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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to be treated in a relationship. So often we get caught up in the “he likes me!” bliss that we forget to really stop and reflect on how we want to see those words play out into action.
Now let me start by saying this: I am not about to tell you how often a guy should call, what color of flowers he should get you (or if he should get them for you at all), how many times he should tell you that you are pretty or how often he should fly you away to far and distant lands…I’m not that kind of girl. But for the record, I’d rather receive a beautiful cactus than a bouquet of flowers – because that’s the only thing that can manage under my care!
I am talking about how he treats you, and not just is he nice or is he a jerk, but how he behaves in a relationship and whether or not that matches up with your views (assuming they are reasonable) in regards to how you would like to see your relationships play out.
It is important to remember that nobody is perfect, and, subsequently, no relationship is perfect either. We all have to make compromises and we all have to make trade-offs – so you have to decide what it is you are willing to trade-off and what you simply cannot accept. Different people have different values and it is important to understand each other’s values in a relationship and learn to respect them – but you can only compromise so far, and you can only undergo so many ‘trade-offs’ until you are left with something that is not what you had in mind.
What have I decided I want from a relationship? Well, it can be summed up in one sentence: I want to be a needle girl in someone’s haystack world (thank-you Jon Foreman & Switchfoot for pointing this out to me). That’s pretty much it. The real question is, what does this mean to me?
Here is a list:
– I want to be someone’s companion. I want him to see me as more than just ‘that chick that he drives around with’. I want to share in each others’ lives – and not because we feel we ‘ought to’, but because doing so comes naturally.
– I want him to enjoy me in a way that is evident. And not just when he is bored and has nothing else to do on a Sunday night. Feeling like I’m ‘on standby’ is simply not good enough.
– I want consistency. Yes, life gets hectic and schedules change and stuff happens, but I want a sense of consistency not in the sense of ‘we see each other three times each week, with two texts in between and a Facebook message on Fridays’, but in a sense that doesn’t make me wonder. Periods of intense exposure followed by a lack of initiative to spend time together leaves me wondering if he’s “the rooftop killer” (“You’ve Got Mail” anyone?). There is a certain level of anxiety that comes with never knowing when a great time is going to be ‘the last time’ and of insecurity when you think someone enjoys you because they put in effort to see you only for them to appear to have lost interest in spending time with you completely based upon no specific incident or act – and then have them come back around again (*ahem* Hot & Cold).
– I want him to care. This may seem like a given, but I don’t just mean ‘care’ in a global sense that one may assume comes with any relationship; I mean to care on those intricate levels. To care enough to call you up or send a text asking how your day was, or how the exam went, or if you’re feeling better. There need not be any regulation as to how frequent these messages should come, but rather just a certain consistency that lets you know you are thought of.
– I want understanding and grace. I am not perfect. No one is. Therefore, I would like a mutual understanding of each other’s strengths and our weaknesses. How can there be forgiveness without understanding? And how can there be love without forgiveness?
Those are just some things I came up with off the top of my head. I think it is important that we realize that flowers and flirty text messages and gifts in pretty-ribboned boxes and trips to the Bahamas (though that does sound wonderful) are not what really matters. These things are just surface and they come a dime a dozen (not literally, of course!) and people who offer only ‘a dime a dozen’ gifts do so because they view you as a dime a dozen as well. Desire more than that! Look to be a needle girl in a haystack world.
I am holding out for that. I am holding out to be “a needle girl in a haystack world” – even if it means I have to turn down what I thought I always wanted.
I am waiting for the follow-through. Because “I like you” is not enough.
Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.
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