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The Love Hack That Keeps On Giving Back To You
People often ask me about my secrets to not only polyamory, but a successful love life. When I hear some of the things that people endure in relationships, I always say something along the lines of, “I would never tolerate it.”
One of the tenets of Relationship Anarchy that people do not understand is the notion of no compromise. It’s not that we don’t believe in negotiation or expect our relationship to conform to 1-sided terms. It’s just that we don’t believe that people should have to change for anyone. One of my dating conditions is that you must be very into me.
My secret is simple: I refuse to over-invest myself in someone who’s not into me. I believe this so much that my heart is hardly tempted to "go there" with this boundary in place. It took a lot of time for me to get my heart to agree with my mind on the matter, but now that they're on the same page, I have saved myself future heartbreak. I’ve dealt with enough lovers to know that lackluster interest is a sure sign of disaster. This belief alone is a relationship hack alone in and of itself save you from unnecessary suffering.
I have become an expert at screening partners. And what I mean is that I saw a train wreck coming from a mile away and avoided it. Usually, I heard my “fate” retold to me through that person’s later partners and it was exactly what I envisioned: total wreckage. It’s never “just you.” Your partner might be telling you tall tales about the future you’ll have together, leading you on with The Daisy Chain, making promises they had no intention of keeping, and the litany of other things that not-so-great lovers do. You are not alone. This isn't something they do to make you feel worse about yourself. They pull this with basically everyone.
When deep-seated patterns of dishonesty or dysfunction arrive on the scene that appear to be long-term, I say my peace and bounce. Boundaries, my friend, are what will keep you safe. Rejection is God’s protection. Never try to seriously date people who love you less than you love them if you're not at peace with that fact. It’s not healthy; it depletes your emotional reserves so that those whom actually love you cannot enjoy you at your best. If you're going to keep falling short of your word or continually put me through distressing experiences, then it's only a matter of time until you start melting my coolness.
I only pursue the people who are interested in pursuing me. It’s not that I am afraid to make moves, but when I do, I am genuinely listening to that person’s words and non-verbal communication. I am alright with the fact that they have every right to reject me and that’s actually in my favor. I don’t want to date someone who’s not proportionately into me. They have the right to enjoy my flirtation without committing to anything unsaid.
When I was in college, I was afraid to make the first move or take anything to the next level in terms of romantic seriousness. In order for me to consider asking that person to hang out, they had to be really obvious about it. Please don’t take it to this level because I wound up missing out on a lot of fun dates at a time where I had lots of potential partners in 1 space (an artsy school). Turns out, a lot of people liked me, but I would only give my attention to those who were willing to be super-obvious about it in ways that would make people would feel ridiculous. Don’t make the other person do all of the work; your attention is sweet, so why not give them a taste? The “lack of attainability” allure has the high potential to attract the crowd that loves the idea of having your approval, but for their own validation, not because they care about your happiness.
Once you make mutuality a condition of your love, you will find that your dating life will bring you much less stress. Yes, rejection will still sting, but it feels more like a pin-prick once you restrict your dating pool to people who like you as much as you like them or more. Feel free to go into hazier circumstances, but understand just what’s likely to not come out of it if you do.
You need to know that staying more interested in a person who’s not feeling it is a disservice to you.
It’s much easier said than done. The “doing” part takes a lot of trial and error. Once you understand why unrequited lovers don’t deserve your time, you can start moving on with your love life. But in order to save your future self from wallowing in sorrow again, you need to put limits on who gets to enjoy you and who simply does not deserve the privilege of dating you. My life experience has taught me that unless you nip these things right in the butt, they will get worst. The earliest parts of your relationship are bright and shiny times because you’re still high on your combined body chemistry. Imagine how bad that relationship will be later on when there’s no neurochemical buffer to keep you going. If you see something, say something, and always trust your gut when it comes to partners. There's a difference between being critical and looking out for yourself.
It’s not that I haven’t been a fool for unrequited love or a negligent lover; it’s just that I knew better than to chase after someone who isn’t interested in treating me well. If you can't treat me well, then you won't treat me at all. While I may have fantasized about the person endlessly, I knew better than to expect something from someone who wasn’t about making me smile. That’s not to say I leave whenever life gets real. There’s a huge difference between having problems in your personal life, taking it out on me, and expecting me to be alright with it. I am a lover, not an emotional punching bag, even when “life happens."
I've had to reject people I crushed on for most of my life because of their longstanding behavioral patterns that were bound to screw me over.
The kicker is that most of them did treat me well 80% of the time during our little “things” or whatever you want to call unlabeled relationships. But I could tell that those bad moments said a lot about what was in store for the future and I was not about it. I think that people prefer to pay attention to the happier moments because they’re more enjoyable than the blues despite the fact that they're more telling about the wild ride you're in for.
The key is to be realistic about what someones actions towards you and others reflect about them. Personally, I’m a very laid-back person and I cannot be with someone I argue with (out of hostility, not debate-wise) on a regular basis. Even if a person is good to me 80% of the time, that's still a gaping 1/5 of a chance that the person will wind up hurting me. People don't realize how big of a portion that is of your interactions with 1 person! I try to be hyper aware of someone's actions when I first meet them not because I am judging them, but I am listening to every level of what they're conveying about themselves. Then I see how well our realities mesh.
On paper, my relationship history seems solid. I’ve been with the same person for 10 years with only 1 “breather” that helped us become the functional poly we are today. I remember telling people that I loved my boyfriend and I would be with him when I was an adult. But I knew they were wrong, even when I mistakenly thought he wasn’t meant to be 1 of my lovers. The whole time, he proved to me that he was heavily invested in my happiness and that was what won me over.
My emotions and relationships are like a garden: I’m responsible for what grows and flows in my emotional microcosm. Like all elements of chaos, it’s a hard art to master, but once you do, life is fine. If there’s something growing in my garden that I didn’t cultivate myself and it’s not bringing me satisfaction, then that's when you need to be real about how you would prefer your relationship to be and what your relationship actually is. We all have baggage, some of it being very necessary for us to hold onto. But I will not bear the brunt of your untreated issues, just as you will not take the heat for mine.
I refuse to be at the mercy of someone else’s whim because I am above that kind of treatment. If you start telling yourself that today, you will save yourself a lot of suffering tomorrow.
#Real #GhiaVitale #LoveHack #Relationship #Dating #RelationshipAnarchy #Polyamory #NoCompromise
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