What? You want us to have conflict right off the bat? Well, yes, I do. I don’t want you to have any old conflict, though. I want you to have resolved conflict. Ah, yes, such a huge difference. Here’s the danger when you are getting along too well, or pretending you are because you adore the other person so don’t want to “make a big deal” out of something. If you agree on too much all the time, then you haven’t exercised your conflict resolution muscles and it gets more and more challenging to have those conflict type of conversations. Then, after ages of bliss, the first conflict goes terribly wrong.
Sure you eventually work it through or, more likely, say sorry and don’t resolve it thereby putting it in the unwashed laundry bin of conflict that will need to be sorted through and dealt with at some point.
No conflict or squashed down conflict. These are similar yet different and yet can create the same down the line problem. Say in that space of early infatuation you find you agree on SO MUCH! Wow! Awesome! We are so alike. We have the same taste, opinions, likes and dislikes. We’ve found our soul mate. Cue violins and cupid. If this goes on long enough, when the inevitable conflict arises, you just don’t know what to do with it and you can view it as being larger than it really is because, after all, HOW can this be happening?????
Squashing down happens when we don’t deal with what I’ve heard referred to as “pinches”. These are the little pin pricks of unease or conflict that we ignore because we don’t think they are important enough to make a fuss over or we are conflict averse. Why start an argument over such a small thing? The trouble is that the pinches add up and the unresolved conflict grows more and more significant and still over something small but small over 100 instances isn’t small. Plus, there’s that pesky detail that what we are truly cheesed about is likely deeper and more important than it appears on the surface. Bottom line is we still haven’t learned how to have minor, resolved conflict and it gets more and more difficult.
So yes, have you some good conflict! Start now. Start small. Figure out how you are going to deal with pesky issues when they arise. Learn some good communication skills as to how to address conflict so you don’t escalate things. (I’ll be writing about some of these over the next while as well so stay tuned.) If you deal with most of your issues at the “pinch” stage, you will have to handle much less big stuff and keep your relationship humming along harmoniously for much longer.