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You Asked: Can a Relationship Last Without Conflict?

Dear Sugar,

I've been dating my boyfriend for about 15 months and things are going really well. We are in love and we couldn't be happier with each other. We both have quiet and mellow personalities that seem very compatible. In the two years I've known him, we've never had a serious fight. I don't want to rock the boat, but I wonder if the way we get along is normal.

We are both very rational people, and I think we've done so well because if something is bothering us we'll go to the other and talk about it. We won't do anything that will knowingly make the other upset or angry. We've only really had one serious issue, but it was resolved simply by talking through it. I've always heard some fighting in a relationships is healthy, so can a relationship last long term without any major conflict?

— Curious About Conflict Carrie

To see DearSugar's answer,

.

Dear Curious About Conflict Carrie,

Just because occasional fighting is a sign of a normal relationship doesn't mean that a lack of fighting is a sign of an unhealthy one. Every couple is different and depending on personalities and circumstances, some people are more prone to disagreements than others. Stress can cause an otherwise conflict-free couple to suddenly let the smallest issue escalate; it doesn't mean they aren't meant to be, it just means that they're having a difficult time getting along.

From what you describe, both you and your boyfriend seem to have a very effective way of communicating with each other, which is great! But do keep in mind that just because you haven't fought yet, doesn't mean that you never will. Fifteen months is certainly a significant amount of time to be in a relationship, but you may be surprised how things change as your relationship develops. So don't suddenly panic if you run into a period of time where you have a few arguments; every relationship has its ups and downs. As long as you keep that same level of communication, then fight or no fight, I'm sure things will be fine.

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Cynnie Cynnie 8 years
You know what I find funny, it's that us women always try to over analyse everything waaaaaaaaaaay too much. We look for the bad where there isn't any...I say, if you aren't bottling up any feelings and that you two always talk everything out calmly ... Then, there's nothing else to do than be happy that you have such a great relationship.
Cynnie Cynnie 8 years
You know what I find funny, it's that us women always try to over analyse everything waaaaaaaaaaay too much. We look for the bad where there isn't any... I say, if you aren't bottling up any feelings and that you two always talk everything out calmly ... Then, there's nothing else to do than be happy that you have such a great relationship.
emalove emalove 8 years
My husband and I hardly ever argue or disagree either...I definitely don't see this as a bad thing. In fact, I never questioned it or thought it was weird...it was a breath of fresh air for me. I had been in a very unstable, unhealthy, volatile relationship for 6 years prior to meeting my husband, so our relationship is the way things SHOULD be for me.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
been married 8 years and it waxes and wanes with the fighting, perfectly normal.
shannon_xo shannon_xo 8 years
it's only been two years...just wait, something will come up.
Bukuroshe Bukuroshe 8 years
Wow, these comments make me feel like a psycho! I argue with my bf over silly things. We are both very stubborn people, Eastern Europeans. I don't know what it is but there's something about us bickering that comes as normal. Maybe its bc of how the both of us grew up? We usually work it out bc we realize how difficult we both are to date and how critical we sometimes become towards each other. Every couple certainly is different.It sounds like you guys have good communication skills down, and you should feel great about it! One of my issues IS communication and I wish I could be more easygoing.
Bukuroshe Bukuroshe 8 years
Wow, these comments make me feel like a psycho! I argue with my bf over silly things. We are both very stubborn people, Eastern Europeans. I don't know what it is but there's something about us bickering that comes as normal. Maybe its bc of how the both of us grew up? We usually work it out bc we realize how difficult we both are to date and how critical we sometimes become towards each other. Every couple certainly is different. It sounds like you guys have good communication skills down, and you should feel great about it! One of my issues IS communication and I wish I could be more easygoing.
designerel designerel 8 years
One of my bfs and I NEVER fought. Not even an argument. It was very strange looking back on it, but I didn't think anything of it while I was in the relationship. We were just two very mellow, easygoing people who just never disagreed on anything.
indieglam indieglam 8 years
I've always wondered about this question too. I've been with my boyfriend for 20 months now and our relationship is very similar to yours. I was beginning to think something was wrong with us because we don't fight, lol. We have our disagreements, there are the little annoyances that pop up every so often, but we never have any all out fights that end in screaming, doors slamming, and/or extended anger that usually ends with someone apologizing days later.Some of it is based on personality - he tends to forgive and forget very easily because he doesn't see anger or fighting as worth the emotional time and effort and I tend to bottle things up, stew over them, and then reconcile my feelings - and some of it is based on our definitions of fighting.To me, there's the screaming, really angry kind of fighting and then there's the constant bickering kind of fighting. We do neither of them and it really grates on me when I'm around some friends who do constantly bicker with each other... it's probably a personality thing, but it seems like it would be extremely tiring to have that kind of relationship with my significant other.
indieglam indieglam 8 years
I've always wondered about this question too. I've been with my boyfriend for 20 months now and our relationship is very similar to yours. I was beginning to think something was wrong with us because we don't fight, lol. We have our disagreements, there are the little annoyances that pop up every so often, but we never have any all out fights that end in screaming, doors slamming, and/or extended anger that usually ends with someone apologizing days later. Some of it is based on personality - he tends to forgive and forget very easily because he doesn't see anger or fighting as worth the emotional time and effort and I tend to bottle things up, stew over them, and then reconcile my feelings - and some of it is based on our definitions of fighting. To me, there's the screaming, really angry kind of fighting and then there's the constant bickering kind of fighting. We do neither of them and it really grates on me when I'm around some friends who do constantly bicker with each other... it's probably a personality thing, but it seems like it would be extremely tiring to have that kind of relationship with my significant other.
Princess-Rebecca Princess-Rebecca 8 years
Don't worry Carrie! My bf and I hve been together for almost 2 years and we too have never had a fight. I do think that in the future we wil have our big burst. Because eventhough we like to talk throug everything, we do like to fight. I really like to let go all of my stress and so on when i get into a fight. I secretely love (pointless) fights. ;) You can't stop it, maybe you'll never argue, maybe you will, sho knows :)
Princess-Rebecca Princess-Rebecca 8 years
Don't worry Carrie! My bf and I hve been together for almost 2 years and we too have never had a fight. I do think that in the future we wil have our big burst. Because eventhough we like to talk throug everything, we do like to fight. I really like to let go all of my stress and so on when i get into a fight. I secretely love (pointless) fights. ;)You can't stop it, maybe you'll never argue, maybe you will, sho knows :)
gigill gigill 8 years
My friend and her bf of five years have never had a major argument, but I do know that she bottles up way more things than I ever would with my dude...maybe it's healthy for the relationship but not so much for her. Make sure you speak up if something is on your mind! From the sounds of it you two would probably work it out anyhow.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I think it's only a concern if one of you is just totally subverting who you are in order to please the other to keep them happy. If you just get along then that's great!My boyfriend and I don't have screaming matches but we do have disagreements and get annoyed at each other from time to time. The only reason I think it's good to experience some conflict with your significant other before marriage is because I think it's important to know how they'll respond to strife. It's easy to be happy when things are going well, but will he walk once things get tough?One thing I love about my SO is if we're having a problem we sit and talk about it and try to figure out how to fix it and then things get better. If we never had any problems, I wouldn't know that about him/us.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I think it's only a concern if one of you is just totally subverting who you are in order to please the other to keep them happy. If you just get along then that's great! My boyfriend and I don't have screaming matches but we do have disagreements and get annoyed at each other from time to time. The only reason I think it's good to experience some conflict with your significant other before marriage is because I think it's important to know how they'll respond to strife. It's easy to be happy when things are going well, but will he walk once things get tough? One thing I love about my SO is if we're having a problem we sit and talk about it and try to figure out how to fix it and then things get better. If we never had any problems, I wouldn't know that about him/us.
bbkf bbkf 8 years
My husband and I have been together for 5 years and we have never fought.
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 8 years
Good for you that you don't fight. The only thing to be aware is that it changes when you get married. I am not trying to disappoint you about marriage because I'm happily and joyfully married to the most wonderful man I've ever known. However, be cautious that dynamic of relationship changes in a marriage where you are both expected to last through despite trials and troubles that will eventually come your way and you are expected to hold on to a marriage because you both love each other. Our secret in our marriage that works for 5 years, is not communication. It is not best to communicate all the time especially if all you have are talking about are problems which you don't offer no solutions. It's also not best to communicate if you always think you are right. Our secret entirely depends on "accepting our flaws", "admitting and saying sorry when we are wrong ", "shutting up our mouths when we are right", "remembering that the most important thing despite our problems is our love for each other" , "humor " and most of all , the relationship is based on our Supreme Being, our God who blesses us to be a blessing to each other.
crackaddict crackaddict 8 years
The subject of this issue is so cloudy. Every argument or disagreement is completely different. I fell out with my boyfriend the other week but if someone asked if we have serious fights I would say no way!You have only been going out 15 months and at that point I thought I would never argue with my boyfriend either but you will, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon, and for the rest of your life.
crackaddict crackaddict 8 years
The subject of this issue is so cloudy. Every argument or disagreement is completely different. I fell out with my boyfriend the other week but if someone asked if we have serious fights I would say no way! You have only been going out 15 months and at that point I thought I would never argue with my boyfriend either but you will, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon, and for the rest of your life.
blissaddict blissaddict 8 years
You're so lucky that you can handle your issues really well. I think many people wish they have the same kind of relationship that you have. I think that being able to communicate well with a partner is hard.
Rozenaut Rozenaut 8 years
My husband and I have been together for eight years, and we're exactly the same way. We certainly have our disagreements, but like you, we are able to solve them through solid communication. Our friends sometimes look up to us as the "ideal couple", and when somebody asks me how we do it, I always say that we were certainly lucky to find each other, but good communication really seals the long-term deal.You've got a good thing going - keep it up! :)
Rozenaut Rozenaut 8 years
My husband and I have been together for eight years, and we're exactly the same way. We certainly have our disagreements, but like you, we are able to solve them through solid communication. Our friends sometimes look up to us as the "ideal couple", and when somebody asks me how we do it, I always say that we were certainly lucky to find each other, but good communication really seals the long-term deal. You've got a good thing going - keep it up! :)
Meike Meike 8 years
My husband and I find this perfectly normal. That is not to say you don't have disagreements. They just don't lead to any heated arguments. I guess there are some who feel that couples who have mellow rational personalities with few to nonexistent conflicts are unemotional and robotic. I beg to differ. There was a topic on this blog some many weeks ago where a woman needed more serious conflict or 'passion' as she called it in her relationship with her partner to feel anything about it. I don't liken passion to drama, not the good kind anyway.Having an argument to get bottled emotions out is healthy but having good communication before any bottled emotions have a chance to develop is even healthier. Great compatibility, communication, and passion for each other is quite the lucky deal.
Meike Meike 8 years
My husband and I find this perfectly normal. That is not to say you don't have disagreements. They just don't lead to any heated arguments. I guess there are some who feel that couples who have mellow rational personalities with few to nonexistent conflicts are unemotional and robotic. I beg to differ. There was a topic on this blog some many weeks ago where a woman needed more serious conflict or 'passion' as she called it in her relationship with her partner to feel anything about it. I don't liken passion to drama, not the good kind anyway. Having an argument to get bottled emotions out is healthy but having good communication before any bottled emotions have a chance to develop is even healthier. Great compatibility, communication, and passion for each other is quite the lucky deal.
jillerin457 jillerin457 8 years
A relationship without conflict, especially after several months, is probably pretty shallow. But if you do have disagreements, and just manage to handle them calmly, more power to you! I wish I were that lucky. My bf knows how to push my buttons like no one else.
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