Well, it’s happened. The inevitable first awkward moment in a relationship where it is evident that you and he are at odds. I hate those moments. Unfortunately it was unavoidable and we both did and said things we wish we had said or done differently. But at least it’s behind us now. One down and in our lifetime, probably many more to go.
The good thing was everything was acknowledged, accepted, apologized for, and not run into the ground. And that my friends was the true test in a new relationship. Not whether an argument will occur, that’s a given. It’s how they are handled.
It’s funny because both Harry and I love to look at facts, and evidence, and argue a point. It’s an exercise of the mind for us which is exciting and almost a necessary component to being a thinking, learning adult. Neither one of us shy from defending our positions. But emotional arguing involving hurt feelings is difficult and different for both of us. And I don’t think we’ll be having many of them.
I’ve been watching a new TV series called “New Girl” and there is one episode where she is dating an older man in a very “nice” relationship. There is an encounter with his ex and there is obvious animosity between the once husband and wife. This causes Jess, the main character, to question whether there is sufficient passion in her relationship with the same man and decides in the end to break up because essentially she thinks there should be more drama in a true love relationship that includes passion.
While I laughed at the episode, I completely disagreed. Arguing and animosity in a relationship is about conflict not passion. Passion just means you feel strongly. Arguing means you are at odds.
Sometimes you find passionate people who fly off the handle and have trouble controlling their emotions. These people are difficult if not impossible to maintain healthy relationships with. And that is NOT what I want.
I want the kind of passion that stops a man from leaving because he “feels so strongly” in his commitment to me and our relationship, forsaking all others. That our relationship is so important to him that he doesn’t want to live without it. I want the kind of passion that will cause a man to do something crazy or illogical in a flirty or fun way that shows he “feels stronger” about making me smile than how strangely people look at him. I want the kind of passion that fuels a fire deep in the forest full of old, dense, thick timber that will burn for years. Not one that ignites at every little spark and quickly burns out. What a waste of energy.
No, arguing is not the same as passion. And I do not like to argue. I will do it if I have to because it is necessary to get through and passed hurt feelings. But man I hate it.
In my past I have had some arguments that have gone beyond discussions, into heated debates, and then morphed into yelling matches with slamming doors. It is born from a place of complete frustration for whatever reason. I have less and less of these as I get older and mostly now with my son who aggravates me to no end. He and I tend to push each other’s buttons because we are a lot alike. I don’t think that means I care more for my son than for my daughter who I seldom argue with.
In my relationship with Martin, there was a lot of conflict about deep issues but very little arguing. We mostly discussed things. Until the end we respected each other enough not to degrade into name calling and what I call dirty fighting, where insults are flung at random hoping to inflict wounds. And to be honest with you, I didn’t really even go there with Martin at the end, but he did and its one of the biggest reasons I cut him off completely from my life. That kind of arguing is not for me.
Too much conflict no matter how maturely its discussed is NOT good. Too much arguing because of that conflict is NOT good. Too much passion? Nah…passion is awesome.
Harry came over the next day and we said little to rehash the night before. Only that we didn’t like it and that we were sorry. Somewhere between the hello kiss, the make up kisses, and the good-bye kiss, I decided that lack of passion was not our problem and probably would never be. 🙂 And probably neither would be the kind of arguing I detest. I think we both have too much reverence for logic and truth to disintegrate into dirty fighting. And we have too much respect for each other to hurt the other person to make ourselves feel better.
I love him. Even though he’s not a perfect person and sometimes does things he instantly is sorry for. He’s only more like me in that case. And I certainly will not be one to throw stones. It was a good first hurdle in our journey together. If two runners lock feet and stumble over that first hurdle…what’s next? If you are a team you help each other out, give a hand, and make sure the other person is okay so you can both keep moving forward in the race. If one person leaves the other in the dust, or worse yet throws the dust in your face before you get a chance to get to your feet. Then…you have serious problems.
Someone once told me that you know your relationship is in trouble if when you argue you do not ever touch, hold hands, or hug. If you are in genuine disagreement and keep touching each other, it is a very good sign…and it sure feels better than getting kicked when you’re down. We’re all going to fall. The passion I want is the kind that convinces you that against all odds you will win.