Dating 101: How Fighting Could Save Your Life

In relationships, I've always been a fighter. I've been a lover as well, but when I'm pissed – you know it. And so does everybody else within a half-mile.

My last BF thought I was a bit of a nutcase because I felt the need to express my anger about (almost) every issue. However, I thought that my extreme moments of neuroticism were necessary – and perhaps even a little endearing, considering I cooled off just as fast as I warmed up.

Although I may have taken our fights to the extreme once or twice (okay, maybe more like four, five, six, seven times), I found an article on CBS from a couple months ago that proves that not only can some fighting be good for a relationship, it can also be good for your health.

For 17 years starting in 1971, Ernest Harburg, PhD, professor emeritus with the University of Michigan's School of Public Health and psychology department, and his colleagues studied 192 married couples in Michigan.

The couples were asked whether they would suppress or express their anger in a variety of situations. In 14% of the couples, both partners said that they would suppress their anger at the given situation. Those couples had a death rate that was twice as high as the other couples in the study. Basically, the couples that said they would express their anger outlived those who did not.

Although the study can't specifically target suppressed anger as the reason a person died, it can give insight into the way anger affects the human body and how expressed anger can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and healthier relationship.

So, although I may regret some fights that I cause at the time, the good news is I'll live longer: The bad news is I'll still be a basket case.

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