A Little Bit Of Relationship Advice
February 14, 2014

A Little Bit Of Relationship Advice For Valentines

Today is Valentine’s Day, the day to share our love with our partners, spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, and all. Primarily, though, Valentine’s Day is all about love: L-O-V-E. And as most of us know, love just is not easy. More accurately, living with our love is not easy. When two personalities share a domicile together, sometimes conflict is bound to rear its head. This year for Valentine’s Day, Arizona State University (ASU) recently sent out tips to keep our relationships healthy.

According to the release, the ASU president’s professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Jess Alberts, researched conflict in personal and professional relationships, which includes love conflicts. Based on the study, Alberts provided seven helpful tips to keep the Valentine’s Day love going all the time.

So, just what did Alberts study suggest? Well, let’s take a look:

  1. Agree with your partner to never do any name calling, ever.
  2. Look at how you attribute blame or how you react to something your partner does or doesn’t do. How you interpret your partner’s behavior has a significant impact on the reason why you are angry.
  3. If you have a problem with your significant other’s behavior, ask them about their perspective or why they thought their actions were a good idea. The reasons behind what they did may surprise you. Sometimes people are exhausted and not thinking straight. Or, they may think that you would do the same thing in their situation. Or, they may not have been thinking about you when they made their decision.
  4. Be positive. “I tell students that we fall in love with our reflection in our lover’s eyes. This means that part of the reason we love someone else is how they see us and make us feel. It really helps to have that positive attitude when things are going well and especially when you fight,” she said.
  5. Don’t use your relationship as a source of power. Don’t try to control your partner by telling them what they can and cannot do.
  6. Negotiate household tasks and realize that your significant other may have a lower threshold for mess than you do. Things that one person may not even notice can drive another person nuts. Talk about the division of labor in the household and how you’ll handle it if you have different thresholds for clutter.
  7. Don’t stew in anger. Talk about things before you explode. But, be sure to pick a time to talk that is as good for your partner as it is for you.

Now, most of these seem pretty commonsense. We should know all of this, but the truth is when conflict arises, we often forget even the simplest things, like remembering that our partners love us and we love them. Perhaps the most important bits of advice are to ask and communicate about our actions and about our partner’s actions and to not stew in anger, which really means talk about the things that are happening. Talking is so important in any relationship whether the words communicated are the sweet nothings, a joke, or a conflict discussion.

It is so easy to let our emotions get the best of us and to ignore all we know about good love. This Valentine’s Day a nice little reminder about how to navigate relationships just might make it the most perfect Valentine’s Day, and year, yet.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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