Today is a big day. Or is it just like any other? I’ve been thinking about its arrival for a few weeks. Not with fear or anxiety or trepidation, but just an awareness of its upcoming arrival. You see, today, August 5th, should be my 5th wedding anniversary. But instead of getting presents made of wood(traditional 5th anniversary gift) or new silverware (modern 5th anniversary gift) I’m becoming reminiscent on this here blog. Let me start off by saying I don’t feel sad today. Not sad for what I lost or sad about where my path has taken me. Just curious about this road through life and how it has more twists and turns than anyone anticipates. I must say I’m at a place in my life (relationship wise) that I’ve always dreamt of being but never really believed in. Yet, here I stand with someone I love more than I can imagine and with whom I am an EQUAL partner. We are responsible for our own happiness which ultimately results in happiness with each other. We understand how to communicate effectively, how to fight fair and how to love like…ok, I don’t have a comparison here but you get my point.
Divorce is tough. It toys with your emotions and keeps you on a rollercoaster ride for as long as you will let it. But it can give you an enormous amount of clarity if you just look deep. I realized after BDNF & I split that it never would have worked. We wanted two separate things out of life. We didn’t have a lot in common. Maybe when we were 17 and first in love but marriage wasn’t the right step for us. Just because it was comfortable & the next logical step in our relationship, didn’t make it right. I did love him and I did try to make it work – but those 17 year old kids grew up to be very different 26 year olds. Different from 10 years ago, and different from each other. Instead of growing old together, we were growing older and apart. We didn’t view the world with the same eyes. We didn’t value the same things. We just weren’t right for each other anymore. So amid all the hurt and drama, I got wrapped up in music. It’s always been the best form of therapy for me. I found myself listening to Alanis Morrisette and realized how much I love the song “21 Things I Want In A Lover.” (you can read the lyrics here). I decided it was time to sit down and figure out 21 things I wanted in a lover (excuse the word lover folks. I know some of you consider this in the same light you think of “making love” but its appropriate so please don’t give me any crap.). So I did. I also created 21 things I wouldn’t stand for in a relationship and posted both lists on MySpace (gimme a break – it was 2007!). I’d forgotten about it but went and looked at it the other day & decided it was the perfect way to celebrate this day. To celebrate my freedom from a marriage that would have kept me down. And to celebrate the fact that I have now found everything I ever wanted in a lover…and so much more than I ever could have imagined. So without any further ado (there’s been enough already!), here are the lists!
21 Things I Want In A Lover
1.) Kisses on the forehead make me swoon. So do kisses on my hips, the back of my neck and the tip of my nose. By the way, don’t do it if you don’t mean it.
2.) Flowers are always a nice surprise. I don’t need roses, they’re overrated. Pick me some wildflowers, they’re free and I’ll know you were thinking of me.
3.) Appreciate me for what I am, how I make you feel and what I do for you. I want someone who appreciates when I cook him dinner and shows his appreciation by cleaning up and doing the dishes…actions will always speak louder than words
4.) Dress me up and take me out. Wine and dine me once in a while and make me feel like I’m worth it. Extra points awarded for telling me I look gorgeous, ordering dessert and picking up the tab.
5.) A love for family is a must. I love mine and you should love yours. While we can’t pick them, they’re ours and we have to stand up for each other. I know you won’t love all my family and I probably won’t love all of yours, but you still have to be nice.
6.) Respect me. All of me. My highs and lows, my ups and downs and most all of, my quirky nature.
7.) Plan on meeting me for lunch. Nothing breaks up the monotony of a work day like spending an hour eating with someone you care about.
8.) Lazy Sunday mornings in bed are my weakness. Pull me in close and play with my hair. Who says you have to get out of bed on the weekend?
9.) I want someone who will pull their weight in a relationship. This means with housework, with affection and most of all, with time. A relationship will never work without both parties compromising and both people practicing some give and take.
10.) Set aside a night each week just for us. Every Wednesday we see some live music or every Sunday we go do karaoke. It doesn’t matter what it is or who might join us, it’s just nice to know there is time each week you can count on and look forward to.
11.) You have to know what’s going on the world. You don’t have to read the paper or watch the news every day but you should know who our president is (doesn’t mean you have to like him).
12.) Someone who loves music is very attractive to me. You don’t have to like my music and I don’t have to like yours but being able to appreciate music for what it is and what it can do for the soul is necessary.
13.) Patience is a virtue and while I don’t possess it all the time, it’s important to know when standing around and tapping your foot while waiting on someone is inappropriate. Be patient with friends, family, children, the elderly and most of all with me, especially when I’m getting all dolled up for you.
14.) I want someone who loves children and wants their own someday as much as I do.
15.) I want someone educated. I don’t mean you need to have your PhD, but correct usage of the English language is something very important to me. So is spelling and the ability to perform basic math functions.
16.) I want someone who can play a round of mini-golf or a game of HORSE and not let me win nor be upset when I do. I love a good competition but I hate sore losers.
17.) I want someone who is passionate about who they are, what they do or what they love. A man who knows good food, wine or cigars and wants to share that knowledge with me is very sexy.
18.) I want someone to understand me. I know it’s not an easy task but even being willing to learn about me and how I work is a step in the right direction
19.) I want someone who doesn’t sweat the small stuff (and most of it is small stuff) but still remembers the little things (like the date of our first kiss or your mother’s birthday)
20.) I want someone who’s not afraid to speak up when they feel they’ve been treated unfairly. We all have a basic human right to be treated with kindness and respect. Don’t violate someone else’s right and don’t let someone else violate yours.
21.) . I want someone who wants to take care of me as much as I want to take care of them. I love cooking dinner and leaving surprise gifts for you to find when you leave for work in the morning. I would love it if someone wanted to do that for me.
21 things I DON’T want in a lover
1.) I understand that your job is something you love and your livelihood but it cannot always come before me.
2.) Treat all people with respect, this includes your mother, my mother and the waitress at the local bar
3.) Don’t talk down to me. I am an adult and condescension is extremely unsexy
4.) You must be open to the idea of marriage. I don’t know if I’ll get married again but I’m not ruling it out.
5.) I would like to have a family – someday. I don’t want to be your baby mama tomorrow but having a family of my own is very important to me and it should be something you would at least consider.
6.) Cockiness is rude and unnecessary. Tone it down and go for self-confidence and you’ll have a much better chance of being with me
7.) While we don’t have to spend every waking moment together, I do want to be a large part of your life and spending a lot of time together is a prerequisite.
8.) I am not your possession. You cannot order me around or loan me out to your friends.
9.) Being a couple doesn’t mean being attached at the hip. We need our own interests, our own friends and our own alone time.
10.) I’m a girl and therefore I cry and get moody. You need to know when to hold me and when to leave me alone. You must never tell me I’m being a crybaby.
11.) I love my family very much and spend a lot of time with them. If you don’t want to join me, tell me. If you do choose to join me, do it with a smile. If you get bored, suggest we go.
12.) When we’re alone and you have a funny thought that makes you chuckle, share it with me because otherwise I’ll think you’re laughing at me. In that case, see 10.
13.) When going out, please dress appropriately. Sneakers are fine with friends and family but not with a shirt and tie. If you’re not sure, ask for help. I enjoy dressing boys…
14.) Assertiveness and competitiveness can be alluring qualities, as long as it’s not over done. You’re opinion is always welcome but it’s not always right.
15.) Don’t be a doormat. I can have a strong personality but I am not scary. If you don’t like the way something is done or you have a different feeling, don’t suck it up, speak up.
16.) I am a woman, not a machine. I have more to offer than being your sex slave. On that note, I’m not always in the mood so don’t think you can talk me into it. Also, if you complain that I’m not initiating but turn me down when I do, stop complaining.
17.) If you can’t look me in the eyes and tell me I’m beautiful first thing in the morning and while fully clothed, don’t say it when you’re drunk and I’m naked.
18.) Sometimes you have to tell me the truth, even when you think it’s gonna hurt. I will put on weight and I will act like my mother. I’d like to prevent this and I’ll need your help doing so. Just make sure you do it in a constructive way or we’re back at 10 again.
19.) I want to learn about the things and people in your life that you care about. I ask the same for the same respect from you. Some days we get to do what I want to do.
20.) If you can’t be affectionate with me in public, don’t try it in private. This means holding hands, hugging and yes, kissing.
21.) Just because I’m a woman does not mean that dishes, laundry and cleaning are exclusively my job. Don’t leave your socks on the floor and then complain the house is a mess. You have two arms and are just as capable as me.
So, all you singles out there reading (Ahem, Bea, Jen, Beth & EI) I encourage you to do the same. It was cathartic and rewarding to write this list. Once I had it on paper I knew I couldn’t go back on my word and give in on any of these things. I don’t think 21 qualities is too much to ask of a person. And if it is, they are probably not the right person. XO