Dear Future Man,
Hello. I was just talking to my sister about relationships and it started me thinking about what I want for myself, what I’ll accept or tolerate from a future partner.
Please don’t take offense at my use of the word “tolerate”, it’s meant to define . . . . okay, it’ means exactly that, what I’m not willing to tolerate, ever again, from a man in my life. A very brief personal history - because of broken promises, cheating, lying, etc., you know, the whole shebang, I decided to abstain from any personal interaction with the opposite sex. But I can’t stop wondering ‘is there a chance, is there a hope’? So I decided to write to you.
Let’s move on to what it would take for me to lift my self-imposed abstinence. All of the following are things I readily give in a relationship to my partner, happily, and what I NOW expect in return.
Attention: Women supposedly talk too much, examine details men aren’t interested in, expose feelings better left hidden, and the lists apparently goes on. What men don’t seem to realize is if you sit and talk to me, ask me questions and HEAR my answers, you’ve won me for life. For Life. You don’t have to understand every word, but paying attention, caring about what I’m expressing carves a special spot for you in my heart that I’ll cherish and nurture forever. EXAMPLE of INATTENTIVE: I say I don’t like flowers. They’re pretty, love their fragrance, but they die. Buying me flowers is a waste of money. Then, for my birthday or Valentine’s Day you show up with flowers and expect me to be grateful? Uh, nope, not paying attention.
Time: We’re all busy people, rushing here and there to get things done in our lives. We make time for things we want, we fit in all the rest. If you want me, you don’t ‘fit me in’. You carve out time for us because it’s important, it’s what you want to do, and doing it makes you happy. You find ways for us to be together, whether it’s sitting side by side watching an old television show or walking a trail or hearing some unknown band at a funky little bar or signing up for a dance class/art class/cooking class/exercise class, or just going out to dinner. We make the time, for us, doing whatever we can dream up together.
Expression: Honestly, most people can read my face pretty easily. Nothing is perfect except for Jesus Christ, and I expect, as a couple, there will be problems, disappointments and arguments. On the other hand, I expect there to be joy, excitement and happiness! Why not express that, share that with one another? I love being able to show you how much you excite me or how happy you make me. I’ll wrap you in the joy you make me feel! And I want the same back from you. Not just your joy or happiness or excitement from sex, but your genuine feelings about me and our relationship.
Affection: I can’t speak for all women, so from me to you, affection is important. As a very young woman I remember a man I was seeing came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me against him. He kissed my cheek and my neck, told me he missed me and how good I felt in his arms. I never forgot that feeling of being wanted, desired. It’s a lasting memory because, first - it was an unexpected surprise, and second, because was such a loving gesture. Holding hands, arms around each other, touching in ways that only we share, is important. Not so much publicly – to me that’s all about show. I mean privately, one on one. When we reach for each other, for that special, intimate contact, we’re solidifying so much more.
Commitment: When people meet, they know pretty soon if they want to go for the long haul or if some THING just doesn’t fit with the other person. Don’t pretend like you don’t know. It’s the truth; we decide if we like a person, if we can live with this one quirk or this other thing, or if it’s NOPE, can’t do it. (For me, it’s men with long fingernails, yuck. Or people who let spit collect in the corners of their mouths. Sorry, no can do.) I’ll speak plain here, pardon my tone, and this is for men AND women. You know when it’s not what you want, but you figure you’ll deal with it, he/she is better than nothing, you’ll just go along with it until something better comes along. That Ticks Me Off! You selfish . . . How about trying honesty, be man/woman enough to say it aloud? I’d prefer the truth to lies, any day! If you’re not attracted, whatever the reason, let the person know you’re not interested in more than a friendship. If you can’t commit to building a true relationship, or you try and it doesn’t work, or if something changes your mind, say it outta your mouth! Have enough respect for the person you’re with to speak the truth. Yes, it’ll hurt but it’s a thousand times better than being a classless phony piece of – never mind.
Final thoughts: It’s important for couples to share many things - our true hopes and dreams, future plans and/or goals for ourselves, our health, financial expectations, our principles; and always with lots and lots of laughter (or tears), to build a solid foundation, for both of us. That’s what I want from my Future Man.
Future Man, if you exist, I pray there’s one of you for every single female I know. I pray you unite with them in an everlasting, loving bond, forever.