How to make up after a break-up

Communicate what’s most true for you in one sentence. Learn how to practise non-violent communication. Telling your partner something like “I feel scared when I see you talking to other girls,” or “I feel angry I don’t have the money to pay for this right now” allows you to get to the core issue and often helps him or her to understand your feelings without arguing about it.

Take responsibility. Did you snap at your partner? Are you trying to control the outcome of the fight? Is it easier to get what you want by manipulating the situation rather than asking directly? We all do these things to one degree or another. If you can find a way to own up to your part in the argument, without trying to blame or wrong yourself or your partner for it, it may open up a whole new dialogue.

Be humble. Sometimes if you can apologise for something you did (even if you didn’t “start” it), it can disarm your partner and result in him or her apologizing as well. Something like, “This is not where I wanted this to go, and I’m so sorry it has. Can we take a breather from the disagreement, collect ourselves and try again, only this time less angry?” Always remember: don’t apologize for things you didn’t do just so the fight will be over. Be sincere.

Let go of being right. Wanting to win an argument is the surest way to keep it going. It’s a no-win situation and keeps you from truly connecting with your partner. There’s an old saying: “Would you rather be right, or be happy?”

Appreciate your partner. The sooner you two can experience some form of joy and lightheartedness, the better. Successful relationships have a five-to-one ratio of appreciations to criticisms. Actions that create genuine positive feelings will help to replenish the emotional bank account of your relationship by noticing and expressing lots of things that you really like about your partner and yourself, and the way you are together. If you’re still feeling down about the whole thing, though, start with yourself.

Set boundaries. If your argument has been a nasty one, you may want to make an agreement with your partner about the boundaries and terms of your relationship. For example, “I agree not to call you nasty names.” Or, “I’d like for us to agree that we talk about what’s going on without yelling at each other.”

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