Relationship Minute: Why Nothing Is Actually Something

Are you and your partner arguing about nothing? 

Reflecting on arguments they’ve had, many couples will say, “I don’t even remember why it started,” or, “It was over nothing.” Arguments and conflict may begin to feel frustrating or unresolved for you.

There is a reason you’re arguing with your partner. Dreams, deeply held values, and beliefs lie at the root of every conflict you and your partner have, even if it seems silly at first.

For example, you might dismiss a squabble over who gets to pick the movie for date night as “fighting about nothing.” But, if you investigate why it turned into a tiff at all, you might remember that your opinion or taste was often dismissed by your family growing up. Or maybe your partner is feeling like they aren’t being heard in the relationship or don’t have an equal say.

Next time you find you and your partner arguing about “nothing,” consider that it might actually be “something” and take the opportunity to learn, to connect, and to be a better partner.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. Visit their website.