understanding how the speaker feels about what they are communicating,” according to HelpGuide.org. Show him respect as he shares the way he views the situation. If you don’t treat your boyfriend kindly and with respect, your attempts to resolve your problem will likely fail.
Recognize your part in the problem and your commitment to find a resolution. Know what type of resolution you are seeking, but be willing to compromise. Find a solution that will work for both of you. “If you manage to find solutions together, you will feel closer, safer, and understood on a deeper level,” says Irene Hansen Savarese, a Florida-based marriage and family therapist.
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