Any time you're in a relationship, there are a few things that are bound to happen. Obviously, you're going to learn a lot about yourself and your partner, but you're also going to fight. A lot. Sure, when you first get into a relationship, you might not think you're ever going to fight, but you are. Period. But, by simply knowing how relationships change after your first fight, you'll be prepared for what's to come.
Seriously, fighting in a relationship is totally normal, and it's really nothing to be afraid of, as long as you have a secure foundation. You also have to really be honest with each other, and both be committed to working through it, instead of giving up as soon as the going gets tough.
For example, when a relationship is new, it might be easy to ignore the little things that you would normally want to talk about, or even argue about. And that's totally normal. As licensed marriage and family therapist Vienna Pharaon told Elite Daily, "This is the time when they're figuring each other out, and it's also the time when they're the least confident in asking their partners for clarity, articulating boundaries, and feeling secure that making requests won't scare the other one off."
But once that honeymoon phase wears off, what can you expect after your first fight?
Personally, my first fight with my boyfriend was pretty funny. Looking back, I don't really remember what it was about, other than the fact that it ended with us both laughing, holding each other, and promising to do better. Not every first fight has to be a bad thing, but even if you're still in your honeymoon phase, you're probably not going to stay there forever.
After you've sort of settled into your relationship, you can't put off a fight any longer. And that's OK. In fact, that's a good thing. Meredith Shirey, couples therapist and founder of her own private counseling practice, told Elite Daily that being comfortable enough to have an argument or a fight is a positive sign. "If there's a point of contention, if something is bothering you, how likely are you to let your partner know that that's an issue for you?" she said. "If you say not very likely, why is that? Do an internal check: Is it because I’m fearful of my partner's response or I’m afraid they're going to be defensive or invalidate me in some way?"
Basically, having your first fight is actually a good sign, as long as you can work past it.
After you have your first fight, your relationship will change. Fighting with your partner will show you how the two of you can handle tough situations. No matter what your fight is about (money, cleaning, health — OMG, I just remembered our first fight was about me not wanting to do CrossFit with my boyfriend. Ah, memories.), it doesn't really matter. What matters is how you handle it.
Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, Dr. Fran Walfish, told Elite Daily that a couple that doesn't fight might have more at stake than a couple that does. "A couple [that has never had an argument] may proceed toward engagement and marriage and have no way to evaluate how they navigate differences," she said. If there's an unexpected life event — like a medical scare, or a loved one passing away, or a car accident — "the couple might have to deal with both the crisis and their opposing points of view, raising the stakes and intensity [of the fight]."
After that first fight, you're going to learn and grow a lot. The thing about relationships is that they're actually one of the best ways to learn about yourself and grow. Once you and your partner have your first fight, you're probably going to have a long talk after. The good thing is, you'll be able to grow so much together. You'll know each other's boundaries, you'll know that your relationship is strong enough to handle anything, and most importantly, you'll feel so safe and comfortable.
Fighting with your partner isn't easy, and it isn't fun. But once you've crossed that important bridge, your relationship is only going to get better.
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