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6 Ways To Make Sure You Love Your Partner MORE After Your Next Fight

Yes, a fight can actually bring you together. In a perfect world, couples would never fight. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and people in relationships often feel misunderstood, neglected, insecure, and any number of other emotions that can lead to fights and disagreements.

That doesn’t mean your relationship is headed for doom and gloom, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you're any 'less connected' as a couple.

Fighting, or arguing, can even be healthy for a relationship IF it’s done respectfully and you both come out of it with a better understanding of the other person when the conflict is resolved.

So, here are six rules to help you "fight nice" the next time you and your partner squabble:

FEATURED: Is Your Attitude Losing Altitude?

Is Your Attitude Losing Altitude?

Did you know that you can stay positive virtually all the time? It’s a choice. But what if you expect good and don’t always get the outcome you’re hoping for? Well, if you expect the worst, you won’t always get the desired results either. Choosing the brighter outlook produces time spent cheerful and happy instead of downtrodden by gloomy predictions. Doesn’t that make sense?

Do you have a positive outlook on life? Might you be in need of an attitude adjustment?

Even if you want to change it, better to have an attitude of good getting better than depress yourself by focusing on negatives.

Think about this:

Divorced is not pathetic. It is an opportunity for an upgrade. Even if he left you, more than likely you will live to see the day you thank him.

Becoming widowed leaves a painful void and life changes but your partner did not leave you willingly. Trust remains intact, and this trust can be a wonderful starting point for taking a risk on a brand new love adventure.

Never married doesn’t label you as the Great Unwanted. It simply means you never made a bad choice. The big plus is your relationship baggage is small enough to carry into a new love with less problems coming with you.

An imperfect commitment you don’t want to leave offers two choices. One, start finding, acknowledging, and saying out loud everything that is right about your partner. You never know - you might convince both of you this partnership is better than you think it is. Or, your other choice is to gently let it be and start focusing on your own self-improvement.

True compatibility is the feeling that you have a helpmate – someone who wants to help you reach your goals and develop as a person. And you must respect and be willing to support your mate’s development and goals as well. With such a strong base, staying together becomes relatively easy.

I’m going to let you in on a secret: people without any dreams or aspirations usually aren’t as interesting as those with a sense of purpose. If you’ve ever met someone who has given up wanting anything for his or her future, you know they tend to lack enthusiasm and are not much fun to be around. They lower the energy level in the room and are likely to be relationship challenged as well.

Once in a committed relationship, you often have to juggle time and energy for jobs, children, family members and friends. Something that is important to your partner can and should change how you plan your time – together and apart. Compromises must be made, but the big picture of a couple’s life together can often be lost before it’s even imagined.

Numerous studies have shown that people who write things down are more likely to get things done. Make a list of the things that are important to you as an individual and as a couple. Writing it down is important even if you never look at it again. Only share your list when you feel ready. And your partner’s list may surprise you!

Now it’s time to create your Mutual Goal List:

  1. Goals, Dreams & Wishes: Write down all of your goals, dreams, and wishes, even those you (or others) believe might be unattainable.

  2. Long-Term Goals & Needs: In all of the craziness of daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of things that really matter. Keeping a list of what’s most important to you individually, and as a couple, can help make those important things your priority.

  3. Places You’d Like to Visit: List the places you’d like to visit together, and below each destination, what it would take to get you there—money, learning a language (doing this together would be a great way to bond), or scheduling a babysitter, etc.

  4. Each Other’s Goals: Share your ideas for yourself and for each other. For example, she might see herself as a not-so-great cook, and he might see her passion and talent without the self-critical goggles women tend to wear. He might suggest a dinner party for twelve using recipes she had been squirreling away. Or she might have creative ideas about how he could increase revenue in his business and suggest he check back in with her when he has put the ideas into play to see if they succeeded. She might realize by the notes and emails he writes that he’s an excellent writer, and encourage him to get a story published, or he might help her realize how valuable she is at work and urge her to negotiate for something she wants.

  5. Financial Goals: Write about what you want out of life over the next five, ten, and twenty year periods, then describe how you plan to get there. What do you want retirement to look like? How much is it going to cost to make your goals happen? Eventually you will need a financial advisor or accountant, but for now just make a basic list and take the first steps.

Setting and reaching even small goals will make you feel better and get you further than you ever imagined. So when all else fails put this on your calendar: get up, get out, and do something – anything that will get you moving towards your goals.

If you’re dating “a keeper,” they will likely have compatible life goals. However, at least you’ve got the perfect exit line if he or she isn’t a keeper: “I believe we have different goals.”

Remember it is easier to reach the stars when you have a partner who is willing to hold the ladder!

Dr. Janet Page is a psychotherapist working with individuals, couples, and groups in New York City and Atlanta and is available for appointments, consultation, or speaking engagements via phone, Skype, or in person. To contact Janet, click here.