March 10, 2022

Navigating Your First Real Fight In A New Relationship

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’re familiar with my dating stories, tips, and struggles. And while I’m in a relationship now, I’m still here to keep it absolutely real. Despite what you might see on Instagram, no couple is perfect and each relationship comes with their own unique fights, challenges, and compromises. Of course no one is going to stop mid-fight and take a video of them and their significant other for social media, but that doesn’t mean the fights aren’t happening. I’m here to debunk the seemingly-perfect highlight reel.

E and I have been dating for about 7 months now and thankfully we rarely argue more than your normal day-to-day bickering and banter. (Unless I’ve had a substantial amount of tequila, in which case I’m a total b*tch for no reason). That said, we have officially made it through our first real (big) fight. It had nothing to do with us and our relationship, and everything to do with the logistics of where we live and where we see ourselves settling down (if you’re new here, we’re doing a good ole LDR). I’ll spare you the details of the actual fight, but it was a 48 hour whirlwind and it sucked. 

The good news? It taught me a lot about him, our relationship, and how we need to communicate as a couple moving forward.

My last relationship was pretty dang toxic, and we fought more often than we didn’t. How we communicated in those heated moments was immature and hurtful. I would pick fights just for attention, and would threaten breakups to get my way. Again, very immature but we were young. Zero out of ten recommend if you want a healthy relationship. But to be honest, it worked in those moments and it’s all I knew.

E and I have the healthiest relationship I’ve had to date. And I learned very quickly that my “fighting tactics” in my early 20’s weren’t suitable for a mature relationship that I want to last. But before I learned that, I was down in the trenches of our first real blow out. Here’s what I learned. 

What I learned

Now, of course, he was in the wrong too. But I can’t speak on his behalf, and for the purposes of this blog I am owning up to my wrongs in this fight and sharing my takeaways.

If you need to bring up something serious, always (always) do it in person 

In my particular situation, I brought up something that was bothering me via text. This is always a bad idea, but even worse when you’re doing long distance and won’t have a chance to resolve things in person for a few days. In my experience that just prolongs the fight. Our distance and living situations had been bothering me for months, and instead of voicing those concerns in person I let it bottle up. When it came to a head, I let my anger control my thumbs and we got into it via text messages. It’s easier to voice your opinion behind a screen, but 10x harder to understand tone which means a lot of things get taken out of context.

Don’t do things just to get a reaction

In my early 20s, I would say things I didn’t mean just to get a reaction. For example (and for legal purposes this is all hypothetical); 1) questioning the relationship, 2) doubting their intentions, or 3) even threatening a break up. This my friends, is how you achieve a toxic off-again-on-again relationship. It’s not good. But because this was our first fight, I resorted back to some of these tactics. It didn’t work, and he was not down for the games. Now I know that he will take things I say literally, and I can’t make empty threats to prove a point.

Listen and think before you speak 

I think a big component to healthy communication is being willing to hear the other person’s perspective. AKA, stop, listen, and think, before you speak. Admittedly, this is something I still need to work on. But had we both stopped to hear each other out, we probably could have avoided at least 24 hours of that fight.

Always be willing to compromise 

No one asked, but here’s how we came to a solution: we accepted the fact that if we want this to work, we will both need to make sacrifices and compromise. Since our argument was more about our future— where we’d potentially settle down, raise kids, work, have the best quality of life— we decided to put a pin in it until we get there, but agreed that once we do get there we will both be willing to compromise and meet in the middle. I think this put both of us at ease, and made us feel better about the situation as a whole. Who knows where we’ll be in 3-5 years, but as long as we’re on the same page and willing to come to a decision together, we can avoid future blow outs.

Do we have it all figured out? Of course not. Will there be future fights? Absolutely. We’re human, and I’m as stubborn as they come. But I think this fight taught us enough to be able to dodge a 48-hour war down the road, and we came out the other side stronger for it.

xx, jordan

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