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5 Ways To Be Friends Again With Your Boyfriend After An LQ

Following a huge fight, there's an abyss of awkwardness between you and him. Get back on good terms this way.

What's more nerve-wracking than a knock-down, drag-out with your guy? Think of the hours or days after you've made up but before you're back to your usual level of closeness. Though no longer actively pissed, you're uncomfortably detached from each other...and worse, unsure how to get on track again. One thing you shouldn't count on: his taking the reconnecting reins. "Women have higher levels of estrogen and oxytocin, hormones that promote bonding," says John C. Friel, PhD, coauthor of The 7 Best Things (Happy) Couples Do, "so they're more likely to [be the first to] try to repair the relationship." Here, some advice for speeding past the awkward stage.

1. Zip Your Lips

If the post-quarrel chill has him saying little besides "Please pass the salt," your instinct may be to sit him down for a talk about why he's not talking. Resist—he's not up for another heavy discussion. Instead, do something fun with him. Hit a hiking trail, explore a nearby town, or dance in the living room. "The activity draws your attention away from the fight," explains Friel, and will get you chatting naturally. Then say, "Hey, I'm sorry we had a spat. I hate arguing with you." The key: "Keep it short," says Allen Berger, PhD, author of Love Secrets Revealed. If there are lingering unresolved issues, bring them up later.

2. Suck Up

If (and only if) the fight was truly your fault, help mend things with a small gift or treat. Pick up the latest issue of his fave magazine or a pint of ice cream you know he'll devour."Since guys are action-oriented, showing him you feel bad can be more powerful than saying it," says Alan Fruzzetti, PhD, author of The High-Conflict Couple.

3. Try A Little Touching

No, we don't mean throwing him down on the bed for makeup nooky. It's tempting to indulge in a frisky reconciliation romp, but nonsexual physical contact is actually a better fuse. After a fight, sex "tends to be intense and aggressive because you're on edge," says Fruzzetti. Try holding his hand or cuddling while watching TV on the couch. Once that defensive vibe dissipates, you can get more intimate.

4. Do Your Own Thing

It's hard when you're feeling insecure about your bond, but hitting the gym or meeting a gal pal can do wonders. "Disengaging lets you clear your head," says Friel. It also distracts you from obsessing on the yellfest. While you're out and about, consider sending him a brief "I love you" text, suggests Fruzzetti.

5. Focus On The Future

Just like how looking forward to a vacation or night-out can help you survive a long day at work, bringing up things to do as a couple eases the tension. "When you make plans, the underlying message is that the foundation of your relationship is solid and you're going to be okay," says Berger. It can be anything from e-mailing him about a romantic locale you'd love to visit with him to asking if he wants to try out a new restaurant.

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