The first fight in a relationship typically happens once the honeymoon period starts to wear off. Both you and your partner are emotionally connected by now and this fight brings in a lot of pain and hurt. It is the first time that the bubble of that perfect picture of the relationship you had in mind begins to get chipped around the edges.
The initial arguments between two partners are always emotionally challenging, especially because the relationship is still new and you are still working on building a strong foundation. That being said, we must admit that while arguments are healthy for a relationship, having to deal with too many problems early in a relationship may not be a promising sign.
Disagreements are supposed to creep in with time as you get more comfortable with each other. So if you’re wondering, “When do couples have their first fight?”, know that there is such a thing as fighting too soon. If it happens before the 5th date, then it can be a bit alarming, but a fight is kind of inevitable if you are dating for say around three months. To help you better understand the aftermath of the initial squabbles and how to navigate it skillfully, let’s take a look at the intricacies of conflict and its resolution.
How much is too much fighting in a relationship?
Once you stop seeing your partner through rose-colored glasses, the obvious red flags in them become more prominent. These can be the hardest months in a relationship. Megan, our reader from Long Island, talks about a terrible phase in her life, “He broke up with me after our first fight. I knew early disagreements in a relationship can’t be a good sign but I kept turning a blind eye to them. Many minor differences between us kept piling up and suddenly it blew way out of proportion, leading to one big fight, which happened to be our last one too.”
While we are all for healthy constructive arguments, if couples have problems from the very beginning, it may be a sign they’re not compatible with each other. Rather than fretting over how often you fight, you should focus on how you act in a fight with your partner. Do you seem to tear each other down and resort to brutal verbal attacks or do you handle it rationally like two mature adults and try to come to a solution?
Research shows that every couple fights more or less on similar issues, such as children, money, in-laws, and intimacy. But what differentiates happy couples from unhappy ones is that the former tend to take a solution-oriented approach to conflict resolution. That being said, if you are fighting once or twice a month, there’s no need to be concerned. But if you happen to fight every day, perhaps you should reconsider the relationship and have an effective discussion with your partner about your situation.
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How Does A Relationship Change After The First Fight?
It can never be all roses and rainbows in a relationship. A couple will ultimately disagree on something or the other and it will inevitably lead to that first argument in a relationship that you may not have been prepared for. You can try to think of it this way – this lover’s spat determines how strong your foundation is. Confused? Allow us to shed some light.
After you get into a fight with your partner for the first time, they might hand you a box of chocolates to cool you down and you would forget why you were fighting in the first place. Or you may get into a cold war, stonewalling each other for days. It’s all about how you choose to make up to each other. Surviving this argument is all about priorities, compromise, and your first lesson in forgiveness in a relationship.
Fighting in the early stages of your relationship can make your bond even stronger although too much bickering while dating may not be very pleasant. You might actually be on the edge of your seat, wondering if this relationship is even going to move forward, and can’t shake off the fear of losing your partner forever.
But your first fight with your girlfriend/boyfriend does not indicate a lack of love for each other. It is an opportunity to talk to them to work things out and arrive at a solution that works for both of you. The key is to prioritize your relationship while solving a fight and understand your partner’s needs well. Moreover, the makeup sex after the first fight in a relationship is guaranteed to be mind-blowing.
Hate the fight, not the person. Resolve conflicts as quickly as you can. While all this is good advice, it is imperative to say that this landmark war of words does change relationship dynamics a little bit, especially if you have disagreements way too early in a relationship. Let’s find out how:
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1. You learn to compromise
The first big fight in your relationship teaches you a lot more than you thought it would. Until the honeymoon period is over, you are basking in the warmth of a beautiful romantic relationship. The adrenaline rush and all those butterflies in your stomach don’t let you think about the things that can go wrong in the relationship.
All you can think about is how in love you both are. But when that fight finally erupts, you learn to think about each other’s feelings and get to know how your partner reacts in tough situations. It shows you a new side to them and maybe you even discover a new side to yourself.
You learn to put your partner’s needs above yours. For the first time, it hits you that one of the most important elements of a happy relationship is the ability to compromise. But there are things you can compromise on and certain things that you should never compromise on, no matter how many fights you have. You get a better grasp on these along the way too.
2. You overcome your fears
When you are in a new relationship, there is always the fear of the future. Your head is filled with uncertainty about whether your partner will accept you at your worst or whether they will be able to handle it when you both start fighting. Basically, you worry about how to survive the first fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend.
You keep on wondering if you are in a relationship with the right person. Compatibility in a relationship is a huge factor. When your first clash takes place, you observe how your partner handles the situation, and more importantly, handles you as well. All your fears either slowly start to vanish or get a stamp of confirmation.
Speaking about the early fights she had with her boyfriend, Lorraine, a graduate fresh out of college, told us, “Six months into the relationship and no fights, I thought we were doing really great. But after our first big one, I realized that there was still so much we needed to learn about each other. It brought out a different dimension to our feelings.”
3. You learn to respect each other’s boundaries
In a new relationship, you are both still in the process of getting to know each other. Many a time, you may overstep and cross the line and forget about the healthy relationship boundaries that you must maintain. What you may have thought to be a joke could quite possibly have been an insult to your partner, escalating to an “Oh no! We had our first fight” situation very quickly.
If you unintentionally hurt or offended your partner, you may feel lost about how to remedy the situation. However, fights like these help you get to know more about your partner’s boundaries and what ticks them off. And that’s how you learn to recognize and respect their boundaries. It is important to talk to your partner regarding what they consider okay and what they consider rude to know where to draw a line.
4. Your foundation gets stronger after your first argument in a relationship
This relationship fight is also the test of your foundation. When you survive the first big argument, you get to know how strong your relationship is. When do fights start in a relationship? There’s no clear answer to that. Perhaps after the dewy-eyed, lovey-dovey period is over, where all you do is feel infatuated with the other person. But once that has passed, you start thinking about deeper things and notice the relationship red flags more clearly.
It is through fights like these that you get to know your partner at a more concrete and emotional level. You both talk to each other more openly, be vulnerable, and connect with each other through the pain. It makes you both emotionally stronger and you get to understand one another better. Your foundation grows stronger as you start understanding and uncovering newer layers of each other’s personality.
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5. You get to know each other
The first few months of the relationship are about impressing and wooing your partner. At this point, maybe you still don’t feel comfortable enough to reveal the “real you” to your SO. But things change after your first few couple fights. It ought to unveil your true self and you get to know whether your partner likes this version of you.
During the first fight, you get to understand so many things about your partner. So if you are arguing in an early relationship stage, do not fret! This is, in fact, a massive opportunity to peel those layers and discover what’s underneath. You learn about the things that hurt your partner, how your partner feels about you and the relationship, and also their fears and vulnerabilities. This helps you to understand your partner better, which will undoubtedly stand you in good stead in the future.
6. You grow together
“After we had our first fight, I immediately felt so mature and grown up in a relationship. Before that, I felt like we were just two love-struck teens going on adventures. But the first argument in a relationship really teaches you that there is so much more to being together, especially when you want to build a serious relationship with them”, says our reader, Amelia, about what she learned after her first big fight with her boyfriend, Michael.
There will be many more clashes coming your way but this particular one teaches you to think about each other and keep the sanctity of your relationship above all. You realize that this is no longer about two separate individuals, but about you as a couple. This is the growth and maturity that Amelia referred to. A fight doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s over. Rather it’s more about overcoming the obstacles together and still holding on to each other tight.
You both realize the importance of “us”. That makes you work on your relationship together as a couple and you both grow together and come out stronger. Through your differences and arguments, you build on intellectual intimacy. That tells you how strong, vulnerable, and supportive you are in the relationship.
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What Can You Do After The First Fight?
The first fight while dating is always the most memorable one. It is the fight that sets the foundation for all other fights to come. If you don’t handle this well, it will also be used as a reference when things turn sour between you and your partner. Remember, it is important to communicate with your partner post-fight rather than giving into ego clashes. Here’s what you can do after the first fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend:
1. Don’t wait too long to make up
How long should a fight last in a relationship? The answer lies in how fast you can resolve it, especially if you are fighting in the early stages of a relationship. You may feel tempted to give your partner the silent treatment, hoping to make them realize their mistake. But the truth is that the longer you take to make up, the higher the chances that negative feelings toward each other will multiply rapidly.
When we are angry with someone, all we think about are the negative aspects of the relationship. These negative thoughts just keep on increasing if you don’t start talking to your partner to make up. Don’t wait too long to make up or else it will become even more difficult to resolve the matter.
2. Show compassion
You need to be compassionate toward your partner. No matter whose fault it is, you need to remember that your partner is also hurt by this fight. Instead of playing the blame game, you need to show compassion toward your partner and understand his/her feelings.
Showing compassion will make your partner realize that you care about their feelings, and at the end of the day, both of you will end up saying sorry to each other. As we said, fights can bring you even closer, and being understanding and empathetic is the right way to reconnect after a big fight.
3. Calm yourself first
You need to calm down before talking to your partner. In an angry state, we often start saying things that we don’t mean. Before a minor disagreement turns into a shouting show and makes you inadvertently reveal an ugly side of yourself, it is important that you tame it.
Otherwise, it can lead to hurtful words being exchanged between you and your partner. It is important to not let your anger do the talking. Only when you are calm and collected will you be able to see the real reason behind the fight and resolve it.
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4. Communication is the key
Your first fight doesn’t need to end up with your partner and you sleeping in different rooms. You need to communicate with them. Talk to your partner and try to calm them down. Once they’re calm, you can both talk to each other about what has hurt you the most. In a calm state, you both will be able to share your perspectives and discuss the issue in a healthier manner.
5. Try to work things out together
It is important to think about your relationship to avoid ego clashes. You need to sit together and identify the triggers that caused this falling out. It will help you in understanding each other and avoiding the same in the future. Think of a mutually acceptable solution and end the fight with a hug. Hugs are magical. The first quarrel isn’t about winning or losing, it is about how much you both value your relationship and are ready to work for it.
6. Learn to forgive after the first argument in a relationship
It is important for you both to forgive each other. Just saying sorry and not meaning it will lead to yet another fight. Learn to forgive each other for the mistakes made and move on from them. Forgiveness will help in lifting the burden from your heart and you will be able to focus more on your partner and the relationship.
The initial discords at times feel as painful as dealing with heartbreak or a breakup. It is because you start feeling these negative emotions that your fears related to the relationship come to light. The truth is that the first fight with your partner is a positive thing.
- Fights and disagreements in a relationship are absolutely normal and help sustain a relationship
- However, having too many problems too early in the relationship may not be a good sign
- After your first conflict, you learn to compromise and respect each other’s boundaries
- You get to know your partner better and come out stronger as a couple
- Being calm and compassionate is important for conflict resolution
- You have to find it in your heart to forgive each other after a fight and let go of the little things
You can ask, “What did we learn from our first fight?” Well, you got to know your partner better and it made you realize how much you love your partner. It is like a wake-up call where things are getting real and you both start working on your relationship. Don’t fear conflicts in a relationship, since after you both resolve it, you both will end up laughing about how it happened after a few years. Take it as a positive step toward making your relationship stronger!
If you are fighting before your 5th date then it is a bit alarming. Even before you know each other you are in an argument. But once you have started dating, you are exclusive or committed, the first fight can come within a few months.
Don’t lose your cool, don’t get into an ugly fight or a slanging match. Treat it as an inevitable argument and try to come to a compromise keeping your egos aside.
Yes, the first year of a relationship is tough. Even in a marriage, most problems crop up in the first year. You get to know each other well. From trying to impress each other, you move on to dropping your guard and becoming more vulnerable.
Three months is a healthy time period to know each other before the first big fight. Usually, couples avoid conflict before that. But if you are already fighting it could be a red flag and a relationship deal-breaker.
That entirely varies from one couple to another and their unique relationship dynamic. You may not fight in six months but the couple next door may have made it a ritual to give the entire neighborhood a shouting show every night. However, fighting once or twice a month is absolutely healthy and there is no need to be warned about your relationship.