Today I'm going to talk about fighting with your boyfriend. Or girlfriend, husband, wife, other half, whatever (I'm sorry, I just don't like the word "partner", unless we're talking about someone you've done business with). I know it's not a very Sunday subject and I know not many bloggers talk about this - that's one of the reasons I'd like to address it. Every time I see a photo of a loved-up blogger hugging it out with her picture-perfect other half, I'm always like, okay, but you did have a good ol' scream at each other a couple of hours before snapping that photo (and admitting it doesn't make you any less in love!).
You know these couples that seem mind-blowingly happy exactly all the time? The ones that hold hands, kiss and always laugh uncontrollably together? I'm in a couple like that. We're perpetually smiling, never let go of each other, have a million inside jokes and constantly find ways to cuddle - yes, even in public. And yes, after six and a half years together. Most of our friends' reaction to us is either "aaawww" or "stop being so in love". We're diabetes-inducing and we know it. But there's more than meets the eye.
Screaming. Loud screaming matches. Crying. Throwing things. Slamming doors. These are only a few of all the lovely things that our poor flatmates have to endure. I can imagine them turning up the TV, putting their fingers in their ears, picking up an extra shift at their jobs just to avoid our recurring Third World Wars. Sure, they never clean and some days the whole house smells like weed, but still, I guess we're all just tolerating each other's flaws until we can afford to move out. I'm just awfully glad they don't understand Italian.
"Every couple fights" is a cliché, like a sticker that is often haplessly applied to our standard perception of what a couple is. I've read it on internet forums (which I often visit for article ideas): why do we fight? Is it normal to fight? How much fighting is normal? Thirty years on this earth, and I have yet to start caring about what is "normal". I don't like that term because it describes something that doesn't exist. There is no normal. Everyone's different and that standard sticker doesn't fit every relationship. My motto, for relationships and for life, is "if it makes you happy, you're not hurting yourself or anyone else and it's legal, go for it."
And it's not true that every couple fights. Some people aren't capable of fighting. When faced with conflict, they just shut down. You should stay away from these people. If you ever find yourself with one of them, run. Run fast and run far. I dated someone like that once. Every time something made me unhappy, he'd either turn on the TV (always a football game!) or tell me to "calm down" (there is not one expression in the world that angers me and effectively ruins my day and mood the way that "calm down" does. Well, maybe "the concert got cancelled"). One of the reasons that we broke up was that I couldn't deal with his wall being up all the time. I couldn't tear it down, so I stopped trying.
Then there's the big no-no - going to bed angry. Hey, newsflash: everyone does it. Even the genius that put it in an overpriced relationship-self-help book for the first time. My thing is, I never want to part ways angry, since I read a horrible, awful story about a girl who had a fight with her boyfriend, following which he stormed out, accidentally fell off a bridge and died. Seriously. It wasn't suicide, he just slipped and fell into an icy river and died. Isn't that the worst thing you have ever heard, ever? I would literally kill myself if I was that girl. After having read that, I always want to say "I love you" before leaving each other - but if you're raging mad and want to walk it off (David is a walk-it-offer. I tend to adopt more of a "let's talk and cry and yell and talk and make some tea and cry and talk some more until we're exhausted" fight-resolving technique), you can't just pretend the fight didn't happen and be all, "I love you honey", can you? You have to let time pass and then make peace. Same with going to bed angry. Sometimes you just need to sleep it off.
To be completely fair, I'm not the easiest person to have a relationship with. But neither is he - and I believe that we're the only ones that could actually handle being in a relationship with us. Honestly, I enjoy this roller coaster love story much more than I would a calm, flat, smooth-sailing one. Because I know it's honest. All the time. Nothing is kept inside. Everything is out in the open, where it can be discussed, dissected and addressed. Exactly the way I like it.
Now, if you excuse me, I have a "let's make up" dinner to prepare.
...I'm so sorry if I just ruined your Sunday with that guy on the bridge story. I didn't mean to. Let's pretend it never happened and someone just made it up to force us to make piece with our boyfriends/girlfriends before we go to work in the morning.