Arguing once a week could be the secret to a long and healthy relationship, according to a new survey - as long as they are mild spats and not abusive rows.
The Indian study, conducted by relationship site Shaadi.com and market research agency IMRB, found that 44% of couples believe that fighting “helps keep the lines of communication open”.
Relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr, agrees that bickering can be a positive sign in a relationship. She told The Huffington Post:
"The way in which you argue signals so much about a relationship. The wise couple acknowledges this and keeps an eye on how they treat each other over disagreements.
"Subconsciously bickering demonstrates you care about each other even if while bickering you feel annoyed towards your partner. For instance, it shows that you do want your partner to drink less and look after their health. Or you do want them to be on time so that neither of you are stressed out when you have places to be and things to do, etc.
"Even a proper argument can be constructive by clearing the air and letting you vent deep and truthful feelings about genuine disagreements."
However, Dr Spurr warns that there are certain strategies you should bear in mind if you don't want your arguments to spiral into dangerous territory. She suggests the following 'rules of engagement' for a healthy argument:
DO Take 10: If things are getting so heated you're liable to say something you regret. Simply say that you're so angry you need to go to the next room to calm down before you continue.
DON'T get stuck on one issue: If you repeatedly bicker/argue over the same issue sit down when calm to try and resolve it once and for all.
DO Stick to the point: Don't start throwing up other issues. It's easier to resolve one issue rather than half a dozen.
DON'T get personal: Never allow yourself to say something you'll regret no matter how heated the argument - don't call each other horrible names, make threats, etc.
DO manage your 'make-up' expectations: Some partners enjoy a bit of passionate makeup sex but others don't. So be affectionate when making up but don't expect more.
DON'T mention the ‘D’ word (divorce): Relationship research shows that once that word is actually put on the table it can initiate a downhill slide in a relationship.
Dr Spurr warns that couples who never argue could have underlying issues they need to tackle. She adds: "Beware the couple that never bickers or argues as it may reveal they simply don't care enough anymore about the other’s well-being or negotiating compromises. It's rare that a couple has 100% harmony on everything that touches their lives."