There are 5 words I hate. “What are we doing here?” or its closely related cousin, “What do you want from me?” They put all the pressure on me to make the decision. And make me want to respond in my sassiest tone, “If you don’t know, how can I answer that definitively?! ‘We’ applies to both of us dearie!” Ergo, you need to put your heart on your sleeve and tell me what you want. . Unlike a lot of people, I can definitively say I know what I want. I’ve always been headstrong and focused. I set my heart on working for a certain organisation as the pinnacle of my career, my end point. It was the first place I worked after university. I decided I wanted to go to Russia, I got a job teaching English despite having no knowledge of the Russian language – and I took it upon myself to learn. I decided which institution I wanted to study at – and went there. Tenacity personified.
So my answer is, what I want is one thing, but whether I want that from you is a different matter, dependent on so many things, but most importantly, magic. I don’t believe in hanging onto past relationships, as they ended for a reason, and I know myself enough to be able to say, enough is enough and this is not right. When in a relationship I don’t just randomly wake up and decide, ‘hey I think I’ll dump you today’. I umm, agh, and overanalyse for substantial amounts of time, and subsequently I don’t regret it. I have been very wrong about people before. Everyone has. But those experiences teach us, help us grow and mature, and let’s face it – a life without mistakes would be very dull indeed.
In some ways I miss what I had with my childhood sweetheart. Not him, as we grew up and grew apart, but the romance, the intimacy, the real sense of love and joy in one another. I’ve not had that since. So many break-ups are painful, and leave both parties with residual negative feelings. I have absolutely no ill will toward him. He was a great guy who helped me to become the person I wanted to be, encouraged and pushed me to do the things I wanted to when I was afraid to try. I did hurt him by leaving, but I did it in the kindest way I could. He now has what he wanted, is married with kids and is happy in his life. So our split helped us both to do the things we wanted. He took nothing from me, didn’t damage me, and I am better for having known him, and fortunate to have been loved by such an incredible person.
I want someone to remind me that magic exists, that I am adorable, that I can have the feeling of being like a teenager and full of happiness again. But this time, as an adult. With all the great stuff that comes from being in my twenties. A man, not a boy. Though writing that reminds me of a TV show when I was younger, and I grimace. I want a guy who is busy, who won’t moan at me for being busy myself. I have a career and a social life and I want to integrate him into my life, not have to sacrifice something for him. I want the man who will move heaven and earth to be with me, if only for a few hours. I want to feel safe in his arms, excited and aroused but not pressured or only wanted for one thing; I want the guy who will wander into my office with a rose between his teeth, clad in nothing but a bow tie and a smile (I definitely didn’t think like that as a teenager!); I want the nights up talking on the sofa, learning about each other, not kissing until the sun rises. I want to be able to be romantic, whether small or large gestures, without being taken for granted or ignored.
I like excitement, adventure, and passion, but not really drama. I am adamant I don’t want a dramatic love life. I want someone I can be in comfortable silence with, in our own little bubble on a sofa and no one else exists. Not the tears, confusion, screaming arguments and pain. Sure I know that life is never simple, but I also recognise what’s healthy and what’s fucked up. In short, I want it all.
I know that love like that is obtainable. I’ve had it, and I know it exists. The first cut is the deepest, because it leaves an indelible mark. Whether a measure of how good someone can be, or how much of a bastard someone can be, is a very individual and personal thing. If you know what you want, you know what is out there, you can achieve it, so don’t settle for anything less. But try to be realistic about it, and realise that no-one is perfect. If you try to replicate a previous relationship with a different person, it won’t be the same, leading to frustration and exasperation. The key is to recognise who you are now, what you want, and what qualities you are looking for in a partner. Then you can create amazing new memories and fun times together.