Protect Ya Neck

Friends and family call me all the time for outside perspective on troubles in their relationships.  It’s funny, because I can help everyone else be level-headed and mature when approaching their issues with no problem. When it comes to my own relationships, however, I’ve always kinda tended to get lost in the emotion of things and it takes me some time to get my bearings together.

Looking in on love from the outside is always an easier thing to do. The magic is all there, and the uglies, the heartbreaks, the breakdowns, and the fallouts are tucked away behind the walls.  We all have that celebrity couple or the friend-couple that you think of as “that couple” whose magic will never fade.  They’re the walking version of your #RelationshipGoals.

Cupid is a little asshole and every once in a while, I see a couple I thought would be together forever break up. It always makes me feel some kind of way for a minute, because I feel like it chips away at my faith in love. I find myself wondering where they went wrong.  And then I wonder if they could’ve saved it.

Gavin and Gwen

I remember vividly when my last relationship faded from a passionate, crackling fire to a tiny pile of embers barely glowing with whisks of wind. I remember lying in bed at night typing in the texts to spark the conversations that would save it, only to delete them and put my phone back on the nightstand.

“It can’t all be that magic honeymoon period.”  That’s what everyone says to me.

But I respectfully disagree somewhat.

I don’t see why it can’t be amazing most-to-all the time when you’re with someone you love.  We allow the sparks to die out, and we watch distance grow without speaking on it.  We lay quietly next to someone feeling nothing but tension, yet we say nothing.

We watch our conversations change, we say “I love you”, “I miss you”, or “I need you” less and less. And days become weeks, weeks become months, and eventually, we are barely going through the motions of being in love anymore.

I’ve helped several friends reconnect when I’ve watched two people (who are very much in love) let fears, doubt, conflict, or pain create a divide. I’ve had both sides talking to me explaining how much they love the other person, but “don’t know where to start” or just can’t see why the other person is being/saying/doing something, and they don’t know where to go from here.

The only way I’ve seen things work is by turning back to each other rather than other people. Calling out the change, drawing attention to the way they want things to be or to feel. Most of the time, when things begin to fall apart, we daydream about the ways things used to be. The texts that used to be sent and received. The forehead kisses, the hand bump, the secret handshake, the four small kisses that followed a first big kiss.  Those little things are the glue that keep love strong whether we see it or not.

Waiting for things to really get bad is like waiting to see if that small lump in your breast really is a metastatic cancer.  I mean, you could always go handle it right away, know what it is, and address it right away, or you could be passive and let this thing be the deciding factor about your life dramatically changing for the worse.

I don’t get the logic of letting love die and distance grow. If you have a great love, or a love that you see as having the potential to be a great love, don’t let it be the thing you’re passive about. Don’t let your King or Queen slowly drift away from you. And by all means, don’t let a gift as amazing and undeniable as love slip through your fingers because you let yourself be paralyzed.

I mean. Come on.  Even those of us who think we don’t want it actually do want it.  We just stopped thinking it really is real.  And you have that shit.

Protect ya neck. And by “ya neck”, I mean your love.


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