I started my day today accidentally overdosing on strong cold medicine and super emotional as a result, but it was partly based in truth. I ended things with a guy yesterday, and he took it super well. We’re going to try to be friends. Of course, today, I started second guessing that decision something fierce. I don’t have a lot of long-term relationship history, so I started worrying that maybe I ruined it, that maybe I should have tried to talk to him about things, maybe I ended it because I just don’t know how to gauge what is worth ending things over.
Thank goodness, a friend talked me down, validated my decision, and emphatically told me that the types of things that I ended it over are “worthy” enough to end something over. She suggested I think about what hard relationship limits for me would be, and what softer ones are. This is my attempt to do that.
First, some things to keep in mind:
- If you expect these things of someone else, cultivate them in yourself. (I really need to work on the first and last things under “hard” standards, for example.)
- Remember: I’d rather be single than be in a relationship where I’ve made significant compromises. Don’t settle, not yet.
- It’s not unusual to date a lot or have it not work out. Wanting these things isn’t unreasonable. You’re worth it.
- For any of these things, the examples are examples and the principles are what are important. If he can demonstrate the principle in some way, I’m fine with it.
- If one or two of the “hard” standards are missing but everything else is there, give him a chance and talk about it with him before cutting it off.
- These can, and likely will, change, as will their importance. Be OK with that. Don’t spend too much time comparing guys against these standards – live in the moment. Wait for it to feel wrong before thinking about it in any analytical way – when it feels right, let it be right.
None of the following is in any particular order.
- Be able to express his physical attraction – i.e. be physically affectionate, hold hands, make move to kiss, etc. (a level of physical assertiveness)
- Want to spend time with me – and is hesitant for that time to end, i.e. no dates ending super early on weekend evenings unless ill or early-morning commitment, makes an effort to plan seeing me
- Understands my humor – be able to tease/sarcastically banter
- Be independent – it’s ok to care about/be close with family, but be OK going it alone; have a place to live, way of getting around, ability to feed and care for yourself, job to pay the bills; OK with me being busy, wants to share that and doesn’t resent it
- Willingness and ability to make me feel special – can be myriad of things, such as holding open doors, paying bill, planning date, bringing flowers, not complaining about transit to see me (or general willingness to travel to me/convenient to me for first date or two), a particular look in his eyes, calling me on the phone, texting me flirty notes sometimes, physical affection, etc.
- Willingness and excited to try new things – restaurants, comedy shows, dancing, festivals, traveling, kink or sex things, etc.
- Wants to settle down at some point – desire to get married, have kids, have a house.
- Socially adept – can interact with my friends successfully (success meaning doesn’t insult them – directly or indirectly, makes conversation with them), is polite, has friends of his own
- Willingness and ability to communicate openly – makes light of awkward moments, texts/calls/emails, easy conversation, mentions how he feels, voices what he wants
- Hasn’t been married before
- Doesn’t have kids
- Kink/alternative lifestyle things (soft standard is being legit into it, turned on by it…this is a hard standard insomuch as someone is open-minded enough to try, re ‘try new things’ above)
- Civically engaged – volunteers, votes, has passion for at least one issue, involved in community, involved with family (any of these things suffices – apathy is the big off-putter)
- OK with various gender roles depending on situation
- OK with living in suburbs, or even potentially moving elsewhere
- Doesn’t want to rush into kids/marriage
- Isn’t planning on moving within the imminent (~3 months) future
- No more than 10 years older than me
Other things that are important to me
Traits that matter to me: social etiquette, humor, adventurous, open-minded, intellect, ambition, passion.
Hobbies/interests I’d love to share: country or bluegrass music, grilling, road trips, dancing, board games, stand-up comedy, television, books, going to movies.