So You Want A Healthy Relationship?

So You Want A Healthy Relationship?

Time has always been a constant theme in my work. It’s time to get going. It’s time to make a change. It’s time to evolve. It’s about time. Because time is not infinite and I’ve seen time snuffed out of good people quickly. Whether by death or jail or loveless marriages or soul-crushing jobs. You will not be 21 forever. Taxes, bills, kids, hair loss, cancer, lost promotions, weight gain, wrinkles, sagging skin, and the death of your cat will age you and you will look in the mirror and wonder what the hell you were complaining about back when you were young and had energy and could easily survive on Taco Bell and Mountain Dew and three hours of sleep.

But this isn’t going to be one of those posts where I get all stern-dad on you and tell you to get off your ass and stop wasting your life Netflixing and feeling sorry for yourself. Why? Because you should know that by now. It’s time. Yes, it’s time for you to start getting your shit together.

“Don’t tell me what to do, Chris. You’re not my dad.”

You’re goddamn right I’m not. And I know you’re not perfect, just like me. I know someone set you in the middle of a bog filled with pitfalls and bad genes and unrealistic social expectations. I know that you have to push your way through stubborn friends, unsupportive family members, and unhealthy relationships. Just like me.

But understand this – we are all fighting the same fight. Some dirtier than others, but you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment when you look at another human being and forget that they are in the middle of a struggle as well. When you idealize a boyfriend or girlfriend, you dehumanize them. You hold them up to such high emotional expectations that they couldn’t possibly live up to. So when things go wrong, the weight of the crash is overwhelming because you didn’t see it coming.

And you are too goddamn smart for that. You should know by now that no one is perfect. You should know by now that no one can fix you but yourself and you should really know by now that you can not, nor will you ever, have the ability to fix anyone else. At best, you can be a coach and a shoulder to cry on – but no one fixes broken heads and hearts better than the ones that own them.

So yes, it is time. It’s time for you to stop getting fucked up all the time and figure out your shit. Step away from binge watching episodes and turn off the fucking television and put down your phone and be alone with your thoughts. Let them sink it. Every last bit of pain. Every thing you’ve been trying to run from. And it’s going to hurt. And you’re going to want to run back to your comfortable long list of distractions that you’ve built up to keep you insulated from the pain but just know that you’ll never heal unless you get in there and dig out that infection. And while those memories will never go away, you can make them manageable. Tolerable. So that you can walk down the street and smile for no goddamn reason other than knowing you earned it.

And wouldn’t that be awesome if you could find someone like that? Someone who has walked through their fire and come out alive? Someone that you could look to as inspiration. As an example of what can be done if you have enough heart and courage. Wouldn’t that be amazing to fall asleep next to someone who you are proud of?

They do exist and they are out there. But they are not looking for projects to fix. They are looking for someone they are compatible with – not someone to save. Because people who have walked through fire know what it takes, and they look for that in other people. They respect that courage because they know the strength it takes to make it through.

And again, no one is perfect. But there are people who are emotionally secure with managing their demons. So if you want an emotionally secure relationship, stop wasting time and put in the work. Because you’re not going to find one while feeling sorry for yourself. Because no one is coming to save you and if you continue to believe someone is, you’re going to suffer a disappointing life and die lonely and unfulfilled.

You want a healthy relationship? You’re going to have to be half of a healthy relationship. So yes, in my best stern-dad voice – it’s time for you to start getting your shit together.

Because not only do I want you to be happy, but also to allow yourself to be loved and feel like you deserve it.

About author

Christopher Gutierrez

Christopher Gutierrez is the author of several books on love, sex, and relationships. He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Deep End, in addition to running Deadxstop Publishing. Since 2006, he has given hundreds of speakings at colleges, coffee houses and universities all over the world.

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