Have you ever wondered who you are, what you want, what you like, and what you don’t like? And I don’t mean a pie-in-the-sky response. Have you ever really sat down and dug for the words to describe who you are—the good, the bad, and the fugly? The parts of you that are amazing? The parts of you that can be challenging?
Mid-year 2013, one of my “safe souls” (see Vulnerability & Safe Souls) suggested that I write a profile for an online personal ad. She made the suggestion because she thought it might be cathartic for me to put pen-to-paper and write my “about me,” and then spend some time writing about what I was looking for in a partner.
After some deliberate pen-to-paper action (a lot of reflection, a few edits, and some serious “cold feet”), I came up with the following:
I’m witty, passionate, compassionate, and kind. I’m sexy, goofy, an extrovert (sometimes) but also rather introspective. I know what I want out of life and what I’m capable of achieving—I also know when enough is enough … ahhh … I do believe that’s called balance and boundaries. I’m learning likes and dislikes—sounds rather juvenile and out-of-place I know, but perhaps someday I’ll explain.
I’m creative—a writer by night and by pleasure. But I’m also analytical—a financial consultant by day and pleasing necessity. And I’m dramatic. Yes, you read that right. I’m dramatic, and I own every glorious part of it. I laugh with reckless abandon, I believe with my whole heart, I see with eyes wide open, I speak what’s on my mind, I feel with a strong, intuitive sense, and I live in the moment … at least eighty percent of the time—a new, learned skill ;-). All those things make me dramatic—and proudly so.
All this said, I’m still unbelievably human, which means I make mistakes. I say I’m sorry. I forgive (myself and others). I give second chances. I’m kind to strangers, homeless people, and those who are clearly having a bad day—I make it a point to smile at each and every one of them, often. I have a small circle of friends—by choice not circumstance. I have learned to love the face I see in the mirror when I have no make-up on, and I sport the no make-up look when I don’t have a reason to be “made up.” In the evenings and on weekends, I prefer casual attire and have my own sense of style—still stylish but without all the glitz, glam, and brand to hide behind. I also have a big, beautiful heart.
OK, if you’ve read this far, my guess is that you’re wondering about my “ideal” partner.
So here goes. My ideal partner is a man who’s kind, gentle, compassionate, and funny. Someone who has an open mind, an open heart, and who is willing and able to expand both. Someone who’s intellectually curious and enjoys learning more about himself and the world—what makes us all tick—and how he can become a better partner, friend, son, brother, etc. My ideal partner is attuned to human suffering and recognizes man’s humanity to man. He enjoys simple wonders, notices small miracles, and doesn’t need extravagant or big ticket items to feel that he matters. He knows he matters. He owns who he is, where he is in life, and his choices/decisions. He strives to become his best self and live the life he wants to lead.
And last but certainly not least, he wants to make people smile. He smiles when he brings a smile to my face or someone else’s. A man who recognizes the power of the human smile has the ability to win me over (that simple “knowing” says a lot about everything that really matters to me).
So, here’s the funny thing … I didn’t get many hits/responses. Shocking, I know?! :-). And I was OK with that. I was being completely honest about who I am and what I wanted in a partner. I most likely intimidated most men who read my profile. (Hell, I got a little intimidated re-reading it myself!). But I was being honest. And for the first time in my life, I wasn’t willing to change who I am to accommodate someone else, and I wasn’t willing to pacify, overlook, or “soften” the qualities that are important to me in a partner, just to have a partner. It doesn’t mean Mr. Right needs to walk up to me possessing every single quality, but the essence of what I’m looking for needs to be there.
You see, when we’re really honest with ourselves and others, we stop chasing bad relationships, and “bad fits” stop finding their way into our lives (and staying there!). We’re able to stop the need for maneuvering and adaptation—trying desperately to make the “bad fits” work, fitting a square peg into a round hole. Instead, we recognize they’re a bad fit, and we move on (btw, they can be amazing people and bad fits at the same time).
Another cool perk—we get to drop the line about “Why do I always date/marry [blank] kind of people”.
All my life, I changed who I was to meet everyone else’s needs. I found myself going through a divorce with a ten-month old and not even feeling comfortable owning what my favorite color was. All it took was for one person to say “eeew—you like that color?” and I would change my mind and question how I could really like that color. Crazy, right?! (For what it’s worth, my fave color is orange. And just look at my name/logo now!!!).
So, do yourself a favor, and write a profile for yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re married, in a relationship, or single. Write an honest profile of yourself that includes all the things that make you amazing and all that makes you a bit of a challenge. I’m not suggesting you post it online. That’s entirely up to you. But write it as though you were announcing yourself to the world—for the first time.