Sometimes it’s difficult to chase a healthy relationship because you don’t know what that looks like. Many of us come from broken homes with single parents or parents who stayed together but were unable to demonstrate the appropriate way to have a healthy relationship. Many of us turn to our heroes on TV, Disney princesses or books. Which is a problem, because the media shouldn’t dictate how we love or accept love. But it does.
But gone are the days I let my mind romanticize unhealthy behavior because I saw it in a rom com. Gone are the days I let someone else define my worth because I have spent my life chasing affirmation. Gone are the days I let someone do whatever they want because that’s what love is. I have found my healthy romance. And I want to tell you about it.
I am with a man who apologizes for saying something that hurt my feelings, even if he thinks it’s not a big deal. He knows it’s a big deal to me, and that is what is important to him. Not being right, but is being happy.
I am with a man who recognizes when I can’t handle simple thoughts or actions and takes control. He can see when I am about to break down at the slightest change of wind, and he goes into action and takes care of things for me.
I am with a man who tells me I’m beautiful every single day. To the point, he wonders if he says it too much. Where he asks if he should stop. The same goes for “I love you.”
I am with a man who encourages me to follow my dreams. He knows what makes me happy, and he tells me to go for it. He is excited for me when I succeed. And he is always asking what he can do to help.
I am with a man who is always asking what he can do to help.
I am with a man who understands boundaries. He doesn’t get texts or calls from unknown numbers at odd hours in the night. He doesn’t spend uncomfortable amounts of time alone with females. Anytime he does something that makes me uncomfortable in that respect, I tell him. I don’t keep it in for fear of being the “crazy jealous wife”. That is how you become the crazy jealous wife. Like, let me give you an example.
My husband went to a baby shower, but on the men’s side. The women were doing their own thing, I wasn’t invited to that, so I stayed at home. They were drinking and having fun, I was texting him, and he was pretty drunk, and that was fine. And he was telling me about all the guys there and how he would probably be coming home soon. When he got home, he was talking about the women there. I was like, what. Apparently, the women came over to the men’s side, and they all were drinking having a ball. Which is fine, but I didn’t know about it until after he got home and was drunk while telling me. This made me feel disgusting. I wanted to keep in my jealousy but I couldn’t. I was nauseous. Like my stomach was made of spikes jabbing into my intestines and chest while splitting open and letting the acid eat away at my body. I felt disgusting. So, I told him, hey that’s really sketchy. Why would you wait until you came home to tell me you were getting drunk with women? The way you handled it makes it sound sketchy and untrustworthy. And, after being with him for 4 years I know I don’t have anything to worry about. But I couldn’t help how I felt. And he felt terrible. He apologized a hundred times, saw that it was a mistake and said he would be upset if I had done the same thing. And he promised he would have better communication with me when he is out drinking with friends. And that is all I wanted, and it helped. Don’t keep it in because you’re scared of what they will do or say. Just explain how you feel calmly, to the best of your ability, and if they love and understand you, they will at least see your side.
I am with a man who puts me first always. Above his friends, even above himself sometimes. I am always a priority, and he doesn’t have to say it. He shows it to me in his actions. And not in an unhealthy and obsessive way where I would worry that he is isolating himself from the world. He balances his friends and family just fine, he just makes sure I’m taken care of first.
I am with a man who doesn’t steal from me. I know that seems like, duh. But there have been times money has gone missing, and I didn’t want to believe that the person I was with could do it. They didn’t want me to believe it either so they would come up with convincing lies. Convincing enough for me anyway. And I guess I didn’t realize how nice it is to be with someone I don’t have to hide money from. I mean, we have a joint bank account now, and our money is our money. And don’t tell me to get a separate secret bank account “just to be safe”. People who give that advice have most likely been divorced because they weren’t in a healthy relationship. I wouldn’t marry someone I didn’t trust, and you shouldn’t either. If you think you need a secret second bank account, DO NOT MARRY THAT PERSON.
I am with a man who recognizes I need space. Many fights were de-escalated by giving me time to myself. He used to try to fix everything right then and there. But I expressed my need for solitude in times of rage, and he learned to respect that.
I am with a man who understands my viewpoints. He listens to my opinions and compares them with his own. Our dialogue and discussion have helped us evolve into a similar mind set. We don’t agree on absolutely everything, which we respect each other whole heartedly. He doesn’t bring things up that get me heated. He doesn’t make remarks when the opportunities arise. Which has fortunately rubbed off on me.
I am with a man who respects people. Women, Muslims, Christians, Jewish, atheists, the Spanish community, African Americans, Indian, he doesn’t care. Unless you are a crap person, and even then sometimes it doesn’t matter, he still will respect you like the human being you are. He doesn’t appreciate strip clubs because he feels like it disrespects women. (Which he understands women feel empowered by it, and he’s totally cool with it. He just prefers not to support them because of what he personally thinks they stand for.) He gets angry when people are racist, and as a white man recognizes his role in speaking out for those who cannot. This is one of his most admirable qualities as of late and makes him stand out above the general population. There is absolutely no hate in this man’s body.
I am with a man who takes care of me. I don’t mean brings home the bread while I sit at home and do nothing all day, or he waits on me hand and foot. I mean he is already standing with his arms open when I am about to crumble. When I was working at the café, he would get my clothes ready for me and sit with me in the bed until my morning panic attack subsided, stroking my hair as I cried in his lap. When I can’t make any decisions because my brain is being stupid and I just hide under the covers because I want to disappear, he comes underneath the comforter with a game plan to calm me down.
More and more I appreciate this man. Every day he continues to prove that he is not like the man in the movies, he’s even better. He doesn’t creepily stand outside my window with a boom box pleading for my affection. It’s almost as if he has been completely tailored for me. He is not the perfect man for everyone, but he is the ultimate perfection for me. And that is what I think a soul mate is. A healthy romance.