When it comes to meeting my husband one day, I’m a little worried. Not because I’m afraid it won’t happen (okay, that’s a complete lie, but moving on), but because I’ve been single for a while. And though this solo stint taught me at ton about my values and desires, it’s also given me time to think about the things I absolutely need in a partner.
Some are a little unrealistic, some are must-haves, and others will probably pop up along the way, but in no particular order … here are the things that I’ll need from my future husband.
I need you to …
1. Say and write loving things to me—a lot
I’m absolutely in love with words. And especially loving words. Even if it’s as simple as “I love you” on a Post-It by the Keurig once a week, do it. I’ll also settle for a text message (or 20), too.
2. Ask my dad for my hand in marriage
And my mom, too, while you’re at it. I know it’s old-fashioned, creepy and a bit anti-feminist, but you know what? I don’t care. I’m convinced he’ll say ‘yes’ and though you might have to fly to North Carolina (please don’t Skype, it’s tacky) to ask, just think: My dad will totally make you a steak and pop you a beer while you’re there!
3. Be adept at balancing our incomes
Though I’m pretty financially secure, I worry about having enough money more than anything else. I save more than the average mid-20-something, but I have this irrational fear about it all disappearing. (Maybe because my NYC rent costs nearly double what most mortgages do?) I need you to be grounded on the topic and calm me down when I freak out.
4. Give me some space
I am an only child and those type of kids can go one of two ways: strong and self-made or … spoiled. Luckily, I’m the former, but I’ve always had plenty of alone time and it’s important to me. It’s not you—I love you already without even meeting you—it’s just that I need space to clear my mind. I promise to always come home to you.
5. Have A LOT of sex with me
Oh, and I want a lot of babies, too. I know that gotta-have-you-right-now kind of sex changes the longer you’re in a relationship (and especially when children come into the picture), but I always want to feel physically connected to you. And I want you to see me as the sexiest woman you’ve ever known. In return, I promise to make an effort, even when I’m absolutely exhausted. I hope you will, too.
6. Listen to me over-communicate about everything
I tend to ramble when I feel insecure; it’s my way of forcing someone to say something. It’s irrational and emotional (and often unnecessary), but if I don’t say it, it’ll eat me up inside. This vulnerability is part of the reason why I’m a successful writer, but it’s also a downfall.
7. Accept that I use six different bottles of shampoo and conditioner
And at least 25 nail polish colors. Oh, and 10 lipsticks. Okay, fine, I don’t need them, but one day when I run out mid-shower, do you really want to be the one to run to the store to pick one up? Didn’t think so.
8. Tell me I don’t look fat
I might one day, but when I come out of our bedroom for some special event and you only muster ‘Let’s get going,’ my feelings will be really hurt. I’ll pay you compliments and I’ll rub your shoulders when you’re stressed, so please do the same for me.
9. Not be embarrassed when I cry in movies
I’m super-independent, self-sufficient and strong, but dramas get me everytime. Sometimes, even comedies. Just bring the tissues to the theater, k?
10. Speak your opinion
I want to be in love with your mind, your heart, what you stand for, what pisses you off, what makes you unique, what turns you on—I want to savor everything. So tell me everything. Share your life with me.
11. Plan regular date nights
Even if it’s just in our sweats on a Friday night with takeout and a movie. I hear about couples losing the spark and I haven’t even found the spark, but I’m freaked out about losing it. Can we make a pact that we’ll have a date night once a week? I’m cool with pizza and beer and Netflix, just as long as we don’t lose each other in our busy lives.
12. Have a mom who likes me
We don’t have to be besties or drink wine together all the time, but I want her to like me. Especially more than she liked your college girlfriend.
13. Be passionate
Or like five of them. I never want to be anyone’s everything, even yours. I really believe no one can grow in shade and I don’t ever want us to feel suffocated by one another. I will support you in whatever you want to join, play or be part of, but have something you love besides me.
14. Remind me you’re sticking around
Sorry, you can blame Tinder. And OkCupid. And the single bar scene in New York City. I don’t have much faith in the opposite sex.
15. Make me feel loved
And adored. My friends nicknamed me ‘love’ because it’s such a big part of my DNA. And yet in every relationship I’ve been in, I haven’t felt loved by the man I was with. Not truly, not fully, and not sincerely. I need to feel love in my bones and see it in your eyes. Why? Because I will love you more than you can imagine, and I need you to feel the same.