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Is it normal to never fight with your boyfriend (or girlfriend)?
November 20, 2010 1:17 AM   Subscribe

Is it normal to never fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend? Should I get mad at him for certain things?

I am dating a wonderful man who is a fellow undergraduate student at my university. We met through a religious community on campus, and have been dating for a bit less than a year. I really love him and know that he always wants what's best for me, but naturally, there are moments when I think he could be doing things differently. I am an easy-going person by nature (sometimes too easy going, being chronically late and procrastinating till the umpteenth hour), and sometimes I wonder if there are things I should make a bigger deal over, or get mad about. We *never* fight. Is it normal to have been dating for a bit less than a year, and to never have had cross words with one another? If there is something major that I'm unsure about, I'll mention it to him, saying x makes me a bit unhappy and proceeding to explain why. Then things change, and we go forward.

What are expectations women should have in relationships? My boyfriend is a conscientious worker, takes care of himself, is nice to everyone, makes time for us to be alone once a week, has a great relationship with God, is hilarious, is polite, is sexy, and truly cares for me.

That said, he doesn't say random sweet things unless I compliment him first, doesn't plan our dates ever (he always asks me what to do), he doesn't buy me things, rarely asks me questions about myself... are those things important at all? They don't bother me, but then again I've never dated anything else in my life.

When should I be legitimately angered about stuff and want to change things about our relationship? I feel like our low level of conflict isn't the norm. Or are two people who respect each other and don't sweat the small stuff always like this in relationships?

Can someone with relationship experience help me out?

(We're in our early 20s, for reference.)
posted by sunnychef88 to Human Relations (38 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
are those things important at all? They don't bother me

There's your answer. If those things don't bother you then why would you want to start a fight about it... just to be "normal"?
posted by missmagenta at 1:21 AM on November 20, 2010 [11 favorites]


FWIW, my now wife and I were the same for the first couple of years. Since then, we have little spats every now and then though not on the scale as what I'd consider "average."

Most people change (a lot) over time. Some of those things you say are unimportant could become nagging concerns in the future, as similar things did with us, especially as the limerence wears off after the first few years. If you've not had any significant upheaval (one of you losing a job and needing to move, a kid, getting married, alcohol abuse, etc.) I'm not surprised if things have been plain sailing so far.
posted by wackybrit at 1:26 AM on November 20, 2010


That said, he doesn't say random sweet things unless I compliment him first, doesn't plan our dates ever (he always asks me what to do), he doesn't buy me things, rarely asks me questions about myself... are those things important at all? They don't bother me, but then again I've never dated anything else in my life.

If they don't bother you, why are they the first things that you'd pick out when considering what *might* be his potential shortcomings? ;) Just a thought.
posted by patronuscharms at 1:28 AM on November 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


sunnychef88: That said, he doesn't say random sweet things unless I compliment him first, doesn't plan our dates ever (he always asks me what to do), he doesn't buy me things, rarely asks me questions about myself... are those things important at all? They don't bother me, but then again I've never dated anything else in my life.

Well, they're important to me but they may not be important to you.

I mention this only because I want you to know that even if your boyfriend is the most perfect man on the planet, it's OK if ultimately he isn't the perfect partner for you and your needs and what you want your relationship to look like.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:34 AM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


What? No. The fact that you don't get angry with your boyfriend, about things he does or doesn't do that may or may not bother other people if they were in your position but that definitely don't bother you, is not a problem at all. Be happy you've found a good match, and are able to easily talk about the things that do bother you, and to have those issues taken seriously.

What are expectations women should have in relationships?

I get the impression that you think something might be wrong if your relationship doesn't walk and talk like other relationships, or if you're not behaving like your peers. But intimate relationships aren't about fitting in with the crowd. This is between you and your partner. Pay attention to what matters to you, as a unique person -- to how you feel and what you need to be happy. Look inward.

When should I be legitimately angered about stuff and want to change things about our relationship?

I'm not sure it makes any sense to talk about anger in this way, as if it were a tool you could selectively pick up and apply to get something you want. Assertiveness is one (good) thing, but using contrived anger to get your way, particularly in the context of an intimate relationship, is almost always going to be a terrible idea.

You might someday come up against some conflict that isn't so easily resolved, or that pushes some especially sensitive button in your psyche, and you may feel angry about that. You won't have much choice in the matter then, and you'll have a different question -- something like, I am so mad at my S.O. about this thing. How can I calm down and handle this without losing my cool and hurting my relationship?
posted by jon1270 at 1:47 AM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel like our low level of conflict isn't the norm.

The situation you describe sounds about how I have always gone about things - perfectly normal if you are that kind of person.

You'll know when you are angry if it happens. Drama is not a requirement in a relationship, despite what you might think from reading RelationshipFilter.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:48 AM on November 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


It's perfectly normal to not fight.

It is not normal to believe that happy couples never fight.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:05 AM on November 20, 2010 [11 favorites]


We met through a religious community on campus, and have been dating for a bit less than a year.

The time of your relationship makes a difference. You very well may start having all those fights after a year and a half.

It will be an even bigger deal when you move in together (if you do that before marriage), and even after that, if you do marry it will be different still.

There's plenty of time to discover all the things that will make you angry at the other person.

The good news is you're addressing problems as they come up rather than stewing over them. Your boyfriend in turn sounds like he is fairly laid back. If he were a control freak you'd probably already be having some arguments.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:08 AM on November 20, 2010


My question is whether he is doing the things that make you feel like he cares about you and your feelings. They don't have to be the traditional romantic gestures but they should be what counts for you. I'm wondering if maybe the relationship is working because you are willing to go along with whatever works for him.

When should I be legitimately angered about stuff and want to change things about our relationship? The answer is that you should be angry when something is making you angry. It is possible that you two have a style that let you talk about issues without having a fight.It is also possible that you are too easy going and not speaking up for your own needs.
posted by metahawk at 2:13 AM on November 20, 2010


Don't go borrowing trouble.
posted by kalessin at 2:34 AM on November 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


Me and my boyfriend have been dating over a year and we haven't had a fight yet. Data point. It's normal.
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:43 AM on November 20, 2010


Just to clarify the get mad thing. Originally (like, when we were very small; when there was little social pressure known to us that made us choose behavior), 'getting mad' was a spontaneous reaction to an emotion, not a choice. Getting mad as an educational tool in a relationship is really bad news, because it messes with your own head in the first place. Many people don't know this.

He doesn't say random sweet things unless I compliment him first, doesn't plan our dates ever (he always asks me what to do), he doesn't buy me things, rarely asks me questions about myself...
Someone who is that gentle and nice as your boyfriend seems to be may nevertheless lack the experience to understand that these things might be somehow important. If any of them would be important to you, you could always simply talk to him about it.
However:
are those things important at all? They don't bother me
If that is so, there's your answer, as others have said. There is no such thing out there like a peer-pressured partnership-fight-culture of which you are supposed to be a part.
posted by Namlit at 3:33 AM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


If there is something major that I'm unsure about, I'll mention it to him, saying x makes me a bit unhappy and proceeding to explain why. Then things change, and we go forward.

Sounds to me like you're doing it right. The thing that changes may be your boyfriend's behavior, or just as importantly it might be your expectation/understanding.
posted by headnsouth at 4:13 AM on November 20, 2010


It's unusual never to have rows in a long, close relationship, but by no means "abnormal". My ex-wife and I were together for ten years and we never really had what you could call a "fight". There were maybe a single-digit number of occasions where she seemed a bit miffed at me or I was a bit miffed at her but basically we never fought.

And then she went and fucked someone else and walked out on me so, you know, it's not like not fighting means your relationship is necessarily bullet-proof and wonderful. Of course, having rows doesn't necessarily mean the opposite. But the bottom line is that not rowing is fine, as long as you're not feeling any need to row. Suppressing genuine and significant discontent... now that's unhealthy.
posted by Decani at 4:21 AM on November 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


My wife and I have been together for almost 15 years now, and we have never had a "fight". We are both easygoing people, are very compatible, and on the occasions when we do not agree, we both are always willing to compromise and see the other person's point of view. There have been a few times when one of us was quite angry with the other, but when that happens we tend to just get quiet or separate ourselves for a few minutes until we can assess the situation more soberly. Usually it turns out to not be that big a deal, and we can just drop it, but if it is still an issue, we make sure we have a conversation about it later, when we are calm and collected.

As others have said, it's still a relatively new relationship, so you may have fights later, but if you don't, hey, that's great! Who wants to fight?
posted by Rock Steady at 4:55 AM on November 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


My husband and I have been together ten years and we have very rarely had anything resembling a "fight" if you define that as prolonged arguing of opposing points of view, getting angry, getting loud, etc. We have occasionally gotten snappish with one another but that has been pretty rare. Most of our issues are worked out by talking.

One memorable time I did get pretty angry at him and ranted at him at great length for probably half of a five-hour road trip, but it wasn't exactly a fight because he wasn't arguing back... he just listened. We had just been miscommunicating about certain issues for years, and we were mutually at fault about that. He had been brushing off some requests and complaints as "nagging" for years, not seeing how important they were to me; and I had seethed with resentment for years rather than sitting him down calmly and said, "Look, X issue is making me extremely angry and resentful and I need you to listen about it and then help me figure out what we can do."

That said, he doesn't say random sweet things unless I compliment him first, doesn't plan our dates ever (he always asks me what to do), he doesn't buy me things, rarely asks me questions about myself... are those things important at all? They don't bother me, but then again I've never dated anything else in my life.

You might want to read The Five Love Languages. It describes how people prefer to give and receive love in various ways, some of which aren't particularly romantic. My only quibble with the book is that it tries to get you to narrow your language preference to one major one... personally, there are three languages that are pretty vital to me, one that is fairly important and one I don't care about at all.

Luckily our preferences mesh pretty well, and there is only one area where I've had to lower my expectations and he's had to make an effort to work on. I'm pretty into acts of service (giving, and I'd like to receive more) and he only likes to receive. (On the other hand, he is much better at expressing his emotions verbally than I am, but he's much more easygoing about my deficiency in this area.) We're both crazy about touch and quality time, and we don't care about gifts very much at all.

My one coworker's husband never sent her flowers in all the years we worked together, they weren't big on exchanging gifts, and I never heard her tell him "I love you" when they talked on the phone either (hubs and I always do, even at work.) But he helped her color her hair, schlepped her elderly mom around to her errands and appointments, did a ton of stuff around the house and packed her a lovely lunch for work every day (including cut-up fresh fruit with whipped cream and beautiful fresh salads.) Soooo spoiled rotten, I used to tell her. :) Not sure what she did to make him feel loved in return but I never heard her speak of a fight or any problems and they always seemed close and happy from what I could tell.

If the things you mentioned truly don't bother you, he's probably already showing you love in other ways that are important to you. On the other hand you did notice them so if there is a nagging bit of dissatisfaction there you might want to decide if it is important enough to you to bring up with him. Just do it before you get to the point that you've been hurt, disappointed, angry and/or resentful for years. It's ok to ask for more compliments or flowers or tell him that you'd appreciate it if he'd ask you questions about yourself because those things make you feel loved.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:58 AM on November 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


Also, one of the hallmarks of the falling-in-love stage of a relationship is that you willingly overlook each others' faults or even find them cute. I can remember that on our first date my husband farted and just calmly said "excuse me" and didn't seem embarrassed at all. And I thought "wow, it's so cool that he is so unself-conscious and down-to-earth."

Now I'm like "Duuuude... could you please go do that somewhere where I'm not trying to breathe? Sheesh."

Just don't be surprised if some of the things you are overlooking now become more of an issue in the future.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:15 AM on November 20, 2010


The Freudian in me wants to say: why would you go to the trouble of writing this (very meta, seemingly random) question and outlining these specific behaviors of you boyfriends' over which you could hypothetically fight... if these behaviors didn't actually bother you on some level? If these behaviors do, in fact, get to you, perhaps a discussion—which by no means has to become a fight, per se—is in order. If he's a wonderful guy, such a conversation could very well go equally wonderfully.
posted by Keter at 5:17 AM on November 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


FWIW, my boyfriend and I never fought in our first year together. Of course, that all depends on how one defines "fought." While we would have discussions about "such-and-such made me feel bad" or whatever, we never had cross words with one another.

I am, however, proud (?) to say that we had a real honest-to-goodness fight the other day, complete with leaving the house crying and being very upset, and it went very well! Nicely resolved soon after.
posted by teragram at 5:39 AM on November 20, 2010


I have been with my husband for 20 years. I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of real fights we've had. We've had disagreements, sure. We've had words. But we usually talk things through before they're a problem. In a good, working relationship, each partner feels free to ask for what they want. If I want my husband to do X, Y, or Z, I ask him to do so. If he doesn't feel those things are important, he'll ask me something like, "How high are X, Y, and Z on your priority list." If they're high, he'll do them immediately. If they're low, he'll get to it eventually.

That said, he doesn't say random sweet things unless I compliment him first, doesn't plan our dates ever (he always asks me what to do), he doesn't buy me things, rarely asks me questions about myself... are those things important at all? They don't bother me, but then again I've never dated anything else in my life.

The fact that you put these words down suggests to me that these things do bother you a tiny bit. If you want him to do those things, tell him that. If, on the other hand, your girlfriends are telling you he should be doing these things and it really doesn't bother you at all that he doesn't, stop listening to your girlfriends. They aren't you and they don't get to decide what you think is important.

Understand, too, that your needs and wants will change over time. What doesn't bother you now might bother you in a week or a month or a year. Do tell him what you'd like him to do if he's not doing it. Also tell him that he should tell you the same thing. Open, honest communication is what has netted me 20 years with the best man I've ever known.
posted by cooker girl at 6:04 AM on November 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Four year relationship here. My boyfriend and I "fight" in the same sense that you and your boyfriend fight -- one of us will occasionally say to the other, "X is bothering me," and then we work together to fix that problem.

I have always attributed our lack of arguments to the fact that 1) we both have very similar desires in a variety of domains (social life, sex life, relationship goals, communication style), and perhaps even more important 2) we assume the best about the other person. That means that any ambiguous comment/action is interpreted in a positive or forgiving light.

My stepfather used to talk about a "reservoir of goodwill" that one had to build up in relation to others. You filled the reservoir by doing any manner of kind/loving things for the other person, and so if one day you happened to be snappish then the other person would be inclined to take a forgiving attitude towards you. If your snappish days began to outnumber the loving days, then the reservoir would gradually be depleted. For my boyfriend and I, doing kind acts and being generally responsive to one another is a habit, so the reservoir is full and we don't get into spats about the one time that he is late for our date or the one time I nag him. I know that he is mostly on time (and, more broadly, shows me love in all kinds of ways), so I don't get irritated about one instance of lateness. Maybe this is the case for you and your boyfriend, as well? If so, you are lucky, not freakish.
posted by Bebo at 6:19 AM on November 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


I find this question especially funny and interesting because I was about to ask an eerily similar one upon waking up this morning. But this is here and now I don't have to! Details are pretty much the same except we're mid-twenties, are out of college, and met online.

That said, he doesn't say random sweet things unless I compliment him first, doesn't plan our dates ever (he always asks me what to do), he doesn't buy me things, rarely asks me questions about myself... are those things important at all? They don't bother me, but then again I've never dated anything else in my life.

I believe you when you say these things don't bother you. I think you may be noting these things because your peers or the media have convinced you that this is how a boyfriend is supposed to act and yours isn't acting that way. So, maybe you're slightly alarmed because you want to do this right and since you have no or very little relationship experience, you're thinking to yourself, "Whoa, are we doing okay with this relationship thing?" I obviously don't know either of you, but based on your question alone, you seem to be doing just fine. Your boyfriend may not do EVERYTHING that society/your peers expect is part and parcel of a relationship, but as long as the two of you are happy together, you are doing it correctly.

Now, about the fighting thing. My own sweet partner and I never have fights either. I do find this a little concerning simply because relationship-advice-wisdom these days seems to imply that fighting is an important part of being a couple. The two of you are supposed to be able to fight in a way that is constructive and blahblahblah. However, I THINK it is okay that you guys aren't fighting because of this statement that you make in your post:

If there is something major that I'm unsure about, I'll mention it to him, saying x makes me a bit unhappy and proceeding to explain why. Then things change, and we go forward.

As long as your boyfriend feels comfortable enough to do the same thing with you, then I think you're good and doing it "right" on the "fighting" front. I know my partner and I handle it much the same way and our relationship FEELS very good, but hey, who knows? We're only a year in and our relationship is still young. Yours is too. Just try to keep up the good work and when you're upset, communicate communicate communicate. Just like you've been doing.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 6:19 AM on November 20, 2010


My husband and I have one or two "fights" a year, I guess. BIG fights? Maybe a couple in 20 years. We're not meek people, and we aren't the sort of couple to have super serious relationship talks or make lots of rules about domestic issues, or anything like that; we just happen to get along really, really well. We share a lot of the same traits, so we understand each other, but most importantly, we deeply trust and respect each other — which seems to be the essential baseline for a happy relationship, with or without fights.

So, is it normal? For some couples it's perfectly normal. You may be that sort of couple. Or, as time goes on, you may find yourselves fighting more. That's also normal. What you need to look out for are what are being called the Four Horsemen of the relationship "apocalypse": Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, Stonewalling. These are the behaviors that doom relationships. You can fight 'til the cows come home, or never have a single obvious conflict, and either way the relationship can be excellent... or an utter pit of despair. Keep an eye on the Horsemen.
posted by taz at 6:34 AM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think that 'fights', in relationships, generally happen when at least one person feels like they're not communicating or not being heard. It may be that all your conflict resolution happens without needing to escalate to that level.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:19 AM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


>>That said, he doesn't say random sweet things unless I compliment him first, doesn't plan our dates ever (he always asks me what to do), he doesn't buy me things, rarely asks me questions about myself... are those things important at all? They don't bother me, but then again I've never dated anything else in my life.

What do you mean when you say they don't "bother" you? You'd prefer things to be different, but overall you like the guy? Or you really don't care at all? If you really don't care at all, then no, these things are not important in your intimate relationship right now.

>>When should I be legitimately angered about stuff and want to change things about our relationship? I feel like our low level of conflict isn't the norm. Or are two people who respect each other and don't sweat the small stuff always like this in relationships?

Get angry when you feel angry. Don't pick a fight for the sake of having a fight! If you want to change things, I vote for discussing what you want and how to achieve that change -- it certainly doesn't have to involve anger and high-level conflict.
posted by J. Wilson at 7:28 AM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a good friend who never fights with her husband -- they very occasionally have polite disagreements -- and it's normal. Personally, *I* would fight with her husband, but that's probably why they married each other and not me. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:44 AM on November 20, 2010


Short answer is: Yes, it is normal not to fight! I say this as someone who can be argumentative and sometimes is easily angered. Yet I've been with my spouse a decade and like others who have responded here, I've really only had less than half a dozen incidents of a snippy comment, followed immediately by a 'whoa! time out!' and apologies as necessary.

Arguing and fighting is really no way of communicating between anyone, regardless of whether they are your spouse or not. Be happy and proud that you can have such a relationship, and do all you can to foster a non-argumentative relationship!!
posted by kuppajava at 7:48 AM on November 20, 2010


My wife and i have been married a year and a half, together just shy of eight years.

We spat more than you two but that about describes as high as it ever gets: a little annoyed terseness. Then we work it out by talking about it and come to some sort of conclusion.

Now, sometimes that conclusion is "you are not going to get what you want, deal" and one of us has to cope With disappointment/annoyance/whatever, but that's life with two people with opinions and not always perfectly aligned goals and desires.

You two maybe arent having even that level of spat because the number of things you have to negotiate are fewer and lower stakes; you're not in a household together, saving for retirement, etc. But that you can discuss the things that bother you and find a way to deal before it turns into unproductive yelling and screaming? Not something to worry about in and of itself.
posted by phearlez at 8:03 AM on November 20, 2010


Why would you want to be normal? Normal relationships end the majority of the time.

When should I be legitimately angered about stuff and want to change things about our relationship?

You don't need to be angry to want to change things in your relationship.

You should "want to change things in your relationship" when you realize that you'd like something to change in your relationship. You can't plan "want" and "anger" -- you don't have much choice about wanting what you want and being angry when you're angry.
posted by vitabellosi at 8:35 AM on November 20, 2010


I feel like our low level of conflict isn't the norm.

That's because you only hear about drama!
posted by rhizome at 8:41 AM on November 20, 2010


Anecdote: I've been with my husband for 8 years, married for 6, and we haven't had what I would call a real fight. Occasionally I will get snippy (because I am snippy-inclined) but an actual, raised-voices argument? Never. I used to worry about it, mostly because other people would tell me "you can't get married until you have your first fight," I guess meaning that we didn't know each other well enough or something? Now I just figure that every relationship is different, and our personalities are such that we deal with conflicts without fighting. It's a beautiful way to live, actually, and when I compare our relationship to others that are "more normal," ie, fighting and making up and fighting again, I'm glad we're the way we are.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 9:43 AM on November 20, 2010


Well, every relationship is different. So if it works for you, great.

Anecdote: The first 6 months I dated my husband we did not fight. When a big problem came along that we couldn't resolve on our own, (we weren't fighting, we just had a problem you understand) we talked to a counselor. He pointed out that I always shied away from saying something negative, and my fiance always was soooo nice that it was basically impossible to be mad at him.

We have now had our fair share of arguing and door slamming and have been happily married for a gazillion years.

YMMV.
posted by SLC Mom at 11:32 AM on November 20, 2010


Not fighting is fine and desirable.

Someone who is that gentle and nice as your boyfriend seems to be may nevertheless lack the experience to understand that these things might be somehow important.

I agree and I would add that, as you are BOTH inexperienced, there are probably things that you could BOTH be doing that might make each other happier. I recommend heading to local bookstore and finding some relationship books for couples. Buy one that looks like it applied to you and read it with your boyfriend. You could even take turns reading to each other. Use this as a launching point for conversation about your relationship.

I'd be willing to bet that rule #1 for men is, "Tell her she looks nice when she does" (with "Buy flowers" as a close #2).

Kudos to you for having the foresight and self-awareness to want to work to improve a relationship that already sounds pretty damn good!
posted by coolguymichael at 1:31 PM on November 20, 2010


You should express anger when you feel anger.

If you think that you have trouble identifying and expressing anger, that's work you want to do on your own, yes? Because it's going to be an issue in all arenas, not just your romantic relationship.

If your friends tell you that you "should be" upset about something that genuinely doesn't upset you, tell them to step off and let you do you.

I'd be willing to bet that rule #1 for men is, "Tell her she looks nice when she does" (with "Buy flowers" as a close #2).

Presuming that their partners enjoy both or either of those things. (I'm not keen on comments about my appearance--especially positive comments {decades of street harassment have taken their toll} and I hate cut flowers.) I think Rule #1 for people of all genders is "Find out what your partners actually appreciate and enjoy," and Rule #2 is "Do those things."
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:53 PM on November 20, 2010


Just wanted to add another anecdote about never fighting. My partner and I have been together over 6 years, living together about 4 or 5, and have never had a real fight. This is not to say we don't have disagreements; but we're both very easygoing, and just haven't had any issues that couldn't eventually be talked out.

About expectations in relationships - does he respect you and support you? Do you feel like you can really talk to him, feel safe and unguarded and yourself around him? Do you feel generally good about yourself when you're with him? Can you productively discuss things you may or may not disagree about - whether philosophical questions, day-to-day things like whose turn is it to do so-and-so chore, or general life trajectory things like if you eventually want kids? I think these types of questions are more important than any particular small gestures like compliments or gifts. I do wonder a bit about him rarely asking you questions about yourself; does it feel like he's interested but just doesn't want to pry? Does he seem interested when you do share things about yourself?

My partner is sweet but not very demonstrative, and it would be unusual for him to plan a date, or bring me flowers or a gift unless it's a special occasion, or even spontaneously compliment me. And vice versa. In our case, I think this stems from the same personality traits that keep us from fighting. We both tend to be introverted, non-reactive and non-emotional, and that minimizes both the bad and the good kind of drama and excitement.

Having grown up with parents who regularly fought, I cherish having such a calm, mellow oasis of a home and relationship. As long as no one's suppressing anger or resentment to maintain the peace - never fighting may not be "normal" but if it works, it works, right?
posted by asynchronous at 1:56 PM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


4 year relationship here. We average about 1 10 minute fight a year, which generally resolves itself by one of us saying "you did X. I don't like it when you do X. Can you quit doing X?". That's usually it. We're both pretty laid back as well, and ok about not fighting. Getting married in a few months.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:04 PM on November 20, 2010


I agree with others, it's fine not to fight -- as long as you communicate about things that bother you, and then things change (as you seem to be saying happens). My problem when I was your age was that I didn't really know what I wanted or what bothered me, so we wouldn't fight... but I'd get quietly resentful.

So continue to speak up when thing Do bother you, and to ask for what you Do want. That kind of communication will mean that you'll continue to have a healthy relationship without much fighting.
posted by ldthomps at 3:30 PM on November 20, 2010


Married 11 years, been together, longer that that. Number of fights: 0. Do we have disagreements? Absolutely. But we don't fight over them. Do we argue? Yes, but it's like "no, he did not sing on that record, it was a different record" etc., and each will argue their position strongly - but fight? Never. I thought it was normal, because I grew up never having seen my parents fight once. My wife on the other hand grew up in a household with quite a bit of fighting. So her mother, f.ex., doesn't believe my wife when told that we don't fight. She suspects that we fight, but are just putting up a front... as do a couple of our friends "that's just not normal, and not possible".

Here's how it's possible. I'm not a saint, and I can sometimes have a slightly short fuse when under a lot of external pressure. But I know one thing for sure - my wife happens to be the only person I've ever known, who doesn't have one iota of maliciousness in her - it's almost spooky. That disarms me completely. Because I know, that if I find her doing something that's irritating, it's only because she doesn't know (say, she inadvertently took a book I was reading) - there is no selfishness or maliciousness, and so I simply cannot be angry at her (because she is extremely considerate in general). Knowing and trusting your partner completely, makes it impossible to really fight, seems to me.

Of course, I'm not arrogant about this. Yes, we've been together for a long time. BUT. We have also been extremely lucky - we have never really had to face any severe pressures of the kind that can test so many marriages - a health crisis, serious financial pressure, kids, etc. I believe we'd pass such tests, but... I'm not arrogant, and I'm cognizant of the fact that we have not been put to such a test as yet. Speaking of which, such a test will be coming up for the next two years (2011-2012), as I'm undertaking an extremely risky project that has the potential of bankrupting us and possibly destroying our financial future for many years to come, in addition to being an insane amount of work and pressure for both of us. We shall see.

But as you can see from the many posts here, it's quite normal, though maybe not the norm, not to fight... especially if you have not as yet had to face any real tests to the relationship.
posted by VikingSword at 12:46 AM on November 21, 2010


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