With the most common form of female sexual dysfunction impacting 1 in 10 women, this important study dives into how to keep a relationship going despite having different needs and wants in the bedroom.
- A new study highlights the difficulties faced by women who struggle with decreased sexual desire, and explains how to navigate desire discrepancies in long-term relationships.
- Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is one of the most common forms of female sexual dysfunction, impacting an estimated 1 in 10 women.
- Finding other ways to promote intimacy in your relationship is one of the keys to ensuring happiness on both sides.
The study<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQzMzcxOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzA2NTgxM30.Au-HmSRnSeN86ZGU7qeZJzq50LPM0LxjvUUU6_y2XVs/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="2bb9b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2af6156aff63fba2146746ae150f490e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="sad woman sitting on the floor at the foot of a bed" />
An estimated one in ten women experience female sexual dysfunction.
Photo by fizkes on Shutterstock<p><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2020.1743225?scroll=top&needAccess=true" target="_blank">This 2020 study published in the Journal of Sex Research</a>, led by Dr. Avigail Moor and her colleagues Yael Haimov and Shaked Shreiber, focused on 15 women between the ages of 25-59, all of whom were in committed, heterosexual, long-term relationships (with a median relationship length of 3.5 years) to better understand decreases in female sexual desire. Approximately half the women in this sample had children.<br></p><p><strong>During this study, the women were asked various questions about:</strong></p><ol> <li>The quality of their relationship</li><li>How their relationship has been impacted by their decreased sexual desire </li><li>What they believe could have caused a decrease in their sexual desire over the course of their relationship</li><li>What impact they felt this had on themselves and their relationship </li><li>How they dealt with the decreased sexual desire themselves</li><li>How the couple dealt with and/or navigated the decrease in sexual desire together</li></ol><p><strong>There are a number of reasons why women, in particular, could be going through a libido decline, including:</strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><ul><li>Job stress</li><li>Family stress</li><li>Self-confidence struggles</li><li>Declining hormones or hormone imbalances</li><li>Relationship issues</li><li>Health conditions </li></ul><div></div>
Navigating low sexual desire and desire discrepancies in your relationship<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQzMzcyMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MTYzNjE5N30.oec9wuuxd9MEVkqmappsngN2nVmMxF3sIi9AlL9Q5SE/img.jpg?width=980" id="e246b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ebf8cdebd54a0b26ee181320e756bff4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="couple hugging in a bedroom" />
Even if you are struggling with differing sexual desires in your relationship, there are still countless ways you can show affection to your partner.
Photo by fizkes on Shutterstock<p>Assistant professor at Harvard Medical School <a href="https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/loss-of-sexual-desire-in-women#1" target="_blank">Jan Shifren</a>, MD, explains in an interview: "One of the first things I do speaking to women who come in with sexual concerns is let them know that there is no normal frequency or set of behaviors and things change with times. If it's working for them and/or their partner, there is no problem."</p><p>Shifren goes on to explain that when the decreases in sexual interest begin having a negative impact on her life and cause distress in the relationship, this is when it's considered a problem of low sexual desire. </p><p>If it is believed to be a problem, there are a few things this study, in particular, has highlighted. </p><p><strong>Love doesn't equal desire, and a lack of desire doesn't equal disaster. </strong></p><p>Participants of this study explained that their sexual desire (or lack thereof) never made them doubt their relationship or the feelings they had for their partner. They saw the sexual desire and love for their partner as two very separate things. </p><p>Over half the participants said they didn't believe their <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-sex-drive-in-women/symptoms-causes/syc-20374554#:~:text=Women's%20sexual%20desires%20naturally%20fluctuate,low%20sex%20drive%20in%20women." target="_blank">decreased sexual desire</a> had a negative impact on their relationship, explaining that they have more intimate, deeper connections with their partner that went beyond sex. Many women who felt this way cited the fact that they were navigating life's ups and downs, things like parenthood and job stress, with their partner, which made them feel closer to their partners even if the sexual desire wasn't there. </p><p><strong>This is an extremely isolating problem even if it impacts the whole relationship. </strong></p><p>In order to make sense of the rapid changes in their desires or the complete lack of sexual drive, many women in the study claimed they looked inwards, often blaming themselves. Instead of thinking that this is a common thing many individuals (and many other women) struggle with, many of these participants felt guilty about their low libidos, thinking it must be their problem. </p><p><strong>Among these women, feelings of guilt and self-blame were frequent over the course of their interviews. </strong></p><p>Even in situations where there was very minimal negative impact on the relationship, desire discrepancies still caused some tension. </p><p>While over half the women involved stated they did not feel desire discrepancies in their relationship negatively impacted their relationship, many women still did describe feeling some sort of "pressure" to have sex more often. </p><p>Despite having relationships that were described as loving and healthy, some of the women in the study indicated that they have, in the past, still experienced conflict with their partner over how long it had been since they had sex. Some women also stated they were worried that their partner took their low libido personally. </p><p><strong>How can you navigate desire discrepancies in long-term relationships?</strong></p><p>This is one of the first studies to focus so specifically on female sexual dysfunction in long-term relationships, so there is still a lot of research to be done. What we have learned from this study, however, can help us better understand how to navigate these difficult challenges of intimate relationships. </p><p>Strategies that can be used to address the problems in the relationship that are caused by having a low sex drive can be things like: </p><ul><li>Creating an honest line of communication. Participating in conversations that allow each person to be open and honest about how they feel can promote intimacy and bonding as well as a deeper understanding of what the other person is going through. </li><li>Compromising. This doesn't mean simply having sex when you don't feel like it, but it can be other things that promote intimacy such as a date night or incorporating other forms of physical affection into your relationship. </li><li>Treating this like any other relationship problem. Relationships take work, and just as you navigate difficulties due to chores, finances, and responsibilities, you can navigate the struggles of low sexual desire by creating an environment of understanding and having a desire to make things work. </li></ul>
It turns out, letting your partner know you appreciate them leads to a stronger relationship. Who'd have thunk?
- A new study shows that people who express and receive gratitude from their partners are more motivated to meet their sexual needs.
- The effect was also seen with the mere perception of gratitude.
- As science is increasingly coming to understand, gratitude has many more benefits than this.
The study<p>One hundred eighteen couples were asked to record in a journal how much gratitude they expressed and received over three weeks. They were also asked to record their estimated level of sexual satisfaction. The researchers returned three months later and had the couples repeat this <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/social-instincts/202004/gratitude-enhances-our-desire-fulfill-others-sexual-needs" target="_blank">effort</a>. The authors found a positive connection between gratitude and "sexual communal strength," a trait used by researchers to measure how willing a partner is to meet their partner's sexual needs even if those needs differ from their preferences.</p><p>A second study looked at how the perception of gratitude influences sexual satisfaction. This involved the researchers asking test subjects to think of a recent time when they expressed or received appreciation from their romantic partner before filling out a questionnaire on their relationship and sexual satisfaction. A second group did the same, but their moment of gratitude did not involve their partner.</p><p>This half of the study found that just <em>thinking</em> of your partner this way improved the levels of self-reported satisfaction among the test subjects. </p>
How does this work? I’m asking for a friend.<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="K6O8C6S8" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="7acf56a6ba9c3d3812bc553bf3f33a1c"> <div id="botr_K6O8C6S8_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/K6O8C6S8-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/K6O8C6S8-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/K6O8C6S8-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Recent studies have increasingly focused on a relationship trait dubbed "<a href="https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-one-trait-that-predicts-sexual-satisfaction-in-long-term-couples/" target="_blank">sexual communal strength</a>" or SCS. Sometimes defined as the "desire or willingness to meet a partner's sexual needs, even when different from your own preferences," it is <a href="https://www.in-mind.org/article/keeping-the-spark-alive-the-role-of-sexual-communal-motivation#:~:text=Sexual%20communal%20strength%20is%20the,Kogan%20%26%20Desmarais%2C%202013).&text=In%20one%20study%20(Muise%20%26%20Impett,meet%20their%20partner's%20sexual%20needs." target="_blank">increasingly considered</a> an essential element successful of<a href="http://www.amymuise.com/wp-content/themes/SHaRe/content/doc/Muise%20&%20Impett%20SPPC%20(2016).pdf" target="_blank"> long term relationship</a> satisfaction.</p><p>The specific factors that improve SCS have yet to be fully discovered, but this study shows that gratitude is one<a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/06/gratitude-predicts-greater-sexual-communal-strength-in-romantic-couples-57108?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gratitude-predicts-greater-sexual-communal-strength-in-romantic-couples" target="_blank"></a>. This makes sense on an intuitive level and is supported by other studies showing how gratitude in relationships relates to <a href="https://content.apa.org/record/2012-13667-001" target="_blank">responsiveness and commitment</a> levels. </p><p>Lead author Professor Ashlyn Brady of North Carolina at Greensboro summarized the findings for <a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/06/gratitude-predicts-greater-sexual-communal-strength-in-romantic-couples-57108?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gratitude-predicts-greater-sexual-communal-strength-in-romantic-couples" target="_blank">PsyPost</a>:</p><p>"Our results suggest that gratitude, an emotion that arises in response to the recognition that another person has been beneficial or valuable to us, is one factor that predicts greater sexual communal strength. Thus, simply experiencing gratitude toward, or receiving gratitude from, a romantic partner can increase your motivation to fulfill your partner's sexual needs and can help maintain this motivation over time."</p><p>She further explains that the study will lay the groundwork for further research into this phenomenon. Many questions remain, such as how long the effect lasts, if expressing gratitude for different things gives different results, or if expressing gratitude for the same thing repeatedly leads to a decline in the impact, for example. </p>
The various benefits of gratitude<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="xAL5TmI5" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="3659d790543f2edddf5aa27667d61b4b"> <div id="botr_xAL5TmI5_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/xAL5TmI5-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/xAL5TmI5-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/xAL5TmI5-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The study also shows us yet another benefit of having gratitude. Over the past few years, a slew of reports, surveys, and articles discussing the positive effects gratitude can have on our emotional and physical health have come forth.</p><p>Studies suggest that practicing gratitude <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-020-00236-6" target="_blank">moderately improves depression and anxiety</a>. It is associated with a <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20110928103847/http:/personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/alex.wood/gratitude%20and%20psychological%20well-being.pdf" target="_blank">sense of purpose, control over your environment, self-acceptance, and personal growth</a>, alongside <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0092656607001286" target="_blank">lower stress levels</a>. Feeling gratitude can also make people more altruistic and is even associated with <a href="https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Gratitude-facilitates-healthy-eating-behavior-in-Fritz-Armenta/ecd23d7f7037b13fbbfded627c5650050e12a47f" target="_blank">eating better</a>. </p><p>One way to help take advantage of these effects is to keep a <a href="https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-journal/" target="_blank">gratitude journal</a>. It can be a straightforward thing, just a list of things you're grateful for each day that you can look back on. Several studies on gratitude use journaling as a mechanism, so there is evidence associating journaling with the mentioned benefits. You can also try going a little out of your way to let people know you appreciate them and what they do. This has the added benefit of making their day. </p><p>Cicero said, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others." While his statement might be a bit bold, it seems he was certainly onto something. So, say thank you a little more often- you'll thank yourself for it.</p>
A good apology can do great things. A bad one can cause trouble. Know the difference.
- No one likes to admit they were wrong, but we still have social norms that suggest we all do it from time to time.
- A well done apology can show respect, build trust, save relationships, and maintain your self-esteem.
- Saying "I'm sorry you feel that way" does not count.
Saying you’re sorry, it’s not just for Canadians anymore!<p>According to psychotherapist and author <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/202006/why-we-need-apologize" target="_blank">Dr. Beverly Engel</a>, an apology does more than just express politeness; it is "an important social ritual, a way of showing respect and empathy for the wronged person or persons."</p><p> When you've harmed someone, a genuine, well-given apology demonstrates that you care about them, validates their emotions, allows you to take responsibility for your actions, rebuilds trust, and prevents the further deterioration of relationships. It can also help you avoid the shame and guilt of wronging someone from eating away at your self-esteem.<br> <br> As Dr. Engel explains, "Apologizing to another person is one of the healthiest, most positive actions we can ever take—for ourselves, the other person, and the relationship.<strong></strong></p><p>Plenty of experts agree with her. Wellness coach <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/elizabeth-scott-m-s-3144382" target="_blank">Elizabeth Scott</a> argues that apologies let other people know that you understand what you did was wrong and helps everyone <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/the-importance-of-apologizing-3144986#:~:text=Apologies%20re%2Destablish%20dignity%20for,comfortable%20with%20each%20other%20again." target="_blank">move forward after a conflict</a>. Dr. Denise Cummins highlights the <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/good-thinking/201304/are-you-big-enough-apologize" target="_blank">affirmation of humanity</a> present in apologies and points to data showing that the negative consequences of apologizing are often <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602121158.htm" target="_blank">overstated</a>.</p><p>Professor <a href="http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/ps/faculty/node/25611" target="_blank">Allison Stanger </a>of Middlebury College agrees and reminds us in her <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FgWw4KHpiA" target="_blank">Big Think interview</a> that a good apology creates suitable environments for learning and that needing to apologize for something doesn't make you a bad person:<br> </p><p><em>"Human beings have blind spots. They have implicit biases. This doesn't mean you're a bad person. We all have them. And I think it's an illusion to think we can eradicate them from human beings. And this relates to civil discourse because it's important that people be allowed to think out loud and make mistakes because, particularly in diverse work environments, diverse college classrooms, people are going to come from different backgrounds, and they will say things that may offend someone. And there, I think it's extraordinarily important that we tell our students, that this may happen, but it's immensely important that if you offend someone inadvertently that you apologize and say 'That was not my intention.' And then hopefully we can move on. </em></p><p><em>In my classroom, I do this, I say, I want you to speak freely. I don't want you to censor yourself. But if anybody feels offended, they should speak up because that's not a good classroom environment, and we apologize, and we move on. And I think this is a really simple truth that apologizing and moving on is a real foundation for moving forward."</em></p>
How should I apologize? Is saying “I’m sorry you feel that way,” enough?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="CPuEDXrz" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="30b01d19ea5107b651781281920e978d"> <div id="botr_CPuEDXrz_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/CPuEDXrz-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/CPuEDXrz-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/CPuEDXrz-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>A proper apology should express your understanding that you've done something wrong. Telling someone "I'm sorry you feel that way" if they do indeed have a legitimate grievance is not merely an inadequate apology, but it is also patronizing. Furthermore, it is <a href="https://freakonomics.com/podcast/apologies/" target="_blank">an ineffective way to apologize</a>. You should also beware of over apologizing; it can have <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/16/saying-im-sorry-can-make-people-think-poorly-of-you-research-heres-what-successful-people-do-instead.html" target="_blank">negative effects too</a>. Try only to make an apology when the situation calls for one.</p><p> <br> As Rutgers professor <a href="https://sociology.rutgers.edu/people/faculty/menu-ii/147-cerulo-karen-a" target="_blank">Karen A. Cerulo</a> explained in an interview with <a href="https://freakonomics.com/podcast/apologies/" target="_blank">Freakonomics</a>, an effective apology has several elements:</p><p>"Number one: don't wait. Forget your ego, forget the advice of your handlers. Unless you're involved in a legal situation, where you're advised not to speak, you should make an apology right away. Second, don't apologize for what people thought. In other words, we've often heard people say, 'I'm sorry that people misunderstood me; I'm sorry that people misinterpreted or misread my actions.' Apologize for what you did — not for what other people might have thought about it."<br><br>The third and fourth elements, according to Cerulo, are to not provide context as a way of explaining away your behavior, and to identify victims up front so that you can express remorse and make restitution when possible. <em></em></p><p><a href="https://www.vassar.edu/faculty/beho/" target="_blank">Dr. Ben Ho,</a> an associate professor of economics at Vasser College, adds that people often want to see an apology that costs something. This cost doesn't have to be financial, though it can be, but can come in the form of admitting your incompetence in making the previous error or promising to do better in the future.</p><p>The results of a weak apology on the people you're apologizing to are easy to imagine. Try to recall how you felt the last time you saw somebody apologizing for getting caught rather than for what they did. It neither satisfies the offended party nor paves the way for personal growth on the part of the person who did something wrong. On an individual level, we all know the feeling of getting an insincere apology from somebody who promptly went back to the behaviors that they just "apologized" for; it reduces your respect for them and makes you feel rotten. <em></em></p><p>On the other hand, a sufficient apology can achieve great things. It can heal the harmed, change how we view somebody who did us wrong, create opportunities for forgiveness and growth, save relationships, and help us do better in the <a href="https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/forgiveness_the_impacts_of_an_apology#:~:text=By%20apologizing%20and%20taking%20responsibility,deep%20sense%20of%20self%2Drespect." target="_blank">future</a>. <br> <br> While the most effective apologies often incur a cost to our status or require us to be better in the future, these can often be minor compared to the benefits of a proper apology. </p><p>So, go ahead, apologize a little more often for the things worth apologizing for- but be sure you mean it. </p>
It takes a special person with a special set of skills to reach students on an emotional level.
- Teachers have arguably the most important job on Earth. It's their responsibility to help shape who young people will become by inspiring them and connecting with them as human beings.
- Trust has to be earned before any meaningful learning can happen.
- The superpower that poet and children's fiction author Kwame Alexander learned from his mother is the ability to connect emotionally with his audience first so that they are open and interested in tackling heavier subjects and having challenging conversations.
A 12-year long study examines the differences between how same-sex and different-sex couples argue, with some surprising results.
- A 12-year long study by the Gottman Institute examines the differences between how same-sex couples and different-sex couples resolve conflicts.
- Overall, the relationship satisfaction and quality were about the same across all couple types (gay, straight, lesbian). However, the study did find some differences in how same-sex and different-sex couples argue, including using humor to diffuse tense situations, not taking things so personally during an argument, and offering encouragement rather than criticism.
- No matter the relationship, there are key points to be taken away from this research in how we can all strive for healthier conflict resolution in romantic relationships.
Heterosexual couples show higher levels of physiological distress during arguments than same-sex couples, impacting their ability to stay calm.
Photo by B-D-S Piotr Marcinski on Shutterstock<p><strong>Same-sex couples use fewer controlling and hostile tactics during disagreements.</strong></p><p>Dr. John Gottman and his colleagues discovered that, during a disagreement, same-sex couples are less likely to display belligerence or domineering attitudes than heterosexual couples. </p><p>"The difference in these 'control' related emotions suggests fairness and power-sharing between the partners is more important and more common in gay and lesbian relationships than in straight ones," Gottman explains. </p><p><strong>Things don't get as personal in same-sex disagreements. </strong></p><p>"In a fight," Gottman says, "gay and lesbian couples take it less personally. In straight couples, it is easier to hurt a partner with a negative comment than to make one's partner feel good with a positive comment. This appears to be reversed in gay and lesbian couples." </p><p>This trend suggests that same-sex couples are able to disagree without taking things personally, whereas straight couples are more likely to be offended when their partner comes to them with a conflict.</p><p><strong>Same-sex couples show low levels of physiological arousal, different-sex couples show higher levels during conflict. </strong></p><p>According to Gottman's observations, unhappy gay and lesbian couples were less likely to show visible signs of aggravation such as elevated heart rate, sweaty palms, and jitteriness. Different-sex couples, on the other hand, had elevated physiological symptoms that signify they may have trouble calming down in order to resolve the conflict constructively. </p><p><strong>Same-sex couples are more likely to try to offer encouragement rather than criticism or lecturing when it comes to lifestyle choices.</strong></p><p>Your partner can have a very positive or very negative impact on your lifestyle. Gottman's study isn't the only research available that examines the differences in same-sex and different-sex marriages. </p><p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30052080/" target="_blank">A later (2018) study</a> suggests that same-sex couples are much more likely to try to influence each other's lifestyle habits (good or bad) with praise or encouragement. The opposite can be said for different-sex couples who tend to lecture or criticize to prove their point. </p>
Simple ways every couple can strive towards healthier conflict resolution skills<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3MTAwNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNjM3MjA1MX0.OaArbSg4ARcW43Qym-S9g8uEBNIr_WOgT87Fe7gQ7i8/img.jpg?width=980" id="b4e0a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="94dc27cb278e8eb5fe17baadb0613c23" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="two men consoling each other after an argument concept of same-sex conflict resolution" />
There are simple ways you and your partner can strive for healthier conflict resolutions in your relationship.
Photo by ArtOfPhotos on Shutterstock<p>While these differences in same-sex and different-sex marriages are important and interesting to observe, there are a few universal goals that should be placed on any couple trying to better themselves by striving for healthier conflict resolutions. </p><p><strong>Recognize your differences and take space from the other person when you need to.</strong></p><p>Each person brings their own experiences, opinions, values, and beliefs to the relationship. Acknowledging that you are two different people who are bound to disagree on things is a healthy part of any relationship. </p><p>Accepting and even appreciating those differences for what they can bring to your relationship should be something every couple - gay or straight - should keep in mind, especially during conflicts.</p><p>Julie S. Gottman, Ph.D. explains: "If you find that your heart is pounding during an argument, take a break. If you need to leave, you should explain when you're going to come back and rejoin the conversation. During the time when you're apart, don't think about the fight. Instead, practice something that is self-soothing (like reading a book) so that your body can calm down."</p><p><strong>Positivity and laughter might be more important than ever during disagreements.</strong></p><p>While it may feel strange to crack a joke during an argument, this 2003 study suggests that one of the reasons same-sex arguments may be healthier is because there is an air of humor and positivity to them. It's important to end a disagreement on a positive note, and same-sex couples do this far more often than different-sex couples, according to Dr. Gottman's research. </p><p><strong>Equality, understanding, and respect should be paramount in any relationship.</strong></p><p>Perhaps one of the reasons same-sex couples are able to resolve conflicts in a healthier way is because they aren't tied to traditional societal roles or the ideas of how they are "supposed" to relate to each other. This kind of freedom allows the couple to create their own dynamic. When possible, try to understand or sympathize with the other person's point of view. If you have two very different opinions on something, attempt to communicate your side respectfully and, perhaps more important, really listen to and acknowledge their feelings.</p><p>Respect and understanding are two crucial ingredients to a healthy relationship and these are things every couple should strive for.<br></p>