It’s essential to look at and check again your point of reference every once in awhile. If you don’t, how do you know what you are really for or against, anymore? How do you know that your original point of reference, when you resolved something definite about it back when, hasn’t gradually migrated in a misguided direction of sorts?Â Â When do you decide it’s time to stop and re-evaulate?
I’m reminded of a sort of list everyone has most certainly been asked at least once in each stage in their lives. It’s entitled, “What I look for in a partner.” Sometimes, you can tell a lot about a person just by looking at someone’s such list–because it really has nothing to do with an actual prospective partner, but everything to do with the person to whom that list belongs.Â Has it changed asÂ the person has gotten older or has it mostly stayed the same?
Now, I know all guys don’t top #1 with: “She’s gotta be hot.” (Okay, maybe you do–but that’s just sad.) I’m talking about the inevitable–because c’mon, everyone says “personality.” Everyone. But what does that even mean? Okay. It could mean, “She’s got to be funny.”
K, so again–what does that mean? Funny how? After all, one girl’s sarcastic kind of funny could be quite appealing to one guy but entirely dry to the next.
Personally.Â AnÂ ideal to me in a partner’s personality isÂ someone who challenges me.Â No, I’m not “one of thoseÂ girls”Â who likes to date jerks–there is a difference.Â Because “challenging” doesn’t have to be synonymous with “difficult” or “drama-ridden.”Â It just means that I would want my point of reference checked, once in awhile, by a different perspective.
I’m finding that that trait is not on everyone’s list. Not everyone wants a challenge. And no matter how hard I try, I realize that I can’t help looking like a drama queen for thinking in response, “How boring.”Â
Let’s look at it from all sides, though.Â On the other side is this desire for someone who doesn’t challenge you at all.Â Â If we were to look at the exact opposite, in fact,Â it would be to want in your partner complete and total submission to your wils and wants.Â Of course, there’s the happy medium–and that’s perfect because you have the best of both worlds–a partner that is genuinely supportive in the times you need him or her the most because he or she wants the best for you.Â But when will your partner give you the respect of his or her honesty?
MyÂ end result is not comfort, anymore.Â Â I think that the handsome husband with the handsome house and white picket fence and red front door before 30Â just seems so … prescribed.Â Because there’s no recipe for avoiding disaster.Â I would much rather have my partnership markÂ the beginning of a journey instead ofÂ the endingÂ destination.Â It’s the point of keeping my own humility in check–and the full knowledge that I am completely fallible.Â Because, if we both operated under the assumption we were both perfect, why would weÂ grow or feel that we would need to?Â I wantÂ my partner to show me the depths of his fears,Â desires, his passions–so that I could return to him the honesty and respect of my own passions.Â We would have to work for each other.Â And in the process, we would grow together–and to grow together, we would need to have similar goals that we could grow towards.
And then, the sadÂ reality is that this post explains why I don’t think love is enough.Â Love is a choice.
If I were to ask myself if my “list of desirable traits” in my partner has changed as I’ve grown older (and hopefully matured along the way), I could say that it has.Â And while I thinkÂ a person’s evolution is never finished,Â at the same time I’m extremely relieved by this.Â
I have had this way of dating.Â I would find out what I really want in life by initially finding out what I don’t want.Â Yes, it’s called process of elimination and it included some trial and error.Â The next guy was basically completely the opposite of the bad stuffÂ the previous one had.Â And what I found out, was indeed what I do not want:Â Prevalence of vanity, superficiality and materialism; closed mindedness; the need to judge; theÂ compartmentalizing of spirituality, friendship and romance.
Moving on from that, evolving from that for me seems to naturally be finding out what I do want–especiallyÂ since I’ve spent a good amount of time figuring out what I don’t want.Â It’s that dreaded list, again.Â Revising what’s most important and crossing off the unimportant, and constantly working through everything.Â
And then, it’s pretty easy to figure out what it all boils down to:Â Â Why would anyone choose not toÂ fall inÂ love with his or her best friend?
Post inspired by “Romance Unwrapped” series by Erwin McManus at Mosaic.