Every healthy relationship comes with its own set of fights. Sometimes, fighting is the best way to get anger off your chest and communicate your feelings. Other times, you might find yourselves bickering over the silliest reason.
Whatever the cause, the most important factor of a fight is the ability to make up afterwards. New research has found the best ways to smooth things out again, with real resolutions from both men and women. Find out what men and women actually agree on, including the No. 1 most effective way to resolve a fight.
A study asked men and women their most effective reconciliation behaviors
In a recent study, evolutionary psychologists asked 164 young adults the secrets to making up after a fight. According to Research Digest, “They presented them with 21 categories of reconciliatory [behavior], including giving a gift, cooking a meal, and communicating better (derived from an earlier survey of 74 other young adults about ways to make up).”
Next: Here’s what the study found men prefer.
Men prefer nice gestures from their partners
Although the study found that men and women agree on some best methods for reconciliation, each sex does have a number of differing preferences. Men actually prefer that after a fight, their partner make a nice gesture to patch up any anger. Those might include completing some chores, giving compliments, or going out of their way to provide a favor.
Next: Men will definitely accept these favors.
That includes sexual favors
And yes, those favors definitely include sex or other sexual “gifts.” Joel Wade of Bucknell University wasn’t surprised by this finding, considering it lines up with predictions of evolutionary psychology. Research Digest explained, “Thanks to sex differences in mating strategies shaped through our deep ancestral past, men are generally more concerned about opportunities for sex.”
Next: This is what women tend to prefer.
Women care more about emotional commitment
While men are more concerned about sexual opportunities, women lean more toward emotional commitment. According to Research Digest, past research has found “men are more likely to end a relationship if their partner is sexually unavailable.” Meanwhile, “Women are more likely to end the relationship if their partner is emotionally distant.”
Next: Here’s what it all comes down to.
It comes down to systematic differences
The researchers who conducted the study explained in Evolutionary Psychological Science that it all comes down to systematic differences. “Evolutionary theory predicts a number of sex differences in mate selection, mate retention, and mate expulsion,” they wrote.
“The present research expands this literature by documenting systematic differences in which actions men and women perceive as most effective in promoting conflict reconciliation within romantic relationships.”
Next: This is what men and women actually agreed on.
Men and women agreed on some best methods
That being said, men and women both agreed on some best methods for making up after a fight. They admitted that they’d be more likely to forgive their partner if they apologized, offered forgiveness, spent more time together, or were willing to compromise.
Next: This is the No. 1 best method for making up.
Communication is the most effective way to make up
Both sexes agreed on the very best way to patch up any arguments: communication. It goes to show that talking it out can work wonders, even if a difficult conversation has to happen. They might be hard to work through in the moment, but you and your partner will both be happier and more understanding of each other in the long run.
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