Daniel Linder, MFT
Break out of our old patterns of bad habits
I used to say that relationships begin on the first date. That is the first time when two people are together. Patterns are set that are going to be replicated later on just like a DNA molecule. What I mean that is that openness and honesty bridge openness and honesty. So the more open and honest you are at the beginning, the more open and honest you’re going to continue being later on. And that idea was okay. It made sense that the relationship would continue with those patterns. But the more I’ve thought about it, I’ve modified that principle to now state that relationships begin after the first conflict.
Until then, you’re not going to know really if you have the basis of a relationship, if this is a relationship that can last, that can withstand the rigors, if you can tell what’s going to happen up ahead.
Conflict is a tremendous opportunity to strengthen the relationship and to see its limitations exposed. If you can resolve a conflict early on in the relationship, it’s an encouraging fact, and the chances are better that you’re going to be able to resolve conflicts later on.
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