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Advantages to Marrying Your High School Sweetheart

Advantages to Marrying Your High School Sweetheart

Most people advise against marrying your high school sweetheart. There are a myriad of different reasons from not being able to experience dating others to being married too young. Despite the negative connotation, there are also a lot of benefits as well that are not often mentioned. It is rare, but personally for me having friends who were high school sweethearts and later went on to get married proved that it works for some couples. Read on to learn why building your life with someone who you have dated since you were a teen can be a really positive thing.

1. You will never have to worry about the holidays

When you get married the inevitable question of where you will spend the holidays comes up. If you and your spouse come from hometowns on the opposite sides of the country it can make this situation even more problematic. Marrying someone from your hometown means that you will never have this issue. No more fighting over which side of the family you will see for Thanksgiving and which side you will see for Christmas. Phew!

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    Photo source: Flickr

    2. You will have someone by your side who watched you mature and grow

    Looking back on your teenage years, there are some things that make you laugh in disbelief and sometimes in embarrassment. Having a spouse that was right there for all those awkward moments (!) and can share your stories of youth firsthand is something special that you two will always share. Watching each other grow up into the adults today can make you appreciate each other more, knowing how far you both have come.

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      Photo source: Flickr

      3. You know you will have someone who is willing to stick it out through the hard times

      High school is not always the easiest time and having someone who was willing to help navigate those times with you is a keeper. From self-confidence issues to fighting with your parents, it is nice to have a spouse who was a great support system in those years! You’ve been through the tough stuff and you know they will continue to be by your side during future hardships.

      4. You will have someone by your side that knows how to ride out rough patches in your relationship

      Long-term relationships that begin in high school have their fair share of hardships that couples have to endure. Whether it was going through a temporary separation in junior year or suffering the heartache of long-distance relationships, you as a couple have seen it all! Being able to survive the ups and downs of a longtime relationship makes you that much more resilient as a married couple.

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        Photo source: Flickr

        5. You got to be there for each others’ important life milestones

        Graduating high school together, being there for each others’ college graduations, navigating the real world together. Having a spouse who you have shared these important milestones together with is priceless. You do not have to explain certain significant moments in your life, because you spouse was a firsthand witness to all of them and vice versa.

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        6. You have some who knows what you were like when you were young

        Most people when they get married only know their spouses as adults, with many different responsibilities. Marry someone from high school means that you knew your spouse from way back when they were carefree teenagers! Remember what it was like when you did not have to worry about rent, taxes and career goals? Knowing your spouse from their high school years give you an extra perspective on the person you married and also give you the ability to remind them to embrace their younger self every once in awhile when they are struggling under the weight of adult responsibilities.

        Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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        Last Updated on February 21, 2019

        The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

        The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

        In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

        Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

        Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

        Conflicts are literally everywhere.

        Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

        Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

        Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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        Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

        Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

        Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

        The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

        Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

        Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

        How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

        Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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        Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

        Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

        How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

        Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

        Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

        Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

        How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

        Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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        Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

        Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

        How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

        Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

        Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

        Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

        How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

        Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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        Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

        Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

        How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

        Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

        Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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