I've heard "I'm a lover, not a fighter" said time and time again, but what I never understood was how you can be one and not the other. I only fight for the things I love, so I am both, and I assume everyone else would be, too. I am in the third serious relationship of my life, and no matter how different the men I date are, one thing remains the same: It is inevitable that we will fight.
My current significant other often gets frustrated because not only do I fight with him, but I never, ever fight with my best friends. You see, it's easier to fight with our partners because we know they love us unconditionally. So, we assume they'll forgive us, even when we are wrong.
More importantly, we also fight with them because being in a relationship means being vulnerable and showing someone all your flaws. In light of being this exposed, we often lash out defensively to cover up the parts of ourselves we don't particularly like and certainly don't want them to see.
On the contrary, we rarely fight with our friends because they are the ones we feel comfortable exposing ourselves to. These are the people you get honest and share your secrets with because there is no pressure placed upon your relationship.
We all end up dating someone usually with the same things in mind: marriage, babies and white picket fences. However, we become friends with someone based on similar interests, shared experiences and the support of one another with no expectations or false notions.
Your friends are the ones who save you and restore you back to sanity after your heart gets broken. So naturally, you will not fight with them as much. The only time I have ever fought with my friends was under extreme circumstances, and even then, my friends and I found ways to forgive each other.
In relationships, it hurts much more when conflict occurs because it's with someone you are investing in your future with. This person can make or break you, so we fight hard because we love hard.
We don't have to worry about infidelity, finances or baby drama with our friends. We don't have to defend ourselves to our friends because they don't develop that nasty habit of playing on your insecurities. Our friends will almost always approach us in a constructive way in order to solve a problem.
Significant others also spend much more time with us, so that can be another reason we often fight with them. This can be the case when they chew their food loudly or take too long to get ready; we lose our cool because we are already on edge.
Lastly, many of us have a tendency to push away the people closest to us because of some underlying issues with trust, commitment or past relationship baggage. We push away extraordinary people because we think we don't deserve to be happy, or we expect them to leave us anyway because our exes proved to us that we are replaceable.
So, we fight. We fight with our boyfriends or girlfriends not because they actually did anything wrong, but because we need to work our own sh*t out. Dating us means dating a work in progress.
I admit my boyfriend doesn't deserve half the nonsense fights I put him through, but luckily for me, he knew what he signed up for. He knew being the third man in line in my life meant having to pick up the pieces of my heart my exes broke and prove to me that men can commit, stay loyal and love me.
So, God bless the guys who stay put when all you do is try to push them away before they can hurt you. God bless the friends who listen to you complain all day long about what a pain in the ass your boyfriend is, but still like your nauseating Instagram selfies when you guys make up.
I'll close this with one piece of advice for anyone with a significant other: Make an effort to make friends with your partner's friends. That way, when you two fight, they will give him positive feedback instead of telling him to dump your ass.
If you cross them, your relationship is pretty much doomed. So, make nice, play nice and you'll be just fine. In the words of the Spice Girls: "If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends. Make it last forever, friendship never ends."