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#''i don't like that it implies the sole purpose of any relationship is childrearing when in fact it is YOURSELF
inkskinned · 2 months ago
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tbh for a long time i really resented the advice "pick a partner that you would want to raise kids with" because i don't want kids and i hated that all relationships had to come from this place of procreation-first. what about toxic friendships, after all.
it took me a really long time to realize it's a bastardization of good advice.
many of us are recovering from being raised by parents/caregivers that were in toxic relationships or were toxic themselves. we learned behaviors, thoughts, and patterns from these people, and we spend our adult lives untangling and dismantling the harm done to us.
the advice should be - is this the person you'd want a child to emulate? is this a person you'd want a child even around? is this a person you can trust alone with a kid - any kid, mind you - and know that the child is safe, looked after, loved? is the relationship you're in one you'd want children to see and repeat in their adult lives? or is the relationship one you hope they won't follow, after all?
to be honest, i knew when i was in a bad relationship. i'd tell people - i know, i know, i should break up with him. i know, i know. she's not actually a good friend. but the reality was that it's incredibly difficult to escape the-devil-you-know. it was easy enough to train myself to be okay with it; i have very little regard for the-self and the process of cutting people out was simply too threatening for my mental state.
but i wouldn't put a younger version of myself through the same thing. i'd picture her in the same situation. i would tell her, broody as she is - leave, you're happier outside of it, never let anyone talk to you like that, you're worth more than this. i'd tell her when you let him cross your boundaries, the fault is his, but you need to understand you're rewarding bad behavior if you don't do something about it. i would wish, fervently, i could restart the relationship and do it all differently, be-young-again.
and then i realized: i am the younger version of myself. a future version of myself is begging me to leave. to take my happiness seriously. i am a kid to fifty-year-old-me. and i need to take my own advice. it's okay if that sets me up to grieve.
pick a partner that you would trust a younger version of yourself with. pick friends you'd want your younger self to grow up alongside. pick love that makes you feel like you want everyone to experience in their life and feel with others, something magical and shareable and full of mist. pick a love that feels like you can grow in it. pick a love like: i will be proud of this.
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