It isn’t about being #1, being the best, or being the most memorable.
Nor is it about perfection, the most exquisite display of skill, or even a bag of tricks.
At least to me. If it is to you, the reader, then that’s all you and for your partner or partners.
It isn’t about it being unblemished, or even appearing to be.
I don’t look for perfection, not because I acknowledge and recognize that I am not, but because it’s unnecessary and impossible for an unquantifiable concept with so many variables and moving parts.
And if you’re still wondering what exactly I am talking about, it isn’t sex. Although intimacy does factor into this.
I’m talking about relationships. I know “relationships” doesn’t start with the letter “D”, but follow along for a bit, and you’ll catch the D (or Deez) in this post.
A few years back, a friend of mine who was a fellow wingman for our respective drinking buddies came upon a concept that has caused many awkward discussions as well as clarified so many interactions – The DTR. At some point in every relationship, there needs to be a DTR: Determine The Relationship. Now whatever the relationship is between Adam and Eve, Jane and Joan, or Tom’s dick and Harry, it’s a discussion that needs to be addressed. Whether your relationship is FWB, monogamous/exclusive, open, complicated, bf/gf, casually dating, engaged, married, arranged, whatever, addressing this can answer a lot of questions and save a lot of trouble in the future.
Sharing a DTR with your partner is more than just about labeling, clarifying, or identifying whatever the hell is going on between you two. Several things can be learned from this interaction.
- Your levels of communication and openness with each other.
- Level of commitment to whatever the situation is
- Perspectives on dating
- Feelings about each other
That’s just a short list off the cuff, but you get what I’m saying. Much can be learned from addressing one “simple” topic.
For myself, knowing what I look for (or want, if you will) in dating/courting and in a relationship is general but still specific.
- Physical Intimacy
- Teamwork, shared goals, partnership
I believe the first four in this latter list are self-explanatory (but if not, feel free to comment, and I will be sure to clarify). However, I want to focus on #5: partnership.
For some, opposites attract. For others, they want someone exactly like them. For myself, I just to be sure that my partner and I are working towards the same goals, whatever we decide they are together. Whether it is starting a business, starting a family, traveling the globe, being hermits, mountain people, or whatever, as long as we are honest with each other, we communicate our ideas, challenges, and achievements, have a lot of fun along the way, and appreciate each other physically as well as emotionally, we’re doing it in a way that only we can in our relationship. A relationship that only we can create and cultivate on our own as a team. We could not share a relationship with anyone else the way that we can with each other. Our relationship is our own evolving piece of art, and because there are so many moving parts is exactly why I do not look for perfection. I strive for shared effort for goals that are created together and are only attainable together.
But this is where it gets tough for some people. Answering the question that has been plagued so many dinner plans and date nights, to the point where it has been memed and GIFd so many ways.
People love to tell me what I want. And I’ve been accused of telling people what they want. One ex actually told me that I’m so crafty and conniving that I convince people I am what they want (no, honey, that’s just you not knowing for sure what you want and taking a chance on something that looks promising…).
Yes, I’m divorced. Yes, I was engaged twice before I met my ex-wife. Yes, I would love to get married and share a wonderful marriage. Yes, I would love to raise children. Yes, I would totally appreciate a house, a car, and all of that.
But that doesn’t mean that’s what I look for in every relationship.
What comes from a relationship is not decreed by me alone. It is planted by my partner and I. It is watered, cultivated, and sown by the both of us. Everything that happens to it, all of it, is up to us to push through, bring with, leave behind, or whatever.
I don’t look for a wedding or even a marriage. I don’t look for a future with children of our own. I don’t look for someone that has a job that pays really well, or someone that can cook the best pizza ever. I don’t look for specific achievements as my primary goal.
What I look for in a long-term, rest of my life relationship is a best friend.
I want someone that, although you may never actually know everything about me, you want to learn everything about me and you make an effort to. I want someone that wants to share everything you with me, not because you feel like you have to, but because you want to, and that learning about you will only help me love you better.
I want you to be the one I can always run to, and I want to be the one you know you can always run to first. I know there will be times when I can’t run to you, and vice versa, but I want you to know you’re always my first choice.
I want to be there when you don’t feel like getting out of bed to face the world, and also when you feel like the queen of the world. I want all your ugly, awkward, uncomfortable moments, as well as your glamorous, brilliant, sexy ones.
I want someone that wants to make sure I am never alone, and wants me to be the one that makes sure you’re never alone.
I want my best friend to be someone that always knows I always love her. I want to always be loved by her. I want someone that knows I need all of it, but will also be there to give you all of it.
I want a best friend that will play rock, paper, scissors with me to see who makes coffee this time. I want a best friend that wants to learn about all the weird things that I do, and that isn’t afraid to share the weird things that she does. I want to share all my fears with you and for you to feel safe enough to share yours with me.
I want you to know that me feeling insecure or scared about certain things isn’t a reflection of how I feel about you. And I know that your feelings of insecurity and fear are not reflections of how you feel about me. When I share my feelings with you, it’s because I want you to know them. It’s because I feel safe with you. It’s because I know you won’t judge me, and that you’ll still love me and want to work on us together.
I want a best friend who will team up with me to create the greatest piece of art that this world has never seen. Something that only we can create. Something that cannot be duplicated. Something that only you and I, as we are now, with the pasts that we’ve had, can collaborate on and cultivate each and every day.
Whether we get married or not isn’t something I need to know now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t think about it or bring it up. Just because I want to buy a house doesn’t mean I need to buy one now. Whether we have children or not is not a decision we need to make today, but it’s something I’m open to discussing with you, since neither of us can do it alone – literally. I don’t expect you to know how to address every little quirk and hiccup and scrape, but I do want to know that you want to learn how to, and that I will do all of these things for you too.
I want a lot of things, and many of them are actually just bonuses or products of our friendship, so I really don’t need them. What I want is you, my best friend. It’s one of those weird paradoxes because you can’t just apply to be one and be it, it takes work, and I know that. I don’t know how to relationship perfectly (yes, I just used “relationship” as a verb), but what I do know is that I know how to love. And I do. A lot. Openly. And when I love I go all in.
I don’t want to force you to change, and I would hope for the same respect from you. But I what I am open to, and will probably do, is evolve as I learn more, because learning about someone and growing from it and adapting to it is something you do when you love someone.
So that’s what I want…in a short answer 😉 That’s my definition of what I want in a relationship. That’s the D for day. (Not to be confused with D-day.) I believe that every relationship should have this D.