in: Dating & Relationships

Love Lessons from Cavemen & Cupcakes

Love lessons don’t have to come in an instruction manual to be worthwhile. Some of the best heart-opening wisdom comes by tapping into our own ancient intuition.

It’s a fact: we like instruction, guidance, and clarity. What a gift to have a smart phone dictate driving directions to a new destination. How did we ever fare before this technology? Rewind one century and those folks had printed materials to be guided from. Another century before that, illustrated maps, written recipes, and journals. Communications passed down from the generations that directed people through their problems to solutions. It is easy to understand why we appreciate this assistance. It takes some of the despair out of the journey and relieves the pressure of figuring it all out from scratch.

Have you noticed there is not one instruction-type manual for being in relationship with someone? There are specific actions for creating a human being, yet none on how to emotionally connect with one. As you know, it’s our ability to experience feelings that sets us apart from other species on the planet. The bookshelves overflow with bound pages dedicated to navigating relationships, but what do they really contain? There are no definitive steps to follow for a concrete result. Instead, there are an abundance of tips, tools, and practices. 

Cupcakes come to mind for me.

We know exactly how to create them—much like the recipe for creating a human. You are born a perfect cake that is moist and just the ideal consistency and size. Once baked, the options for frosting and decorating those tasty treats are endless. Grand ideas for us to aspire to mimic are showcased in cookbooks and on Pinterest. One could assert that the relationship guidance books are merely giving you suggestions for frosting and decorating the cake. However, any person with a functioning tongue knows despite the attractiveness of the thing, it’s difficult to enjoy a cake that is dry, crumbly, or stale.

Not only are we dealing with our own dilapidation, if you will, but we’re also aware of the other cupcakes around us. The lesson books remind us to look out for red flags (artificial dyes in frosting) and take note of negative signs (GMOs) demonstrated by those we connect with. To not know how to relate to another human, WHILE attempting to keep our own selves in check, all becomes so overwhelming that it’s no wonder over half the U.S. population is choosing to stay single.

If only there was a manual for relating successfully with others.

Well, dear ones, there is! It came with the first pair of humans who stood upright and held hands. I call it intuition or an internal knowing—an awareness that is born in us at a cellular level. Think about this for a moment. That first homo-erectus tribe did not know how to cook and there were no instructions available for the task. Traveling to a desired destination happened by chance, along with some internal knowing to follow sky and land markers. Through time and evolution, humans figured stuff out on their own using their internal guidance systems. It was necessary for survival.

What is interesting to notice is while we are no longer required to survive in this way, it might be safe to assume we are thriving. In some arenas, that is absolutely accurate. Unfortunately, achieving experiences such as love and happiness with another is not as consistent as banging two flint rocks against each other. So why do we look to books to navigate relationships?

The answer is we’ve become spoiled and dare I say … lazy. Practically everything has already been figured out for us. We go someplace where food is ready and waiting, push a button for heat, and can even get fire at the flip of a switch! There is no mental or intuitive activation required. Yet here we are, over a decade and a half into the 21st century, and too many folks haven’t figured out how to effectively connect with another live human being. Kudos for trying, though!

Relationships cannot and will not ever thrive from technological advances. Yes, the new age tools enhance and help connection, but in the end we must do the work. This is challenging because our muscles for attaining deep desires have grown weak. The first man was hungry and he desired to fill his belly. He had to put forth effort at the same time his instinct guided him.

Half the U.S. population seems to be ignoring (or is numb to) deep-rooted desires and settling only for meeting needs that can be immediately and easily satisfied. What a wonky predicament we find ourselves in, with the world at our fingertips yet staying in a basic survival mode much like our ancestors many millennia ago. And at the same time, so unlike them in that they required connecting with each other to expand their existence.

Now, back to the state of yourself as a cupcake. You’re on the right track by honoring the desire to connect with another in hopes of enhancing yourself. The misalignment is when you stop the internal awareness while relating with another. I’ll use my own life as an example. When I first met my beloved husband, it would be accurate to say I was a fragile and crumbly cupcake. Being loved by him was like a juicy infusion of confidence from which I chose to learn about me and what was required to thrive as an individual in relationship. My cake was softening!

During subsequent years, while I was practicing self-care and expanding the essence of myself, he became aware of his own flavorless, dry existence. My husband instinctively made his own internal shifts… which is the power of being in relationship. He watched me create fire at my camp and mirrored the technique for himself.

Naturally, there were seasons when we resorted to the self-help materials and tried new sprinkles here and there. They then became an opportunity for breaking us out of old habits and stirring up energy within the cupcake paper. There was no choice but to expand and become better versions of us as a couple and individuals.

It was work and we wanted easy. There was no app, instead it required mental and emotional effort. When things didn’t work, it was frustrating. And in the end, it was worth it because together we created fire … from which we toast marshmallows. We thrive in relationship and so can you. No instruction manual needed.

About the Author:

Stacy Mackey

Stacy Mackey is a Denver based certified relationship coach who uses her comprehensive skills to expand awareness for conscious and intentional relationships with self, others and earth. She offers private coaching to help forward education and understanding of relationships because she believes flourishing couples are the foundation of humanity, giving rise to larger structures of family, community and society. Check her out at


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