But how do you get to real love? Doesn’t it start with the fish love?
Step 1: You need something. Companionship. Financial support. Sex. Someone to teach you about life. Something that must be provided by a friend, family member, or a mate. You find someone who gives it to you.
Step 2: Not everyone in the world has something valuable to give, but they did. You respect the fact that they had something of value. You are grateful that they gave it to you. And the time you spend together teaches you more about their character and personality.
Step 3: You learn to love, and give from yourself to this person, unconditionally. Not because you owe them for what they gave you. It’s not a trade. It’s because when they gave you the fish love, they taught you to feel genuine gratitude and respect, and you had a reason to spend time with them and learn more about who they really are.
If you describe yourself as love-avoidant, maybe this is what’s stopping you. Be less suspicious of the selfish love (no pun intended on the last two syllables of “selfish love”), and maybe real love will develop. It’s far from a guarantee — but what other choice do we have?