dating / EXs / my relationship with me / relationships

I Think That Elbow To The Face Might Have Knocked Some Sense Into Me.

This past weekend I was talking to this guy at the bar (pre-black eye) who had been trying get with my friend, or any of them I guess. I’m pretty blunt sometimes and I came right out and told that he didn’t have a chance with any of my friends with the kind of game he was putting out there. It was worse than the time my friend Mike tried to pick up a couple of girls at the hockey game using his Cauliflower ear. He thought they’d know what caused it and that they’d be impressed. No.
We’d been talking for a while, eventually coming around to dates and relationships, when I kind of had an epiphany.

It dawned on me that I’ve never actually thought about what I want out of a relationship or what kind of person I want to be with. I’ve always just gone with the flow and explored my options as they came to me but I’ve never sat down and thought about what makes me happy.
I’ve always been content with the way things worked up until this last time.

I felt like I was constantly saying: “This is exactly what I need to be happy.”
And he was saying, “Oh,” and not doing anything about it.

For almost a year we had the exact same argument, every time we argued.
Him telling me that he needed space and that I wouldn’t “allow” him to have it and me telling him that I needed space too so feel free to go do whatever you want.

Honest, no matter what started the argument or disagreement, it always ended like this:

JME: “I just need some space. I’m home all day (or at work all day) and I just don’t have time just for me. I feel like if I go to the gym or go out with my friends you get upset because I’m not spending all of my free time with you.”

Me: “I’ve been up since 6, at school all day, cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, caring for the little dude and dealing with whatever the meltdown of the day was. I don’t get upset when you go to workout or go out with your friends, in fact I look forward to the two hours at night when you go to the gym because that’s MY time. I need space too you know.”

JME: “You don’t like when I go out with my friends.”

Me: “If I didn’t like when you go out with your friends why would I suggest that you call them up to go out like once a week? It’s not my fault you never want to.”

JME: “Well if YOU suggest it then it’s like you’re giving me permission to go out. I don’t need permission.”

Me: ” If I suggest it it’s not me giving you permission – you can go out whenever you’d like. When I suggest it, it’s usually because I need some space that night.”

Annnnd repeat weekly or bi-weekly as you wish.

It was mind-blowingly frustrating to go into any discussion knowing that it was going to end in that argument.
I hated that.
I honestly think that it was a big part of what ruined our relationship. I don’t know what we were doing wrong but clearly our communication skills were not up to par.

The next time I date somebody I want to go into it with expectations.
I want to know when something isn’t working for me before we get too deep.

I want to feel secure enough in what we have that I can feel comfortable saying “This is how I’m feeling right now and this is what I need you to do to fix it,” and not feel that my feelings are so unimportant that they don’t even warrant a discussion.
I don’t need a lot. I don’t need presents – If I want flowers or candy or jewellery, I can buy my own.
What I’m looking for is much more intangible.
If I’m having a shitty day and I need you to tell me that you love me and everything is going to be okay – I’ll tell you that’s exactly what I need to hear if you haven’t said it already.
If I ask you if you miss me, it isn’t because you don’t tell me enough, it’s just because I need to hear it in that moment.

The Ex once told me that the person who ends up hurt in a relationship is the one who cared more than the other.
I don’t like to think about it like that.
I like to think that what I’m putting into a relationship and taking away from it is exactly what my partner is putting in and taking away as well.
We are equals and we are equally invested.
Nobody cares more than somebody else does…

I want respect.
I guess that falls under getting back what you’re putting out but I thought it deserved it’s own little paragraph.

Almost 95% of the time I am not angry or bitter about things that have gone wrong and I won’t carry baggage from past relationships into future relationships.
It’s unfair.
At the same time I don’t have any place in my life for sketchy and shady things going on behind my back.
If we choose to be in an exclusive relationship with each other, then be in it.
I want to be the only girl on your mind.
Maybe that’s selfish, but it’s also honest.

Have your own likes, dislikes and preferences. Don’t base them on mine.
If we have a lot in common that is amazingly awesome! If we don’t then at least tolerate mine and I will respectfully do the same for you.
Tease me all you want about about having Kid Rock, Gary Allen, Pat Benatar and Amon Amarth on the same playlist but don’t tell me I “can’t” play it.

Let me preface this one by saying that I know how utterly ridiculous it is going to sound:
I want to be with somebody that is going to ask me how my day was, or how I am, on a regular basis.
I know it’s a small thing.
I know that it shouldn’t really matter.
But it does.

When we broke up The Ex told me that he knew I had checked out of our relationship when I stopped asking how his day was. That statement always stuck with me and I never really understood it. I get it now. Over the last few months with JME, through all of the really rough stuff, he stopped asking. And I noticed.
He would literally go almost 2 months without asking. It hurt my feelings in the strangest way.
I can’t really describe it, or truly even understand it myself, but it helped me learn that I do want somebody who cares enough to ask me how my day was.

I believe that the past should be left in the past and the present is what we make of it but I think what’s truly important is where we see our futures going. I know what I want, I have for as long as I can remember. It may change, but for right now it is what it is.
If your retirement plans are to buy a condo in the city and a timeshare in a “no-children allowed” retirement community down south, then I think we might need to rethink things.
THIS is where I want to retire. A cottage or a cabin, a lake and quite possibly miles of nothingness on the outskirts of Bala. Or, you know, any of the thousands of places like it in North America. I’m flexible. I think my point is that if what we want in the end is that different, then somebody is going to end up unhappy. That isn’t fair to either of us and perhaps we have different philosophies on life.. you know?

I need to be with somebody who is genuine.
Kind, compassionate, open-minded and laid back.
Someone who is open to the idea of me exploring my faith a little bit and doesn’t think it’s funny..
Somebody I can relax around and just feel comfortable being me.
Who doesn’t mind snuggling with me and acting stupid and silly with me should the mood strike.
I like holding hands, kissing and an arm around my waist.
I want a little bit of romance – even if it’s just a stroll through the park.

Lastly, I want to be with somebody who wants children. I love my son, he’s my world and I want somebody who is open to loving him too – if that makes sense. It’s no secret that I’m crazy for babies. All of my friends are having more right now and I feel so lucky to get to play the part of “auntie” to them. I love holding them, and making them laugh. The way they smell and how soft they are and getting to buy teeny tiny baby things.. Yeah. I’m crazy for babies.
But it’s only made something painfully clear for me: I want more. I’m not sure I could be with somebody who didn’t.
If he doesn’t want children, it’s a clear cut deal breaker for me.

So I don’t have a checklist of criteria or anything but I have some ideas about what I want.
I’ve had an unusually significant amount of time to think about it lately and I had a really great talk with Kelly about men and relationships on Saturday. I know there’s going to be more to come – and it will probably be explained a little bit better but this was just enough to clear my head so I can get my sleep.

What are some of your needs, wants and deal breakers?

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12 thoughts on “I Think That Elbow To The Face Might Have Knocked Some Sense Into Me.

  1. “Have your own likes, dislikes and preferences. Don’t base them on mine.”

    That’s a BIG one. I think my marriage went downhill b/c I no longer had them when we moved to the country and I knew NO ONE for years.

    “Let me preface this one by saying that I know how utterly ridiculous it is going to sound:
    I want to be with somebody that is going to ask me how my day was, or how I am, on a regular basis.
    I know it’s a small thing.
    I know that it shouldn’t really matter.
    But it does.”

    Why did you preface that saying it’s silly? It’s really, really NOT silly. It’s really important that they show an interest in your day. I totally get that!

    “Lastly, I want to be with somebody who wants children. I love my son, he’s my world and I want somebody who is open to loving him too – if that makes sense. ”

    This was a big one for me. I wanted someone who would LOVE my kids. I do…they’re really freaking awesome if I do say so myself so I wanted someone who could love them. However, I’m “fixed” and I knew I’d not be having more kids so the wanting their own wouldn’t matter as much to me. I’m 37 now. I would probably feel different if I were younger….and that also means I probably wouldn’t be married to DH b/c he never, ever wanted kids. He loves mine…but they’re nearly 13 and 11 so they’re not “kids” per se. He might have felt way different if they were younger, too. Hard to say.

    Deal breakers: talking down to me…ever.
    Not understanding the relationship I still have with The Ex.
    Not wanting to hang w/my family.
    Not understanding my need for GNO occasionally
    Not hanging out at kids’ soccer games 🙂

    • It just feels silly because it feels like something I shouldn’t HAVE to say but at the same time, I do.
      For such a small thing, it weighs pretty heavily on my heart.

      I want to add all of your deal breakers to my list. lol
      Even the last one!
      (As of today, I am officially a soccer mom too!)

  2. A lot of mine are the same as yours. Be yourself, let me have space, don’t lie. Lying is a dealbreaker for me. Once I know you’re a liar, it’s off. You can’t have love without trust & I’ll never be able to trust you once you’ve lied.

  3. If he doesn’t know how to work as a part of team – I’m out. Most of the time when I was married to RAB I felt like his mother because he had such an issue with working as a part of a team.

  4. Honestly, it can take a long time before a man “wakes up” enough to be able to realize that the “me time” isn’t nearly as important as the “us time”.

    I was like that at the beginning of my relationship with Sunshine…and we’re in a long-distance relationship!!

    So yeah…it took me 38 years to truly realize what’s more important. I’m just hoping you find a man LONG before that who realizes the importance of the relationship and appreciates the awesomeness that he has in you.

    • I think “us time” is an essential part of every relationship – and so is “me time.”
      Me time is much easier to have, in theory, when you’re in a long distance relationship.
      Everybody needs some time to decompress.

      “Us time” can be something that makes or breaks a relationship too. Going through the motions isn’t going to cut it – it has to be some quality stuff, at least some of the time.
      I always love seeing your photos after a weekend with Sunshine, it looks like you both truly enjoy and value the time you get to spend together.

      I don’t know, the next 13 years could creep up on me faster than I expect but I hope so too!

  5. Oh girl, what a perfect list! The funny thing is that it’s all so simple. To be all of that for you, a guy wouldn’t have to bend over backwards or anything. He just has to love you, care about you, respect you, and see a future with you. The security thing and being able to tell him how you feel hit a nerve with me. In the past, I shut down completely when it came to my feelings because I was so afraid if I voiced them than it would be over. I never want to feel that way again. I truly believe you’re going to find your perfect lasting love someday soon. I’m pulling for you.

    • It seems simple to me too but it kind of worries me at the same time.
      If it’s so simple, why haven’t I found it – you know?

      There was a time when I’d continuously made my feelings known and I truly made an effort to fix things.. but eventually I got to the point where I shut down too. Not because I was afraid to voice them but because I was tired of having too.
      It might be different if I was more subtle, or hinting at it, but I wasn’t.
      I tried my hardest. Did my best.

      I’m right with you on not wanting to feel that way again.

      We’ll both find somebody perfect for us.
      🙂

  6. I love this. I think it’s way awesome that you have time to consider these things. Many people do just “go with the flow”. Kudos to you for defining what you want and what feels good to you. That way, you’ll know it when it’s there… or not there.

    Great post!

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