Dear future boyfriend,
I know you’re out there, but I have no idea how, when, or where we will meet. For now, I am mostly content with the life I have created for myself.
But, I’m eager to meet you, and in the interim I’ve done a lot of thinking and self-examination about the kind of partner I am and the girlfriend I want to be.
I have some ideas about the qualities and interpersonal skills I’d like for you to have. But mainly, a great connection and a good fit is what I am seeking, and I am open to that in many forms, future boyfriend.
I also think it’s most constructive if I focus on me. Over 33 years, I’ve tried and failed with relationships. The heartache has been significant, and I’ve learned from it.
Intimate relationships have helped show me who I am. They’ve helped me discover what I can and cannot expect from a partner, and they’ve enabled me to learn how much I can give of myself without losing myself.
I can’t control my ability to meet the right person in my preferred time frame (but gee, sometimes, I really wish I could). Instead, I focus on becoming the person I want to be now and in my next relationship.
So here are 14 guiding principles of the partner I will be when I meet you, future boyfriend:
1. I want to be your #1 source of support and understanding. I will continuously learn how to best enable you, but I can’t make things happen for you.
2. I want to be known by you. I’ll be open and share with you.
3. I want to know you, and I’ll endeavor to continually demonstrate interest and ask questions about who you are and how you feel — long after the “honeymoon period” is over.
4. I’ll respect your space, but I won’t allow distance to take us down divergent paths.
5. I’m always going to take pride in my appearance and work hard to look great. This is mainly for me, but absolutely also for you.
6. When I am unhappy, my inclination is to withdraw, which can be destructive. I’ll work on containing this impulse and being open instead of hiding.
7. I will consistently make time for fun and new experiences — and seek opportunities to introduce them.
8. I will communicate my needs clearly. I will never expect you to read my mind.
9. I’m not going to sweep issues under the rug, but I also recognize that not everything can be dealt with immediately.
10. I can be very hard on myself. I want you to help me lighten up during those times, but I won’t rely on you to make me feel better about myself.
11. To me, you’re the most desirable guy in the world, and I’m going to take every opportunity to make you feel that way.
12. I am going to keep working on my listening skills. I am not a poor listener, but I want to be a great listener. It isn’t easy.
13. It’s very important to me to be reasonable and fair even when my emotions want to cloud those virtues.
14. Very few relationships last a lifetime. In the event that the relationship has to end, I will seek to part on terms that respect you and exhibit compassion. But not at the expense of my dignity.
Sounds pretty good, right? I just want to be worthy of you, future boyfriend. Because I know you’re going to knock my socks off.