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Disagreements are a normal part of any healthy relationship. At a certain point, the way you disagree with your partner becomes as important as the way you make up.

“All relationships will have their disagreements and challenges. It would be absurd to imagine that two people would never have opposing opinions,” Susan Winter NYC-based relationship expert and love coach told Elite Daily. “Each partner needs to listen to their mate’s feelings, perspective, and rationale. This is a healthy form of conflict resolution.”

The way you talk through conflict changes once you say “I love you.” At that point the commitment and respect level between partners increases.

“Saying ‘I love you’ increases the expectations of both partners,” Winter says. “Things are serious now. There’s is a joint responsibility that must be acknowledged and executed. ‘I love you’ establishes expectations for each partners’ level of involvement and participation.”

Continuing, “‘I love you’ means: ‘Your feelings are important to me. If I’ve upset you, I need to apologize and be aware of my behavior. I’ll be here for you, and you can count on me'” Winter explains.

Once you both understand that you are working toward a mutual goal, your approach to fights becomes less of a butting head situation and more of a collaboration.

“Arguments happen and in the best of scenarios it allows couples to be honest and hold space for each other’s vulnerabilities. Real conversations about triggers, insecurities, desires and ways of thinking can let you in on each other’s internal processes — and deeper understanding of one and other,” Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach told Elite Daily.

“It is one of those proclamations that carry so much weight. To be loved and for one to be told they are is one of life’s most indelible experiences,” Melamed says. “If the ‘love’ that a couple has is the kind that rides the waves of life, through ups and down, conflict and repair — the fights can actually bring people closer.”

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