Someone asked me this week what I was looking for in a man.
I started thinking about it – because I do want someone in my life – and began reeling off a list of the things I thought were important to me. It was the usual stuff, the sort of thing anyone would say; honesty, loyalty, company, compassion. It was kind of a dull list. I tried to think a little broader. I decided it was important to me to have a partner that listened to me, that took a genuine interest in my life and my interests and who wasn’t afraid to challenge me, emotionally and intellectually.
Still it didn’t feel right. When you think about it like I was, it somehow becomes a to-do list. It felt like I was creating a sort of relationship check list, a template against which I would be marking a future partner regularly to see how they were performing.
That isn’t what I want though, obviously.
I tried to distil it down.
‘I want them to be nice,’ I thought to myself. Well, that’s all well and good, but there are plenty of nice people around, it has to be more than that.
‘I want them to love me,’ I thought. Getting there. But still, I have been loved by people in the past and it hasn’t made everything OK.
‘I want them to love me enough,’ I decided.
All I want in a partner is for them to love me enough that all of the other things come naturally. I want a man who is honest with me because he loves me enough to respect me and not even think of hiding anything from me. I want a man who wants to challenge me and nurture me and take care of me because he loves me and it is instinct, not because of a sense of obligation or a list of requirements.
I want a man who loves me with a passion that means he will do whatever it takes to make sure we stay together, however annoying I might sometimes be or whatever issues I might have, and I want to love him back the same way.
Is that too much to ask?
I have had this same problem, starting with a list of stuff I thought I wanted and realising it all boils down to wanting to be loved. I don’t think it’s too much to ask at all.
Someone once told me that a great relationship is one in which you are always learning form each other, where you challenge each other and therefore help each other to develop as people. That way it never gets boring and you are always working together. Not easy to find but I always thought it was quite a nice philosophy. (Not something you could put on a list to narrow down choices though!)
It’s hard to pinpoint it but somebody who loves you (isn’t that what we all want?), challenges you and encourages you to be your best, doesn’t try to hold you back in whatever you do…Not only that but what I’ve found is that you need to make a conscious effort to keep doing things together – new things, spontaneous things, that keep making things exciting or interesting. Nobody likes to be stuck in a relationship rut.