In the beginning of a relationship, many couples will brag, “Oh, we never fight!” To some, never having to fight with your partner seems like the dream. We don’t want to fight, but when you spend all of your time and energy on someone, it’s bound to happen. We fight internally with ourselves all the time – and when someone else becomes a part of us, we fight with them, too.
Too much fighting, of course, is unhealthy, but in a way never fighting is also unhealthy. Fighting can help to teach you who you are as a couple. There are some things that are worth arguing about. Some fights probably could have been avoided and maybe should have been, but some are actually important conversations to be having. Some heated discussions need to be had in order to make our relationship the best that it can be.
Have you ever been jealous in a relationship? No? Well, actually, you’re probably lying to me (or to yourself). We all get jealous sometimes. Our significant others have friends of the same sex that we are, friends that are engaging and attractive. Our significant others have exes that maybe (hopefully) they’re still close friends with, because it’s never worth losing a person from our lives just because we broke up. Our significant others are flirted with by strangers all the time because they’re a catch, and that’s why we’re with them.
We know our person loves us more than pizza or some other very important food. We trust them – we just don’t always trust everyone else, and that’s what makes us jealous.
We often think we should hide this jealousy away and never talk about it, but I don’t think that’s right. We should be talking and arguing about this jealousy to help us understand why it’s there. If we let jealousy sit without being discussed, it’s just going to fester and build resentment, and no one wants that.
A little jealousy is healthy, but it’s not healthy to pretend it doesn’t exist. Express how you feel about it to your partner, even if it starts a argument. Through arguing you’ll hopefully be able to reach a consensus of why this is happening, and what to do to make it easier in the future.
Everyone has ways that they expect to be treated. Someone once told me that we teach others how to treat us, and it’s true. Everyone also has learned behaviors – ways they treat other people and ways they handle themselves out in the world. As close as we may be to someone, we might not notice certain behaviors until we’ve directly connected our life to theirs in the form of a romantic relationship.
You may notice suddenly that the way your significant other handles themselves around members of the same sex as you is a little less appropriate than you noticed at first, when you were just friends. Your significant other may realize that the jokes you make about them to your friends come across differently now that you’re dating. When we decide to be with someone in an intense, romantic way, we sometimes need to slightly adapt the way we act to fit them into our lives in a way that works better, and sometimes we have to argue about it to get there.
Changes to the way we do things, however small, will always bring about protest. It’s ok to say, “Hey, it bugs me when you act this way around me or say this thing to people.” Yes, it might turn into an argument, but fighting it out can be the only way to get across to each other how you expect to be treated. Treatment of each other is extremely, vitally important.
Everyone views the world differently, and it’s an important component of who we are as a human being. Rarely do all of our views and perceptions match up exactly with someone, and significant others are no exception.
Our role in this world that we live in is important, and it’s important to talk about it. Some couples say that they don’t talk about certain things going on in the world to avoid conflict, but we all know that ignoring something doesn’t make it go away. Usually, it just makes it worse.
If we differ on world views with our partner, we should talk about it, argue even, because discussions like that are what keep the world growing and changing. Even a discussion on the world had between two people behind closed doors is important. If you find that you differ so drastically on something that it’s hard to even bring it up without exploding – well, I think that says something important about the relationship.
That’s right – it’s ok to fight over small things. Shocking, I know. Fighting over the small things teaches you how to fight as a couple. If you never argue about who made who late for the train or why that thing that one of you said was stupid, you won’t be prepared when you get to the big stuff.
Maybe that sounds silly, that fighting over stupid things should be important. If you go through every day totally fine, never arguing, always agreeing, when something big enough worth fighting over does come up, neither person will know how to handle it.
A couple has to learn to how to fight in order to learn how to do it fairly. To learn how not to hurt each other and to fight with dignity. To learn how to make up afterwards. We have to fight over the stupid things so that we can get over the stupid things. That way when it’s time to try and get over the big things, we’re that much more prepared.