Why the Best Relationships Make You Feel at Home

Relationships

Photo by Inside Weather @insideweather on Unsplash

We live inside physical apartments and we live inside emotional apartments. 

Now, more than ever, I feel this. I feel it straight down to my bone marrow, all over my skin and in my throat every day. Humans become emotional homes for us, especially the people we fall in love with. The person you love will eventually see the messy things, the boring things, and the sad things. They will stay with you for the truth of them; for who you really are. Not despite you, for you.

That’s why we fall in love with people. We fall in love with them for what makes them human because we know, down to our core, how much we want someone else to love those inner homes within ourselves. What we don’t consider when falling into a long-term relationship is that they’re going to see the worst parts of those homes. And yet, despite those things, they’ll still cozy up into the emotional homes we live in (complete with the crusted emotional dishes in the sink and all).

Humans become emotional homes for us, especially the people we fall in love with. The person you love will eventually see the messy things, the boring things, and the sad things. They will stay with you for the truth of them; for who you really are. Not despite you, for you.

It’s funny how our bodies can predict things even before they happen. Take this post, for example. I obviously didn’t predict any sort of pandemic when I pitched it but somehow I knew I needed to write about the emotional homes we tidy; how important they were going to be in the coming days. Especially when the physical home we live in becomes the only place we can breathe, and our emotional homes become big parts of the survival process—the true places we live.

My relationship with myself and my fiancé has changed drastically throughout the past few weeks in isolation. (Writer’s Note: There’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d ever have to type). Our emotional homes are reaching desperately for familiarity. We’re not good at it. We’ve become messy and untamed. The inside stuff I used to worry about before (my anxiety, my over sensitivities, my brief blips of loneliness) are all heightened. I have dozens of metaphorical mismatched laundry baskets, unwashed dishes, and unchanged garbages in my new emotional home. 

Now, the emotional selves we tend within our physical spaces are so much more related to surviving. Relationships, and the way we care for one another, have a softer landing. We’ve become more accepting of our flaws than we ever were before. So, I wanted to put together a list of truths about our closest relationships: the reasons we fall in love with people and stick with them despite their flaws. As I’m finding more and more in these days of isolation, we need these truths to survive.

Truth #1: Real love is always the place we can fully emerge as ourselves. Even if “emerging” means accidentally displaying the metaphoric version of sunny side up underwear on the floor. And that’s beautiful.

After living with my significant other for four years, we’ve learned a lot about each other. And the lessons aren’t always good (hence the underwear note above). We become exposed. Especially now. It becomes unnatural and impossible to ignore the real stuff: He’s going to see my dirty underwear and he’s going to see me have an adult tantrum on a Tuesday night. He’s seen a lot of things, of course. He’s seen how insecure I am about myself sometimes. He’s seen me try too hard and not try at all. He’s seen me struggle through words during a heaving cry. But…

Real love isn’t about hiding the stuff that truly makes us, us. . . . Instead of thinking about falling in love with people because we think they are **THE BEST IN THE WORLD** we need to think about how we love them because they allow us to fully be ourselves. 

Real love isn’t about hiding the stuff that truly makes us, us. We shouldn’t shove the truth (even if it’s a raunchy garbage pile) down the depths of our soul to feel covered or tough. Instead of thinking about falling in love with people because we think they are **THE BEST IN THE WORLD** we need to think about how we love them because they allow us to fully be ourselves. 

The reason we stay with one another is because we want to be seen. Love does not mean we slowly disappear for them. I love really seeing someone, the things that make them human. These things are beautiful and uncoiled and colorful and weird. In my opinion, the sunny side up underwear of our inner selves is the reason we keep loving. Because, we aren’t perfect. We’re a mess.

Truth #2: We find beauty (and acceptance) in the unclean. 

Our emotional house doesn’t always have to be tidy. We are abashedly human and can’t spend our entire lives picking up after ourselves like the sweeping dog in Alice and Wonderland. That’s not how relationships work. We are not always clean. When we are able to see someone else’s messy stuff, it reminds us that we are all the same (a shitshow). That’s comforting.

To be honest, during the past few weeks, our uncleanliness has been intimacy. We’ve been mounted by fear and uncertainty, which doesn’t give us much brain space for craving closeness. We crave solutions and answers and cold, hard facts. We’re cleaning out these fears, like a closet. As we grow and learn, we source a deeper connection, rooted further into the ground. Roots aren’t on the surface, so sometimes they take longer to find. And that’s okay. These are the moments we crave acceptance most.

Truth #3: We set each other free by giving permission to free ourselves first. Loving someone is a confirmation that we love ourselves.

The most damn beautiful thing about loving someone’s inner self is the fact that they have to love it first. Keeping a good emotional house is not about impressing others. I’ve been in a relationship for eight years and I learn a different version of this truth every single day. The metaphorical undone laundry, the dirty kitchen, the left open cupboards—all of those things are real within us, too. We must accept them. The cruel, vocal criticism from others can certainly shake our walls, but the quiet concern that lives within us is the most lethal. 

Truth #4: We clean our emotional house not to impress others, but to seek function and comfort. 

The truest love is boring. Our love for one another is simple and unassuming. The most beautiful form of it lately has been our limbs and pajamas on our couch, watching mundane television and hurting a little inside. We are hurting. It’s not impressive. It’s not boastful. It’s real. 

The truest love is boring. Our love for one another is simple and unassuming. The most beautiful form of it lately has been our limbs and pajamas on our couch, watching mundane television and hurting a little inside. We are hurting. It’s not impressive. It’s not boastful. It’s real. 

We make homes out of relationships. We get comfortable within them, snug into their couches, and soak in long baths. We are self-isolated inside a home just as much as we’re isolated in our relationship. And it’s important for me to be mindful throughout it. I’ve felt like a garbage person through this and I shouldn’t. As long as my intentions are good and we’re taking care of each other, accepting the hurt, that’s all we can do.

BY Brittany Chaffee - April 5, 2020

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Leave a Reply

JoAnne Fleury

❤️❤️

Tori

This is so beautiful and true. Reminds me of the song “mess is mine” by Vance Joy. We have emotional unclean houses and true love steps in and helps you clean and accepts your mess as part of their own.

SG

I loved this so much!! You have a gift for writing & expression

Karen

“Loving someone is a confirmation that we love ourselves.” This is SO true!

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