In one day, I leave for Rhode Island, to begin preparation for my sister, Devin’s, wedding. Have I mentioned before that I will be officiating it? Yes, in fact, I am a Reverend.
Seriously. I have a certificate and everything.
I will be taking the computer and my kicky new camera, so I can hopefully download a play-by-play of the week, which hopefully involves a lot of beach time, leisure reading, and good ol’ family fun. I am really excited for it all, for the vacation, and for the celebration that my sister so very much deserves.
As the pending nuptials loom on the horizon, I have begun thinking about what I would want from a life partner. I am 31 (just turned – did I mention that?;) and while I never really thought marriage was what I wanted (still don’t really), I do embrace the idea of a solid, healthy, long-term relationship.
Recently, I have has a number of incredible people in my life to whom I have turned as I go through the transition of new and changing relationships. They have guided me as I have begun to sort out what I expect, what I want, what I deserve. And I have come to this:
I want someone that smiles when they think about me.
Sounds simple, yeah?
But look closer – there’s more to it.
In that statement, I expect to be thought about, I expect to be considered, I expect to be cared for. I expect that the other person not only thinks about me, but thinks about something I said/did to make them smile. It could be a snappy one-liner I threw out, or a funny look I gave, or my obsession with Gummy Bears, or the way I hold an invisible microphone and sing every song on the radio, or the soap-box stances I take, or the way I laugh at myself when I trip, or the fact that I don’t drink alcohol but love to get jacked up on coffee, or the way the area between my eyes crinkles when I think really hard.
I expect to be appreciated.
I expect that the other person has, at some point, looked at me and thought, “I am so lucky I could explode.” And then later thought it again, causing the smile.
I expect that, in the thought that made them smile, they anticipate being with me again.
I expect that the smile will lead to a phone call, just to say, “Hi.”
I expect “cards on the table,” a true and honest inventory of their feelings.
I expect to be called on my shit, and then to be stuck by as I struggle to fix it.
I expect them to allow me to do the same back.
I expect to have my hand held.
I expect to be both listen to and heard.
I expect health and a willingness for reflection.
Is this a tall order? Perhaps. And this list is just the beginning. And by no means do I expect the other person to be perfect. Far from it, as I am far less than perfect myself. I have my flaws, but I have also been working hard on identifying them, and making changes in my life to put me in a better place.
I expect that the other is willing to do this, too.
Believe me, I have no fantasies of the “ideal” love, or the fairy tale life where “love conquers all.” But I don’t think my list is unrealistic. I think everyone should expect this. And this also isn’t all about what I want - in return, I would give that person all that and more. I would hope that they would expect that, too. Even Steven.
I expect reciprocity.
My needs are simple. I don’t require a particular career, or car, or house, or style of clothes (although I used to have this thing about wearing the right shoes – don’t ask, I’m over it now…sort of…unless it involves socks and sandals….then yes, there’s still an issue). Because you can’t see this stuff in the dark. You can’t see this stuff in the glow of the light over dinner in a dark corner of a restaurant. You can’t see this stuff in the tough times that inevitably will happen, and through which you will have to persevere together.
It’s in those tough times, that I hope both me and the other can recall the time when we thought about each other, and smiled.