My latest relationship is so healthy, its occasionally scary. It’s great that we can be our true selves around each other. First off, we’re both dorks which is a great first start. We can have intellectual conversations for hours or simply annoy the hell out of each other and still love each other immediately afterwards.
Our love for each other isn’t chaotic. While no couple is perfect, we’re shockingly compatible.
Too bad it took me literally years of my life to discover this.
Lately, I been wondering just exactly why this relationship feels so stable compared to my past attempts at romance. What is this magical feeling that everything is going to work out this time? Or at the very least, if it doesn’t, it won’t crash and burn, but peacefully drive in opposite directions.
Love is more than a verb, it’s a Responsibility
There is a common thread among my past relationships. Despite my best efforts to love the woman in front of me, I would be lying if I said I was always the most responsible. While I have never cheated, I was never great at sharing my life with someone else.
When you accept someone else as a part of your life, you also accept a degree of accountability. Your actions, your words, and consequently, your decisions all have an impact on the people around you. Most of all, they will impact your loved ones, especially the one you adore most.
Chaotic, Dysfunctional Love
With the exception of the past few years, I have spent the majority of my life living in dysfunction. My childhood was a mix of dysfunctional and backstabbing, my first year of college was the worst year of my life, and joining the military taught me to embrace chaos, and not run from it.
Long story short, I was ill prepared to love anyone for a long time.
Chaotic Love is two people failing to apply proper conflict resolution. Instead of taking responsibility and being honest with each other, both individuals take action on their own. It’s easier to fuss and fight instead of sorting out the details and coming to a clear compromise.
Chaotic Love is utilizing your lover’s insecurities as a weapon. We all have weaknesses but in a relationship, their weaknesses become your responsibility. Committed relationships will inevitably lead to you sharing your deepest, darkest, most soul shattering secrets and vulnerabilities. It’s a great amount of responsibility to hold yourself to higher level and be utterly respectful of your partner’s heaviest secrets. Everyone has a past
When you accept someone else as a part of your life, you also accept a degree of accountability.
Chaotic Love is just…chaos. It’s not healthy, stable or fun. It often fluctuates between constantly hurt feelings to just outright emotional abuse.
Greater Responsibility, Greater Love
I used to think that for a relationship to work, you simply have to treat your partner with love and respect. I have to come to realize it’s more than that. It also requires a level of responsibility on your part.
Responsibility often equates imposing a limitation…and that’s ok. Instead of living wild and reckless, incorporate your partner into your decision-making.
Most of all, relationships take work. However, by doing the work, it can lead to a more fulfilling love life.
It did for me.
I’m still learning to live without chaos in my relationship, but I can get used to this whole responsibility thing.
Dayon Cotton is active duty US Navy, fitness enthusiast, freelance writer, and public speaker. To contact me for inquiries, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.