Hi, I’m Valentina, an Italian fan. Just wanted to know what is the best way for you to make up after an argument? Never had one, but I want to be prepared 😉
The best way to handle any argument, disagreement, or conflict is with complete, 100% honesty. People don’t always like honesty, but they will respect it.
First Step: Validation
In any relationship, it is always best to begin communication by validating the person you’re with. Something as simple as saying, “You have every right to feel how you do and whereas I may not agree, I want you to know that I respect your side and only want you to feel love—not attack—from whatever our conflict is,” can make all the difference.
Second Step: Ownership
I make a point to find any possible thing that I can take responsibility for or I’ll say, “I love you so I’m really sorry you got hurt by this.” The “got hurt” part is important because it shows that you never want them to suffer but you also acknowledge you don’t have the power to emotionally “hurt people”—people get hurt by triggers they have rooted in wounds which existed before you met them.
Third Step: Forgiveness
I don’t mean the hold-on-to-it-and-bring-it up-later forgiveness; I mean legit 100% forgiveness. Let. It. Go. You may remember the conflict, but forgiveness means it holds no more weight in your world or in your relationship. You don’t have to make up with someone, but if you do, you must accept that you forgave them and cannot hold them responsible for doing similar actions in the future. If you can’t handle their actions, it is on you to leave. Attempting to change them is at your own risk and it rarely works out. (NOTE: It is also essential that you first forgive yourself.)
Any advice on how to forget about someone who I was with for over eight years?
I know the feeling of wanting to forget. Instead of trying to forget (which tends to happen naturally as your focus shifts inward), I recommend you begin focusing on yourself and the effect the relationship had on you.
What did I learn?
How was I challenged?
How did/have I grow/grown?
What did I learn about myself?
What is the current attachment to the past rooted in?
What am I afraid of losing by letting go and moving on?
How can I learn from the process of detaching?
How will this process challenge me? How can I embrace that challenge?
Even if this ended terribly, I stand to grow immensely. Am I inviting my growth or am I blocking it?
How can I get out of my own way?
A common mistake is asking these questions once and then forgetting about them. DON’T DO THAT! Ask yourself these questions everyday. Practice makes the master. Apply. Apply. Apply.
I’ve found that the moment I turn my focus back to myself, the angst I feel about loss dissipates. All day, every day I’m fighting to stay out of my dark thoughts. Some days it’s harder than others, but loss does take on different shapes when you learn to re-narrate your story.
From Michael Phoenix Betancourt
Hey AnnaLynne! I fell in love with one of my friends, but the feelings aren’t reciprocated. It’s been two years and I haven’t been able to move on. Is there any advice you can give me so that I can get over this? Thanks in advance!
That’s definitely a very difficult situation to be in and I empathize with you entirely. It helps to dive into your feelings and hunt around, but sometimes things are even more deeply rooted than we initially imagined.
I personally believe in reincarnation and I have found immense solace in knowing that although in this lifetime I have certain people that I have loved unbelievably deeply without true appreciation or reciprocation, they may have loved me more before and now it’s my turn. Acceptance is what you gain from this way of thinking. Dr. Brian Weiss explores this topic in his book Only Love is Real. I found myself in a similar situation, in which I was hopelessly in love with a man who paid a lot more attention to my negative traits than he did to my desire to grow and become a better person.
Understanding where your deep connection to this friend is rooted could start you on a journey toward acceptance of what your relationship is and isn’t. This will help you find peace with it and may even deepen your friendship.
I have a little problem with my boyfriend. He is so bashful and I don’t know what to do. When I tell him that he should change his behavior, he says that it’s his choice. When somebody invites him somewhere, he always refuses. I am 20 years old and he is 27! I think he is old enough to be gutsier. I am so angry when I see that he is calm and he doesn’t attempt to solve this problem. Thank you for your answer. Have a nice day 🙂
It’s important to remember that we cannot expect our partners to respond the way we would or the way we would like them to because they are their own humans.
It is very difficult to have conflicting perspectives. And when you want someone with you participating, it can be hard to accept their lack of a desire to ‘join the party,’ so to speak. Society has a way of teaching us there is a right and wrong way to participate in life, but this simply isn’t true. So long as no one is being harmed in any way, there really is no right and wrong, there’s merely a difference in opinion. You may PREFER a man who is less bashful, but you are with the man you’re with for a reason. You can always walk away if you do not like him for who he is, but if you choose to stay, try this.
In moments when your differences agitate you, try to become very present and aware and try altering the direction of your thoughts. Say to yourself, “I may not like my man’s bashfulness, but I love him because…” Name three things about him that make you grateful to have him in your life and choose with gratitude to accept him as he is. This will remove your anger and return you to peace in your relationship.
Sometimes the beauty is in the unique and sometimes discomfort is there to inspire change or growth. The choice is yours.
Dear Annalynne, thank you so much for taking the time to give us your input regarding these topics! Your opinions are so very valued!
My question is: Do you believe it can be healthy to remain close—even intimate—with someone after you break up when you know you may not get back together?
Great question! Whether it’s healthy or not, I must admit I TOTALLY do it! For me, it works. It’s comfy and easy and as long as there is complete honesty and an understanding of what the situation is, I will continue it in my life.
I do believe this should be applied on an individual basis. AND you must be capable of supreme honesty with yourself. If you are staying physically connected with an ex-lover because you are scared to move on or want to try to manipulate the dynamic in any capacity, this can certainly hinder your growth as a person. But if you’re merely two consenting adults who’ve enjoyed each other’s bodies before, love that aspect, and share mutual appreciation for your natural chemistry, I say “Get on it!” Some of my absolute favorite sex has been with an ex.
Photos courtesy of Edd Lucas http://www.eddlukas.com