Why fighting in my relationship is OK

You know how they always show the couples in movies as these happy-go-lucky lovesick birds? They’re all joy and merriness and the only time they fight is at the climax, where we all cry and believe their relationship is at an end. It seems like nowadays, fights aren’t allowed in relationships. When I used to see a couple fighting in public, I would stick my head down and feel sorry for them. That is, until I met my current boyfriend.

We fell in love quickly. Not so hard when both of you find the person you’d been looking for for so long. On paper, we’re a perfect match. We have many mutual likes and dislikes, and like each other a whole lot. But there’s one flaw; we fight. A lot.

So much that I have it down to a short play. We usually start by arguing. Then we’ll get heated.. In the end one of us is stung to the point that we retreat into ourselves, throwing our hands up with the words “I’m done.” I end up crying, and he then comforts me and we’ll talk about our fight, and kiss and make up.

This might sound like it’s awful, or completely dramatic. But it’s not. It’s a way to clear the air and actually talk about the things that are bothering us.

I didn’t always see it that way. I thought that it must be a sign of the unhealthiness of the relationship. We seemed to be fighting more than my friends. But I realized that these fights never come out of a place of mean-spiritedness, but from a place of real debate. It’s not nastiness, just a way of airing out the things we need to air out and resolving the tensions we have. We’re both a little bit dramatic, and we love getting out own way.  When we fight, we get out our frustrations and concerns in one hit. We fight because we care.

After it’s all said and done, we continue being us, knowing that no matter what, we love each other and nothing can change that. We work together when we fight; pulling apart a problem till there’s nothing left but the embrace we share at the end.

Not everyone’s relationship works like that, and that’s totally OK. But I realized that this is the way our relationship works. And I realized that the picture of romantic love in the movies isn’t realistic for all kinds of reasons. I wouldn’t trade my real, flawed version for the fake, perfect one for anything.

Amy is a writer who loves coffee, dogs, and Netflix.

[Image via NBC]

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