Conflict is inevitable in any healthy relationship, but the way in which you and your partner handle yourselves when engaged in conflict will heavily affect the state of your relationship. For example, the outcomes will be significantly more positive if you can both stay calm and effectively communicate, compared to if you both escalate the argument until you’re screaming at each other. You’ve probably been in or witnessed both kinds of fights, and it’s clear which conflict style will result in more positive outcomes.
While arguments may become heated, unpleasant, and stressful, there’s a particular pattern that all happy and satisfied couples follow (and avoid!) to ensure they resolve their issues in a productive and constructive manner. The first indicator is the frequency of conflict.
Ah yes, the dreaded LDR. You’ve heard horror stories from most sources – maybe it’s through the rumor mill, maybe your friend is in one, or maybe you’re in one. They’re becoming more and more common because of travel, college, and demanding jobs. And It’s likely that you’ll be away from your partner for some period of time, especially if you’re a 20-something.
While it may feel as if the odds are stacked against you, not all hope is lost. After drawing from my own experiences and talking to several LDR couples, I’ve compiled a list of things that help us succeed.
Wake up at noon (still tired), doze off throughout hours of lectures, attend several group meetings (but really, sit there staring at Facebook), trudge home, heat up leftovers because I’m too tired to cook, open my computer (whose screen I’ve been staring at all day), and launch Netflix. Then sit in my bed watching Friends for countless hours before passing out.
That’s what my first two years of college looked like. I wasn’t engaged in what I was doing, and I wasn’t learning anything useful in my classes. My days were spent in the library, cramming facts into my brain for the next exam (all of which I would forget 10 minutes after said exam).
In my mind, good grades meant that I was doing my job as a student: I was learning. But I was complacent. I wasn’t really learning, I wasn’t motivated, and I certainly wasn’t happy. And then I realized something:
Forcing yourself to solely focus on shit you don’t care about is exhausting.
I’ve been on a self improvement kick for the past year. Don’t roll your eyes too much, because if it worked for me, it can work for you, too! (Kidding, you should roll your eyes).
But in all seriousness, I’ve found that I’ve begun to optimize the things I do each day, both big and small.
One of the best and most effective improvements in my life was the Slow Carb Diet, which Tim Ferriss popularized in his book “The 4-Hour Body.”
So what is slow carb? In short, you only eat lean meats, legumes, and vegetables. But you get one day a week to pig out on anything you want.
This diet isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is for those who want dramatic results quickly. Tim said he lost 20 pounds in 30 days, which is about 2 whole clothing sizes (ex: size 10 to 6 or XL to M). I lost 8% percent of my bodyweight in a summer, which is about 9 pounds. If you’re intrigued, read on.
I recently watched SOMM, the documentary that follows four wine stewards as they try to pass the Master Sommelier exam. It’s one of the world’s most difficult tests with a pass rate of 8% – there are only 147 people in America who hold this prestigious title. The documentary made me realize I was very much taking for granted the wine bottle sitting on my counter. So naturally, I had to learn more.
I’ve always been a wine enthusiast, but I never understood your standard wine snob’s vocabulary, consisting of buzzwords such as “dry”, “oaky”, “full-bodied”, etc. (does anyone, though?). So I decided to get informed on the general concepts and trick my friends and dinner dates into thinking I know what I’m talking about. Read on so you can, too.