I found an old journal from last year while I was cleaning house and there was a really great (patting myself on the back here) entry about what I wanted in a relationship. I've added to it since it's discovery and now I'm ready to share it with the world.
- I'm looking for a partner in life. I'm not looking for a boss or to take over his mother's job of raising him.
- I want someone who can make me laugh, and understands that sometimes I just need to cry.
- I am looking for someone who makes me feel safe and loved no matter what environment we're in. I want to trust that we can make it through any situation that is tossed in our direction as long as we're together.
- I need someone who is honest with me, someone who believes in us. Someone who doesn't find monogamy unreasonable or too demanding.
- I want someone who encourages and inspires my dreams. Someone who values what I bring to the table, who sees me as his equal and not just entertainment.
- I want someone to share adventures with, who isn't afraid to try new things and will be eager to broaden each other's horizons.
- I don't want to worry about whether or not he'll be able to hold his temper, his alcohol, or other harmful personality traits. I don't want to clean up drunken vomit or have to slowly back out of a room because I'm scared.
- I want to feel like I belong when I'm with him and his people whether that be his family or his friends.
- I want him to be both intelligent and educated, and to not feel intellectually intimidated by my friends, but at the same time not be a snob about it.
- Ideally I'd like him to be able to look into my eyes and see beyond my "poker face" and know how certain situations make me uncomfortable and do his best to make it better. I realize that will take more communication on my part. I will have to learn to open up when something bothers me instead of insisting that it's "fine" when it's not.
This list is not saying that I want him to do all the work to accommodate me and my needs only. I know that relationships take (some times hard) work, honesty, communication, and compromise. I know that if I want someone to be supportive of my dreams and to vanquish my fears I have to pick up my sword and be just as willing to slay some dragons for him. I need to occasionally take the backseat and put his needs first and help him lay his insecurities to rest.
I am experienced enough to know that at this stage in the game no one comes into a relationship without some scars on their hearts and minds. People have an uncanny ability to heal and move on, but we do so with more caution than when we started out. Sometimes that means we are extra careful in how we treat others, sometimes it means that we hold people at a distance until trust is gained. Often times its a combination of the two with a few other unique coping mechanisms thrown in to keep things interesting.
I'm not the girl who stares out her office window waiting for flower delivery on Valentine's Day. A dozen red roses doesn't prove that someone loves you, it proves that they have money to burn and know how to call a florist. Cut flowers wither and die in stagnant water and end up dropping sad petals all over your desk within a few days. Real love is every day, and while romantic gestures are nice (and appreciated) they don't guarantee love. The boyfriend who always bought me thoughtful gifts every time he went out of town did so because he felt guilty because he was schtooping some other broad in Southern California while to told me his was visiting his parents. The sweetest and most thoughtful birthday present I ever received from a lover came from someone who responded to an "I love you" with a "you're confused." I'd rather have someone show their love by being honest, caring, and someone I can count on than celebrate a silly holiday once a year.