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Agree to Disagree


It doesn’t matter if you are dating your soul mate – the one person in the entire world who “gets” you more than anyone else. It doesn’t matter if you have so many similarities you feel like you are twins – at some point in time, you and your loved one are going to not see eye-to-eye.

It is inevitable.

There is no way you are going to end up with someone who likes the same colors as you, roots for the same football team as you and has the same favorite food as you. OK, maybe you will be that lucky, but believe me, at some point, you are going to disagree. It could be on whether to buy a cat or a dog. It could be whether to buy a pet at all. At some point, there is going to be something that you cannot agree on, despite your best efforts.

When conflict does arise, whether it is over what shirt your lover is wearing out to dinner or whether it is about voting for president, sometimes you just cannot see eye to eye on it. It is important to realize that this is OK. You don’t have to agree on everything to have a vibrant, loving, successful relationship.

What you need to do is respect the other person enough to agree to disagree. To tell the person that their opinion is valid and valuable even if, maybe especially if, it is the opposite of yours.

For instance, it is like the married couple in their 70s who always disagree during elections. They have agreed to disagree. Every election, they each get signs for their candidate and put them on opposite sides of their yard. This is a healthy relationship that has stood the test of time.

How do you tell when it is time or appropriate to agree to disagree? Well, you won’t have any trouble spotting when this should occur. It is when, despite efforts to come to an agreement, you both are standing firm in your opinions and beliefs. Rather than continue to hash it out, you can respectfully agree to disagree in this area.

Now, obviously there are going to be some issues that are way too big to not agree on. For instance, questions on whether to have children or where you want to buy a house or what your religious views are should be brought into the open and clarified before getting married or moving in together.

Big issues like whether or not to have children or even beliefs on fidelity are definite deal breakers.

These are not issues you can agree to disagree on. But for the smaller things, like what TV shows you like to watch or what you think of your favorite actor, well don’t even waste your time arguing.

Remember that married couple? – They just celebrated their 50th anniversary together. I don’t know what all their secrets are, but I know one that has helped them resolve differences and that is their decision over and over to agree to disagree.

bill has been studying pick up lines for the last 5 years as a guest instructor at the top pickup artist boot camp in nyc. the original article can be found here: agree to disagree.

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Listed: December 8, 2009 8:38 am