We’ve all heard or used the phrase, but what does it really mean to “fight for something” or, more specifically, to fight for someone or even fight for a relationship?
We’re often told to “fight for the one you love” and to “fight for what you want” or to “fight for what you believe in”.
Fight, fight, fight!
If all you’re doing is fighting, when will you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor – be it the one you love, the things that you want or the things that you believe in?
If you are always in fighting mode, how will you even know when or how to stop?
Why/when NOT to fight for love
Okay, so if the thought is that if you are fighting for the one that you love, you must be fighting against someone else.
It’s a love triangle, featuring, you, your lover, and your nemesis. Let’s look at a few examples:
The first scenario
You love your lover, and your lover loves you.
What are you fighting for? You already have your lover’s affections.
So, if your rival puts up a fight, what is the expected outcome? If your bond is strong, they will lose. In the process, they will have wasted their time and most likely lost any possible friendship that they may have had, either with you or your lover.
If your rival wins, what will you have lost? A lover that doesn’t love you, a person who doesn’t have a strong enough bond or commitment to you and to the relationship.
This all begs the question: why were you fighting in the first place?
I mean, if your lover ever loved you, then there wouldn’t be a rival to fight against, would there? If there is a nemesis, then does your lover really, truly love you or are you just being played for a fool?
In either case, the outcome is determined, not by the fighters, but by the prize. Think about it. In the end, it is ultimately up to the person in the middle to decide who the winner is going to be.
The second scenario
Your lover is torn between you and your nemesis. They just don’t know what they want. Or, more likely, they want some parts of both of you.
As the person in the middle of this tug of war doesn’t have a clear preference, what is the likely outcome? What are the future expectations for this kind of a relationship?
First, there is bound to be a lot of confusion. If they don’t know what they want – or if it is not possible to get what they want from you, then you can expect continued drama and frustration.
Second, there will be a lot more fighting. If not with this rival, then the next, and the next. In this scenario, there will always be someone else to fight with for the affections of this person who does not know what or who it is that they want.
Even if your rival wins, they will move into your old position, forever defending their crown.
Third, there will be many more doubts, pain, and regrets. Will it ever end?
And then, there will be lingering questions: is this person just causing these situations to bolster their own low self-esteem? Are they actively looking for someone else to dethrone you? Will they ever be content?
The third scenario
As alluded to above, your so-called lover doesn’t really want you to fight, they are simply trying to find a way to end the relationship.
They want you to end the relationship so that they don’t have to. They want you to be the one responsible for ending the relationship. That way, they can feel as if they can’t be blamed.
“It’s your fault. You didn’t love me enough. You didn’t fight hard enough.”
Or maybe they will say “I didn’t deserve you.” Whatever the reasoning behind it, it won’t be them, it will be you.
Who are you fighting?
Do you know who you are fighting? Are you fighting with a rival? Or are you really just fighting with your lover? Are you actually trying to convince your lover that you are worthy of their affections?
The fourth scenario
In this situation, you are fighting, not against another person, but for love itself. You are fighting against a person who doesn’t want you.
We have all seen it in the movies, read it in books, and heard all the tales of unrequited love that had to be coerced into existence against the will of the other party.
Wait, did I just write that? I can’t even believe my own eyes!
We fight with—against—our enemies, not our friends, our partners or our lovers. By the very act of fighting, we are using force, coercion, intimidation or malicious manipulation. We are making someone our adversary, not our ally.
How can you claim to love another and at the very same time disregard their wishes so completely? How is this not the ultimate in disrespect? It is the epitome of selfishness.
In today’s culture, no means no! So, what kind of a relationship do you, or they, expect to come out of this?
On your side, must you be continually overcoming rejection? And on their side, must they be faced with constant contempt for their opinions?
It’s one thing to “fight for me”. It’s another thing entirely to “fight with me”. And even in that, if “fighting for me” means “on my behalf”, what it doesn’t mean is ownership of or possession of those we are engaged in the fight with (or for).
What about fighting for yourself?
Exactly when are you going to stand up for yourself and say: “I shouldn’t have to fight for love. It should be given freely or not at all.”
Why do we entangle a positive emotion (such as love) with a negative attitude (fighting)?
Even the phrase “love conquers all” is contrary to the very meaning of love itself: to conquer; to acquire by force, to win in war, to subdue.
What’s with all the aggression? Even in the act of love, we must leverage hostility. By definition, if it conquers—that is, if it uses force—it isn’t love at all.
Fight for Something Challenge
This week’s challenge is – you guessed it! It is for you to review and evaluate some of your own relationships, both past, and present. Ask yourself:
Did you fight, either for others or with others?
Were others fighting for you or with you?
And finally, did any of that fighting turn out the way you expected or the way that you wanted? Was it all for better or for worse?
Know, then, what you are fighting for, who you are fighting against, and why you are fighting with them in the first place.
This applies to all relationships, not just intimate ones.
As always, don’t forget to let me know what you find – the good, the bad, and especially, the ugly.
Good Together: your guide to healthy, happy relationships
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