Dear Misah & Stefany, I don’t normally do this, but I was wondering what your opinion was on this situation. I have started a relationship with a girl in one of my classes. She is OK, but not really what I had envisioned for myself. We get along OK, and we both tend to be pretty joking about things.
Recently, she has suddenly become upset with me and she won’t always tell me why. This usually turns to an argument which leads to her crying. Then I feel bad because she is crying so we both kind of let the incident go away unsolved. These kinds of arguments have been happening a lot lately and I can see we have obvious differences that will not work out in the long run.
I feel bad because I get the feeling she really likes me now, since I have been putting up with the situation for almost three months now. I don’t know if I should just wait her out or make her address these problems. I don’t want too get to close to her and then really like someone that causes me pain, but I don’t want to tell her to change for me either, because I think she likes me enough that she will try and change. If she tries to change, but we are still having constant arguments, then what will I do? I’d feel like an ass.
So how can we work out our problems? And if we can’t, how can I explain that we can’t without hurting her feelings? Is this just a normal relationship thing that I should just learn to cope with on my own or should I not have to put up with this unhappiness?
Dear Confused Guy,
Constant arguments cause stress on any relationship. You sound as if you really like the girl but you are just unhappy with the situation. We think that you should tell the girl how you feel. In Persuasion we learn about the DESC strip, and it works well. Here is the breakdown: 1. Describe what is taking place in the relationship that is making you feel a certain way. 2. Express why it is a problem. 3. Specify what you want from the situation. 4. Identify the consequences of what will happen if a change doesn’t take place.
Here is a sample of how the conversation might go:
“I feel that when we argue all the time, it puts a lot of strain on our relationship. I care about you but I feel confused when we fight and I don’t know what to do. I really want us to fight less and work on our relationship. I think that as we do this there can be possibility that we could have a lasting and fruitful relationship.”
Another way to approach the situation is by giving the girl some space. It is true: distance makes the heart grow fonder. Sometimes you just need to spend some time apart to realize how much you mean to each other, or how valuable the relationship is.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, but sometimes the lines of communication need to be opened up, so that everyone involved in the relationship knows what is going on. Sometimes something may be bothering one person and the other person doesn’t even know. Let the girl know! Good Luck!
Stefany & Misah
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