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Top 3 Conflicts Couples Face


January 23, 2023
Words by Kinsley Brown
Photos courtesy of Getty Images

… and How to Overcome Them

Insights from Zac Stern, Founder and CEO, Official

Can you pinpoint exactly what is most likely to break up a relationship? Well, with enough data, the answer is yes.

Official, which is an app designed for helping couples improve the health of their relationships, polled 2,700 randomly selected users and found that concerns around communication and distance are some of the biggest challenges for their relationships. This was true for both new and established couples. But knowing the conflicts that usually cause stress is only half the battle… so let’s look into what they can actually do about it.

Especially as you get closer to the big day, here is how you can overcome these challenges and create the happiest and most fulfilling relationship with your partner.

Communication is Paramount

When you consider one’s love language, attachment style, upbringing, and unique life and romantic experiences, it’s no wonder that communication is often cited as the number one skill for healthy relationships.

The greatest number of those surveyed by Official identified a lack of communication (17.1%) being the primary challenge in their relationship, followed closely by ineffective communication (16.4%).

An unwillingness of one or both parties to talk about a particular topic, an avoidance of spending time together in a capacity that allows for communication to take place, and couples shutting each other out of their inner emotions are all behaviors related to a lack of communication.

This can be detrimental to the health of a relationship. A drop-off in communication is typically an indicator that a relationship is in jeopardy. Still, the cause of the lack of communication is a better indicator of the severity of the situation because a lack of communication is often just a symptom of a larger conflict being avoided.

To address this challenge, one must identify that the lack of communication is causing a rift in their relationship, voice their concern to their partner, and work to uncover the root cause for their limited communication. Making a conscious effort to learn and practice healthy communication skills is key to remedying this challenge. Tools like the Official app can help couples increase the frequency and quality of their communication with features like the Daily Question or Check-In, which allow couples to share difficult or vulnerable emotions they are experiencing, and better connect with their significant others about sensitive topics.

Build Up Your Communication Skills

Even if couples frequently communicate, the quality of a couple’s communication can still struggle. If an individual was not raised in an environment that modeled methods of healthy communication or if someone has experienced trauma in a previous relationship, they may not have a solid grasp on how to communicate effectively with their partner. Ineffective communication can look like frequent arguments, an inability to get aligned on important matters, and frequent misunderstandings that result in hurt feelings, stonewalling, and resentment that builds up over time.

Thus, learning communication skills that can support the growth of your relationship and meet your individual needs within the context of your relationship are essential to long-term romance. It can be helpful for a couple to seek help from a couples therapist or research and discuss healthy communication skills on their own. The Relationship Tips on Official can be a great resource for couples working to improve their communication skills by breaking down barriers. App users receive one bite-sized, actionable tip each day that they answer the Daily Question. These tips provide suggestions for communication, like “Discuss what each of your Love Languages is,” or propose ways to increase intimacy, like “Create new goals as a couple.”

Keep Your Partner in Sight

Among Officials’ 2,700 survey respondents, 16.9% cited distance among their top three concerns surrounding their relationships. While long-distance relationships disproportionately experience this challenge more than others, Official defines distance to include both emotional and physical separation between partners. This can exist in couples living under the same roof, too. Thankfully, a rift like this doesn’t have to be the kiss of death for your relationship.

Unlike lack of communication, which is typically a symptom of a primary issue in a relationship, distance is a primary issue that can cause challenges to arise in a couple’s communication, relationship stress, or overall satisfaction within their relationship. By identifying what aspects of the partnership are experiencing stress due to physical or emotional distance, a couple can begin to address the symptoms one by one.

Common problems arising from distance can include ineffective communication, dissatisfaction with sex life, lack of excitement, and distrust. Features on Official that can help couples overcome this challenge are the Date and Intimacy Discovery and Memories. Long-distance couples can maintain excitement in their relationship by exploring virtual activities and building excitement for future in-person visits with the ideas in the Date and Intimacy Discovery section of Official. Saving special memories on Official helps couples keep track of the moments that make their relationship special. Keeping these Memories in a central, dedicated space helps couples remember why they fell in love and can help them stay motivated through tough times.

As the years go by, even the healthiest couples can fall prey to emotional or physical distance due to travel requirements, hectic schedules, providing long-term care for family members, or career demands. Official makes it easier for couples to catch and address these concerns early on – before they snowball and cause couples to drift apart.

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