We’re all familiar with the honeymoon stage. The first few weeks or even months when it feels like you’re living Hugh Grant’s plotline in Love Actually. In fact, I’m there right now. Totally smitten, head over heels, and dumb in love, I want to spend every waking moment with my boyfriend. Which is why I’ve decided we need to have our first fight ASAP.
I want to get it over with.
While things are going perfectly, I can’t help but anticipate the moment when reality strikes and those rose-tinted glasses crack. I know a fight is going to happen eventually and I can’t entirely enjoy the honeymoon stage knowing that at some point, my boyfriend and I are going to piss each other off. I want our first fight to happen so I can stop expecting the worst. No one’s relationship is perfect, and I want to know that the imperfections of mine are normal.
I want to discover our differences.
I already know we’re both dog people, love Indian food, and hate country music—after all, aren’t the first few weeks of a relationship all about finding common interests? Identifying and debating our differing opinions can add depth to an otherwise surface-level relationship. They say “opposites attract” for a reason, right?
…And know that he’ll tolerate differing opinions.
We don’t have to agree on everything (how boring would that be?), but I want to know my boyfriend is respectful of alternate opinions to his own, whether they’re political, financial, or social. A healthy dose of debate keeps relationships interesting, but I can’t be with someone who shuts down differing views or makes them seem illegitimate.
Fighting tests the durability of a relationship.
Arguing with a partner can either make or break a relationship. If a couple is “meant to be,” their relationship will be able to weather the occasional spat. The strongest relationships are not fight-free, but involve partners who are able to see past their differences and recognize the bigger picture. Isn’t that what life’s all about?
Fighting may bring us closer…
Fighting can make a relationship—if the couple resolves their disagreement in a mature and healthy manner. Once shots have been fired and the smoke clears, I want to have deep conversations with my boyfriend about the root of our issues and how to thrive in spite of them. This might be humbling for both of us, but absolutely necessary if we want our relationship to survive.
… Or reveal major red flags.
If our argument can’t be resolved with a little time and conversation, it may be time to end it. I want to know if my boyfriend and I have deep-seeded differences that cannot be reconciled so that I don’t waste my time in an ultimately damaged or unhealthy relationship. We owe it to each other to be honest, no matter how painful that honesty may be.
I want to know him at his worst…
I’ve seen him at his best and I want to know I can still love him at his worst. Because that’s true love, right? Of course we all put our best foot forward at the beginning of a relationship, but in the long-term, things aren’t 100% perfect all the time. I want to know what makes him human—and not just a Hugh Grant character.
… And for him to know me at mine.
The same goes for me. As much as I’d like to believe I’m calm, cool, and collected 24/7, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I want to know my boyfriend is the kind of partner who can look past my imperfections and love the girl beneath. Because as much as I’d like to believe I will, I won’t always be on my A-game.
I want to know which issues to push and which buttons not to.
I want to fight with my boyfriend to discover his insecurities or annoyances so that I can do my best to avoid or address them in the future. This doesn’t mean burying issues that bother me to protect his feelings, but I’d like to know where he’s sensitive so that I can support him when he needs it. I’d expect him to do the same for me.
I’m eager to practice compromising.
No couples would make it longer than a month or two if they didn’t learn to compromise. Relationships are all about give-and-take, not keeping score, and I want to know how to strike that balance with my boyfriend. And who knows? Mastering this skill might prevent many more fights in the future.
Who doesn’t love make-up sex?
The best part of fighting is making up, especially when that makeup occurs under the sheets. Passion is good; anger is bad. Once the shouting subsides I can’t wait to channel that passion into a more pleasurable activity. Hey, if all fighting ends this way, we’ve got a pretty good thing going, don’t we?
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