Why We Say That Love Means Learning to Go First


Couples are going to disagree and even argue — that’s simply the nature of having relationships with people. Unfortunately, many couples seem to get stuck in a negative pattern where they wait for their partner to go first.

But love means learning to go first.

Why do we avoid going first? And how can we prevent it?

Why You Don’t Want To Go First

Have you ever thought about why you may refuse to be the first to bring up a big topic of conversation or to extend the olive branch after a disagreement?

Usually, it’s due to one of these two reasons:

Fear of Rejection

At the core of the reluctance to go first is the fear that you will somehow be dismissed, rejected, hurt, or even make your partner mad. These are common worries for many people, so if it sounds familiar, rest assured you are not alone.

Thinking They Don’t Deserve It

Some people hold out on going first because they don’t think their partner deserves it. After all, if you’re the one in the right, why should you have to be the first one to bring it up and begin working it out?

What It Means to Go First

Going first is about trying to repair things between the two of you when there’s a conflict or misunderstanding. It is about trying to reconnect and strengthen your relationship. 

Because of this, it is important to throw out your reluctance to go first and take that initial step even when you don’t want to. But you have to do it the right way. That’s why we say that love means learning to go first.

Lead with empathy. Validate your partner’s feelings. Be respectful and curious. Listen to their perspective.

Empathy is a powerful thing. Do these things and you will create a safe place for each of you to reconnect. Most importantly, you will help to break negative patterns in the relationship, which will improve things for both of you.

Want to learn more about how to strengthen your relationship and feel heard by your partner? Check out our award-winning book!