Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.

Rule #34: Fall in Love (Dad)

Falling in love is awesome—love gives texture to life, gives depth to our emotions, and opens us up to the possibilities that can unfold before us in body, mind, and soul.

I have never been one of those dads who feels like he has to protect you from interested romantic suitors. In fact, I hope you fall in love. That said, here are a few things to remember as you fall in and out of and back in love again.

Love allows the other to grow. Crucial to healthy love is that you and the person you love grow together and that you allow one another to grow into the person you are supposed to become. You will not always agree on politics, faith, food, or family, but it is a gift to find joy in how the other grows, even in different ways, and still be able to find connection and cohesion.

Love requires working through conflict. It often seems easier to avoid talking about tough issues in a relationship. Over time, however, conflict causes resentment to fester and eventually be expressed in unhealthy and destructive ways. When you feel resentment start to build, be brave and talk.

Love sometimes means walking away. There may be times in your life when, for the sake of your mental, spiritual, and physical health, walking away is the right thing to do. This is never easy, but if you ever find yourself in any kind of abusive or destructive relationship, please walk away.

While we are in no big hurry to see you fall in love, when it does happen, know that we are rejoicing for you.

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