Your Person or Your Point?

Sep 8, 2015 by

“It’s important to know how to fight. No cheap punches, no kitchen sinks, no bringing up things that happened three years ago. Make sure both of you are able to have a disagreement in a respectful way, while having both of your voices heard.”

Rachel Thomasian

 

          “When do I get to stop apologizing?” I asked while walking along Avenue Rd in the cold of March.

          “When you want to stop apologizing.”

 

***

 

          It intrigues me how we can tire of people that once fascinated us, how we can bore of people that once interested us, how we can take for granted people that once excited us. It blows my mind how quickly we can become strangers to the people we once knew.

          Yesterday, a friend and I were talking about friendships with exes. I like the idea of staying friends with an ex, assuming the breakup was civil. I may want my space at first to emotionally detach, but I’d be open to friendship once I moved on – again, depending on how the breakup went. It is unfortunately easy to tear someone you care about apart. It is unfortunately easy to burn what took years to build. It is unfortunately easy, because so is an unfair fight. Enough harsh words and spiteful actions can destroy relationships that you thought had forever in them, and in that case, the split is for the best. Maintaining a friendship with a person you’ve broken up with – whether that person was a boyfriend, a girlfriend, or a platonic friend – needs to contribute to the happiness of both people involved. If it doesn’t, if whatever happened cannot be resolved and moved on from, personal recovery is faster and life is healthier if you let the relationship go.

          Whether or not a relationship has long-term standing highly depends on whether or not two people are able to fight fair. Arguments are fine, but they need to be executed respectfully to ensure the health of a relationship. It’s taken me years to fully understand the importance of fighting fair. I’m unfortunately skilled at making a point, and I prioritized my point over my person. Lesson learned: The relationship is more important than the fight. Harder lesson learned: Your happiness is more important than any relationship.

          When a relationship has reached the stage of frequent well-intentioned-but-honestly-empty apologies because unfair fighting has prompted them, it’s time to move on for the sake of each individual’s happiness. Until two people can argue with respect again, they are not friends, no matter how many years, how many inside jokes, or how many stories they’ve logged. It’s sad at first – which is a complete understatement. It’s fucking heartbreaking. But with the end of the relationship comes the end of the unfair fight, and over time, you are happier. You know to fight fair with the next person, and you thank your chronic lateness that there was only one seat left in art class on the first day of Grade 11.

          To the person I gave up for my point, I hope you’re happier now too. Happy first day of school, love.

Happiness Tip: Fight fair.

 
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