By Kimberly Hudson-Grey
There are so many examples of great relationships. It could be your parents, neighbors, best friends, or folks you see around and about. Now, a great relationship can be described differently by each individual. I see a great relationship as one where it’s evident that the couple genuinely loves and respect one another. They may have been together for many years or for just a short time. I think President and First Lady Obama are an excellent example of a great relationship. Others may define a great relationship as one where the couple is very competitive with one another, competitive in a good way of course. Then, there’s a notion that a great relationship is one where there must be drama or arguments. Those who subscribe to this belief believe that drama and arguments keep things exciting and alive.
I read a post on Facebook once that said if a relationship doesn’t have arguments then someone is hiding something. I don’t understand that, but, ok. When things are going well between two individuals, it’s a wonderful experience. They just communicate openly, solve any issue(s) and move on happily. But, what happens when there are issues that are hard to solve or incidents that occur that cause discourse? You’ll have finger pointing. Sometimes to the point where there’s no resolve or solutions, just arguments. That great relationship is now a nightmare. Who’s the problem? Generally, the person who’s telling the story is the one blaming the other party. Rarely is he/she pointing out their own involvement.
The fact of the matter is that when you’re in a drama filled argumentative relationship you can’t be on your very best behavior. Nor can you bring out the best behavior of your significant other. But, what you can do is take a little (or a lot) of time out to examine yourself. Be honest and take responsibility for your actions. Are you the one who believes that arguing is necessary? Does your partner believe the same thing?
Here are a few things to take into consideration, particularly if you are serially in bad relationships. Disclaimer: I’m not speaking about abuse. If you are being abused get out, seek shelter. If you are the abuser get out, seek help.
Are you in-between relationships? This is the perfect time for you to slow down and learn how to be at peace with yourself. If you don’t know peace, you won’t bring peace to your next relationship. Stop and explore your good qualities, also know your faults. If you are continuously in a negative relationship YOU are the common denominator. Figure out why before involving another person. Listen to and ask couples how they resolve problems peacefully. But, most of all, take your time.
What will you and won’t you accept of yourself the next time around? Now that you’ve taken a long hard look at yourself, are you ready for the next step? Have you determined how you will communicate effectively with your partner? Take into consideration some of the complaints you received in the past. Are the complaints indisputable? Be honest with yourself. Are you argumentative, abrasive, dismissive, negative, or inattentive? Decide if that’s how you want to proceed the next time around.
Do you think before you speak? Oftentimes arguments start because one person, whether on purpose or unintentionally, will just burst out with their feelings emotionally without any regard to how the message is received. From the onset, they just want to make their point. If that’s you, then take a moment, with your mouth shut, and think about the best way to get your point across without confrontation. Once you’ve blurted out emotionally it’s a done deal. The only thing happening now is regret and apologies. If it’s not a life or death situation, you can practice self-control.
At the beginning of a relationship do you know how to communicate and how you want to be communicated to? We all have memories of past unfortunate situations that resurface in our minds. What was our part? How could they have turned out differently? If a long lasting committed relationship is your desire, then it’s up to you to know how to conduct yourself. Hopefully, you’ve taken time out for yourself and now know how to be open and transparent. Talk, listen and observe. Hopefully, the other person has done the same thing.