What are your “must’s” in a relationship? What attributes do you seek in a partner? I asked this very thing recently to a good friend of mine who really struggles being single for as long as he has, and it ended up landing me in somewhat of a heated discussion. Why my discussion became heated was due to a belief I hold that many of those who seek relationships that have been single for a good while often have too conforming of a box, a box that leaves them in a very small pool.
Case in point, my friend is quite adamant about not ever wanting to express any sort of public signs of affection whatsoever with a partner, even if the mood struck. So, say for example, if you were ever sitting on a park bench somewhere with someone you had feelings for and the mood suddenly struck you, maybe because of a beautiful sunset in front of you, or just because, that you decided to lean in for a brief kiss. While that would be a no-no for my friend on every level, it would be quite welcome with me. For him, much of that relates to him being gay and the prejudices he feels still remain out there, but for me, I decided long ago that I wouldn’t let fear control me like that, mainly because I don’t want to ever miss out on an opportunity to share a special moment that I will never get back. While I can’t speak for the rest of the world, I can speak for myself and say that showing signs of affection is a must for me, whether that’s holding hands, or a quick kiss on the lips, or a wink, or a silly tickle to make a person laugh, or resting a hand on the other’s leg, each being things my partner Chris and I have done over the years that I’ve come to treasure immensely.
A few other qualities that are must’s when it comes to me being with a partner are things I’ve come to understand about myself that are important to the growth of my spiritual journey in life. The first of which is the avoidance of anyone who is dependent on alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, gambling, or anything of the sort. Basically, anyone who has a severe addiction that rules their life. Because for anyone who is living with an active addiction that rules their life, there is no room for a romantic relationship, given their first love will always be the substance of the addiction itself, where the importance of everyone and everything else becomes a distant second or far worse. Any attempt I ever made to prove that wrong has only ever led to me becoming very sick and toxic myself.
The second deals with negativity. I work so hard to be a positive person in my life because of my health issues and I’ve seen how negative energy easily affects it. It’s precisely why I don’t like being around negative people nowadays and would rather spend time alone if need be. Because people who seem to complain about everything that doesn’t fit into what their ego thinks should be happening, like how drivers are driving, or how this person shouldn’t be doing this or that, or how crappy some politician is, etc., is totally draining to my spiritual self, and eventually leads to affecting my mental, emotional, and physical states as well.
The last one deals with God. It probably is the most important thing I seek in a partner these days, as I truly desire to be connected to someone who enjoys praying with me, worshipping with me, and talking with me about spiritual things that expands my views on God rather than limits them. Connecting to God has become the sole drive in my life and to not have a partner interested in being a part of that would leave a very gaping hole in a relationship for me. While I never expect my path with God to be the same of my partner, I do believe it’s important for those paths to intersect regularly in a partnership.
Regardless, there are plenty of other attributes I seek in a partner, but many of them have shifted over the years. Beyond those I already mentioned as must’s, I do my best to remain open and not place my partner in a very close-minded box. To make a partner conform to what’s comfortable for me is a very limiting thing indeed when it comes to a relationship, and it’s something Chris has really helped me to see over the past few years.
So, if you happen to be someone who’s single and longs to be in a relationship, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having your own “must’s” for the partner you seek. Just realize that some of them could end up being so limiting that it might leave you in a very small pool, one that could very well leave you single in the long run, rather than partnered…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson