Battle of the Sexes: How much arguing is too much?

So I’m a Communication major here at Bryant. One of the perks of being a Comm major is that I get to take classes that will help me with my relationships – like a class on conflict management in interpersonal relationships I took a year ago.

One of the main things we learned in the class was that the amount of conflict does not necessarily correlate with relational satisfaction. In English? Even if you fight a whole heck of a lot in your relationship, that doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy or “bad.”

And think about it – some fighting is good in a relationship, especially the productive kind of fighting. There’s nothing like fighting with someone hopelessly for hours with no end in sight when suddenly you see the solution. When a fight results in your relationship being stronger, it’s that much more satisfying, and depending on the severity of the argument, it’s usually worth it.

Think about it another way too. I’m sure there are plenty of you out there
who are in long-term relationships where you’re getting more and more bored. Things become monotonous, and watching Netflix every weekend with take-out does get old. You seemingly have learned every single thing about your significant other, so what else is there to do?

do?This is where fighting can also come in. There are some girls I know personally who have no problem starting a fight or picking arguments with their boyfriends all in the name of keeping things interesting. I was appalled by the idea at first – who would willingly enter into a fight just because she’s bored? Apparently more people than I thought, and sometimes, just sometimes, their technique works. Fighting keeps things fresh and gets your adrenaline pumping.

And then you get to make up – which is the best part.

But now for the not-so-good side of fighting: stupid things. When you’re constantly fighting about things that seem stupid, trivial, or easily-solved, you might have a bigger problem in your relationship. This is especially true when you end up fighting multiple times about the same thing with your partner. The magic number is three; if you have three or more fights about the same issue, it’s not actually about that thing. And that seems like common sense, but I bet there’s a bunch of you reading this now thinking about a past relationship and how if you had just realized that, maybe you could have solved your problems – or gotten the hell out of the relationship quicker.

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