The internet, of course, is filled with performative bullshit. And maybe the tallest mountain of such bullshit is the one built with love. That is, it’s our relationships that we most sanitize for online consumption, doing whatever it takes to make them seem as perfect as possible. And yet, there’s one corner of the internet where that doesn’t feel cynical or performative in the least — the subreddit r/JustYESSO. “r/JustYESSo is a place where you can gush about your best friend, your soulmate, whatever!” its description reads. “Tell us how awesome they are! We are a home for those who want to ‘brag’ about how happy they are without getting judged or bashed. We simply want to share in your happiness.”
And so, with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, who better to help teach us some lessons in love than the sub’s sole moderator, SabeyTheWolf, a woman who genuinely and unconditionally loves love and will restore a bit of your faith in it, too?
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We’re constantly comparing ourselves to our peers, which always focuses us on the end of our relationships: “Where is this going? Does my partner want to get married? Do I want to get married?” But don’t obsess about that. Just stay in the present and enjoy the small moments that make you happy.
Your SO can’t read your mind. At the heart of so many posters’ problems in other relationship subreddits is a lack of communication. The relationships in our sub are so positive because both partners go above and beyond to show affection, but also to communicate with each other. If the time comes to have the whole “where is this going” conversation, just ask.
Be open about what you expect, and your partner will do the same.
It’s weird that people feel so weird about bragging about their SO. People always begin their posts with, “I feel weird saying this, but…” But, nothing! That’s what we SHOULD be doing! That’s what I want — positivity and strengthening of relationships.
We don’t see other people as real people until we fall in love with them. Then they’re people. But it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that they could want something, too. And so, we too often focus on ourselves. No one is exempt from sucking at this.
Myself included. I was never afraid of personal displays of affection, because that’s my love language — which may or may not be surprising given the lack of touch growing up for me. So telling the world I love my husband isn’t hard, but bragging on what he does for me seems selfish. So I often avoid doing it, which isn’t fair to him, because he’s showing me how much he loves me. The more comfortable you get with your partner, the more you realize this.
To show affection you have to open up, and to open up, you have to trust. And it can be so hard to trust another person. It’s even harder if you’ve gotten used to one night stands. You’re not expected to show affection; it’s wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, and gone.
That is to say, we can get intimacy through sex and physical touch, but affection? Affection is spending time with your partner, doing things for them and with them, simply because it makes them happy.
Being able to express that affection is about comfort, and being secure in knowing it’s not going to run off the other person or make them too embarrassed. But it’s so important. Putting that affection into the world makes your SO realize how proud you are to have them in your life.
If all you do is read about how awful relationships are, you forget how good they can be too. Like, just look at relationships that start on dating apps. There are so many, but as soon as those people look for advice and say, “We met on X app,” people will respond, “Well, don’t you know X app has a high failure rate?” Or, “It’s dangerous on that app.” That’s why people love our sub; it’s just a nice space to go where we support and cheer for each other. We don’t try to nitpick everything wrong in relationships.
That’s important because when all you hear is “nobody cares,” you start to not care. It’s good to have people cheering you on, even if it’s strangers on the internet, because it could be the one reason you keep going.