Spør oss / Besvarte spørsmål We argue all the time Hi, I’m a boy of fifteen, and I’m dating. It’s actually really nice, but we argue all the time. Have you got any tips about how we can stop arguing so much? Hi, It’s not so easy to give you a good answer without knowing you, but in general we would say that a discussion can often develop into an argument if there’s not enough time, and if you haven’t practised the skills you need in order to communicate well. Luckily we can all learn to get better at communicating! One of the most important things you can practise is to keep your own mouth shut and really listen to what your girlfriend is saying. You can remind yourself that she will not listen to you any more if you interrupt her and talk while she’s talking. There’s always a greater chance of being listened to afterwards if you let the other person finish talking. You can agree on some rules to follow when the discussion turns into an argument. For example you can switch between talking and listening to each other, and then the person who has been listening can try to repeat (in their own words) what has been said. In this way you slow down the discussion, and you really have to concentrate in order to understand each other. One practical tip is to sit on your hands – this can give you a sense of being in control of yourself. It could also be a good idea to be aware of the timing. Lots of partners take a break if they start to argue, as this calms down their emotions. They can then continue the conversation when their emotions are under control. It’s a good idea to choose a time when both of you are well rested before you talk. Another idea is to meet with a Christian couple who have a solid marriage, maybe you can even invite yourselves to coffee with them? Talking to people who have lots of experience of loving and good communication is really valuable! Finally: read 1 Corinthians 13:4–7. Good luck!