Let me just start by saying that this article is not meant to offend anyone, and that if you are in a loving, caring, conflict free relationship, please move on and read my article on the unicorn boyfriend (since you clearly have one).
Here I'm talking about those couples who constantly argue with each other yet somehow end up being the strongest, most loving couples you know. Well, truth is there's a scientific reason behind that.
I was in a past relationship of complete chaos - constantly fighting which eventually led us to breaking up completely. Therefore I am not one to believe that fighting will make you stay together, if anything I'm against it completely.
But, there's a difference between arguing to win, and arguing with someone you love to resolve a conflict. Let's make sure we understand the difference...and always take everything I say with a grain of salt, of course.
According to Dr. John M. Gottman of the Gottman Institute, people use one of these three different styles when fighting,
1. Those who want to sit down, compromise, and get back to being comfortable with each other.
In this approach, the person can get emotional, raise his/her voice, shut doors violently and request some time alone. But the end result is usually compromise and peace.
2. Those who want to be heard immediately and have the other person agree with them.
This type of person does not necessarily want to "resolve" the issue at hand, but just wants you to listen to his/her point. There is hardly a resolution here, but just a one way conversation.
3. Those who have no interest in dealing with problems.
This is the riskiest sign from a partner. It might sound great from an outside perspective "my boyfriend never fights" but truth is, if you've never butt heads with your s/o AT ALL (even if it's choosing a restaurant), then you're in great danger.
Fighting means you care
It’s easy to walk away when things get tough, but it’s a sign of true love to be willing to withstand the pain and discomfort of working through a good fight. Think about how much you fight with your siblings, or your parents. You'll retaliate with "but that's different, it's family" well sorry to say but this s/o in your life will one day become your family. You argue and get over it because you see the bigger picture [with your family], you know that through the good times and the bad, they will always be there for you. This is the same concept with someone you love.
Fighting is a sign of strength
Fighting isn’t a sign of a weak relationship, but a strong one. If you are able to get into an agreement with someone and resolve it - you're already a step ahead of another relationship that has never bothered to get into a conflict and who are walking on eggshells. Speak your mind, don't be afraid to hurt the feelings of your s/o, because they know at the end of the day that you love them, has no one heard of "tough love" before?
Fighting is normal
As human beings, we've got basic needs (physiological and safety) and then the self-esteem and actualization needs that must be met in order to feel complete. (If you haven't heard of this before, check out Maslow's Hierarchy of needs). All this to say, we need challenge. We need to face conflict and resolve them. That is the only way we will learn and improve. "Fighting is normal," explains Therapist Dana Ward. "While some couples may think fighting is the sign of a bad relationship, it is actually is very important. The key is fighting with a purpose."
And if these arguments are passionate, then making up will be that much better.
So next time you want to discuss something that is bothering you - DO IT. Don't bottle in your feelings - TALK about it together, resolve them together and get over it (together). That's what it's all about, to know that at the end of the day, arguing and being emotional shows that you are in fact, not perfect (and a person with feelings) which in turn makes you a beautiful and perfect person in your own way.