So I’ve been growing so anxious lately in anticipation of graduation and sick of the never ending winter, and I realized I haven’t written in a while. Which is sad, because two of my best friends have recently begun seeing guys and I, of course, have been living vicariously through them as I’ve been off the market for a while. I felt the butterflies when they first told us about him, I was heartbroken with them when they were disappointed, and I cheered when my friend told me things were official. This all got me to thinking about the things we DO deserve in any kind of relationship- whether it’s a boyfriend or a husband-to-be. I’ve talked so much lately about how too many people want the “perfect” man and have too high of expectations. But the real problem lies in the things that we’re willing to accept instead- the lacking commitment, the talking to other women, etc. So here’s what you DO deserve, and need:
Every person deserves excitement. Whether it’s butterflies, joy that a friendship is turning into something more, hopefulness for the future, etc. I’m not saying you have to be over the moon every second- because sometimes things start off slower, but I once tried to make things happen with a guy who was clearly nothing more than a friend to me. I wasn’t feeling it, and therefore wasn’t excited- to see him, for the future, and to make things official.
When is it a bad sign? Your butterflies are more like ulcers. I had this happen to me with a guy before and it wasn’t pretty. I thought that was how it was supposed to be. I thought that not being able to eat when I thought about him was normal. Um… no. probably not. especially for someone who loves food as much as I do. It was anxiety and nerves because he was talking to other girls and wasn’t really mine. and it drove me crazy, for years, sadly.
I know this is such a cliche thing to say, but he needs to be able to make you laugh. I don’t care if you’re a serious type, you can’t tell me you never laugh. He doesn’t need to be a comedian or a total goofball, but you need to be able to see the humor in life. It makes things so much easier when you can laugh together. Those who laugh together love harder, feel better, and hold fewer grudges. Ok, I just made that up, but it’s probably true.
when is it a warning sign? When you are forcing your laughs. When you WANT to find him funny because you like him so darn much. When he laughs AT you when you make a mistake or do something less than bright. Seems obvious, I know, but so many people ignore this. Your partner should not be a bully. Besides, don’t you think it’ll be so much better when your future baby keeps you up all night (assuming that’s what you want) and you can both laugh about it in the morning when you fall asleep in your cheerios instead of fighting about who did more?
This is a tricky one. It may seem like I’m being captain obvious here, but if the person you like/love/whatever is willing and wanting to commit to you- whether by not seeing any other people, by becoming facebook official, giving you a promise ring, engagement, etc. there is so much more hope and security in your relationship. I have much personal experience with this. Before I met T, I never had an official boyfriend. But did I go on dates? Yup. Was I sort of kind of seeing people? Yup. (not at the same time, calm down). And every. single. time. I made the same vital flaw. I avoided having the “what are we” talks. Well, not so much avoided, but I never seemed to notice that these talks were always missing. The guys never really brought it up. My favorite (in a sarcastic, he disgusts me kind of “favorite”) is a guy who was I was seeing right before I met T. This guy had just gotten out of a long term relationship, but I thought that the rebound period was over. He promised me one night that he would “never hurt me” after an emotional moment of me telling him about the guy that broke my heart so badly. Then, ladies and gentlemen, he pinky shook. He pinky promised me he would never hurt me. So cheesy, so weird. At the time I was like “uhhh unless you marry me right now, which I don’t even want, there is no way you can promise that.” and I was right. A few weeks later he asked another girl to be his girlfriend. AND THEY ARE STILL DATING TO THIS DAY. sickening right? bleh. And the guy before him? The one I told him about? There were so many moments when I could have asked him to clarify the situation, but I didn’t. I was afraid. Afraid that he would run, afraid that the answer would be no. So instead I did a lot of high school girl cryptic facebook statues and whining to my friends. And what happened? He asked another girl to prom and ended things anyway. My life people. Proof you need to have the talk.. even if it’s hard. Please save yourself from finding stuff out like I did. I don’t care what excuse he gives, if you’ve been dating for a while, he knows where it’s going, whether he lets you in on it or not.
sorry for the rant.
A lot of good relationship books suggest you narrow your impossible mr. right list down to 3-5 things of MUST-HAVES. I think that trust must be one of those. Kailey 5 years ago would never have thought to include that on a dream man list, and that’s so naive. There are some things that are just non-negotiable. Some things that if you don’t have, the relationship will never work out, no matter what. My five things are 1. Trust 2. Wants Kids/would make a good dad 3. Financially stable (doesn’t have to be a millionaire, but I prefer he doesn’t make $7.40 an hour at mickey d’s part time) 4. Makes me laugh 5. Patient
I strongly suggest everyone (men and women) reconsider the things that truly matter to them. These are the dealbreakers and they are important to know. I never understood how people can marry someone who doesn’t want kids when they very clearly do (hello grey’s anatomy), clearly this is going to be a problem somewhere down the line.
so um. what were we talking about here? Oh yeah, trust. Make sure you know he wouldn’t lie to you. I know in the deepest part of my heart that T would never intentionally (or unintentionally actually. he really is that good of a guy) hurt me and will never cheat on me. And that means a whole heck of a lot.
He doesn’t need to make you breakfast in bed every day or propose to you in a huge elaborate choreographed routine in public (in fact, he probably shouldn’t. Am I the only one who the thought of that makes me cringe? Sorry, I like privacy. A few close friends and family TOPS when my day comes. Or alone. That’s all I ask.)
So what should he do? He should make the effort to see how you are doing, ask about your day, ask questions, pay attention. He should make sure you get to your car safely, ask if you want anything to drink at his house, and maybe dress in your favorite shirt now and then. T wears the cologne I got him because he knows I like it. He asks for my opinion on date outfits. In the past he has surprised me on separate occasions with arnold palmer ice tea, popcorn and chocolate (I eat it together sometimes), and flowers. This doesn’t need to be every day and they don’t need to be store-bought things. I leave him little notes every where- from under his pillow, to the notes section on his phone, to between the pages of a book. It’s my way of reminding him that I love him. He wrote me a letter and put it on my car before to surprise me. (I though I got a ticket for a second coming out of work. yikes. haha)
Your guy (or gal) should make you feel loved and special. Even the littlest things, like holding your hand in public and offering to carry her coat mean a lot.
That’s all I have for today… Love your loved ones, pet your dogs, and stay warm as the never-ceasing winter continues.