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5 Tips for Keeping a Relationship Fresh

Learn to Argue Well

Some couples may be afraid to argue, believing that it's a sign that they aren't compatible or fearing that the argument will be the end of the relationship. Others use it as a prelude to passionate make-up sex. However, couples who know how to argue well find that it strengthens their connection with each other, and a strong relationship is a safe space for airing differences. According to the experts, it's not the differences between partners that cause conflict, it's how they handle their differences [source: Polston and Golant].

Here are some tips for arguing well:

  • Learn to listen as well as express yourself. You may find that the whole argument stemmed from a simple misunderstanding, in which case you can move right on to the make-up sex.
  • Respect your partner's beliefs and don't expect to change his or her mind. Your goal is to understand each other; you don't have to agree.
  • Uncensored anger may be unproductive. If the intensity of your anger surprises even you, it might be best to take a few moments before you say anything. As freeing as it might feel to call your partner names and hurl expletives (or vases), you'll just put your partner on the defensive.
  • Make it about finding a resolution for BOTH of you, not just one of you. If only one of you wins, you both lose. Go for a win-win! (Warning: This means compromise.)