My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.
Bantering vs. Stupid Fights
There are some men who are very immature. Instead of choosing to have an adult conversation with you, they will instigate a stupid argument. A guy like this definitely takes the fun out of bantering.
I have found that men who love to banter a lot also love to start stupid fights. These types of arguments are either to distract you from why you were really mad, to begin with, or used to help keep him from emotionally connecting with you on a deeper level. The more fights he instigates, the greater the distance between the two of you. Often this is done subconsciously, but either way, the end result is a failed relationship. It's almost as if he's trying to prove to himself that he is not worthy of being loved.
I disagree with the idea that fighting is exciting. I actually think the opposite—people don't really hear each other when they're yelling. People get defensive; it's not actually effective communication.
— Janna Koretz, Psy.D., psychologist
4 Signs He's Purposely Picking Fights With You
Have you noticed these four signs that your boyfriend is purposefully starting fights with you? If so, he is not choosing his battles wisely.
1. You Feel Constantly Anxious
Since you don't know what it is that triggers these ridiculous fights, you will feel as though you are constantly on pins and needles around him, anxious that a fight may occur. It is extremely stressful and frustrating to be with a guy when you can't understand why he chooses the things he chooses to argue about—things that most people would consider to be trivial.
Do these stupid fights really bring any positive change? For men who like to start them, they do—for a moment, they get to enjoy a small victory that they've gotten under your skin to cause you to participate. What's also interesting—this guy is usually the first one to label someone as being "negative." Seriously, does he not understand the definition of negative? This guy is so judgmental he probably doesn't.
2. Everything Can Become an Argument
A guy who starts stupid fights with you does not believe in “choosing his battles wisely.” For him, everything can be a battle to argue about. You sneeze, and he will pick a fight about that. You have an opinion about anything—even if your comment is valid—he will pick a fight about that. You say "hi" to someone he knows—in front of him—he will pick a fight about that. You want to take a girls’ trip the same time he's planning his guys’ trip—he will find a reason to argue about that. Really? Or maybe, he doesn't like the tone of your voice, the way you walk, how you pronounce a certain word—here comes another ridiculous fight. Yikes!
3. He Sounds Like a Child
Once the stupid disagreements begin, there is no controlling him. Your relationship will be constant bickering—which he will usually start in front of your friends as well as his—raising his voice to get his point across. I never knew that a point has more validity the louder you get? His "point" is usually pointless, since most children wouldn't even waste their breath arguing about the things he chooses to. All you can think about when you're with this guy is when he's going to start stomping his feet and throw himself on the ground in a tantrum.
When you're dating a guy who gets a thrill out of starting stupid fights, the attraction level you had for him diminishes significantly. Can't blame you, what grown woman wants to feel as though she dating a two-year-old child in a grown man's body? Frightening!
4. He Lacks Maturity
This need to create drama through small arguments is also due to a lack of maturity. At first, this might seem playful since he will usually start off with fun bantering and jokes. But then the bantering becomes fighting over little things and the "jokes" become less fun. This guy doesn't have an off switch, so the fights tend to occur more and more frequently until you forget what attracted you to him in the first place. Men like this are typically bad communicators, therefore they not only project their negative feelings onto you but also spew their verbal vomit through unnecessary drama.
Why Is He Starting Stupid Fights?
The first question to ask yourself is, "Am I contributing to these fights?" You may, without your knowledge, be humoring his provocation. But why is he provoking you in the first place? Here are a couple of possibilities.
- He is defensive: If your boyfriend was hurt in a previous relationship, he may be defensive in yours. He doesn't want to get hurt again, therefore he is extra defensive and may be quick to overreact.
- He is anxious or depressed: He may be going through a tough time and is coping in an unhealthy way (by taking it out on you). It might be beneficial to suggest that he see a therapist or talk to you about it if he's comfortable enough.
- He is deflecting: Aside from being anxious or depressed, he could be having a tough time at work or is having financial struggles.
- He isn't confident: Whether it be in the bedroom or in his communication skills, your boyfriend may be lacking in the confidence department. This may cause him to lash out.
The message here is that communication is key. You won't know which of these issues it is (or if it's something else) unless you ask. Most likely, he will be willing to talk about it with you or with a professional. Don't let things bottle up inside! After you address the issue, you may find that the best decision for both parties is to end the relationship because you're just not compatible. But oftentimes, a solution is just within reach!
My Boyfriend Was a Master of Stupid Fights
I dated a guy who was a master when it came to starting stupid fights with me. It was almost as if there wasn't a fight for him to start then he would have nothing to say. The brilliance that he shared had to be in an argumentative form in order to express himself. Well, as with most men, they don't reveal their mysterious true selves until they become comfortable dating you or know that you are "into them"—which they view as a safe zone to let their guard down.
What attracted me to this guy—in the beginning—was his playful bantering. I love a guy who can banter. Done correctly, it can bring light-heartedness and fun energy to a relationship. As our dating progressed, so did the bantering . . . except it switched—faster than Superman at the speed of light—to small fights that were beyond childish.
What was confusing is I hadn't dated this guy long enough for any real or serious issues to come up that might be worth having "intense" discussions about. Regardless, he would argue about e-v-e-r-y-thing. He would argue about where I needed to park when visiting him. He would argue about letting me into his apartment building—in the time it took him to argue, he could have let me in sooner. He would ask me where I wanted to eat and then argue with me about the establishment I chose. Then why ask? He fought about what movie or TV program we watched. He picked a fight when I cooked for him—finding some excuse about something he didn't like. When I would hang out with my friends and he had no plans, he would start an argument to make me feel guilty about going out. And the stupid fights increased exponentially.
Read More From Pairedlife
I think that because I was open to playful bantering—because that's what bantering is meant to be—he assumed that stupid fights were also up my ally. Wrong! This guy was so clueless at the perception other people were having. What he thought was entertaining by having these small fights was actually a turn-off and inappropriate behavior seen by others—including myself.
Don't Waste Your Time
Ladies, why waste your energy, time, or breath with a guy who enjoys finding things to get upset about? When a guy starts stupid fights with you, you do have the power to walk away and not contribute. Having a guy arouse you in a negative way is not only controlling, selfish, and immature, but overall toxic to a relationship. If you can't find a solution or common ground, it may be in your best interest to end things. But ultimately, that is up to you.
Nsfs on August 11, 2020:
I dated a guy for over 7 years and i didn't want a relationship when i met him. We discussed it several times but he'd always say but what if the opposite of what i said. I had goals and ambition that just began to fade. I ened up completely giving up my existance to be with him. I put him first even chose him over my oldest daughter thinking she would adapt and become comfortable . The idea of a family life was more appealing than my 5 year plan i was in school i wanted to gain my education start my career and buy a home that was aim. Instead i ended up misplaced in his home constantly observed by his family that lived within a street distance. My life suddenly wasn't my life. I worked all the time and never had time with my kids. I paid him rent, i paid for all the eating out, entertainment , basically everything and i was okay with it because i was thankful for the opportunity to be able to work and provide for my family. I was out of goverment funding housing and independent again. I have never had any kind of support from family or friends that offered a way i could work. I couldnt afford childcare i since age 13 i have souly been on my own. Anyway i never meant anything to him i realized that and i knew id made a huge mistake moving in with him. I stayed 3 years and in the end i ended up being driven back to my hometown dropped off at a friends no jobs, car, no credit, and a duffle bag of clothes for my youngest and myself. All that damn time and id never had to pay someone so much rent as i gave him the months rent to leave my things until the first of the next month. Yes even tho i wouldnt be there i paid to buy time to get my belongings. Meanwhile he always ignored me if we argued and i stressed how much i didnt like it ecerytime but he still did it. I got a job worked around the clock and within a week he and his o so very charming mother whom i hope doesnt get by with leaving this world without a true glimspe of herself and the feeling my kids and i have received from her. They threw my stuff in boxes and put it in a storage. Nice!! My stuff was in a terrible shape i lost alot and what was left nearly 2 years later just been a headache. So i rebuilt myself and then he used my daughter to work his way back into my life. He would always bail when times got hard and resurface when they were okay. He along with his sister, mother ,kids have all talked such shit about me. The same words exact his mother said about his ex to me hia sister said about me at the community pool where it got back to me.This last time we argued something snapped inside me and i said a lot of things i might not should have. But really it was always the dumbest of all things and if i mispronounced a word i couldnt even finish my sentense or story i was so shamefully corrected but this man claimed i was a inraged , psyhco, bat shit, mean , bitter, can never be happy person. Yea i got a temper when arosed but a lot of people have seen my temper and i dont know of anyone who doesnt contact me and ask how i am , miss me , and drive srates away to visit me . i am not perfect but i am not the one always over praising myself and using mind manipulatiin to verify his story. He is such an entitled person and he nor his siblings, children, will never know what real life takes and so i guess its just a drama reality show to them and they can write and rewrite it anyway they want. I hope i can be strong and not forgive and let him back in. And despite my hardship right now i hope when i am ready i meet someone who makes me feel good about myself and can experience conversation. To my ex who i spent so many years never getting to know you can spend all your time in your home gym but youll never be worth a dime. .
Moe Seid on August 05, 2020:
Sounds like you are describing my current partner. Moddy naggy big baby trapped in a grown up's body home I' am ready to drop like a hot potato. lately, they have been picking up fights over dishes and cleanliness " I always do the dishes and tidy up the house" but they do very little to clean up themselves.
Tushauna Clay on July 17, 2020:
My boyfriend picks the dumbest things to fight about and we getting ready to have a baby he gets me so upset and there it go a big fight I’m tired of fighting my baby don’t need that it’s crazy but he needs to grow up
Chantill on February 24, 2020:
Been married for 21 years and I think it has always been in the background but now his jealousy and insecurities and spilling all over the place. Every time I get ready to go somewhere without him he picks and argument about something. I have brought this to his attention several times so now he tries to make the fight about something not pertaining to me going out without him. When I say going out, I mean like to a play with my aunt and mother, or to lunch with family. I would never got to a bar or club without my husband. But even the most innocent places that I go makes him crazy. I never knew a man so insecure. And it's causing me to be not attracted to him.
Sydney on January 05, 2020:
I've been with my husband for 26 years now and he seems to get worse every year. Always wanting to be sarcastic and play argue. I have asked him to stop and it seems to just start a real fight. He says I am always taking things to seriously but it's every day about anything. We could be almost saying the same thing but somehow his way of saying it is right and mine is wrong. He is as right fighter even when I van show him he is wrong. Please help.
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on November 19, 2019:
Most men lead with their heads in there pants—first, before their hearts. I believe actions are more important then words, however his actions often depend on where they are coming from and what he wants. If sex is what he wants—his action will lead him to that direction, even if he does not want a relationship. His inconsistency shows he doesn’t want a relationship of value and respect or commitment, but instead one that satisfies his desires and personal needs. Having chemistry with a man can unfortunately make this “action” confusing for many women since we tend to lead with our hearts & emotions.
You’ve mentioned a few RED FLAGS—you should stop doubting and listen to them.
Also, be upfront with what you want—why invest time and emotions on a man who doesn’t feel the same. You are the prize—find a man who sees and believes this.
Louise on November 18, 2019:
I’ve been seeing this guy for 2months I really like him he was the one who stated communicating with me at first he said he just wanted to be friends but his actions said differently he was always calling me FaceTiming coming over to mine to spend time with me we have become intimate a threw times and everything flows and feels so natrual between us now recently his just been starting arguments with me making me upset then telling me how we could never be boyfriend and girlfriend and that he can’t see it working and giving me all excuses I feel so confused as I really like this guy and there a spark there his actions speak differently to his words his so affectionate with me I’m just so confused as I don’t know where I stand I want this to work as I can be myself around him but lately his just been starting arguments then after we make up and he starts again please someone help and give me some answers and advice what to do please
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on November 08, 2019:
To all who have commented on this post, Thank You!
When a significant other is fighting over unimportant surface stuff—its their own personally issues and insecurity. Remind yourself of your worth—you are the prize and deserve to be treated as such.
Not saying issues won’t arise, they will—that’s live and growth—however, the same issues should not continue to happen. The great moments should always override the difficult ones.
No relationship is perfect, however our partner should be someone who protects, loves and respects our hearts.
Learn to let go of people who are not serving our lives emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.
Wait for someone who works consistently on showing their love, ...not just telling us.
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on November 08, 2019:
Anonymous, thank you for reaching out.
When we choose to stay with a man who is not supportive of us and doesn’t see us as a priority then we are letting him know this crazy behavior is OK.
You being a mother and also working full time is something to be acknowledged as greatness, not put down. You deserve a man who is there for you as a healthy partner in your life.
It’s important to have family and friends in our lives who are supportive—those who are not should not be in our lives.
We can not build a strong foundation in our relationships if we let people tear the foundation apart. Without trust we have no lasting relationship.
Anonymous on November 08, 2019:
Why does my boyfriend always pick his family side and not mine. I am the mother of 2 little kids and he keeps tryi g to throw me out and he keeps on saying be a mother when i work fulltime and a mother fulltime. His sister sticks her nose into something that she should not.
Annette on August 13, 2019:
Well I have met the same guy. I just talked to him a few minutes ago when I was tucked into bed, happy and relaxed after a good day's work. Of course he brought me down in a few minutes because according to him I shouldn't be cutting down a hedge, my landlord should do it, when I told him the day before that I wanted to do it. My landlord usually makes a mess of things and does more damage than good. I am one of those do it yourself women. Well according to him I'm stubborn, I don't listen, and on and on. So once again after talking to him I'm upset and wonder why I have anything to with him. He is a sick man, he makes a big deal about the dumbest little things that don't even make it on my radar. I think I'm finally sick of him. The only way to get a break from this type of man is to cut him loose.
SILLY ME on January 24, 2019:
Whats funny is...I have given my all. It seems every little thing I do is wrong...He goes to work stays overnight comes home in the morning with CRAZY things.....He came home to a woman not questioning his whereabouts because I know he had work, cleaned up and was preparing for my day. He didn’t come in and say goodmorning, Hi, hey baby,..nothing. Instead he asks the dumbest question “Who was in the passenger seat and put a shoe mark on the windshield”...At that moment I started to think negative in my head because it didn’t make sense...I drove the car to the store and noticed the headrest was up on the passenger seat and it wasn’t before he left for work....The way he came home and picked fights with me is almost as if he’s cheating on me..I think it’s really messed up to start things out of nowhere and in the middle of it all I’m seeing little things making me believe he’s playing me...It’s like the moment I say anything back he says “That’s why I don’t like talking to you” I’m starting to see the pattern and I have grown tired. I payed attention to how he acts and it’s sad. We could be so good when money is in play, his career is doing good, or when something for him is just good. I never get supported with my career the moment he helps me it’s as if he hates it..he try’s to take away from me like he’s God. I have helped him in major ways but he can go to new people he work with and immediately help them with a music project while I’m still left waiting. The picky fights makes me feel he’s entertaining someone at the moment and try to downplay me like I’m not SHIT. Excuse my language but I know I’m not crazy. I mean how could you not help or feed the woman you with talents but help everyone else? How could you tell that woman what you need from her as if you have someone doing everything you’re trying to make me do for you....It’s been 7 years and I feel he’s now keeping me around to try and break my spirit so no one would want me...The up and down love and exhausted me and I feel this might not go anywhere because he will not LOVE me. Communication sucks. I feel like he spends more time studying me than loving me. You would think when a man studies a woman they do it to really love her right? I think he studies me to know how to cause conflict in the relationship to validate his wrong
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on August 20, 2018:
So sorry to hear you are going through this.
The one thing that I have realized through my dating experiences is that we teach men how to treat us. If you are choosing to stay with a man who thinks it's OK to talk down to you, disrespect you or take his anger out on you, then you are letting him know (again by continuing to keep him in your life) that how he is treating you is something that you are OK with. Therefore you are no longer the victim. You have the power to change any cercumstance you are in.
If you are fearing that he will physically hurt you then you need to call your nearest domestic abuse hotline.
Also, making excuses for his poor behavior; aka: drinking, or that he works (a lot) will only keep you in a relatioship that clearly isn't making you happy. I've been around many men who drink that have never lashed out at me. The men that I have come across that have tried to use me as an emotionally pinching bag did not stay in my life--this was a red flag and sign that he was not the one for me.
No one has any right to treat you badly.
Work on loving yourself...
Until you can fully love yourself---unconditionally---you will continue to keep this guy in your life or you will continue to attract similar men like this into your life.
A man who you choose to have in your life should feel honored to be with you. He won't take you for granted. He will respect you and love you unconditionally and work hard to created a loving, caring and secure relationship with you.
Love yourself enough to know wholeheartedly that you deserve the best, not subpar.
Thank you for reading and reaching out.
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on August 20, 2018:
Jennifer Herrera, do you think you're crazy? More importantly, why are you with someone who you let (because it is our choice) treat you this way?
If you don't see yourself as the prize, no man will.
You deserve a man who will love, cherish and honor you with respect, honesty and dignity--protecting your heart, not upsetting it.
Thank you for reading and reaching out.
Jennifer Herrera on August 09, 2018:
Everytime my boyfriend leaves i hear sex noises,he said hes not cheating and that im crazy
Kimi jackson on July 09, 2018:
I had a nice week end with my boy friend family reuion then time for us to go he started a arguement. I am so sad crying don’t know what to do just keep talking to me bad but he drinks. A lot he works but he hurt me verbally please tell me what I can do please tell please.
nagnog on April 02, 2018:
It's logistical growth, not exponential.
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on March 04, 2018:
Ashley sprouse-holland, when someone starts fights for no significant reason that is due to their own insecurities. Also, often times, this is a control issue.
Outburst are not fun to deal with and it is not your job to change or fix a man. He either knows that his behavior is unexceprable or he doesn’t. He either is open, willing and wants to get help or he doesn’t.
Until you love yourself enough to believe that you do deserve better, walking away from this type of unhealthy relationship can be challenging.
My question to you: you have a son, would you want your son to grow up treating a woman the way your significant other is treating you?
When we stay in unhealthy relationship we are teaching not only our partners but also our children (if we have any) that the way we are being treating is OK.
Love is not unkind. Love is not abusive or disrespectful. Actions always speak louder then words....are you listening or ignoring and making excuses?
You deserve to be treated with kindness, caring, respect and absolute love.
Thank you for sharing and reading my article.
terry on February 19, 2018:
he could be narc.player.cheating.psycho.crazy.want attention.
Megan from Seattle Washington on February 06, 2018:
I feel as though you’re dating my husband or you were dating my husband it’s kind of sad that there are more than one of the person I’m with out there in the world to sell Sabotage to throw their texted Eddie into someone else’s life when they don’t deserve it and people don’t understand it’s hard to get away from them that’s what makes me feel so bad for all the other women out there that are suffering is we do and did...
Ed. on January 30, 2018:
I'm seeing a definite, clear pattern here. In the comments, as well as the article. My question is, "Why does it always have to be about the male and that he is the problem?".
I've heard it all my entire 53 years on this earth about how EVERYTHING is the "guy's" fault. I bet no woman can answer that. Nor can any male. Oh yeah, I get it. There's tons of arguments from all sides of any relationship that supports/defends either partner. But I've had the EXACT same problems with several females they say are the man's fault. Mainly, stupid fights out of nowhere. Faked arguments that never happened, false accusations, sefishness, immature, etc. Even when the guy walks away, it's a no win scenario. My fault the restaurant had bad food, my fault the light stayed red, my fault it's PM and not AM, my fault her family likes me so much, etc....
Susan Mundis on January 27, 2018:
I have been married to my husband , will be 40 years summer 2018. He has started arguments a day before my birthday and on my birthday years ago and I didn't catch on for many years that it was all made up to mess up my birthday Very immature. He still starts arguments when he knew I wanted to go to my first Nascar race. He watches it all the time. We argued for almost an hour; long bathroom lines, you think you're going to sit in lounge chairs, the bleachers are hard. on and on,. then gave in or when he knows we should go see someone in his family, he asks me a question on something and he acts like he doesn't like my answer and then his voice gets loud I even tell him, here comes your voice and laugh Then right after the argument I realize it was all made up . He doesn't care if the kids are in the house or not. I see it that its all about him; the world revolves around him. very immature.
Ashley sprouse-holland on December 26, 2017:
My husband likes to argue about everything. He starts with arguing why my aunt won't let him stay the night-well bc she doesn't know you enough and will thinkyou will still- it's not my fault. I go over there to spend time with my son and he has a cow. It's irritating as hell. Irk what to do.
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on August 06, 2015:
Thank you Dr. Billy Kidd.
I totally agree that "these women have a dependency problem. Rather then be alone, they keep letting the guy come back each time he totally blows it." Very, very true and unhealthy!
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on August 06, 2015:
Thank you dashingscorpio for the vote up!
Totally agree that the c"ute things in the beginning have a way of becoming annoying the longer a relationship continues" that is unhealthy.
Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on July 13, 2015:
Voted up and useful!
Interestingly you said: "What attracted me to this guy—in the beginning—was his playful bantering. I love a guy who can banter. Done correctly, it can bring light-heartedness and fun energy to a relationship."
I suspect there are lots of women who are drawn to "playful bantering". Some may even feel it makes them feel as though they've "been together for years" or it's a form of entertainment for their friends.
Nevertheless this could easily fall under the category of "familiarity breeds contempt." The thing that initially draws you in gets very old after awhile and worse if it escalates. Cute things in the beginning have a way of becoming annoying the longer a relationship continues. Like hearing the same joke over and over again. At some point it stops being funny!
"When a guy starts stupid fights with you, you do have the power to walk away and not contribute."
Sadly too often people forget this! No one is "stuck" with anyone!
At some point if you're still there it says more about (you) than them.
Dr Billy Kidd from Sydney, Australia on July 13, 2015:
Great explanation of this type of domineering male!
Unfortunately, there are women who are addicted to being in a support role for this kind of negative relationship. They grew up, generally, being dominated or abused. So that's all they know--dysfunctional relationships.
As you know, these women have a dependency problem. Rather than be alone, they keep letting the guy come back each time he totally blows it. And their friends and kids can't seem to talk them out of playing that role.
I wish you could talk directly to some of these poor souls. You really have the language and explanations down! Thanks.