Women generally spend a lot of time thinking about their relationships. We spend time fantasizing about who it will be , how it will be, and pondering what is important to us. I’m not just talking about the superficial stuff but all that other stuff too. Many of us have failed in relationships before and know what we do and do not want. We know what we will and will not accept. We are sure where those boundaries fall……..and then I found myself 10 years in pining away for things I never thought I would care about, much less deeply desire. Who is this person? I can only assume she was always there and I just ignored her feelings back then. These 13 things truly surprised me when I sat down to think about what I really had been missing.
I wanted my guy to find me sexy and all those things, but I also knew they weren’t important. What I didn’t expect was to need his attraction so deeply as we grew closer. Not just on a good day but on a deep, ugly cry , no makeup day I need to know that he still sees me as beautiful. I don’t mean I need to hear him tell me I’m still pretty in my yoga pants. I need to feel that he truly believes I’m still pretty in those yoga pants….with stains and spit up.
I don’t mean a partner needs to go to the same church as me but I want him to share my core thoughts on religion and spirituality or lack of. I really didn’t expect how much it would hurt my heart when we disagree on something like this. The truth is, when you are passionate about something you want to share it with someone you are passionate about. You love your partner and you don’t want them to miss out on your truth. Faith comes from such a deep place inside yourself. You give a portion of that place to everyone you love but a bigger slice goes to your mate .
Dating was an adventure , thankfully thats over (well,maybe not). No more worrying about coffee breath or that patch of leg hair you missed!!! But what replaces that excitement? I have found the cure! We swapped that young lover excitement for adventure. Nothing is better than experiencing life with your lover. We have stories of dragging 7 kids to Rome at Christmas. We have sexual adventures, trying things we swore we wouldn’t. We have disaster style adventures, such as boarding a ferry to Alaska only to find out I get sea sick and adopting a 140b dog with epilepsy. These adventures become our story and I get down right depressed when the next one isn’t on the horizon.
When I originally dove head first into this marriage I did it because that was what made me happy. I dearly loved this man and being with him was what I wanted. I assumed it made him happy but I never really asked. The feminist in me expected to seek mutual happiness but what I’m finding is that a huge part of me cares for his happiness regardless of mine. Not that I’m always willing to sacrifice my joy for his but I have a yearning to see him joyful whether or not I am myself.
What?? I actually want time apart from this person I love so much. Yes , Yes I do. It shocked me the day I realized I really just wanted some time to myself.
A child, an animal, maybe even a home or a project. I’m finding I need the feeling that we care greatly about something besides just each other. We have found that in raising our children together but I know many couples without children who bond the same way. In the beginning I didn’t feel this need but I see it among all of my friends in long term relationships. Take Chip and Joanna or Beyonce and Jay Z for example. Creating together is passion.
I don’t exactly expect my husband to love dumpster diving around Europe, but I do need him to understand my joy and respect it enough to give me a boost, watch the kids so I can go with the girls, or MAYBE reach in when I think I saw some Burberry. It is crushing to have someone belittle something you truly find happiness in, no matter if its wrapping a baby on your back like origami, training for a marathon, rescuing cats or rock climbing. We all have unexplainable things that simple make us smile and you should never lose them.
I have friends, he has friends…I don’t need help….but somehow I do. This person will accompany you to grown up events, or be there when your friends come over. A partner can enhance or squash your social life without even trying. Sometimes we all get in a funk or find that people we meet just aren’t interested in making a connection. We all know making friends can be as stressful as dating. It’s helpful when my partner is encouraging and reminds me that I’m not scary looking or evil and can be even more helpful if he introduces me to people outside of my bubble that I might never have connected with. It will be your partner who can peel you off the couch when a friendship falls apart or simply notices your need to get out and connect with other humans.
I can do anything, ANYTHING! alone and on my own if I have to….but there are very few things I can manage to get done with someone watching me from a recliner. Having someone who just wont do anything can be really hard on a relationship. Sometimes you want help but sometimes you need it, always be willing to help out your mate when they are struggling.
I’ve mentioned more than once how stressful dating can be but it is also exciting. After the loathsome dating period where you stress on how you act and look, you find relief when you settle into love. Shortly after you discover that they grow and change just like you do. Perpetual dating is the answer to get to know your partner as it happens instead of discovering one day that you have grown apart. Don’t stress this one because its never to late to start dating them again.
I thought choosing a partner meant settling down, but in fact it meant the opposite. Instead of just one, now you are riding two roller coasters. Often you feel like they are going in different directions. I need my partner to keep volunteering for the ride. Twists and turns come in the form of job change, moves, income loss, childbirth, car wrecks, illness, you name it. I know I’m starting to sound a lot like a marriage vow but the truth is flexibility is important for any couple. Don’t try so hard to hold on to yourself that you cause someone you love to lose their dream.
I’ll be honest, I was preparing for a life long sleepover with my very best friend with benefits. I wasn’t really thinking about the fact that life together 24.7 means this person will see you on the toilet, pop the boil on your butt, or help you shave your legs when your pregnant belly prevents it. It gets even worse. This person is gonna clean your vomit, and might even change your diaper when your old…..if your lucky! and I truly mean lucky because this requires the deepest of all loves. If you get to that point you have made it!!!
I didn’t even think about this one when I got into a relationship but nothing can be more toxic than hating each other’s family. In contrast, few things can bring you closer than being loved and accepted by another family. This applies even if you already have a great one. I have been blessed first hand to be called daughter by a mother in law who truly means it and I think we have all seen relationships crumble under the stress of meddling family. Unfortunately you don’t have a whole lot of control over this unexpected need so my best advice is just to prepare emotionally.