9 Things We Need To Stop Doing During Fights With Our Partners

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

1. Fighting about completely different things

I can’t tell you how many times halfway through a heated argument, it’s occurred to me that we aren’t even fighting about the same thing. Somehow, with tempers running high, we end up having two completely separate arguments. Had we taken a moment to clarify what was really bothering us, we would have probably discovered we were in agreement.

2. Raising our voices

I know that some random preschool teacher probably explained to us that shouting wasn’t the way to get what we want, and we decided to disregard this advice. But quite honestly there is some truth to it. The second one party starts to shout, is the same moment that the other party goes on the defensive. After that, there is very little chance of resolving the issue.

3. Placing blame

Naturally, there will be those situations in which one…

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Rule #42- The Complexity of a Definition


Relationships used to be really easy to define (like two hundred years ago), you were either married or having sex out of wedlock. The number of relationship grey areas were rather minimal.

Today, we are spoiled for choice about pretty much everything. It’s the age of possibility, and with that we have many more decisions to make. The flip-side of this, being that we have more freedom to make the wrong choices as well. So to counter the possibility of god forbid making a mistake, we like to ‘keep our options open.’

This leads to even more hours, month, and even years of deliberations, mulling things over, being confused, deciding, then changing our minds, and still not being sure that we found the right person to spend the rest of our lives with.

Relationships just aren’t black and white anymore, they can be monogamous  polygamous, open, or closed. We have fun buddies, snuggle buddies, and every once in a while when we’ve had too many drinks buddies. Not to mention those friends we call just for sex, or the ones we call but don’t want to have sex with.

The possibilities are endless!

Which in some ways is wonderful, but sometimes it can be rather exhausting,  and we can never quite be certain when we should push for “defining the relationship!?”

1. For starters, never be too pushy! You might feel that you can marry this person, but that doesn’t mean they feel the same way (they may not be ‘there’ yet). Give them the space and time to catch up. Just because it takes them a little longer to feel the way you do, doesn’t make their investment in the relationship any less valid. 

If you get all passive aggressive about it, and keep bringing it up at every opportunity (thus freaking them out), you are more likely to get a ‘I’m not ready for this kind of commitment’ talk, rather than the assurance you really needed.

I once dated someone who kept calling me his girlfriend after we had been going out for like a week. Needless to say we didn’t make it past the second.

That said, if you’ve been dating for months, and you don’t feel you’re on the same page, it might be time to talk about whether or not you both want the same things.

2. I’m just gonna go ahead and say this (if you have been following my blog for long enough, this is probably going to make your eyes bleed from the repetition). Just talk about it! It doesn’t have to be a big deal, you don’t have to make a whole thing of it. Just casually bring it up, slip it into the conversation; tell him/her about ‘your mutual friend Clara from work’ who keeps asking if you two are dating, and you’re now sure how to answer.

Anyway you choose to go about it, just ask! An uncomfortable conversation is way better than hours/days of obsessing about it in your head.

But, do yourself a huge favor, have this conversation with a pinch of common sense (okey, maybe more like a handful of it). If you’ve gone on two dates you’re probably not a couple quite yet. Don’t push him/her into a corner and stress them out about defining things too quickly, because you may just end up loosing them altogether. 

Rule #38- Exclusivity

via Hanh Dung – Son, Bùi Linh Ngân

A few years ago I took a short trip to New York (City). In-between Broadway and cocktails, my host, a friend from back home, admitted how difficult she found dating in the city.

She was used to dating one person at a time, and having exclusivity a given from the get-go. This new concept, of dating a few people simultaneously, was a foreign concept to her.

Which made me wonder, what guarantees us exclusivity?! Going out a couple of times, dating for a month, maybe even three,  having sex on a regular basis, only once, ‘I love you’s’?! (and let’s not forget those wonderful people who just completely neglect to notify their significant others that they don’t believe in monogamy). At what point is it SAFE TO ASSUME you’re the only one? At what point is the OTHER PERSON the only one?

What do you do when there is such a fine line between cheating and ‘still seeing other people’?! 

I have to say that I spend copious amounts of time pondering this rather daunting  question, and I’ve reached the conclusion that there is no social convention as to when one should adopt monogamous relationship patterns. 

Isn’t it wonderful, how there is just no social consensus on this sticky matter? (where are ironclad dating laws when you need them?!)

So how does one deal with this rather awkward situation? 

1. I feel like if you’ve gone out with someone more than a couple of times (let’s say three for us indecisive types), you do it because you are interested in them. You aren’t necessarily picking out a band for your wedding just yet, but you are interested in pursuing something. 

If you do see a future, STOP hedging your bets! Sometimes it’s a good idea to risk everything for a higher return. The more you are willing to invest in the person you just started dating, the more you will stand to gain from the relationship. Taking a risk is a good thing, and with relationships, you have to take a chance on someone else if you want things to go somewhere. 

2. TALK TO THE PERSON YOU ARE DATING! If you feel there is something there, ask them if the relationship is exclusive, or tell them you want it to be. Never assume anything these days! (because everyone has a different idea on the subject). Some people, because that is what is acceptable in their circles, won’t stop seeing or even sleeping with other people unless you define the relationship as exclusive. 

3. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable if the other person found out you were still seeing/sleeping with other people… If the answer is yes, you wouldn’t want them to find out, then you are de facto hiding it from them. In which case…

Make a decision! Either stop messing around, or break it off with the person you are seeing, because it isn’t fair to anyone involved! 

Bonus Rule: Hone Your Gaydar


Hi! I’m westwood, author over at gapingwhole, and this is a guest post.

Gay, straight, or bi, everyone is looking for someone to love. And it is extremely helpful if the person you want to be with is interested in the type of junk you have in your pants. That’s why it is always important to hone your gaydar!When someone straight falls for someone gay, or vice versa, it’s a mess. I often have seen, and occasionally been subject to, the emotional wreckage and heartbreak that ensues. There is a lot of confusion, angst… and often someone being outed in a way they aren’t comfortable with. Or, it just ends with a girl pining over her gay best friend for years and being permanently relegating to fag hag status.

Here are some quick and dirty tricks to ascertain the sexual orientation of your crush:

1. The obvious. If someone really, really looks gay… they probably are. Girls with fauxhawks and no makeup who wear plaid board shorts and collared shirts (even if they are pink) are probably gay. Guys who are wearing makeup and heels and use too many hand gestures over a tall non-fat soy latte in Starbucks… while talking to a similar-looking guy with a really trendy haircut or surrounded by 3+ giggling girls… are probably gay. That being said, I know plenty of sporty butch girls who have slept with more dudes than they have notches on their weightlifting belts… so never go on appearances alone.

2. The subtle. To paraphrase myself as quoted elsewhere, for every gay person you see, there is at least one you don’t. Many (if not most) look just like everybody else. Bisexuals are pretty darn impossible to spot unless they out themselves, given both their (usually) heteronormative appearance and society’s tendency to erase bisexsuals. Look for small signs. Do you see a rainbow bracelet/pin/sticker anywhere in their vicinity? Do their facebook photos show them hanging out with people with ‘alternative lifestyle’ haircuts?  Do they omit gendered pronouns when talking about relationships? These are all signs that should tip off your gaydar, and more investigation is needed (for a full list of lesbian-spotting tips, see the always hilarious effingdykes).

3. Ask. Just as if you were trying to determine if your crush was already in a relationship, the best way to find out this sort of information is ask. DO NOT walk up to him/her/it and point-blank demand, “ARE YOU GAY??!!” in the middle of the room. Be delicate. Don’t ask their friends or  your friends… you don’t want to start rumours or spread misinformation. Ask your crush about past or current relationships. If you are straight, be approachable and trustworthy. If you are LGB and out, self-disclose fairly early (although starting a conversation with “Hi, I’m so-and-so and boy do I ever like making out with people with the same naughty bits as me.” is not advised). No matter what, be open-minded… even if the person’s orientation isn’t suited to yours, the fact that you were attracted to them in the first place probably means there is great friend potential. And you never know… people can always switch teams.

Pay attention, and you will be well on your way to dating someone who is interested in the sort of plumbing you have downstairs! In terms of dating rules, studies show that in same-sex and opposite-sex relationships are similar in nearly every way (although same-sex relationships come out on top in terms of intimacy, communication, cooperation, domestic sharing, and sexual satisfaction… sorry heteros!).

The rules in this book apply equally to both types of relationships, with a few exceptions. Perhaps I shall return to discuss some of those… what do you think, bigbookofdating readers?