At every point in my life, there was always a type of man that I looked to date. It seems with every growth in my own development, my tastes shifted to reflect what it was that I wanted.
Let’s take a look at what I want in a partner now versus back then.
1. PASSIONATE ROMANCE
When I was much younger, I romanticized the experience of being with a man, more than the man himself. I dreamed of being treated like a princess and how magical it would feel. Love looked like an emotional rollercoaster and I couldn’t wait for my chance to ride.
Now? I hate the ups and downs of dating. I want a caring partner that I can build with. It may not be passionate but it’s stable. I want stability and not a frivolous love
I have always wanted a partner I could be friendly with. Marriage always seemed to be much more fun with someone you had known for a long time. But as always, my need for romance superceeded this desire. I chased after men who could give me the thrill and it wasn’t always someone I had something in common with.
Now? I won’t rush into a commitment or relationship easily. I want to take time to develop a strong connection/friendship before indulging in more lustful desires. Not because I don’t enjoy sex or romance, but because my heart is more important than momentary gratification. Fools rush in, as they say.
Everyone wants someone they are compatible with. But my assessment of what’s compatible with my personality has changed as well. I couldn’t wait to find someone who liked the same TV shows, books and movies as me. I kind of wanted another ME, and preferred someone similar to myself in a lot of aspects.
Now? I want someone who thinks like me. Granted, if we have the same lived experience and enjoy all the same things, then awesome. But someone whose personality can balance mine is best. A quiet sturdiness to my overactive business. A gift for people to complement my need for space and solitude. But to think like me (my ambition, my concern with finances, my beliefs about the world). I also want a Human to share my adoration of cats, the truly superior pet lol. I like dogs too though.
I was a mega-Christian back in the day. I wanted to tell the world about Jesus, and spread his love everywhere. I was convinced I had Jesus in my little heart and I desperately wanted a man who fit that model.
Now? I can’t imagine marrying a man who is super religious. I just can’t do it, and I don’t want to raise kids that way. I want to raise my kids with a sort of agnostic influence, so they can choose a religion when they are old enough to understand. Indoctrinating your kids with anything is unfair, as it pressures them to choose a life without understanding the implications.
As a younger woman, I saw the need for security as essential. I had an unstable home life so I always wanted a man who would make me feel safe and protected. I kind of thought this would appear as a big man with strapping muscles and a protectiveness of my femininity. Which sounds like something straight out of a novella....it was lol.
Now? I still want security - but not in the same way. I don’t want to be protected, I want to be comforted. I strongly desire an emotionally secure man who can convey himself maturely and in a healthy way. He needs to lack any sort of attachment disorders. The search for a man who was emotionally grounded (at least, in full command of his emotions) led me to get therapy myself for an attachment disorder (I’m fearful-avoidant).
6. SEX SEX SEX
Oh man. I was abstinent back in the day (meaning a year ago) and I truly believed I should find a man who was also a virgin. I didn’t think sex was a big deal, and wanted to wait until marriage. My intentions were pure and I thought If he can’t wait until marriage to have me, he must not love me enough.
Now? GIVE ME ALL THE SEX. Sex is such a large part of a healthy relationship. I’m not sexually active per se, but I have come to understand my sexuality a lot more. I didn’t even realize that the other side of the relationship may want to feel desired as well....men actually want sex because it’s how they feel loved. I separated love from sex because I thought I couldn’t get both. I truly didn’t understand men at the time. I could write a WHOLE mytake on this alone. Just know that I’m trying to relate to a partner sexually - I want to have great sex until I’m 50. It’s so important!
Never really considered health and eating habits in a relationship.
Now? I understand that in order for #6 to play out well, a man needs to exercise and eat reasonably well. I’m not trying to get with a vegan (not opposed to it) but I do see the inherent value in treasuring your health above all else. I want to pass down healthy eating habits to my children. And as parents, we need to be a model for that kind of positive behavior. The ideal man can be a workout partner and help keep me accountable. We can be fit together!
One thing I never considered is how strong conflict plays a role in the relationship. I expected there to be arguments and fights. But considering how often my own parents fought, I didn’t really consider what my role would be in the relationship. Conflict management was not on my radar - I just didn’t like yelling.
Now? I still don’t like yelling lol. People talk a lot about communication in a relationship - but it’s super easy to chat with your man when it’s sunny outside and all the bills are paid. But during an argument, how do you talk to each other? Do you yell? Curse? Make cheap shots at each other? My parents did. And as a result, I had to come to terms with my own inability to argue effectively. I don’t yell but I can be rather snarky, which isn’t helpful at all. In my search for someone who understands healthy conflict management, I have had to check myself on several occasions.
Never really considered how my significant other’s family would affect our relationship. If anything, I thought love would conquer all, so even if his parents did not like me, who cares? He is a grown man and chose ME to be with. The rest of the world can kick rocks.
Now? Family matters quite a bit. You can tell a lot about someone by how they treat family and extended relatives. I’ve come to understand that my dysfunctional family is not the norm, so I would hope my significant other at least has the regular family. I could never demand for someone to choose me over their family - culturally that isn’t always possible anyway. Any man who is comfortable with putting his parents in a nursing home, when he can afford for them to live with him is a waste of a man. I fully intend upon making arrangements for my grandmother to live well in her old age - my future husband has to respect that.
This definitely requires more explanation, but just know family is everything. I have boundaries with my family but I still have an obligation to my elders. I want to pass down that trait to my kids - respect for the elderly and for their grandparents.
Gender roles is not something I thought about a lot as a young child. I definitely romanticized the thought of marriage and never really considered my role in the relationship.
Now? I know for sure I want to work after having kids. And I will volunteer to stay home for the first 5 years of their life, but outside of that, I fully intend on working. I could not be with someone who expected anything less from me. The only compromise would be working from home, and only I could make a decent living with an online business. The man for me needs to understand SHARED responsibility for child rearing. It will not be enough to pay some bills and leave me to do all the unpaid work. He will be skilled in laundry and children’s work for sure, I refuse to be stressed out in that way. Parenting is a partnership, and the best way to sure no child falls through the cracks in their education.
What are your thoughts? What is different in what you look for a partner then and now? Do you agree or disagree with some of my points? Please comment respectfully :)