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Dating: How to fight fair

Tell someone when things bother you.

Twanna Hines Twanna Hines

Don't date, hook up with or marry assholes; you'll feel more alone than if you were single. That said, even when you find a great lover, tough times eventually come and you must work through them.

Fighting with a new partner is a delicate art. You want to be honest about feelings and expectations. At the same time, you may be afraid the other person will think you’re overly sensitive or a raving lunatic. Go for it anyway. Argue. Fighting unearths areas of disagreement and reveals what’s in store if things proceed and you get more serious about each other. In those early, heated moments, how do you both behave? How bad does “bad” get? Let’s set some ground rules and talk about how and where to have your first fights.

How to fight fair

Do grow some balls or ovaries and don’t stoop to mocking, namecalling or manipulation.

Don’t use empty threats as ultimatums. Avoid repeatedly saying, “If you keep doing this, I’m going to leave you.” Either leave or don’t.

Do remember, when it comes to keeping drama out of your love life, prevention is the best cure. Dating and hooking up are processes of elimination.

Don’t abuse or tolerate abuse.

How to fight in public

Don’t assume fighting means shouting. Ages ago, I learned: Lose your temper, lose the argument. It’s a simple but good rule.

Don’t forget you are in control of your anger. Others can trigger you, but the response is your choosing.

Don’t be afraid to say what’s pissing you off in the moment, even if you aren’t alone. It can be awkward and annoying to discuss, “Six hours ago, I didn’t like it when you did blah blah blah.”

How to fight in front of friends or family

Don’t drag your audience into the fight.

Don’t belittle the other person.

Do keep it simple. Say what you have to say and move on. For example, if someone is silencing you by speaking on your behalf, remind them, “I can speak for myself.” No need to say it sharply or add, "You always do that!”

How to fight in the bedroom

Don’t stay up arguing endlessly for hours. Try to come to a resolution on which you both can rest — even if only for the night.

Do have makeup sex and eventually go to sleep … you know, the other stuff people commonly do on mattresses.

Twanna A. Hines is an award­-winning educator and sex columnist. Follow her on Twitter @funkybrownchick

 
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