I’m about to finish up my sophomore fall of college, and friends from home are getting married and having babies and sufficiently freaking me out.
Freaked out as I may be, as I enter my 20s next week, I can’t deny the fact that every person I date begins to be thought of in terms of “Can I see myself with this person long term?” and a lot of my peers are starting to see that too. Not that I expect to walk down the aisle any time soon, but I have never seen the point in dating anyone without serious thought about where we might end up 10 years from now, which probably explains why I didn’t buy into the whole dating scene in high school.
As I start to seriously consider who I’ll end up with in the long run, I’ve been getting questions from my guy friends with girl problems. “What do girls REALLY want?” Well-meaning guys who can’t figure out what in the world they can do to keep their girlfriends happy. I can’t speak for everyone, but here are a few attributes I’m looking for to help clear the air a bit.
1. Love me for all of me – for my body, for my mind, for my quirks, for my bad habits. People try to put limits on what they love about a person. “I know she’s not your typical ‘pretty girl’ but she’s so smart and that’s what I love about her.” No. I may not be about to go on any pageant circles, but I want you to appreciate my body, or I never will. I want you to love my mind, not because you can brag about your braniac girlfriend, but because we can have intelligent conversations. I want you to think it’s cute that when I get really tickled by something, I laugh so hard I can’t breath, red face and all. I want you to know that I have a bad habit of getting distracted in the middle of something important, and not think twice about loving me any less because of it. This seems like a tall order, but a girl has got to have standards.
2. Go somewhere, and do something – You don’t necessarily have to be in college, but you have got to be doing something with your life. I’m an extremely passionate person, and I work really hard at what I do, and take a lot of pride in it. I want to be able to talk about that with you, and you have similar feelings about your own passion… No one sided conversations with me really excited about my work, and you bored in a cubicle ho-humming along with no passion.
3. Understand that I have passion – Encourage me to work hard and do better. Support me during the long nights of rehearsals and paperwork, Hold my hand outside audition rooms, and more than anything else, believe in me even when it means me spending days and weeks away from you in order to get where I want to be.
4. Hold me – Hold me when I’m sad. Hold me when you’re sad. Hold me in happiness, hold me in sickness, and then, on normal, every day occasions, just hold me. If we’re going to make it, we’re going to have to hold each other through a lot, lets not wait till we have to to start.
5. Respect me – See me as not your girlfriend, or your woman, but as A woman who you are choosing to spend your life with, and whom you respect a great deal. If you don’t respect me, it will be impossible for me to respect you, and if we don’t respect each other why are we even here?
6. Talk to my parents – I don’t want to have to worry that when I walk upstairs to get something from my room and end up chatting with my sister for a half hour, that you and my dad are sitting in awkward silence, because you won’t converse with him. I’d love to walk into the house and see that you’re there with my family laughing and having a good time. I want my kids to have good relationships with their grandparents, and it will be hard for that to happen if you don’t.
7. Bring me food – Bring me soup when I’m sick, and bring me a cupcake on my birthday. Surprise me with dinner when I get home from work, and I’ll return the gesture. Bring me chocolate and potato chips when Aunt Flo visits, and indulge (most of) my cravings when I’m carrying your kid. They say food is the way to a mans heart, but it will definitely put you on the right path with women too.
8. Rub my back – Rub it when I’m hurt, and when I’m tired. Massage my shoulders when you walk up behind me and I’m sitting down working. Rub my head when I’ve got a headache and rub my hand with your thumb when I’m holding yours in excitement, nerves, or fear.
9. Kiss me on the forehead – Don’t be afraid to show your friends that you love me. Kiss me when I walk into a room, or when I get out of the car. Kiss me as I drift off into dreamland, and kiss me when I wake up. Kiss my hair as I lean against your chest, and always kiss me when I come home.
10. Want to – All of these things mean nothing if you’re following some list of things you need to do. Get to know me and how I tick, who I am. Work alongside me to merge our lives and keep our love alive and well. I’m not going to be perfect every day, or even any day, and I will remind myself that you can’t be either. You simply having the desire to make us last is enough for me.