Couples fight, it’s only natural. In fact, most of us argue about the same shit: Making time for each other, being present when you’re together, one of you feeling like the other one was inconsiderate, how regular your sex life is. Any time two people get together and attempt to make their lives gel, you’re going to run into little snafus. Not to mention that you’re both bringing all of your own neurosis/baggage/damage to the table. Fun, right?
However, there are certain fights that couples tend to have that are pointless drama. They’re the fights that wear your down because no growth comes from them—because that’s what fights are for in an ideal situation, BTW. They’re so you can both scream your heads off and come out having learned something.
If you find that you and your significant other are fighting about any of these things on a regular basis, it’s time to assess the situation and make a move. Maybe you’ll go separate ways, maybe you’ll start taking better care of yourself, or maybe you’ll readjust your ‘tude and stop placing importance on such petty things.
1. THE “YOUR FAMILY IS WEIRD” FIGHT
If you’re dating someone who’s from a pack of weirdos, you need to promptly decide whether or not s/he is worth it. There are two camps to choose from here: “willing to deal with it” or “not willing to deal with it, but thanks.”
Your significant other will always be a part of his/her family and there’s nothing you can do about it. S/he probably hates those being his/her only living relatives, too! Most people resent the Universe for the clan they were assigned to. But there’s nothing they can do to change it. And there’s really nothing that you repeatedly voicing your disapproval will do to change it, either.
Find a way to see the bright side in your partner’s fam or let him/her go. They can’t live like that, you can’t live like that, it’s just unlivable.
2. THE “I DON’T LIKE HOW YOU SPEND MONEY” FIGHT
When and where you spend your money is a classic battle for control freaks and assholes to pick. As long as you’re making your rent, paying your phone bill and are able to cover a dinner check here and there, you’re good. Whether or not you blow your cash on an $800 bag or sock it away in some savings account really isn’t anybody’s business. Especially if you have no gigantic dual-expense (like a down payment on a house or a car) planned for the near future.
If you have a $200 manicure but hit your dude up because the DWP is going to shut off your electric, that’s a different conversation. Otherwise, you need to lay down a firm boundary: Your money is your money. There will be no more discussion about it.
3. THE “YOU FORGOT TO CHANGE THE TOILET PAPER ROLL” FIGHT
Seriously? There’s so much to worry about in life. Yeah, it’d be nice if your bf/gf remembered to do simple household chores, but they’re also “simple household chores.” Change the TP yourself, pick another battle. For real. Every time you change the toilet paper roll without being asked to do so, that’s a win for team YOU. Throw that in his/her face next time you have something actually relevant to argue about. Just kidding, that would make the whole thing your fault.
4. THE “KAITLYN SHOULD BE THE BACHELORETTE, SCREW BRITT” FIGHT
Okay, so you guys started watching some dumb reality competition show and it’s gone from being a passive post-work kick back to something you look forward to every week. At some point down the line, you’ve started rooting for different contestants and now you’re wondering who your partner even IS if they really like that person. Suddenly you’re questioning their taste, their morals and their mental stability. All because you decided to take the results of a reality show (that’s probably fixed) way too seriously.
What’s the real issue here? You’re probably just using this difference in opinion as a catalyst to bring up all sorts of shit the two of you have always disagreed on. Is this because s/he thinks that the fat girl who sings Lana Del Rey covers should win The Voice or because s/he wants to raise their kids Catholic?
It’s really easy to point to the dumbest, most innocuous shit about your partner’s likes and dislikes, but attempting to explain these little things as your reasoning for being at war with them makes you sound like a moron.
5. THE “WHO’S TEXTING YOU?” FIGHT
It’s my personal belief that lack of trust around computers, phones and social networks is one of the hardest things to recover from as a couple. The nature of our society is to constantly be using/checking these things, and once you’ve decided that the person you’re dating can not be trusted with these devices, you’re screwed.
If you’re dealing with someone who you think is accepting nudes over Facebook or engaging in flexting/sexting, ask yourself this: Has this person given me any reason to think these things and if not, why am I so eager to accuse them of it?
These fights spring from two types of insecurity: Earned insecurity (you know for a fact that s/he’s cheated on you or had emotional affairs) or Insecurity Insecurity (you’re just a super insecure person who’s afraid everyone’s going to leave you and that nothing good could ever possibly happen to you).
If this person has hurt you before and their day-to-day electronics use is driving you insane, think about ending things. If this is something that you’re projecting on to the situation because you’re secretly terrified that you’re not good enough to hold someone’s attention, go talk to a therapist. By yourself. The issue is you.
6. THE “I DON’T LIKE YOUR TONE” FIGHT
How many times have you been engaged in what you thought was a conversation with your boyfriend/girlfriend when all of a sudden they whip out the “I don’t like your tone” line?
Tone CAN be an issue. It’s never okay to speak down to someone or be a passive aggressive jerk. The only problem with the “I don’t like your tone” line is that people often times are unaware of their tone. Simply announcing that you don’t like it doesn’t progress the conversation toward a positive place because you’re not giving any information as to WHY or WHAT ABOUT their tone is the problem.
In fact, “I don’t like your tone” usually just makes the other person feel put down and/or incapable, which makes them defensive which sends the fight into overdrive.
Next time you don’t like the way you’re being talked to, be specific. “Do you mean to sound like you’re scolding me right now?” is the SAME thing as “I don’t like your tone” but with a hell of a lot more useful information for the other person.
Giving specifics about what’s bugging you sets your partner up for a win, which sets both of you up for a win.
7. THE “DO WE GO TO EUROPE OR MEXICO” FIGHT
Are you guys serious? This is the kind of thing you’re fighting about? How about you skip the leisurely vaycay and go volunteer somewhere together? You sound like awful people.