At the beginning of a relationship, everything is a rose garden. Your partner is perfect in your eyes, and you are perfect in theirs. When you have your first fight in a relationship, that glossy image that you have constructed falls and shatters. In its place, you see the person whom you are actually dating. In the shock of this reality, they might not even seem that appealing anymore. You might feel the urge to gain space from the relationship, or they might be the one to ask for distance. But eventually, no matter how much space you try to place between yourself and the other, eventually, you’re going to have to face facts: The person you are dating is a flawed human. Are you going to stick around?
It’s actually this first fight that will make or break the relationship, as the two of you will learn whether or not you actually want to be together. Once the dust settles, and healing words have been exchanged, you are faced with a choice: Are you in or are you out? Whatever you decide is best for you will be the right option. Some relationships simply weren’t supposed to last.
If you’re in, you’ll find that’s when things really start to get interesting. After your first fight in a relationship, here’s what changes:
1. You Lose All Sense Of Fear
I don’t know about you, but the beginning of a new relationship is always super fraught with anxiety for me. Abandonment issues crop up. I’m worried that anything I do that is unattractive will be a deal breaker for the relationship. I stress about the future and obsess over what is or isn’t happening in the present.
And then, after a rupture inevitably happens, there’s a sense of relief. This relief exists whether or not the relationship actually withstands the first fight or not. It’s the sense of being seen clearly, flaws and all. It’s the sense of not having an option to pretend anymore.
The first fight in a relationship is humbling, because you are finally able to see who each of you is when you have nothing left to lose anymore. It’s as terrifying as it is beautiful, and as long as your relationship can withstand the conflict, then you’re in a better place than where you started, as far as I’m concerned.
2. You Learn Important Boundaries
At the beginning of a relationship, pretty much anything goes. The two of you are figuring out how you work together, which means that sometimes boundaries you didn’t even know existed get crossed. This crossing is usually what results in a fight in the first place; somebody gets hurt or offended, and suddenly, the differences between you seem vast.
When you choose to cross that distance, it’s because you recognize the other person’s limitations and can respect their boundaries. You understand that these boundaries are what they need to feel happy, healthy, and safe in a relationship. You have a greater understanding of the person who you are planning on journeying through life with, and can develop greater trust in yourself to do right by them. In that way, after experiencing the first fight, you can almost have a confidence boost.
3. You Begin To Grow Together
A rupture happens when you experience the first fight in a relationship. The neat little structure that you built to keep your affection safe opens up, and suddenly your relationship feels more vulnerable and exposed. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. The change that happens after your initial conflict gives you potential for growth.
The truth of the matter is that life is hard, and things can’t stay nice and pleasant all of the time. It’s no good to avoid difficult conversations just to keep the party going. At some point in every relationship, you and your partner are going to be tested. And it’s more than likely that you will be tested more than once.
There’s really no way to pass or fail this test. There aren’t any wrong answers, and there isn’t any reward except for love. And this love will keep coming back to you, whether in this relationship or any other. After your first fight, it makes it that much easier to see the truth of your feelings for one another. And that can never be a bad thing.
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