How to act silly with your girlfriend

How to act silly with your girlfriend

One morning last fall, Kyle Benson, 30, sat in his home office, lost in his work. His cat was meowing because its litter box wasn’t clean. As his girlfriend was rushing out the door to get to work, she asked him why he hadn’t cleaned it.

He thought she was criticizing him.

She thought he didn’t care about the cat.

And that’s how the couple got into a heated argument, Benson recalls — over a litter box.

It might sound silly, says Benson, a relationship coach in Seattle, Washington, but the argument revealed a lot about their relationship and how they handle conflict.

“What’s interesting is the research has shown it’s not necessarily conflict that’s bad, it’s how couples interact in conflict,” Benson tells NBC News BETTER.

“The first goal, before even starting to resolve the conflict or try to understand what went wrong, is to try to make a repair attempt …, so then you can actually engage in a dialogue to actually work towards resolving the issue,” he says.

Later that night, Benson and his girlfriend, Heather, used five steps recommended by The Gottman Institute to resolve their conflict.

Step 1: Express how you feel

The first step, according to Benson, is to discuss how each of you felt during the argument.

“By just listing off some of the feelings and not going into the details, it kind of helps both partners start to understand what emotions were present in the conflict and sometimes what was lurking below the surface in terms of the feelings that were there and the perceptions that people had,” says Benson.

Benson explains that their cat was sick and elderly, and has been a source of stress for his girlfriend.

“She’s kind of overwhelmed with losing that cat, kind of grieving that,” he says, adding that “[she felt] I wasn’t really caring about our cat and even about her.”

Benson told Heather that he felt misunderstood and unappreciated.

“I had done a lot for our cat, and so that was a big thing for me to express,” he says.

Related

A BETTER Way Sex life need a tune up? Here’s how to get the accelerator going

Step 2: Share your realities and validate each other

The second step, says Benson, is to listen with intention. You and your partner had two separate experiences during the argument, he says, and you need to understand your partner’s experience rather than only your own.

“One of the things about conflict communication with couples is often the big problem is partners aren’t really listening to each other, and one person is speaking and the other is waiting until their turn to speak, and so you have two monologues going on instead of dialogue,” says Benson.

During this step, you and your partner will take turns acting as listener and speaker, he says.

Speaker: Focus on what you perceived and felt during the argument. Avoid criticizing or blaming the listener.

Listener: Focus on how the speaker experienced the argument, not how you think they should have experienced it. Really try to understand things from their perspective, and validate it. Say things like, “When I see this from your perspective, it makes sense that you felt that way.”

“What that does is it actually slows down the conversation and really helps the listener focus on what their partner is saying rather than interpreting it and bringing in their own personal conversation and dialogue,” he says.

Step 3: Disclose Your Triggers

During this step, while you are taking turns as speaker and listener, each of you should discuss what triggered a strong reaction in you, says Benson.

The couple’s cat used to belong to Heather’s father, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. She explained to him that she felt stressed about having to care for both her father and the cat, and that seeing the cat cry was a big trigger for her.

Benson explained to his girlfriend that when she demanded he stop working and clean the cat’s litter box, that he felt his boundaries were being violated.

“I felt my personal needs weren’t being addressed, and I talked about my boundaries and what I can and cannot do and how to work with that in a relational way with my partner,” he says.

How to act silly with your girlfriend

Relationship advice from sex therapist Dr. Ruth

Step 4: Take ownership of your role

During this step, Benson says, you both need to take responsibility for the role you played in the conflict.

“She really apologized for how she talked to me,” he says. “She was critical … and she apologized for that.”

Benson acknowledged to his girlfriend that he shouldn’t have responded defensively.

“I owned up to that,” he says, “and we got to a place where we both accepted each other’s apologies.”

Step 5: Preventative planning

During this step, you’ll both discuss ways to argue about the issue more constructively if it happens again, says Benson. Make “positive, actionable” requests, and avoid criticism, he says.

Benson says he and Heather decided to make time at the end of each day to talk about their feelings.

“We can actually start to talk more about … those emotions in our relationship rather than letting them build and potentially cause other issues like this event,” says Benson.

Benson says that using the aftermath of their fight to repair their relationship helped them understand one another’s perspectives and brought them closer together.

“Underneath a lot of these conflicts — even things that seem really silly —there’s often a lot of feelings and deeper meanings and often couples will argue about the content or what happened or who’s right and who’s wrong, and that often makes things worse,” says Benson. “Whereas when we slow down and try to understand each other’s experiences, we can start to bridge the misunderstanding and actually turn that conflict into material for building a much stronger relationship.”

MORE RELATIONSHIP ADVICE

  • How one couple saved their marriage by asking this simple question
  • How thoughtful communication can improve your marriage, according to a divorce attorney
  • Why this marriage counselor says a “good enough marriage” is one that lasts a lifetime

Want more tips like these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

One summer night back in high school, one of my neighborhood friends invited his cousin to hang out with us. His cousin was a model.

I literally (and I use that word the way it was meant to be used) responded to several of her questions in Spanish that night. Not for any logical reason. Her mere presence simply overloaded the circuits in my brain.

I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Grown men who usually behaveВ like utterly normal human beings will spontaneously shift into some new type of awkward-based life form the minute a good-looking girl shows up.

Some guys overemphasize their “alpha” traits, employing every body-language trick they read about in that seduction course they blew 70 bucks on in college.

Others tryВ to make a woman laugh, turning anything she says into an excuse to crack a joke.

Then there are those whose brains simply stop working. The higher functions shut down and whatever comes out of their mouths makes less sense than a Jaden Smith tweet.

Fortunately, I’ve learned that my social incompetence is not entirely to blame. Numerous studies indicate that a woman’s presence can change a dude’s behavior in some pretty insane ways.

Here are seven things the studies found.

1. BeingВ observed by a woman makes guys dumb.

In a 2009 study, researchers had groups of men and women perform a Stroop test. That’s the one where the name of a color appears on the screen in a font that’s a different color.

For example, the word “green” will appear in red font. The goal is to quickly name the color of the font. (In this case, it would be red.)

After taking the test a first time to give the researchers a sense of their general cognitive functioning, the participants moved on to a separate task, in which they were asked to pronounce a series of Dutch words in front of a webcam.

They were told this was a lip-reading exercise. They couldn’t see the person watching them via webcam (there actually was no person), but they were given the person’s name.

Then they took another Stroop test. Men who believed they had been observed by a woman during the lip-reading test performed worse the secondВ time around. Women who thought they were being observed by a man showedВ no difference.

In other words, if a guy thinks a girl is watching him, he’ll actually lose the ability to think quickly and clearly. Which explains, like, all of high school.

2. MenВ eat more around women.

Well, this is weird.

InВ a Cornell University study, researchers spent time at an Italian buffet, monitoring the eating habits of its customers. They discovered that, in general, men who were hanging out with women ate 93 percent more pizza and 86 percent more salad than dudes who were eating by themselves or with other dudes.

The evolutionary reason for this isn’t clear yet, but speaking as a guy, my theory is that we’re just far too nervous around girls, and need something to do that doesn’t involve trying to sit still and look cool.

Eating pizza may be our best option in that situation.

3. Guys spend more money when they think girls aren’t around.

While the presence of a woman can make men do some weird things, we’ve also learned that the absence of a woman can be just as powerful.

In fact, while we dudes often complain that having a girlfriend is a big expense, it looks like not having a girl around could be worse for our wallets.

Researchers discovered this when they asked a group of men to read a series of articles onВ the male-to-female ratio in their towns. Some men read articles claiming that the female population in their area was larger than the male population, while other read articles indicating the opposite.

Next, the men were asked to plot out how much money they would save from a paycheck, and how much they would spend. Those who were primed to believe that there were fewer women in their area were more likely to spend money.

Real life reflects these findings. In a comparison ofВ two Georgia towns, researchers discovered that consumer debt is higher in the town where the male population is nearly double the female population. The town with a larger female population had lower average consumer debt.

Theoretically, this may indicate that men become more competitive when fewer women are around, and want to flaunt their wealth and status.

So, guys, onВ the off chance that you need another excuse to surround yourself with women, you now know that doing so makes good financial sense.

4. And when girls are around, guys care more about making money.

If the lack of women makes men more likely to empty their wallets, the presence of women can give us the urge to have money to spend in the first place.

Researchers looked into this idea by asking 142 high school students to complete a questionnaire aboutВ their goals for the future. The questions were designed to determine whether the person taking the test cared more about making money than achieving other forms of fulfillment.

Some students took the test in same-sex classrooms, while others took the testВ in a mixed-sex classroom.

The results showed that the guys who took the test in the mixed-sex classrooms were more likely to care about making money in the future, andВ the guys isolated to male-only rooms placed less value on wealth.

Let’s call this the “The Wolf of Wall Street” effect.

5. Pretty girls make guys impatient.

In findings that shocked absolutely no one, researchers learned that simply looking at a good-looking woman decreases guys’ patience and willpower.

The study involved testing how likely participants were to “discount the future” after viewing pictures of attractive or unattractive members of the opposite sex. Discounting the future essentially means choosing to receive a small sum of money tomorrow instead of a large one in the future.

The results of the study showed that men who looked at pictures of pretty women were more likely to choose the small sum of money. But men who looked at unattractive women primarily chose the larger sum.

Women also generally chose the larger sum regardless of whether or not the men they looked at were attractive.

This makes total sense to any heterosexual dude who has been through puberty.

6. Encountering attractive women makes men less happy about their relationships.

If you’re a guy, it turns out that how you feel about your current relationship has a lot to do with whether or not you just saw or spent time with a good-looking woman (who is not your girlfriend).

For this study,В people interacted with strangersВ of the opposite sex. Sometimes their partners were especially attractive; other times, they were average-looking.

Next, the participants were asked to evaluate how they felt about their romantic relationships. While women weren’t affected by being exposed to attractive men,В men generally reported feeling lessВ satisfied with their relationships after being exposed toВ attractive women.

It’s like they have superpowers.

7. Guys become jackasses to impress girls.

As a guy, I know that we will gladly ignore all common sense if we think we can impress a girl.В And science backs me up on this.

Australian researchers tested this idea when they observed groups of young men skateboarding. When there weren’t any girls around, the guys tended to play it safe and sane.

However, when the researchers asked pretty girls to show up and observe the skateboarders, they ended up taking more stupid risks and trying more impressive moves.

And — as you can probably predict — crashing a lot more often.

I have to admit that absolutely nothing I learned from researching this article surprised me in the slightest.

How to act silly with your girlfriend

One morning last fall, Kyle Benson, 30, sat in his home office, lost in his work. His cat was meowing because its litter box wasn’t clean. As his girlfriend was rushing out the door to get to work, she asked him why he hadn’t cleaned it.

He thought she was criticizing him.

She thought he didn’t care about the cat.

And that’s how the couple got into a heated argument, Benson recalls — over a litter box.

It might sound silly, says Benson, a relationship coach in Seattle, Washington, but the argument revealed a lot about their relationship and how they handle conflict.

“What’s interesting is the research has shown it’s not necessarily conflict that’s bad, it’s how couples interact in conflict,” Benson tells NBC News BETTER.

“The first goal, before even starting to resolve the conflict or try to understand what went wrong, is to try to make a repair attempt …, so then you can actually engage in a dialogue to actually work towards resolving the issue,” he says.

Later that night, Benson and his girlfriend, Heather, used five steps recommended by The Gottman Institute to resolve their conflict.

Step 1: Express how you feel

The first step, according to Benson, is to discuss how each of you felt during the argument.

“By just listing off some of the feelings and not going into the details, it kind of helps both partners start to understand what emotions were present in the conflict and sometimes what was lurking below the surface in terms of the feelings that were there and the perceptions that people had,” says Benson.

Benson explains that their cat was sick and elderly, and has been a source of stress for his girlfriend.

“She’s kind of overwhelmed with losing that cat, kind of grieving that,” he says, adding that “[she felt] I wasn’t really caring about our cat and even about her.”

Benson told Heather that he felt misunderstood and unappreciated.

“I had done a lot for our cat, and so that was a big thing for me to express,” he says.

Related

A BETTER Way Sex life need a tune up? Here’s how to get the accelerator going

Step 2: Share your realities and validate each other

The second step, says Benson, is to listen with intention. You and your partner had two separate experiences during the argument, he says, and you need to understand your partner’s experience rather than only your own.

“One of the things about conflict communication with couples is often the big problem is partners aren’t really listening to each other, and one person is speaking and the other is waiting until their turn to speak, and so you have two monologues going on instead of dialogue,” says Benson.

During this step, you and your partner will take turns acting as listener and speaker, he says.

Speaker: Focus on what you perceived and felt during the argument. Avoid criticizing or blaming the listener.

Listener: Focus on how the speaker experienced the argument, not how you think they should have experienced it. Really try to understand things from their perspective, and validate it. Say things like, “When I see this from your perspective, it makes sense that you felt that way.”

“What that does is it actually slows down the conversation and really helps the listener focus on what their partner is saying rather than interpreting it and bringing in their own personal conversation and dialogue,” he says.

Step 3: Disclose Your Triggers

During this step, while you are taking turns as speaker and listener, each of you should discuss what triggered a strong reaction in you, says Benson.

The couple’s cat used to belong to Heather’s father, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. She explained to him that she felt stressed about having to care for both her father and the cat, and that seeing the cat cry was a big trigger for her.

Benson explained to his girlfriend that when she demanded he stop working and clean the cat’s litter box, that he felt his boundaries were being violated.

“I felt my personal needs weren’t being addressed, and I talked about my boundaries and what I can and cannot do and how to work with that in a relational way with my partner,” he says.

How to act silly with your girlfriend

Relationship advice from sex therapist Dr. Ruth

Step 4: Take ownership of your role

During this step, Benson says, you both need to take responsibility for the role you played in the conflict.

“She really apologized for how she talked to me,” he says. “She was critical … and she apologized for that.”

Benson acknowledged to his girlfriend that he shouldn’t have responded defensively.

“I owned up to that,” he says, “and we got to a place where we both accepted each other’s apologies.”

Step 5: Preventative planning

During this step, you’ll both discuss ways to argue about the issue more constructively if it happens again, says Benson. Make “positive, actionable” requests, and avoid criticism, he says.

Benson says he and Heather decided to make time at the end of each day to talk about their feelings.

“We can actually start to talk more about … those emotions in our relationship rather than letting them build and potentially cause other issues like this event,” says Benson.

Benson says that using the aftermath of their fight to repair their relationship helped them understand one another’s perspectives and brought them closer together.

“Underneath a lot of these conflicts — even things that seem really silly —there’s often a lot of feelings and deeper meanings and often couples will argue about the content or what happened or who’s right and who’s wrong, and that often makes things worse,” says Benson. “Whereas when we slow down and try to understand each other’s experiences, we can start to bridge the misunderstanding and actually turn that conflict into material for building a much stronger relationship.”

MORE RELATIONSHIP ADVICE

  • How one couple saved their marriage by asking this simple question
  • How thoughtful communication can improve your marriage, according to a divorce attorney
  • Why this marriage counselor says a “good enough marriage” is one that lasts a lifetime

Want more tips like these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

How to act silly with your girlfriend

A fight can weaken your relationship, or it can strengthen it — and its impact depends on how you behave afterward. The aftermath of an argument can be tense, but the fact that you just fought doesn’t mean you have to behave coldly or unkindly. In fact, if you’re careful about how you talk to each other, you can use the opportunity to start to mend your relationship.

“Arguments can even elevate relationships if they’re handled with tenderness and kindness. When people feel less understood by their partner after an argument, they feel less happiness, but people who feel more understood by their partner don’t feel that happiness dip,” practicing psychologist and Harvard lecturer Holly Parker, PhD, author of If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?, tells Bustle. “If you confront upsetting issues in a real but kind way that takes your and your partner’s feelings into account, this creates far less weirdness than a drag-out fight in which two people are yelling at each other and trading snips, resentments, and insults.”

Here are some things you can do after a fight that help you move on and use the conflict to your advantage.

Make Up As Soon As Possible

You may feel tempted to get in the last word or even punish your partner by making them wait for your forgiveness, but that could make you both unhappy not just in the moment but also in the future. “One of the best gifts you can give to yourself and your partner is to re-connect and restore harmony as soon as you can, rather than allow discord and fights to linger,” says Parker. “When we allow fights to amplify, this is called negative affect reciprocity, and it predicts eroding happiness in a relationship. So aim to make up before a fight escalates.”

How to act silly with your girlfriend

There are many ways to be playful with your boyfriend! You can be sarcastic, joke around with him or even play wrestle with him! If you’re having a hard time finding ways to be playful with your boyfriend, I’ve got your back covered! I’ve got the top 7 ways to be playful with your boyfriend to keep your relationship child-like and fun!

1. Playful Sarcasm

Now, when you are being sarcastic to your boyfriend, you don’t want to make it mean, but playful sarcasm is one of the greatest ways to be playful with your boyfriend! Just a little sarcasm when you’re answering a question or even when you compliment him is a great way to show your sense of humor. Just remember, it keep light and airy!

2. Soft Hitting

Now, I am not saying that you should ever, ever hit your boyfriend, but playful little swats and smacks are cute and he might do them back. Just make sure that they aren’t too hard, that everything is light and just see how he responds! Be ready though, he could start wrestling with you!

3. Funny Faces

One common way to be playful with your boyfriend is to make funny faces at him! Whether it is through the window of his bedroom or even just when you are playing around, it’s a way to make him laugh. So stick out your tongue and be silly, he’ll love it!

4. Foreign Accents

Sometimes, foreign accents are the best way to be playful with your boyfriend! I can pull off a really good British accent, what accents can you come up with? Just start talking with an accent and see how he reacts, trust me, it’ll be fun!

5. Embarrassing Makeover

Just because you are with someone, doesn’t mean that you can’t act silly. If you are looking to bring back a little silly into your relationship and really learn some new ways to be playful with your boyfriend, why not give him and yourself an embarrassing makeover? Dress up in older clothes, become elders. Who knows where you could take this!

6. Tickling Him

Tickling is another way to be playful with your boyfriend and it’s fun! Tickling is a great way to really feel your guy’s body in a whole new way! Grab his sides, tickle his feet, really try to make him squirm and laugh!

7. Play Fight with Him

Finally, remember when I said that soft swatting might cause him to wrestle with you? Well, this is actually one of the ways to be playful with your boyfriend that is so much fun! Play wrestle with him, tackle him to the ground!

Just because you are in a relationship, doesn’t mean it has to be serious all of the time ladies! These are just a few of the ways to be playful with your boyfriend, what other ways are out there? What ways to be playful with your boyfriend do you use?

If you ask just about any women what they are looking for in a man you’ll hear one thing come up, they are looking for a man with a sense of humor. Many funny guys who have trouble getting dates will try and call BS, but you have to think about the full picture.

True, being funny won’t necessarily land you the supermodel of your dreams, but it will make any woman more likely to go out with you. It’s also important to remember that you need to tell the right sort of jokes. When guys get together the main kind of comedy is the insult variety.

How to act silly with your girlfriend

Calling your bro every name in the books might be a good idea for male bonding, but you need to take a different approach when joking with your girl. The key word is “fun,” keep things light and flirty. At least, to start with.

Eventually, you’ll get to know what sort of sense of humor your girlfriend has, and you can let things flow more naturally. But if you’re just learning how to make her laugh it’s best to start with something a little safer. That’s what we’ll be looking at with the 12 jokes we’re going to look at.

1. What state are you from?

Are you from Tennessee? Because I’ve always heard that girls from that state are especially beautiful and you are the most attractive woman I’ve seen all day.

(Hopefully, she’s heard corny pickup lines a lot because this is a play on a classic. The old version goes like this, “Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only ten I see.” But this joke switches it up and shows her that you aren’t the same as other guys who use canned lines, you switch things up. If she gets it, she will think you’re witty. If she doesn’t get it, then she might just get confused. It’s a good way to screen girls to see how sharp they are.)

2. Checking the goods

When you’re hanging out with your girlfriend you need to lean towards her and start rubbing the cloth of her clothes between her fingers and say this:

You: Ahh, just what I thought!
Her: What?
You: Feels like girlfriend material.

(You can also tell her to feel your shirt and then ask if it seems like girlfriend material, but wouldn’t you rather have an excuse to touch her? Exactly what I thought, go get it!)

3. The Art of the Joke

You: Why do painters always fall for their models?
Her: Why?
You: Because they love them with all of their art.

(If you’ve got any artistic abilities at all you can have her model for you before you tell this joke. It’s a silly little joke on its own, but if you tell it to her while you’re sketching her or even snapping photos with your phone it will pack a little more punch.)

4. An Irish Compliment

You: Do you know what sort of vegetable you remind me of?
Her: What?
You: A sweet potato.

(Be careful telling this joke if you are dating a nutritionist because while potatoes are defined as vegetables by both botanists and the average person you might remember that potatoes are put into the starch section of the food pyramid alongside things like rice and bread. Just thought you might appreciate a heads up.)

5. Trickery

OK, this joke requires her to make the right reply even though you can’t be sure what she’ll say. We’ll start by going over the way it’s supposed to play out.

You: Want to make out?
Her: No.
You: What did I just say?
Her: Want to make out?
You: Alright, since you asked politely.

(Of course, the trouble with this joke is the fact that you can’t be sure if she will say no or not. That’s not really so bad since if she wants to make out that’s pretty great too. So it’s a bit of a win-win. You can also use this to ask for other, kinkier things. Feel free to use your imagination.)

6. Cutlery

You: I just checked the cutlery drawer, and I’ve got a problem. I’ve got a big fork and a little fork, a big knife and a little knife, but I’ve only got a big spoon. Could you help me?
Her: How?
You: Wanna be my little spoon?

(The girl in this scenario is a little slow, your girl might catch your drift and offer to be your little spoon before you can ask her. Or she might demand to be your big spoon, that’s a pretty good outcome too.)

7. Heating up

When you see your girl is ready for your date to say this to her:

You: Before we go out I have to go grab some oven mitts.
Her: Why?
You: Because you are looking way too hot to handle right now.

(If you really want to sell this one you can have oven mitts nearby and put them on before you explain your reasons. Girls appreciate the dedication.)

8. Nothing but animals

You: If you could be any animal what would it be?
Her: I’d be an X. What would you be?
You: I’d be an X too. No way I’m missing out on a chance to make babies with you.

(Of course, for this line the X will be replaced by whatever animals she says. You can also change up the last line if you don’t want to talk about having kids, but I thought I’d use a PG version of this line. Feel free to spice it up.)

9. Turning red

Just a heads up, for this joke to work your girlfriend needs to be wearing lipstick.

You: I think I have something on my lips.
Her: What? I don’t see anything.
*Kiss her*
You: Your lipstick.

(Of course, you can change the word lipstick out for anything else she might have on her lips, like lip balm. If you are really dedicated to comedic timing then wait for her to touch up her lips and then spring this joke.)

10. Legal action

First, find some post-it notes. Then take one off and write down “You owe $100” on it. Then you find a sneaky way to stick the note on her butt.

Her: What is this?
You: Isn’t it obvious? You’ve got one fine rear-end!

(For extra points you can actually print off some sort of real fine slip and stick it on her. The only limit is how much energy you’re willing to dedicate to one silly joke!)

11. Sheer poetry

You: You really inspire me, you know that? I was so inspired that I had to write you a poem. Want to hear it?
Her: Sure.
You: Roses are red. Violets are blue. You’re really hot. I’m not good at poems.

(Yeah, it’s silly, but so what? The key is that you have fun. Also, act totally serious at the start, really make her think you might be a poet. The more serious you are, the funnier the joke is once you get to the end. Also, feel free to change out “You’re really hot” for any other sort of compliment.)

12. Knock Knock

You: Knock knock
Her: Who’s there?
You: Kiss.
Her: Kiss who?
You: Kiss me, silly girl!

(Yeah, it’s a silly joke. But if you’re a decent kisser she’ll forget how silly the joke was in just a few seconds.)

How to act silly with your girlfriend

A fight can weaken your relationship, or it can strengthen it — and its impact depends on how you behave afterward. The aftermath of an argument can be tense, but the fact that you just fought doesn’t mean you have to behave coldly or unkindly. In fact, if you’re careful about how you talk to each other, you can use the opportunity to start to mend your relationship.

“Arguments can even elevate relationships if they’re handled with tenderness and kindness. When people feel less understood by their partner after an argument, they feel less happiness, but people who feel more understood by their partner don’t feel that happiness dip,” practicing psychologist and Harvard lecturer Holly Parker, PhD, author of If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?, tells Bustle. “If you confront upsetting issues in a real but kind way that takes your and your partner’s feelings into account, this creates far less weirdness than a drag-out fight in which two people are yelling at each other and trading snips, resentments, and insults.”

Here are some things you can do after a fight that help you move on and use the conflict to your advantage.

Make Up As Soon As Possible

You may feel tempted to get in the last word or even punish your partner by making them wait for your forgiveness, but that could make you both unhappy not just in the moment but also in the future. “One of the best gifts you can give to yourself and your partner is to re-connect and restore harmony as soon as you can, rather than allow discord and fights to linger,” says Parker. “When we allow fights to amplify, this is called negative affect reciprocity, and it predicts eroding happiness in a relationship. So aim to make up before a fight escalates.”

How to act silly with your girlfriend

How to act silly with your girlfriend

via: Unsplash / Elievan Junior

Looking for fun things to do with your girlfriend need not be hard. All you need is a little bit of imagination and a lot of research.

Do you want to take girls on boring, cliché dates… ones they’ve been on a million times before?

Of course not. You really want to take girls on new, exciting dates that they’ll actually enjoy.

…But I get it:

Coming up with things to do with your girlfriend can be hard… especially when you feel like you’ve already done every possible date in the world.

Well… check this out:

I’ve hand-picked 101 incredibly fun things to do with a girland each one can give you one (or more) of these powerful benefits:

  • Break the routine of your lives, and usual date nights
  • Let you experience something completely new together (and bond over that shared experience)
  • Give you and her a new wayto connect and understand each other(which she’ll love)
  • Provide an experience that both of you canenjoy equally(instead of only one of you doing what you really want)

This insider list can help you show any girl an incredible time… and can make you 1000x better at creative, romantic, highly impressive dates.