Top 10 Ways to Not Lose Your Cool When in an Intense Convo with Your Partner
For the past two months Jonny and I have been in a difficult conversation around the decision of moving to Minnesota or staying in Colorado.
I want to move back to my hometown of Duluth. Jonny wants to stay in Fort Collins.
If I’m honest, I feel like we have actually been in this conversation for the past three years, but it has only been for the past few months that it has gotten really serious.
I really want to move home. I want to live close to my parents and extended family (there are so many baby nephews being born that need lots of kisses and snuggles from their Aunty Elsa!), and I want to be surrounded by my friends that I have known for the past 20 years.
And then there is Duluth, this gorgeous city that I love. With it’s beautiful Lake Superior, and parks and trees, and freezing-ass cold, frigid weather.
I’m somewhat of an anomaly, and I don’t really care that spring doesn’t actually come until late May. Or that the skies are gross and gray for most of the winter, or that there are a lot of days below zero (I see it as an excuse to buy really cute winter jackets). Because to me, all of the other stuff outshines the weather. And plus, July – Sept is gorgeous right?!
But Jonny isn’t so sure. Because we are currently living in Fort Collins, CO that has 300 days of sunshine a year, where spring actually comes in March and the winters are mild and we have the Rocky Mountains to go skiing in whenever we want. It’s pretty great. He’s into it and so I am. Yet for me, it’s not quite enough….
And even though Jonny loves my family and friends in Minnesota, it’s still a pretty hard sell to move a non-Duluthian to Duluth (I’ve even tried to bribe him with a fat-tire bike – but still no go!).
Hence us not being able to make a decision and our conversations getting pretty heated at times around this potential move.
For a long time, we were coming at this decision each from a space of needing to be right. Of wanting to win. Of not wanting to give in.
And I’ll own that I especially have been pretty hard-headed about it all. I was so determined that I wanted to move to Minnesota this year, that I couldn’t even slow down to really create space to listen to Jonny.
And Jonny was also stuck in his own beliefs about it all that he couldn’t slow down to really speak his truth and fully hear me either.
So, as you can imagine – our conversations never got very far. They oftentimes ended in us both feeling frustrated and unheard.
Can you relate?
And to be fair, this is pretty unusual for us, as generally I like to think that we are really good at listening to each other and feeling understood. However, with such a major life decision on the line, we were both pretty stuck in our opinions and it made it hard to communicate effectively.
Until this past week…. In the last 7 days we have started to have some of the best conversations around the potential of moving that we’ve ever had.
Last night in particular we really utilized all of our relationship tools that we have learned over the years and played full out with them in our conversation.
And it was amazing. Our conversation was honest, real, calm, sweet and true.
We each showed up as the best versions of ourselves. And we expressed our fears around moving or staying. We listened openly. We perception checked what the other person was saying so that we could make sure we weren’t making up conclusions that might not be true about what they just said.
Most importantly, we stayed open and didn’t let our opinions or fears shut us down from hearing our partner.
After we finished the conversation we both reflected back on it and said “Wow, that was a really good conversation! What made it so great?”
Our conclusion was:
1. We stayed open to what each other had to say, without shutting down if we didn’t like what we were hearing.
2. We stayed curious around why each other was feeling what they were feeling. We asked deeper questions like “can you explain that more?” or “I want to understand more about why you feel this way.”
3. We let ourselves be vulnerable and express everything that we were nervous or scared about and didn’t make the other person wrong for what they were feeling.
4. We made each other feel heard by saying “I really get what you are saying” or “I so hear you, I feel the same way”
5. We were really honest. And in that honesty, we created deep trust.
6. We came together as a team in the conversation, instead of two people with completely different agendas. Even though we had different opinions, we worked as a team in the conversation to come towards togetherness instead of being apart.
7. We held for each other from a space of loving and deep respect.
8. We let go of the need to be right (one of my favorite questions to ask myself is “Would I rather be right? Or would I rather be in love?”)
9. We let go of needing to make a decision in that conversation, and instead just came to the convo from a space of curiosity and exploration.
10. We utilized all of the relationship tools that we have used over the years, which was incredibly valuable. Did we use them in every convo that we had up until this point? No. But it’s because we aren’t perfect and are constantly learning – however when we did bring them out for this convo, it was a game changer and allowed us to feel even more in love with one another afterwards instead of more separate.
These tools are all things that we will be teaching and sharing openly about during our Couples Retreat to Belize this June 20-24. If you are aware that you would like more tools to help you communicate better with your partner so that you each both feel heard and understood, then we would love to invite you along to come and join us.
We are staying at the beautiful and luxurious Naia Resort and Spa and each day will be an incredible mix of adventure, relaxation and coming together more as a couple.
The deadline to register is April 15th, so check it out today and talk to your partner about why you want to make this happen for your relationship.
As for us and our decision to move to Duluth or stay in Fort Collins?
Well, the verdict is still out….but as we soften with each other and come together as a team, we are getting closer to making to a final decision…whatever that decision ends up being.
Stay tuned….and until then, grab the love of your life and come join us in Belize.