There Are Two Ways To Argue In A Relationship, According To A Dating Expert

In a relationship, arguments are inevitable. Though it sounds counterintuitive, disagreeing with your partner is a healthy aspect of any relationship and shows that instead of sweeping issues under the rug, you are invested enough in your partnership to confront them head on. Big or small, arguments open up a line of communication — as long as your intentions are pure and it comes from a place of understanding (via Business Insider). Arguing can actually benefit your relationship because it forces you to voice your wants and needs to your partner (via Bustle).

While disagreements are bound to happen no matter how long you've been together, how you argue reveals a lot about your relationship. It isn't healthy or normal to feel like you lose a piece of yourself after every fight. Oftentimes, we get so lost in the heat of the moment that it can be hard to decipher what is and isn't okay. But how can you tell if your arguments are becoming toxic? Dating coach and expert Matthew Hussey draws a distinct line between the two ways we argue in relationships, and what they mean.

There's a difference between arguing to express your feelings versus deliberately hurting your partner

If you always find yourself physically and emotionally drained after a fight, that is a giant red flag. In a TikTok video, dating coach and expert Matthew Hussey clarifies the two different types of arguments in relationships, and the distinction is clear. "I'm always looking at the ways people argue and whether they're trying to do damage in an argument or whether they're trying to rebuild in an argument," Hussey explains. Think about how your arguments end: Do you and your partner leave feeling heard and understood, or are you licking your wounds in private?

In his video, Hussey admonishes how toxic and demoralizing hurtful arguments can be. Hussey stresses that it's a serious problem if fights leave you feeling "like they lacerated you" or make you question, "Why did they have to say that incredibly nasty thing?" Communicating how you feel is drastically different from hurting your partner. Even worse, Hussey explains, are those who don't acknowledge how their words can negatively impact their partner or promise to do better.

Some things should never be said in an argument. Whether you've been together a month, a year, or a decade, you should be operating as a team, even in moments when you disagree.