Still Searching: What Do We Look For In a Relationship?

I know, I know, another post focused on the trials and triumphs of love. Aren’t we all searching for that one person that makes us smile for no reason? Brings out our best? You know, that individual we encounter where logic ceases to exist, and emotions we never knew we had come to the surface, creating an unexplainable desire to spend each waking moment with them? Come on, you know. Or, maybe you don’t.

I’ve been in love. A couple of times, actually. I firmly believe  we are designed to love a number of times before solving love’s puzzle. We learn from our past, present and future lovers– What we desire from an emotional standpoint; physically. Eventually, we piece together all the little positives and negatives from our previous lovers, and BOOM, he/she arrives. Suddenly, a flurry of feelings emerge and deep down, it makes absolutely no sense. It is illogical. Simply put, you cannot rationalize love.

Somehow, all of the positive attributes from people we once loved fuse into our perfect companion. While all the negatives seem to disappear. Your humor? They love it. That weird noise you make in your sleep, or that face you make? Guess what, they’re doing it right along with you. You develop comfortability, respect, trust and the ordinary, becomes extraordinary. Spending time in silence is no longer boring–it is peaceful, soothing and strengthens the bond between two individuals. Discussing past traumas becomes a source of inspiration as the two of you accept each other’s pasts, downfalls and make a conscious effort to support one another, grow together. It’s by and far the greatest feeling in this world, yet many of us choose to ignore it, or attempt to rationalize these emotions.

When I take a woman out, I hope to connect with them beyond the physical attributes of the initial attraction. Because let’s face it, the majority of people in this world decide whether or not they will go out somebody purely based on their level of attraction. However, there is much more to a person than their appearance. You set me up with an amazingly, drop dead gorgeous woman who is superficial, cannot hold a conversation or is disconnected via technology, I’m gone. Now, you set me up with a woman who is intelligent, confident, self-aware and focuses on the conversation rather than social media, I am hooked. I will actively search for a deeper level of connection.

I am 23, soon to be 24. (Yikes!) I have high expectations. The reality is, I am going to be open, and show you the person I am around my closest friends. There are no boundaries. Because if you want to build anything that is going to last beyond a couple beers and a good night kiss, it needs to be with an individual who accepts you, for you. All of your quirks, weird sense of humor, openness, sense of self, fears, hopes, dreams, downfalls, inappropriate comments. Whatever makes you tick, and defines you as an individual, needs to be presented from day one. Hiding behind a false self simply to come across as “normal,” or to project what society feels is acceptable won’t get you anywhere.

I have learned that me, being me, can be a lot to handle. I make inappropriate comments much of the time, I discuss my childhood traumas, share my beliefs about love. I don’t hold back. My innate ability to read people, gauge their feelings and ask the tough questions often ends in one of two scenarios: we connect on a deeper level quickly, or I scare the hell out of them. Generally, when the former occurs, at one point or another, she becomes terrified as well. Or, at the very least, confused. Confusion begets frustration in early relationships as these new emotions become internalized, and  we do our utmost best to rationalize these feelings. “I can’t feel this way about him/her. It makes no sense. We hardly know each other, but I’m emotionally attracted to this person and find myself wanting more.” Remember, it isn’t supposed to make sense! Emotions are not rational, and that is okay.

When I connect with a person on an emotional level, it drives me to learn more about how they function. I want to spend more time together, discover their fears, passions. I want it all. It consumes me. It takes a certain level of trust, and comfort, for me to let somebody in. Normally I know if the relationship will develop. A lot of the time, you just know. In the depths of your soul, you recognize when a person is special, or important. The little things such as goofy, nonsensical conversations become the highlight of your day, while the deeper, more difficult talks seem to be easier than they should be. Again, it follows no logic. It is that fear of the unknown that holds us back from accepting that maybe, just maybe, this person is worth it. You never know until you try.

It’s often the “trying” component that holds us back. Attempting to formulate a relationship built on trust and mutual respect requires a great deal of vulnerability. We ask ourselves, “what if I open up, only to get hurt?” Truth is, you WILL get hurt. It’s just a reality and necessary part of the process. Being vulnerable requires us to open ourselves completely, take chances, make foolish decisions and trust another person with our hearts. It is terrifying. Confusion takes over, self-doubt. “Am I good enough to be loved? What do I have to offer in this relationship that continues to keep this person around? What is my worth?” You will never know without seeking those answers through a series of relationships characterized by pain, anguish and happiness.

It is okay to be vulnerable. It is okay to be scared of your emotions. Allowing another person in provides us with the opportunity to develop a meaningful partnership, and teaches us lessons about both ourselves and others. That pain and anguish you felt when the person you thought you loved most left, cheated, broke your trust? Builds strength, character. Those heartaches eventually lead us to the “one.” So if it doesn’t make sense, have no fear. Go with it, and give it a chance to develop into what could be an amazing journey. You deserve to be loved, we all do. Take a leap of faith.

So, what do we look for in a relationship? A number of things. Compassion, connection, comfortability, understanding, lust, love, attraction, anger, pain. An array of emotions we cannot rationalize. We seek out that one person who helps make sense of it all, and makes us smile as we look back on all we endured to reach that one moment. Me, personally? I’m still searching myself. I have gotten close, and determined what I want and don’t want from a partner. I open up, let others in and wait. Wait for the person who proves to me love is worth it in the end. Until then, I merely hope I have a lasting impact on those I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter over the years, positive or negative. Who knows, maybe they think of me from time to time….or they want to tear my eyes out. Whose to say.

Confusion, diffusion an inability to comprehend.

I am merely a poet, and this is simply a lover’s lament.

Does not make much sense at all.

Laughing, connecting, an emotional waterfall.

I will be there to catch you in case you should fall.

Trust, lust, attraction, what does it all mean?

Fear holds us back, leaves parts unseen.

The sweetness of love more addicting than any nicotine.

Are you scared of the unknown?

For it terrifies me, too.

Seems like the seeds of time are constantly resown.

Follow your heart, perhaps it is time to renew.

Maybe not then, or not even now.

Appears I was misguided, wasn’t ready anyhow.

Perhaps in the future, it is all meant to be.

For now I seek depth,

For the future I cannot see.

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