There’s a scene in one of my favorite shows, Grey’s Anatomy, where Meredith and Derek get into a really heated argument. Because Meredith isn’t used to being in a relationship, she assumes that the argument is an indicator that she and Derek have broken up. So when Derek shows up at her door like normal, she’s super confused. She’s all like, “didn’t we have a heated argument today?” He says yes. She says (and I’m paraphrasing the rest because I don’t remember it verbatim), “I thought that meant we broke up.” He says, “No, it just means I didn’t like you at that moment. But we’re in a relationship. We’re going to disagree. Couples argue, Meredith. We’re a couple.”
Oop. He got her straight!
But actually, full disclosure, he got me straight too.
You see, I found myself in a similar situation earlier this year. I got into a heated “discussion” with a guy I’m dating, and before I realized what I was doing, I’d assumed that meant we were done. I was sending angry memes to my friends (because I don’t put them on social media lol) like the one that says “I tripped and fell into some feelings. I’m okay now. I brushed that shit off.”
I was all “if this is too complicated for you, just say it. Just say it!”
I mean, I was really done y’all.
And then we talked again, and I realized — wait, this dude still thinks we’re dating. I mean, I was really sitting there like, “but didn’t we just have this horrible row, how could he still think we’re dating?” And that’s when it hit me — I’d fallen into that same trap Meredith had fallen into. The one that would have you believe if you disagree, that automatically means you’re over.
Really, when you think about it, it’s kind of easy to think that. At least I can see how it happened for me. You see, for the past several years, I’ve been involved in relationships or dating situations that never lasted past the 6 month mark. Why that is the case is for another post, but what I realized about those relationships is that there was no sense of investment there. So of course if we got into a really bad argument, it was easy to just end it.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Maybe it didn’t end in that specific fight, but if it didn’t, it was pretty soon thereafter.
Which brings me back to the fight earlier this year. Because of all those other experiences, I believed the same thing was happening then too. And like Meredith, I had to reconfigure my mindset to allow for disagreements that don’t mean the end. Because Derek was right, couples do argue.
It’s like this saying I used to hear growing up – you know you’re in a real relationship when you have your first fight and you make it through it. Now I understand. Of course, you shouldn’t fight all the time. And it shouldn’t be with the intent to hurt the other person, but disagreements are bound to happen between two individuals who have their own beliefs and their own experiences.
It’s just a matter of how you react to the fight that tells you whether or not you think the relationship is worth continuing.