This isn’t so much a MyTake as it is an assignment from my therapist. As some of you know simply because you are following me, I have bi-polar disorder. Because I have this disorder, I suffer from severe depression and extreme emotions including long periods of highs and lows. I’m also currently on medical leave from my job as a teacher my condition has worsened severely.
Now, the other thing many of you who follow me also know is that I’ve been in a really turbulent relationship for the past two years. I’ve been with a very tall and handsome guy that doesn’t do shit for me. No dates, no compliments, arguing all the time, accused me of giving him an STD twice, even though I’ve never had one a day in my life and several doctors visits and tests have proved this, he has had several dating profiles, fought me on deleting the profiles when I find them, wants me to take birth control knowing it makes my bi-polar medications less effective, and doesn’t make an effort to see me since I live with my parents. In fact, some of you may recall me asking him for $10 for gas money since I’m not working and he got mad at me. He eventually gave me the money but made it clear that he’s not doing it again. We aren’t together currently, but it’s a relationship that’s always on and off despite how much I really want it to be over for good.
I haven’t made this a secret on this site, really. I also haven’t made anything about myself a secret to my therapist. And over the past few months, my therapist has drawn several conclusions about me, one of which being that I don’t really know what I want in a relationship, which is why she gave me this task. She asked me, before our next session, to create a list of things I’d like to experience in a relationship that I never have before. And I’ve done that. But I thought I’d share it with everyone on here, as well. I’m not really sure what kind of responses I expect. I’m pretty sure that most commenters will give some version of ‘well, this is all your fault’ as that seems to be the trend on this site to anyone who gripes about their relationship issues. But personally I just know that I want someone to hear what I have to say.
And, yes, this all goes beyond the typical looks, job, and stability. I’m talking about how we interact and how he treats me.
This sounds completely stupid, but I’ve always wanted to get flowers from a guy. And I know this isn’t something that really falls under the ‘What do you want in a relationship’ list, but I don’t really know what other list it could be under.
I don’t really know the reason why I want flowers, either. I’ve had 5 boyfriends over the course of my 27 years here on Earth and never received any. And I know a lot of women haven’t. But it’s just something important for me to get once. Each guy I’ve dated has known this, too, by the way. I never flat out said ‘Buy me flowers’ but I’ve mentioned on several occasions I love them and I always wanted to get them from someone. Each guy has responded with ‘Why? They’re just going to die’ or ‘That’s a waste of my money’. I had one guy actually tell me I didn’t do anything to earn flowers. But that guy and I broke up two days later anyway. But it would be something I’d like.
Understanding and supporting of my mental disorder
I feel having a mental disability has put me far behind in the dating game. It went undiagnosed until I was 22 and since I found out about it, my dating life hasn’t gotten any easier. Usually when a guy hears it, one of two things happen. They run or use it as a weapon. When I get angry, I’ve had a couple guys tell me that they’ll just wait for my ‘moment’ to pass, completely disregarding the fact that they did something to make me upset and that it wasn’t actually the disorder. Or my personal favorite, ‘You’re just saying that as an excuse to act like a bitch’ as if it’s some super power I can magically activate and turn off. I wish. That would make life sooooooooooo much easier.
But even beyond that, I'd like a guy to be there. I get that it's stressful and struggle to deal with it. I have it, after all. But when I'm upset or on a high or depressed, I just want a guy to support me. Listen to what I have to say. Help me sort through my racing thoughts. Don't get mad at me over something I can't control. That's all.
Supporting my interest
I have a tendency to support my partner a lot, even in ventures I don’t particularly care about. For instance, my ex, the one I talked about in the second paragraph, talks about his job A LOT. I hate it. Hate it. Hate hate hate hate HATE it. But in the moment, it’s not about me. He enjoys his job. He loves what he does and all the free traveling he gets to do. He may even be moving to Las Vegas if he get this promotion he’s being considered for.
I don’t get the same in return, though. I love cake decorating and want to own a bakery. And I’ll admit, you can only talk about cake, buttercream, and fondant for so long before you just start to glaze over. But it’s one of the few activities I think I’m good at and brings joy in my life especially during this medical issue I’m having that’s completely fucking up my career. But he doesn’t like talking about it because he doesn’t eat sugar. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, but it does. And he’s not the only one who doesn’t particularly care. I have like…one friend who supports me in it. And that’s great. But if I get the chance to be with a guy again, I’d like the same support. I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t support me yet expects me to support them all the time.
I also really want to publish a novel. I’m writing one, actually. It’s slowly, but surely, coming along. And he’s told me before that I’m a good writer. But that’s kind of it. He doesn’t really have an opinion about the book’s topic or outline. Neither do any of my friends. But all in all, I’d like someone who cared about what I enjoyed doing.
Oh, and the pie is actually cake. And yes, I did that.
Valuing my opinion
I don’t really know how to elaborate on this one. I don’t feel like my opinion has ever been valued by anyone, especially the guys that show interest in me. I have strong opinions, but I don’t get angry when someone doesn’t agree with me. Sometimes their logic doesn’t make sense and sometimes they say mine doesn’t either, although I typically cite sources to support my views. There are a lot of topics I enjoy talking about: American politics, music, education, philosophy, ethics, religion. history, anime…but usually the guy just wants to be heard and wants me to sit there and listen. I’ve noticed that not only in guys I’ve dated, but guys that are my friends, too. And they don’t just do it to me, but some of the female friends I have, as well. In fact, men in general that I’ve seen have a tendency to be dismissive of opinions, especially if they differ from their own. And this is based on conversations I’ve seen on a variety of social media (as in discussions involving men and women that I personally don’t know but pop up on my newsfeed anyway) and I’ve seen it in my own career, as well.
A willingness to share
To many of the men I’ve come in contact with are very selfish. They don’t seem too keen on sharing anything, especially any success they have. I always support my partner and trying to lift them up, but when they get it, they hog the success for themselves. For instance, I helped several guys write their resumes and cover letters and even gave them job interview advice which helped them get the job. More than once I’ve been told that there’s no evidence that they got the job specifically because of what I’ve done. I never got a thank you for writing the resumes, either. I’ve pretty much learned to not help a man with anything, especially if they aren’t appreciative of it.
Speaking of appreciation…
That would be nice to know that my partner appreciates me in some way. And there’s several ways to do this. Some guys do it through gifts, which is fine, I’ve never gotten one, but not getting a thoughtful gift hasn’t bothered me much. My friends get jewelry and stuffed animals from their guys all the time. But personally, I’m more of the type who likes silly notes pinned on the refrigerator or a text in the middle of my work day asking how I was doing or offering to cook dinner that night so I could take a break from it. Or even just saying thank you for doing little things. I do things for my partner because I want to, not because I’m expected to. But a thank you goes a long way. I haven’t been with someone who did something nice just because they could and wanted to make me feel special in some way. But I’d much rather wake up to a small love note in the morning quickly scribbled out on a napkin than a diamond necklace or something.
A compliment…or two…
I don’t want to be worshipped or anything. But I do pay attention to the way I keep myself. It stems from my childhood and teen years and college. I’ve never been comfortable in a skirt or getting my hair and nails done. I’m not really into make up, either. But I also get that men don’t want to date another guy so I try to look good. It also makes me feel better when I get dolled up somewhat, even though it does make me self conscious. I haven’t been told by a guy I date that I looked good before or that they liked my outfit. I mean, yes, I’ve gotten the ‘you look sexy’ type comments, but that’s usually when I’m not wearing anything but lingerie. It makes me wonder if the guy actually sees ME. Yes, I have DD’s and an hour glass figure. Hurray for me. But I’d rather a guy notice my beauty, not my sex appeal. And the fact that none have tells me that they don’t care.
Respect for my religious beliefs
I understand that the trend these days is to deny that God exists. And most people have good reason to believe this, such as the fact that I can’t just summon him and he’ll appear before you. But I have a belief that he does exist. And I don’t mind dating someone who doesn’t share that view point. But just like I respect that you don’t believe in God, I’d like the same in return. It’s annoying when guys tell me that my religious beliefs are stupid since they’re pretty important to me. I may not be a fan of ‘church’ necessarily as there’s too much hypocrisy, but I spend a good amount of time each day reflecting on my actions and wondering if I’m truly being a Christian and pleasing God. I don’t say it out loud a lot. But it’s always on my mind. And I wonder what God thinks of me.
If I say anything about God, I don’t want to be told he isn’t real and that what I believe doesn't matter. He is real to me. And to shut me down and dismiss such a large part of my life just isn’t acceptable.
Accepting my dog
I don’t know why, but this seems to be a huge issue for men. I don’t really understand why guys don’t like dogs. They used to. I have a beagle and I have her to help me cope with my bi-polar disorder. I’ve had a lot of guys tell me I have to get rid of her or I can’t live or be with them because they don’t like my dog or they’re allergic to her. I don’t understand this mostly because I’m always upfront about my dog. She’s not a secret. If a guy asks me to describe myself on a first date, my dog is usually the second or third thing mentioned. But we’ll go on 4 or 5 dates, possibly even get into a relationship, and then all of sudden they have a problem with my dog KNOWING that she means the world to me and that I’m not going to get rid of her. I didn’t know having a pet was such an obstacle these days, but it is, and it’s a turn off to a lot of guys.
Well, that’s all I can think of for now. As an Editor, I have 48 hours to update this Take, so if I think of anything else I want in a guy, I’ll add it. But going back and reading what I wrote, I don’t think I’m asking for too much.