Now that summer’s almost underway and I am making a change of plans in my career and lifestyle paths, I have some time to deal with some things on my mind. One of them is the continual number of people that I want to be around rejecting me, and the people I don’t want in my life wanting me around.
That may be a mean way to look at things, but from my point of view, it is necessary. While I believe everyone is capable of change, and that people are able to be anything they really want to be, I don’t have the time, patience or skill to make those kind of drastic changes in someones life – nor should I. While I don’t mind helping someone who wants to lose weight, I should not be the main reason for that change, nor should I be the one pushing it onto someone else.
Likewise, some behaviors and beliefs are more difficult to change. While we can easily point to someone whose constant visits to the all-you-can-eat buffets lead them to a dependence on insulin shots and heart monitors, it’s harder to show how the actions we take as adults impact our children’s futures. As much as I’d rather not be alone, I’d also rather not be responsible for not giving any kids I have the best possible futures they can have.
So what am I looking for in someone?
- Behavior, or how you treat others. This one is big – huge – in my world, and with good reason. Most of the women I reject have attitudes and behaviors I disagree with. For example, they let their kids run around like wild children, misbehaving as they like, staying up for odd hours of the night or doing crazy stuff. Likewise, there are some parents to strict and scary that anything might set them off. This is something that can be observed even in non-parents: How they treat their animals, friends and family is almost a reflection of how they’d treat kids. If you make me cringe, scared or concerned, I will dump you.
- Looks are very important. I don’t ever expect to date any Playboy models or red carpet queens – and many of these women aren’t worth approaching anyway. However, I’m not looking for the next supermodel – I just want to know that you’re really taking care of yourself. Many of the problems I have now are the end result of not doing my best to take care of my health – spending too much time in fast food joints and all-you can eat buffets, and not enough time camping, biking, swimming or even walking. I’m a firm believer that is big is not beautiful, that looking like you have parts chunking or swooshing about you can’t be healthy. I don’t want some rail-thin twig in my life, but I don’t want to date someone who looks like a cross between a human and a rhinoceros or elephant either. I’ll give anyone a chance, but your attitude and actions about this will determine how long I stay.
- I have to be comfortable around you. This one is extremely difficult to do, but is crucial to our relationship. As much as I’d like to say I can weather anything, the truth of the matter is that I really need to be able to trust you. I need to know, if I mess up or do something you don’t agree with, that you’re not dumping me the next day. If I can’t trust you to do that, and if I have reason to believe you’ll run out of my life, we’re not going to work. (This I speak with experience – my last relationship failed because neither of us could trust the other.)
- We’re Equal. This is one of those things where I should not have to say it, but from what I see, no one understands. I may not bleed monthly, grow kids in my belly (I don’t have a womb to grow them in, either!), and will probably not be as good looking as, or cook as awesomely, as you. Whatever my shortcomings are, I’m not going to tolerate someone controlling or manipulating me, nor will I tolerate talking about how you’re better than, or in control of, me. I don’t want to tell you what to do or how to live your life, either – I want to see you as an equal, as a partner and a friend, not as competition. I view it as respect, and those sort of things show a clear lack of.
- Make our time count! I should not feel like I have to give ALL of my time and energy to you, nor do I expect you to do that for me. However, we should not be so far apart as to not give each other those moments daily, whether it’s cuddling while watching TV, sharing some quality shower and massage time, or going on little trips and adventures. One of my bigger mistakes was neither supporting any efforts my ex made to have her alone time, or to allow her that – nor did I make the time we had together as enjoyable as it could have been. I’d like to enjoy my hobbies, get the projects I need to done, and when I feel it is right, share in my hobbies and interests, and learn from you with your hobbies and interests as well.
Part of the reason I am making the efforts I am to change and improve myself and my quality of life is knowing that I’m not where I feel equal in these matters – expecting you to take care of yourself, for example, is very unfair when there was a long time when I didn’t. That’s also the reason why it’s there and why I am working on those things, because I now have injuries and hurts I would not have had I taken better care of myself. I’m not going to ask of you what I do not expect of myself, and It’s why my emphasis is more on behavior than on looks.
I won’t blame anyone for rejecting me anymore – but I try to make sure to have a solid reason for rejecting someone as well. If you see what I am looking for as a problem, say so and back out – I’d rather have your honesty than you try and waste each other’s time.
One last thing: There is a lot I can look past and can forgive. Don’t take any of these as bullets for breaking the relationship – if I’m giving you an honest chance and you’re breaking one of these, we’ll talk about it when I feel it is right. I know people can change, and I know I’ve forgiven these things before.
If you can pass these tests, and accept me for who I am, we can go a long way together.