I’m back in therapy. After 4 years of doing relatively well, I felt I had come to a point where I needed to explore some patterns that keep creeping up in my life. Patterns are telling. Pay attention to them. They are desperately trying to tell you something about yourself.
My therapist gave me an assignment. I can’t believe I have never done this before. A list of non-negotiable and negotiable characteristics I would like to see in a partner. This was to be completely separate from actual relationships, past or present. Purely focused on me. Relationships are a very important aspect of one’s life. So why is it that we typically do not go about them in a systematic way? The same way we go about finding a job or buying a house or grocery shopping? We often base relationships on how they FEEL in the beginning, and go with the flow without thinking about things too much.
I have to confess. I have a tendency to be impulsive. I have done things in the past purely based on how they feel. I also thought I wasn’t very clear about what I wanted since I change my mind a lot but as I set down for this assignment things were clearer to me than they have ever been. Truthfully, these thoughts have been dominating my wants and needs historically. I just never wrote them down. Of course, they are subject to change. We are subject to change. Relationships also change with time. But I had to focus on the here-and-now.
Here’s my list.
Emotionally independent/not needy
Safe (emotionally – I can be myself)
Good sense of humor
A good sense of style
Into movies/music/art/photography (similar interests)
I don’t think my list is unreasonable. Also because I am able to offer pretty much everything I’m asking for.
So whether you’re in a relationship or not, what’s your list?