If you fight with your partner, be it once in a blue moon or several times a week, you’re in good company. Fighting is a totally normal part of any relationship, according to experts. “If you’re a human being in a relationship with another human being, you will eventually butt heads,” says Stan Tatkin, Psy.D., relationship expert and author of We Do: Saying Yes to a Relationship of Depth, True Connection, and Enduring Love. While some of these arguments are certainly serious, many, he explains, are purely silly fights in nature, even though, during the fight, nothing is really funny. It’s only when we look back and realize what we were actually fighting about that we recognize which fights constitute as silly fights.
If you’re in a long-term relationship, chances are you and your partner have gotten into at least one of these super common silly fights.
Not texting the other back fast enough
True—it can be frustrating when you’re trying to reach your significant other and he or she won’t respond. But, remember that 99 percent of the time there’s a reason for his or her lack of response. The best way to prevent this silly fight from continuing to happen on both ends is to talk about it, and compromise, according to Kati Morton, L.M.F.T., author of Are u ok?. “As long as you take a look at your expectations for each other and decide what's reasonable and what's not, you shouldn't have to fight about this ever again,” she says.
Leaving a mess for the other to find
Whether he left the seat up (again) or her clothes are strewn all over the house, this is a fight that almost all couples will have, most likely more than once. “In order to get this fight out of your weekly rotation, you must communicate and work on some simple organization,” says Morton. “It's possible that the mess is just because you are rushed in the morning, or you don't have enough space for you both to get ready at the same time (i.e. maybe you do your hair or makeup in the living room).” Whatever the deal, she urges couples to talk about what's happening in a non-heated way, and put some effort into how they can work to make things better for the other person.
Not being able to make a decision, like not being able to pick a restaurant or what movie to watch, is totally normal, but nonetheless can get on your partner’s nerves, explains Morton. “This is a silly fight we have all been in, and I don't know if it ever ends well, but I do have a way to stop it from happening again: You have to take turns being the decision maker!” she says. “That means that every other time you go out, you are the one calling the shots.”
Who has the better memory?
This one even sounds silly, but it will most likely come up if it hasn’t already in your relationship. “It’s a silly fight because, when it comes to memory, it’s likely that both partners are wrong, since memory is unreliable and illusory,” explains Dr. Tatkin. Instead of letting this bubble into a fight, he recommends that you both drop your grip on who did what, when and how, and simply moving on.
Food and groceries
How many times have you and your significant other fought over silly food-related topics like whether or not to buy organic or to buy meat fresh or frozen? Probably quite a lot. While this is certainly a silly flight, Ili Walter, L.M.F.T. in Florida and Pennsylvania, explains that it is tied to a person’s sense of comfort, and therefore should not be taken too lightly. “The best way to resolve this fight is to negotiate: If you grew up on name-brand groceries, decide which are absolutely essential to your sense of comfort,” she says. “If your parents never cooked and bought food daily, let your partner teach you how to cook a few staples, and decide how often you’d like to eat out.”