Look if you don’t have time to read this here is the super short version. If you’re arguing within the first month of a relationship it’s not going to get any better; dump them.
You owe it to yourselves.
Friend in LA
“That’s the thing with you Kieran, you stay in things way too long,” he said. I sat for a moment, breakfast burrito poised on the end of a fork before my mouth. I set the utensil down as my friend’s words were enough to chew on for the moment.
My friend lives in LA and I was out visiting him. He is my best friend and being a best friend comes with certain privileges (not many, but a few). One of them is you can say things I don’t want but need to hear. We had been talking about jobs I’ve had when he hit me right between the eyes with the statement.
He was right. I do stay in things long after I should have left. Now in this instance, he was talking about jobs I’ve had but when he said it to me it was clear it carried over to other aspects of my life.
In particular relationships.
Regrets I’ve had a few
I don’t have that many regrets. The choices I have made have formed me. For the most part, I like who I am. There are areas that I need to improve in and there are areas where I am making progress. To say I have no regrets would be egotistical. While I’m glad of the path I’ve taken, there are a few things that ping me every once in a while.
There was one girl I went out with for many years and looking back now I think, why? I’m not even going to tell you how long we went out it was way too long. We both knew it had gone on too long. The only thing is how come we didn’t end things sooner?
It could be the sunk cost fallacy. It felt like we had a secret agreement of “We’ve gone out this long, let’s keep doing it”. A relationship is not an investment, it does not acrue interest. You may not need to hear this but I found out, for sure, the hard way.
This does not spark joy
I’ve become more mercenary when it comes to reminders of the past. I go on memory raids on my backed up photos. They stretch back ten years. Sometimes a “memory” will set it off. You know the type, “Here’s a reminder” and it’s a picture of an out of focus lamp and you think “Oh yes I remember that day, I was going to chuck my self into shallow waters from a high bridge”.
It’s so strange when a photo pops up and I see pictures of the two of us together I can’t help but notice she looked miserable. If I was making her so unhappy how come she did not end things? How come I did not end things? We both should have ended things sooner. We’re like that Dwight Schrute quote from The Office; “I think they both could do better”.
Anyway staying as long as I did in that relationship is a regret.
The other regret is my previous relationship. I’ve written about it at length before so I’m not going to go into things too deep. It’s regret because again, it went on too long. It did not go on as long as the one above but it was abusive and left me miserable and isolated. All I learned from that relationship was 8-hour arguments are not nice.
Wow, so deep.
I liked to tell myself that it was all down to the lockdowns and that made things worse. The truth is there were problems way before. The October before lockdown she dumped me. After immediate regret she told me that I had misunderstood her and we were still together. Like the fool that I am I believed her. There were other problems aswell but I ignored them. Instead of ending things when I saw those red flags I donned my skis and hit the slalom.
Dump them if you argue
If there was one thing that I did learn it is something to pass on to the younger generation and my message is simple.
If you argue with someone within the first month, do yourself a favour and end things.
I’m not sure what it is like for women but it feels like men are sublimated the message of, you have to stay in a relationship when times get tough. I’m sure women are told a version of this, just not sure how it’s phrased.
If the person you are going out with cannot keep their temper in check for the first thirty days then what is the rest of your life going to be like?
In my case I’ve wasted so much time in relationships that were not loving but because I did not want to bail, I wanted to “work things out” I stayed. This was because I believed just because you’re not happy right then and there does not mean you quit.
Don’t make the same mistake I made. If you’re a fella in his twenties, or if you’re a fella at any age if you’re unhappy just leave. You don’t owe them anything. If you have kids, maybe that will complicate things a little but in most cases, it is better to leave. Life is too short to spend arguing.
The first argument is like the first piss on a night of heavy drinking, the instance will become more frequent.
For the longest time, I thought arguing was part of a relationship. The huffs, the silent treatment, the “I’ve made up a rule, have not told you what it is but you better not break it” was that not what being in a relationship is?
Turns out it does not have to be like this. I am engaged to a woman who I love. She understands me, listens to me. When I am vulnerable she is not remembering that moment to use against me at a later date. I hope that I bring her the happiness that she brings me.
Here’s the thing, there are people out there who want to be happy with you and have you be happy with them.
It’s crazy but it’s true.
But you do not find that person staying with someone you are always arguing with.
You can forge ahead if you want but you should dump them
I will keep on reiterating this because I wish that someone had told me and I wish that if they had, I would have listened.
If you are getting into arguments/petty squabbles within the first month of courtship, your relationship is doomed. We all know that there are people who are argumentative avoid them, don’t date them. They need to be alone until they learn to stop flying off the handle at a moment’s notice. It is not cute when you’re mad it is down right annoying.
If you have argued with every partner then you are the problem.
If your partner always finds a way to argue with you, they are the problem and you have to get out.
You deserve better.
Dump fast, dump often.
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