For whatever reason, some couples enjoy arguing. According to them, the rush of riding the really high highs and the really low lows is the epitome of what it means to be in love. But I beg to differ. In fact, I don’t think the ride could get any more smoother if it’s true love! Although love is a constant act of equilibration, being able to make adjustments as you go is a clear sign that certain things are constant in the relationship – respect, admiration, understanding, etc. Extreme highs and lows, on the other hand, is a clear sign that those things change as often as the arguments and what does that leave you with? Years of toxic, embarrassing bullshit that could’ve been avoided for many reasons; learning how to fight fair is one of them. I used to be the girl who thought it wasn’t love unless it was super passionate, unpredictable and ate my fucking heart out. I’m pretty sure I was addicted to the toxic cycle of breaking up to make up in my late teens/early 20s because anything else was “boring” (oh, the joys of being a young, problematic Aries moon). But once I learned how to nurture my relationships with the people I care about through my words, the reward was anything but that.
Here’s 6 signs that you don’t fight fair + how to change your methods:
Your argument isn’t rooted in respect.
I knew my relationship was toxic when my respect was only there when we were on “good” terms. If I was angry, hurt, or feeling disrespected, I was bound to say something that I had to apologize for later. If you disrespect your partner during an argument just because you’re angry then you aren’t fighting fair. It should always be you and bae attacking the problem, not you and bae attacking each other.
There’s an argument in the first place.
Every disagreement shouldn’t lead to an argument. The only time it does is when one person doesn’t feel heard, understood or like their feelings matter. Clear, healthy communication can literally solve any disagreement. Clear, healthy communication means that you still show your partner that you love and care about him/her even when you think he/she is being an idiot. You don’t yell at, belittle or hit below the belt with someone you love.
You always bring up the past.
If you promised your partner forgiveness, not only are you throwing their shortcomings in their face by bringing up the past but you also just showed them that you don’t keep your promises – which leads to another argument! Fighting fair means keeping your word, focusing on the present and letting bygones be bygones.
The ultimate sign of playing dirty during an argument is being manipulative! People are usually manipulative during an argument when they lack accountability and hate to be wrong. They play the victim, gaslight you, and pull out all sorts of tricks to manipulate you into think you’re the bad guy. Being right for the sake of being right will never be as important as being with your partner so leave the manipulation at the door. Once bae realizes you’re constantly trying to manipulate the situation, you’ll be back to swiping left and right on dating apps.
You don’t acknowledge how they handle conflict.
We all have different love languages, coping methods and communication styles. Sometimes we get into a relationship with someone who handles things completely different from the way we would’ve handled them. Although it takes a little more work, it’s not impossible to have a loving, healthy relationship. If anything, it’s an opportunity to learn new ways of doing things. When you and bae are having a disagreement, you can make it easier on yourself by acknowledging how they handle conflict. Do they need a few hours to themselves? Do they need space for a few days? Do they need to get to a solution at this very moment? If what they need differs from yours, you’ll have to compromise. I’m the kind of person who likes to address issues head on and as they come. However, I was dating someone who needed time to process his thoughts before coming to a solution. Compromise: He would be vocal about that need (versus just taking space) and I would be understanding and confident in knowing that it’ll be figured out – just not at this exact moment. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to find a solution when *both* parties are open to listening.
You listen to respond instead of listening to understand.
Take the time out to really understand how bae is feeling and why he/she is feeling that way. You’re on the first thing smoking to argue-ville if you’re just listening to respond; it sends the message that you refuse to hear your partner, validate his/her feelings and ultimately refuse to fix the issue. Look, God is still working on me! Any man who makes me feel like I’m not being heard or like my feelings don’t matter will bring out the young, problematic Aries moon that I used to be. Learning how to fight fair takes time but as long as you’re always aiming to *understand* your partner, you’ll be aight.
Thanks for reading!