7 totally normal (and important) fights every couple has at some point

Although some of us really hate conflict, there are some fights that every couple has at some point. Instead of feeling terrible about the fights, know this: Some of the most common fights are actually signs that you’re doing this whole couple thing right. Really, couples who don’t fight are either totally in synch with each other or not being honest with themselves.

Actually, knowing how to fight with a partner is a skill.

And research shows that couples who fight actually end up staying together longer. There are a few reasons why, but one of the most noteworthy thing about fighting with someone is that you get to know the person. When you’re fighting, you’re expressing yourself, your desires, your expectations. That’s good! It’s especially good when a partner listens, and you listen to them, and make things better (and then eventually find an entirely new stash of things to fight about).

You shouldn’t be fighting every single day, since that fight and then make-up routine can be pretty addicting. But you should be addressing problems that are getting in the way of you two being close.

Here are some fights that every healthy couple has. Just don’t forget to kiss and makeup.

1The “I never see you anymore” fight.

Every couple hits a point where they get out of the honeymoon phase and back to their normal routines. It’s normal for a partner to feel left out if someone is working a ton, or not making room for solo date nights. Sometimes it’s rational, sometimes it’s not. But you’ll definitely have this fight eventually.

2The “you don’t listen to me” fight.

Ah, yes, the fight about the other fights you have. This is a big one, and if you have it enough, you need to evaluate your relationship, because you’re partner (or you!) could just be being a huge jerk. We all feel small sometimes, but you shouldn’t feel that way with the person you love. Speak up if they’re not paying attention to your needs.

3The “why are you Facebook friends with your ex” fight.

The relationships that people have with their exes can be complete mysteries to a new partner. Eventually, though, people who aren’t cool with their last partner will never be able to understand the casual friendship someone has with their ex on social media, or in IRL. You should talk about if the ex-relationship is messing with you. Some level of jealousy is normal — you have to find the right balance.

4The “can you please help me” fight.

When you live with a partner, it can be harder than living with a crappy roommate. Yes, you love this person, but their stack of dishes on the coffee table or your inability to pick up all of your clothes from the floor is going to be an issue eventually. But that’s good — everyone will end up with what they want, hopefully. Like some help cleaning the bathroom.

5The “sex” fight.

People eventually get into a sex routine that you’ll fight about. That sucks, since it can really ruin the mood. Maybe it’s not happening as much as it used to, or it’s getting boring, or you need a few nights off. Fighting about sex is more common than you think.

6The “I don’t want to” fight.

No, not like you don’t want to go to a Korean barbecue for dinner. More like, “I don’t want to go to your family’s parties anymore,” or something bigger — like a huge move to another state for work or getting engaged or something. These are big ones and will likely make or break you.

7The “are you serious” fight.

This is the wrong way to go about seeing how serious your partner is about your relationship, but sometimes it just has to happen. There are times when one of you will not feel like the other person isn’t in the relationship for the long haul. Sometimes fighting through it is the best way to get answers.

Fighting is totally normal when you’re in a relationship, even if it’s exhausting. But if you do it right, it can make you even stronger.