When I was little, I loved fairy tales. Stories of the girl meeting a prince and being saved. Stories of dragons, witches, and elves. Stories of being good and ending up happy. I always wanted to end up happy. I think we all want to end up happy. I think that’s a huge reason why we give so many chances to people who don’t deserve them…the people we love who might have given us a glimmer of hope before.
When I was younger, I would make lists of qualities I want in a partner. I would fold it carefully and put it in a “wish” box, which was supposed to help make it come true. It was a silly trend that girls did at sleepovers. But I always did it because I was always hopeful. I always wanted it to happen to me. That I would finally get something good in my life. Someone who would like me despite my flaws.
I have never been attractive by beauty standards. I’ve always had issues with my self-confidence and self-worth. But I wish that’s where my issues ended. I had a hard time with keeping friends in elementary and middle school, and the people who were my friends would say it was because of the way I looked, and the pretty popular kids wouldn’t be their friends if they were friends with me. So I was alone. And it was because of this I felt like I didn’t deserve someone to fall in love with me.
Luckily, through high school, college, and adulthood, I’ve come into myself. I learned how to do my hair and makeup on my own. I figured out how to dress in a way that was my style and flattered my body. But I still have years of that baggage. I still think that I’m not worthy of someone loving me. I’ve had boyfriends. I’ve had people tell me that they love me. That they want to be with me. But they always leave. I’m in no way innocent here. I’ve broken up with people. I’ve ghosted people. I’m not a saint. But I’ve been in abusive relationships, too. These abusive relationships that I was too scared to leave them. I’m scared that nobody else is going to love me. That nobody else will want me and I’ll end up alone. I’m scared that I don’t deserve to be loved.
My friends who know how scared I get tell me that I deserve to be loved. That I deserve the best partner. But in my head, I’m convinced that I don’t, because of the people I’ve hurt. Because I wasn’t born lucky. That some people just don’t get what they want, and I’m one of them. But this mentality is not going to help me in any way. If I want a healthy, loving relationship, I need to think about what I need and what I deserve.
So, because I want to get what I need, I’m writing it down, just like when I was younger. I’m putting my list in writing, and I’m putting it on the internet, which is kind of like a wish box?
I need someone who understands that I need time to myself sometimes. I like being able to be alone and not have to base the decisions I make on another person while I’m alone. “Will they like this playlist, or can I watch this episode? Do I need to watch a new tv show? I really want to binge this right now, though…” Those are thoughts I have when I’m relaxing with another person. So sometimes I just need my alone time.
I need someone who is going to remind me that they like me and they’re not leaving. I feel like this is something that everybody thinks about. But I’m putting this on my list because of how important it is to me. I’m used to people leave me. Friends, family, partners… There’s just a long list of people in my life who have left and in my last two relationships, I needed the other person to remind me that they liked me or loved me and wanted to be with me, because I was so scared they were going to leave. And it was for a good reason. I put a lot of trust into the people I date, and it takes time for me to do that. It takes time for me to let people in. Even people I’m dating aren’t completely in yet. There’s so many layers and things I keep hidden, and before I let someone in… I have to know they’re staying.
I need someone who will just hold me while I’m down. Some of my downs are really bad, and I need someone to physically hold me, letting me know I’m safe and they’re not going anywhere. Sometimes I’m going to be crying. Sometimes I’m going to be completely silent and I’m not going to be able to tell you what’s wrong. But being held is going to help me know I’m not alone.
I need someone who is going to make me smile and laugh. Who is going to remind me that we can’t be super serious all the time and we can goof around.
I need someone who can be a nerd with me. I do a lot of nerdy stuff, and I want to show someone my hobbies and interests and participate in them with the person I’m letting in.
I need someone who is going to be in this for the long haul. Who is willing to help knock down the walls I put up, and understand I might rebuild sometimes because I’ve been hurt.
I need someone who pays attention to the little things I say that I think no one listens to. Like how I don’t have a favorite color or my favorite flowers are sunflowers.
But I want someone who knows that if they’re doing all of this for me, I’m doing the same for you. I’m going to fight for you. I’m going to prove to you that you’re worth it. Because you are. And I can’t wait to know you.