Dealing With Girlfriend Problems

You’ve never been so upset. For that matter, you’ve never seen Francesca so upset either. Is your relationship over? Not necessarily.

Figure out what’s really bothering you. Are you sure it’s what Francesca said yesterday that’s upsetting you? Or is it how she acted at the party Friday night? Think it through before you say anything. You can’t fix a problem until you know what it is.

Choose the right time. Discussions are two-way streets. You’re ready to discuss it. But, is she? The only way to know is to ask. And whatever you do, don’t start the conversation 5 minutes before you have to catch the bus home. Make sure there’s plenty of time, and do it in a private place where you both can talk openly and honestly.

Communicate. Discussions involve talking and listening. Tell her what you’re unhappy about, and then listen to what she says. Focus on the problem, not the person. Get the facts on the table and don’t jump to conclusions.

Be prepared. No matter how hard you try to stay calm and collected, tempers can flare. Take a break and try again later if things get heated. Nothing ever gets solved by arguing.

Find a resolution. Make sure you tell Francesca what you think has to happen to make the problem go away. Then, once you hear her side of the story, you can always find middle ground by compromising. But, that’s not always an option, especially if the problem involves basic values, like honesty. And no matter what the issue, if you just can’t come to agreement, you can always agree-to-disagree.

Make a plan. Try to leave the discussion with a plan to make things better. Sometimes, just a promise to “call me later” is enough. It’s a first step to getting your relationship back on track.

Be honest with each other. “Making things better” doesn’t always mean you stay together. Sometimes it means going your separate ways.