Fighting...what about it?
Many of you here have used the fact "Ash and Dawn do not argue" in the 5 Facts threads for Pearlfest. Well I believe that Ash and Dawn do in fact argue; it's just that they handle it the best. Plus, a new point continues to be brought up that Ash and Serena don't bicker at all.
Note that this article uses a lot of references from real life dating/relationships sites. While this might not apply to the anime world, when we view Pearlshipping as an actual relationship, this fits in quite nicely.
Here is the breakdown of some Amourshipping arguments:
2. Not arguing is good. The less you argue, the better relationship you have.
3. Therefore, Ash and Serena together surpasses all of the other Ash couples.
Ash and Serena do not fight at all. That is true. But they're calling that a good thing? If this were a realistic relationship, this is would be awful.
Ash and Serena not fight at all just doesn't sound right if you really think about it. How does avoiding fighting make your relationship stronger? That's too good to be a real relationship, you know what I mean?
After doing some research, elitedaily.com confirmed my hunch with this statement:
The third is the deadliest approach to relationships: not fighting. To the outside observer, it would seem like the couple who never fights is the happiest. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s the couple who cares enough to fight — to not walk away, and to battle it out — who holds the stronger, more loving relationship.
It’s easy to walk away when things get tough, but it’s a sign of true love to be willing to withstand the pain and discomfort of working through a good fight.
This statement was literally perfect for this topic! This statement even recognizes the fact that outside observers (Amourshippers) may think that the couple that who never fights is the best. Outside observers. That's exactly who I'm talking about here!
But some might say that it's not that they don't care to fight; it's just that they found out a better way to get along: without arguing. Well, look at what the quote above says. It’s the couple who cares enough to fight — to not walk away, and to battle it out — who holds the stronger, more loving relationship. Is "fleeing from arguing" really the better way to get along? As unlikely and unrealistic as it is, it does look nicer if you can do it. But underneath the surface, there are connections and bonds that cannot be made without expressing your true self.
And wait, they've also claimed that it's more than just how they never bicker at all; Ash and Serena also apparently influence each other in tight situations and have great support for each other. Some have even gone as far to say that this makes Ash and Serena more like an ideal husband and wife relationship. Ohohoho. You can stomp on Pearl in the romance department, but you can't step up to Ash and Dawn in the relationship field! Ash and Serena's moral support goes beyond the others? No, there are plenty of others that have moral support with Ash to, let alone moral support that surpasses Amour. Ash's first gym battle may have been a good example of Serena influencing Ash, but Dawn influenced Ash to beat both Paul and Trip in the Pokémon League; Serena isn'the the only one! Never give up until the end? We've got no need to worry. There are other examples we could look at between the two pairs, but the main differentiator is High Touch. An entire song was created about Ash and Dawn's unmatched moral support they have and feel for each other, and you're telling me that Ash and Serena surpasses them?? I don't think so. Ash and Serena's moral support surpassing the others is just their opinion. Yes, Ash's support is a main reason why Serena has not given up on her dream. What did you expect; Serena has a canon crush/love for Ash so it's obvious that Ash is a major influence on Serena! But Ash? Ash may be influenced by and supports Serena, but Dawn (and other female companions) have influenced Ash the same if not more. IceArceus makes a good point in the "Moves by Ash and Dawn" article that shows even from a platonic standpoint, Dawn has influenced Ash in many battling techniques whereas other companions have not (Serena). Surely these moves alone is a greater influence to Ash (a battler) than the others' contributions.
And really people? Ash has treated Serena in a different way than other female companions? True. But does that really mean than Ash favors Serena over all the other female companions? This is XY, and this is a more mature Ash. This is also a development team that is much more inclined to make Ash behave more like that. It's not because Ash loves Serena more than anyone else. What, do you really expect the kid-like Ash from OS to BW to treat Iris, Dawn, Misty, and May the same way Ash treats Serena in XY. No, of course not; Ash is even confirmed to be "a young man" (aka older) in XY as opposed to being explicitly called a 10 year old in BW just one series ago. And besides, Ash does treat Serena like any other female companion in some ways. Something similar to what Ash said in XY53 goes like this: "You'll pursue your dreams, and I'll pursue mine. Let's pursue our dreams together!" Ash has treated Clemont, Brock, Dawn, Iris, May, and Cilan before Serena in the exactly same way.
Now let me show you where Ash treated Dawn differently than his other female companions. Here's what Ash tells Dawn:
Companions in this journey, compassion in the world
I pretend to understand those things, but
The truth is...
"I'm happy you're here for me!"
This goes in far deeper than the ways Ash has treated Serena differently no matter how mature he may be. Unlike with Serena, Ash actually acknowledges to Dawn that he treats his other companions the same, pretend way. And then he follows up to say that Dawn is beyond that level of treatment! He even uses the word "companions" to describe everyone else for Arceus's sake! And honestly, this applies to all companions of both the past and future because he refers to "this journey" and "this world". If he meant only companions in the past, then he would have explicitly said it as "companions I've known" or "companions I've met" instead of companions of his entire journey. Besides, DP was self-aware that there would be future regions and future companions. Ash "pretending to understand" his companions devalues the relationship he has with any of his other companions (including Serena) and greatly values the relationship Ash has with Dawn.
Anyway, to continue on about arguing, it's either flight or fight. Have any of you noticed how Ash and Serena do not converse or talk to each other that much? Even Amourshippers can agree with that. And that is exactly why Ash and Serena do not fight and are "so nice" to each other; they don't have much disagreement interaction to begin with! The only times where Ash and Serena disagreed with one another end up with either one of them being submissive, or magically coming into agreement without any disappointment feelings at all. Sometimes, Ash or Serena actually end up disappointed but just chooses not to fight back about it (XY28 with the cake, XY59 with Ash ditching Serena while shopping, etc.)
Many have speculated different ideas on why their lack of banter is, but regardless this shows that the writers have shown the "flight" approach to Ash and Serena. And flight in the real world either means a deadly relationship or not a close enough of a connection to need to fight. Ash and Serena are nice to each other, but they aren't close enough to have any argumentative disagreement in the first place. All chance of bickering is swiftly avoided; this is either Ash and Serena's decision (voluntary) or the writers' (involuntary). But no matter how you look at it, Ash and Serena avoid arguing altogether. And let's face it; what kind of real life relationship has absolutely no disagreement or arguing? If you believe that Ash and Serena not fighting makes them unique and have a different relationship than others, then don't give me a "Ash and Serena are like husband and wife". If you believe that Ash and Serena are like husband and wife because of their lack of bickering being ideal, then they are ignorant about the true reality of relationships and how they should be. But their opinion/viewpoint can be different from mine. And of course, you can believe that Ash and Serena are like a real husband and wife for other reasons, but don't use their lack of bickering as one of them. Because husbands and wives do bicker. As the "Advanceshipping episode" is famously titled, the bicker the better!
Okay, so now you know that the right arguing is better then not fighting at all. But wait, out of all the Ash pairs, Ash and Misty have fought the most! Therefore, Ash and Misty's relationship surpasses all the others! Since Ash and Misty argue more than Ash and Dawn, does that mean that Ash and Misty relationship is better than Ash and Dawn's? NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. Notice how I said "the right arguing". Ash and Misty do not argue right at all!
Not all fighting is bad. There can be good fighting too (usually isn't intentional though) that ends with constructive instead of destructive results. And it's usually not about whether you argue or not, it's about how you handle arguing. But Ash and Misty are the prime example of destructive and bitter arguing in a relationship. They handle their arguing with erupting rage, andhat's a big nono in my opinion. Ash and Misty's arguing was so harsh that even Professor Oak had to come in and stop them during the Kanto Pokémon League!
On the other hand, Ash and Dawn's arguing is never too bitter. Here's what startribune says if it helps:
"What the studies have shown is that it's not so much whether couples get angry but how they handle it," he said.
"If it's intentionally hurtful and abusive, it's not helpful," "Don't attack; argue. And don't blame. It has to be done in a way that you're not trying to hurt the other person. You're just expressing your point of view."
Ash and Dawn handle it right; they always end in compromise or peace instead of disappointment or rage. Their relationship also gets stronger from arguing, whether they are intentionally arguing or not.
Let's look back at Ash and Dawn. How do they handle disagreement, arguing, and fighting?
Well, Ash and Dawn are very close to the first style of relationships that elitedaily.com mentioned:
The first approach, while described rationally, doesn’t always include sitting down. It can encompass fits of rage, screaming into reddening faces and stomping into corners of rooms. It does, however, usually end in compromise and peace.
To top it off, their statements to each other in High Touch speak for itself:
Ash: But as long as we follow each other
Both: I think we'll find a way to compromise!
Ash and Dawn's lyrics to each other about their arguing are beyond words. So what if Ash compliments Serena when this masterpiece of a relationship exists!
And compromise. That's exactly the word elitedaily used to describe the ideal approach to disagreement/arguing in a relationship.
Time and time again, it is things like this that shows exactly why we call Ash and Dawn a realistic couple.
If anything, Ash and Serena not willing to go into deeper interactions is a hindrance, but I'm sure they'll disagree with each other sometime in the future. Either way, Ash and Serena's lack of bickering does not mean that their relationship is best. In fact, it has been suggested that this means the exact opposite. It certainly makes Ash and Serena unique, I'll give them that. But better? Nah.
(Remember in Doc Brock where Ash and Dawn realized the sick Pachirisu was the priority and not their arguing?)
(Sounds exactly like in Doc Brock how Ash and Dawn's Pokémon were their kids watching them.)
Only during a good fight can you let go of your inhibitions and understand how you and your partner really feel.
Wow, so maybe the phrase "you fight the ones you love" really is true. (It's only in the original Japanese version when Ash and Dawn were arguing during "A Rivalry to Gible On") Lyra definitely got that right.