Love is patient and love is kind, but maybe you also feel like fighting. Some of us just aren’t peaceful people. Yet yelling into the void is like slow dancing alone except without tenderness or 80s ballads. That is to say, fighting is best done with a partner, and who better than your significant other.*
Set Your Goal
What do you want to achieve by fighting? No goal is too small or petty.
Perhaps you want to punish your S.O. for never filling the car with gas or for loading the dishwasher inefficiently. Why wait for a forgotten birthday or anniversary when you can fight right now?
Some will say that these minor annoyances aren’t really what you’re upset about, that you’re actually upset about not being listened to or something. Look, if you want a calm and reasonable discussion, you’d talk like an adult. If you want a fight, pick one.
After you set your goal, you can’t just jump in and say that something annoyed you. That might lead to a heart-to-heart and mutual understanding. You need to hold off a bit.
Your S.O. may notice something is wrong and want to talk about it. Resist as passive aggressively as possible. You need to ruminate on your goal, letting it mature like a fine wine in the oaken barrel of denial. “It’s nothing,” “I’m fine,” and “It’s not a big deal” are good standbys that will also add tension to day-to-day activities.
Location, Location, Location
You may be tempted to have a fight wherever, maybe loudly and publicly if that’s your thing. But setting the mood is important if you want active participation from your S.O.
Choose locations where frustration and anxiety run high like a traffic jam, uncomfortable holiday parties, the DMV, a messy kitchen, etc. Anywhere neither of you want to be and can’t get away from each other is ideal.
Having a clear head while you fight makes you susceptible to reason and compromise. You may be prone to forgiveness if your S.O. apologizes or promises to change their behavior.
Remember your goal. Your goal wasn’t to have a great relationship. Your goal was to start sh*t.
So get sloppy at that awful party you didn’t want to attend! Really limit your self-restraint. If the usual inebriating substances aren’t at your disposal try not eating for a while to get hangry. Or work your self up by jumping to conclusions. Heightened emotion also impairs your ability to think straight!
If you’ve completed the above steps, the fight will start naturally. Any innocuous statement by your S.O. will be like matches to a wildfire.
The fight will only make sense to you, but that won’t prevent your S.O. from becoming upset. This is the time to prod their insecurities like a picador. Let loose all your bottled up emotions with a generous dash of defensiveness.
Wildly accuse your S.O. of being selfish, wanting to break-up, thinking you’re stupid, etc. Any and every slight is part of the constellation of reasons why they have hurt you.
Embrace self-righteousness in the face of all the wrongs you have endured. You are Joan of Arc at the stake. You are John Brown at the scaffold. You are that person who paid for a cup of coffee but got a cup of ice instead.
It turns out your emotional vomit won’t make you feel better. The sensation after a fight is similar to the feeling of accidentally stepping on a small, friendly animal that came too close to your stupid, monstrous feet. You will feel guilty. Oh so guilty.
Who knew that hurting someone you care about sucks?
But because nothing has actually been resolved you’ll still be kind of pissed. I mean, who loads a dishwasher like that anyway?
Sure, you could talk about your feelings and use “I” statements to work things out. Maybe you could even apologize.
Or, you could lick your wounds and get ready to do the whole thing over again.
*Please do not actually make your S.O.’s life awful.