A Bare-Knuckled Evaluation of Relationships

March 13, 2012

in Relationships

Fight club movie Brad Pitt“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?”

~Fight Club

There is truth in this statement for life in general, but specifically in relationships. Learning about a new partner in a relationship, many things should be considered. Physical attraction, sexual chemistry, similar interests, compatibility, and communication styles are just a few things to learn about the other person. If there are children from previous marriages, add parenting style into the mix. I firmly believe how someone fights is also essential in evaluating compatibility in a partner.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately because I have checked all the other items off the mental check list with The Boyfriend except one: fighting. And, like an idiot, I have been worrying about it.

There has not been one terse word, one misunderstanding, or one hurtful experience that has occurred. I do know why; it’s the unprecedented compatibility and similarities I have found in him. We are both Irish and Italian, raised Catholic, both Taurus’s, and even share the same birthday. The qualities that can be frustrating to others in both of us– stubbornness, fierce independence, and opinionated nature–are understood and appreciated because the other possesses the same. We have a considerable work ethic, which is helpful in avoiding conflict over work commitments on a weekend or evening. Our feelings are mutual so we share the desire to see each other as often as possible. Our favorite sport is the same, we are both runners, enjoy the same movie genres, and are both adventurous eaters. Whenever we are together, we laugh and have fun. There is just never an issue between us.

We have spent a lot of time together in the last five months without being able to discover:

  • Will the gloves come off and relationship-killing accusations be launched?
  • Will he be the one that doesn’t accept responsibility or fault in anything he does?
  • Is “I’m sorry” something he is incapable of saying?
  • Will he lie to get out of trouble?
  • Is he a deflector–pushing blame on me to avoid being at fault?

I finally realized this week it was time to stop worrying about a yet-to-occur fight. While we have not had the first big disagreement, I have learned enough about him to guess his fighting style; he will be respectful, keeping the long-term health of the relationship as paramount in our resolution. I am not disillusioned to believe two Irish-Italian-Taureans won’t throw a few good verbal uppercuts, but nothing two scrappy pugilists can’t handle in a healthy, loving relationship.

Knowing what I do about The Boyfriend, it is best to tuck the scary monster back in the closet and move forward.

I have a great relationship and I simply need enjoy it.

How important are fighting styles to you?

Have you ever had similar concerns?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

my honest answer March 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Love the fight club quote! Although I’d have to say I know enough about myself to know that a physical fight would not be a good move…

As for your situation – you’re right, if you’ve got this far you’ll have a fair idea of how he deals with conflict, even if you’re lucky enough not to have experienced it!
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Fight Club is one of the greatest movies of all times. I would love to work more of it into my blog, but it doesn’t really fit. :)

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Ellen Lloyd March 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Wow, great post!

I sometimes have the same worries about my own bf. It’s really important to me that I find someone who fights fair and disagrees considerately, but it feels like I’ll have to wait years to see a fight happen! As you say, I guess I should probably take that, along with our myriad similarities and his rational conversation style, as a sign that I shouldn’t be worrying. Thanks! :)
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I agree Ellen! I don’t want to find out he can get really ugly in a disagreement. What I think we both need to realize is that while we have not had arguments, enough of their character and personality has been revealed to know what to expect. I know The Boyfriend values our relationship and that he works to keep it going in the right direction. I can’t imagine his tactic would change in a disagreement. He is also a respectful, thoughtful communicator. It sounds like you have a similar situation with your bf. We should not worry.

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Meredith P. March 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I had very similar thinking when I first got married to my husband (we had only known each other for 3 months and it was a long distance, online relationship when we got hitched). We didn’t have one single disagreement for the first 9 months or so of our marriage and I was really worried about us thinking something was wrong.

What I discovered was that we were still just getting to know each other and get comfortable with each other and that’s why we didn’t fight. After the first year or so is when the bickering began ;).

Don’t worry about what that first fight will be like, it’s a waste of energy that could be used enjoying each others company instead. Live in the now and not the “what if”. :)
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Thanks for the great advice and insight Meredith! Also, thank you for visiting.

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Vinny C March 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Mrs. C & I have had our fights. Still do from time-to-time. Yet we’ve managed to overcome our differences and have grown stronger.

As for my fighting style, it compliments hers. I duck and cover.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Ha! Glad you have a system worked out for fighting. And yes, those disagreements do lead to a stronger relationship and understanding of each other. Will keep you posted on our fighting style once it happens Vinny.

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Denise March 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I’ve been with the same man for 24 years. We never fight. We think it’s because when it comes to the big things: money, politics, religion, kids, etc., we are on the same page. Yes, we both get upset and we have to work out issues and are conversations get heated but it’s I’m upset and he talks me off the ledge or vice versa. Plus we talk about EVERYTHING no holds barred. I’d say enjoy the boyfriend, communicate what you feeling, and yes, don’t worry.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 15, 2012 at 9:00 am

It was so refreshing to read your comment Denise. I have never been in such a solid relationship when it comes to wanting the same things, mutual feelings, etc. It is hard for me to comprehend not having disagreements, but what I am realizing is that a relationship can be easy if you are with the right person. Of course I use “easy” loosely; there is an effort, but not challenging and draining. Thank you for your perspective. I found your comment very helpful.

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Anne-Marie March 15, 2012 at 2:35 am

I agree with you. Don’t worry too much, it will lead you nowhere. The only way to test your fear is when that disagreement comes, not before anything.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 15, 2012 at 8:58 am

Thank you Anne-Marie. I have reconciled with myself this week that it won’t be like some bad relationships in the past. He will be respectful and want to preserve what we have together. Once it finally happens, I am sure I will write about it!

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Classic NYer March 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

You make an interesting point… I usually don’t consider anyone’s fighting style other than my own, mostly because I have a tendency to fight dirty, and that can be a problem. But it would be an even worse problem if I were in a relationship with somebody who also fought dirty.

I was in a friendship like that once. I still shudder when I think about it.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm

As you figured out in your previous relationship, lack of compatibility in this area can be toxic. I learned the hard way too.

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