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Steps To Healthy Love

Advice No One Asked For

By Linda DykePublished 2 years ago 7 min read
2
Heart in the Sand -Photo by Windy Husted

Against my better judgement I have made myself another coffee and decided to start typing again. If you've read my posts up to this point, or know me off the internet, you know that I talk a lot about my bodily functions. We can attribute that to being raised by a man who believes the world needs scented fart corks.

I will set aside how disgusting I am for the sake of a serious post. For those of you that are just here for the funny shit, I understand completely and I will get back to the shenanigans later.

For now, this is what you get.

Steps To Healthy Love.

With my educational background of a high school diploma and 26 unusable University credits I can confidently say I am fully qualified to tell you exactly what love is supposed to feel like.

Disclosure: These steps have been personally proven and are not guaranteed to work for any other human, living or deceased. It is also believed these steps would not be well suited for most other species with the exception of penguins, raccoons, and some types of wild rabbit.

Step One: DO THEY BRING YOU JOY?!

Food makes me happy. Replace 'Food' with your partner's name. Can you comfortably end the sentence at 'happy'? Or did your little voice interrupt with things like 'but' or 'when' or 'if'? If your little voice stayed silent, they might actually just bring you joy. Period.

We all know the Marie Kondo methods and we also know of at least one person in our social media friend groups that has used this method on other humans. Some refer to it as "removing toxic people" from their lives. It is an annual announcement they make and suddenly, one year, you are no longer on their friend list.

You absolutely must use this method on your partner.

Disclaimer: You absolutely must NOT use this method on your children.

Pick your partner up, hold them in your arms, and look deep into their eyes. If you are too weak to pick them up, I suggest squeezing their face between your hands while you search the depths of their soul, the stupid face they make will help. Ask yourself, "does this person; with all their terrible moods, bad habits, emotional baggage, etc. (you can make this list as long as you'd like. Take your time with it and don't leave ANY disgusting trait out.) still make me smile every morning?" If at any point in this test, you wish you had flipped a coin and left this choice up to the universe, thank your partner for the experience and kindly ask them to leave.

I'm serious. It is that easy. Too many people take absolutely useless points into account when deciding whether or not their relationship is worth it. At the end of every day all we have to ourselves is our own happiness and no one else is going to take responsibility for that. I'm not the only one to preach happiness as the ultimate truth so I'm not going to go any deeper into it.

By Ashley Whitlatch on Unsplash

Step Two: COMMUNICATION IS GENDER NEUTRAL!

This isn't so much a step as it is a friendly reminder that communication should be effortless regardless of anyone's identifying gender, other biological factor, or sexual preferences. Let's kill the stereotypes. If it is not effortless or progress is not being made to make it effortless, you would probably be happier just getting a cat. Or a hedgehog. Something with self-awareness that doesn't deflect so much.

By Sierra Narvaeth on Unsplash

Sometimes an unstoppable force meets an immovable object and the sex just happens to be great.

Do you often angrily roll your eyes when you hear your partner speak? Do you find yourself in a terrible mood that only their silence can cure? If you happen to no longer value what your partner has to say this should be an obvious sign. The problem is, sometimes we don't seem to recognize that their presence is the issue because everything else seems to be going swell. We cast blame on the closest source of frustration that is going to give us the least amount of fight. It is easier to point fingers at something completely out of anyone's control, like a shitty parent, than it is to villainize your partner for just existing in your space when you don't want them there.

Just tell them you don't want them there.

Sometimes a very stoppable force meets an immovable object and the financial security is just too good.

On the opposite side, do you often find that your partner might actually be a brick wall in human clothing? Do you shut up and pretend to be the 'easy going' type just because words have failed you too often? Your presence might be their issue. Don't take it personally. Realizing that you are the problem is going to be your savior and their blessing in disguise. Just as often as we refuse to blame our partner, we refuse to accept any blame for failures in the communication. Shutting down is so much easier.

Just take the hint and move past them.

I know, I know. Step two got sad. The thing is, terrible communication is the downfall of relationships, romantic and platonic. I do have good news. One day after some serious self-awareness training you're going to find your voice again and with it you will find people that rejoice every time they hear it. Or you're going to find voices that expose your disguise and you can work on turning back into a human, you silly brick wall, you!

By Joe Woods on Unsplash

Step Three: ACCEPT THAT IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU AND IT IS ALSO NOT ABOUT THEM.

Imagine for a moment that you're both professional dancers. Bonus points can be earned here if either of you are ACTUALLY professional dancers. Dancers are great.

Now, do your styles match? Does their River Dance interrupt your Salsa? If so, can you live HAPPILY with it?

NO, I didn't ask if you can live with it.

I asked if you could live HAPPILY with it.

We put too much pressure on ourselves to make our lives about a partner. We put a painful amount of pressure on our partners to make their lives about us. We SERIOUSLY just need to do our own thing. There is a degree of selfishness that is completely okay and we need to stop telling each other that love comes with sacrifice. Happiness with another person means letting that other person just BE in the same way you want them to let you just BE.

Stop forcing it. Stop bending and breaking into shapes that you cannot make. Stop shaving off their edges just to suit you.

For every year you've been alive without a partner, you have been entirely and wholly YOU. Even on your empty days, everything about you was- and still is- all yours and only yours. For the years before you show up in their lives, they have been existing by those same rules. What kind of monsters are we when we look a person in the eyes, tell them we love them unconditionally and simultaneously think things like; "fix", "save", "change" without a single ounce of irony?

I want to clarify that "change" and "growth" are not the same. If you have toxic habits, your partner suggesting that you work on removing those toxic habits is NOT asking you to change. Please, for the sake of humanity, do not use this advice as a defense of your shitty behavior.

You are going to need to absolutely adore River Dancing, even the weird bouncy parts. They are going to need to obsess over Salsa even if it gets uncomfortably sweaty. Because your Salsa is not about them at all, and their River Dance has nothing to do with you. Love doesn't care about dancing. It just exists or it doesn't.

By Aditya Ali on Unsplash

If I have learned anything in the twenty-seven and a half years of existence, I have learned that we owe each other nothing. Love OWES nothing. Love ASKS for nothing. If you're playing emotional tug-of-war or constantly changing each other's dance shoes, seriously, get a hedgehog.

If you want more steps, by all means, get in touch. If you've had enough of my cliché advice and want to hear more funny shit then stay tuned for more funny shit.

love
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About the Creator

Linda Dyke

I'll always use my outside voice.

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