Why Conflict Is Essential To A Healthy Relationship
Relationships aren't always easy and they require effort from both parties. Sometimes, we form unrealistic expectations from when we first fell in love - when euphoric brain chemicals keep us up all night "high" on love. This state sets us up for a big letdown when those hormones die down and stress, life, and relationship differences cause conflict. But that does not mean your relationship is falling apart. Conflict is an opportunity to enhance our relationships. It challenges us and helps us grow.
Here are some tips to help reignite those sparks in your relationship:
- Put each other first. Before work and other responsibilities.
- Connect with at least one 30-second kiss each day. This provides your brain with oxytocin - bonding you to your partner and making you feel attached and safe.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Trying new things with your partner bonds you in a new way - especially when your activities are adrenaline boosters like watching a scary movie.
- Forgo virtual communication during the day. This means no emails, texts, and phone calls about non-emergent things. Giving yourselves some time away from each other gives you the chance to start yearning to reunite with them at the end of the day. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking about your significant other. Think about them several times throughout the day, but challenge yourself to focus on the positives. By not talking to each other all day every day, you'll likely begin to focus on the things you love about your partner - the things you miss when you aren't in contact.
- Schedule some face-to-face time at night to connect. Use this time to reconnect and talk about your days, dreams, or interests. You've been away from each other all day, so this is your chance to just revel in each other's presence.
- Give your partner space. You both need some alone time. A lack of space and insufficient time apart is one of the biggest frustrations in relationships. You need those separate hobbies and interests for individual growth and recreation. Plus those solo activities will only enhance your time together because you'll have more to share.