David Butler asked:
Single Christians who want to be in a long lasting romantic/dating relationship need to learn how to fight, if that relationship is to survive. I know that sounds like crazy advice, but the top reason why both dating and married couples breakup is precisely that they don’t know how to argue and fight.
This is very important, so let me reiterate this dating advice a different way: Learning how to fight and argue successfully is the best way to a lasting and happy dating and/or married relationship. Why? Because conflict in this life is inevitable, so you better learn how to deal with it.
Single Christians who never learn the art of fighting and arguing will most likely fail in any romantic relationship they enter. This is true whether they seek a soul mate through an online Christian dating service or any other way.
Additionally, ever meet that dating perfect match who look so good together, and claim they never argue or fight? Don’t believe it. That romance made in heaven will be headed south soon unless they acknowledge the reality of conflict and arguments, and learn how to fight.
Whether you a single person already dating or only hoping to, the following dating tips on learning how to argue and fight will be helpful:
Fighting Tip 1:
Honestly and lovingly confront the problem, but leave out the personal attacks on your dating mate. If the argument or fight devolves into attacks on person hood, the battle (and possibly the dating relationship) has been lost.
Adam did this in the Garden after God confronted him with the problem of eating forbidden fruit. Instead of honestly acknowledging the problem, he put personal blame on both Eve and God: “This woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:12)
Honestly addressing conflict sometimes means swallowing our pride by admitting we are part of the problem. Ever wonder what God would have done if Adam honestly admitted his part?
Fighting Tip 2:
Listen to what the other person is actually trying to communicate. That means having earnest eye to eye contact as you open up your ears and heart, because communication can take place verbally, by action or body language. So, it’s important that you understand all these forms.
Many dating singles have a lack of communication in the area of conflict-resolution because they’re too busy thinking about their argument response rather than listening from the heart.
Don’t forget there was a reason God (James 1:19) told us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. He wrote it in part to help us avoid the pain of making further jackasses out of ourselves. This is what happens when we are clueless and careless about what others are thinking and feeling. Which brings us to our next tip.
Fighting Tip 3:
Rephrase your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s feelings and words back to them. Rephrasing accomplishes several important things:
1) It’s lets your date know that you are really listening, and are in touch with their feelings.
2) It ensures you that there is no mis-communication. After all, if you have to have a fight with your date, make sure you are arguing over the same things.
Here’s an example: “Sue, what I hear you saying is that you are feeling upset and hurt that I went out with the boys instead of with you Saturday night. It makes you feel sad that I would rather be with them than you. Is that right?” Sue’s response back will then give you further information on how to address the problem at hand. Of course, if a rolling pin pops out at this time, you may want to run for the hills!
Fighting Tip 4:
Commit to solving the problem together, which often calls for compromising on the non-essentials. This also means going over “fighting ground rules” with your dating partner before a conflict actually arises. It may sound silly now, but it will save you heartbreak in the future.
Some suggested helpful dating ground rules on problem solving together:
1) Putting a time limit on “the silent treatment” and/or anger. Remember, the Scriptures in Ephesians 4:26 encourages you to “not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” It’s your choice, but prolonged anger will destroy any romance in a hurry.
2) Winning an argument should never be the goal, but forgiveness and reconciliation is.
Overall, please understand that you do not have to agree on every little issue. In fact, could you imagine how boring that would be?
Finally, even if not currently dating, singles can still benefit from these dating tips by going over scenarios on how they would react in given circumstances in the future.