Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twenty-Something Love

I've learned that there exists a book that talks about the quarter life crisis in 20-something women, and it isn't really about  how to get out of the crisis as much as it is a sort of toolbox to dive deeper into oneself to answer three questions; who am I? What do I want? How do I get what I want? And some more "best practices" about how to move on through your twenties.
The book was not really that interesting for me, since I have already been a self diver for a couple of years, although some of the exercises are indeed interesting. So for me, the first part of the book which deals with the three questions, is a road I've been down before. Answering the second question (what do I want) which should have been interesting, was a bit lacking. As to the third question (how do I get what I want), well it didn't stick! The second part of the book deals with building a foundation for yourself. While important, I seem to have that covered, with the exception of some of the body image issues and messed up financials. The third part consists of merely 2 chapters; one for love and one for career.
This post is about the love part.
Without further ado, the book has a lot of exercises and requires us to keep journals. I've found that my answers to a lot of these questions are actually things I would like to share, because, well, I'm talkative and I like to share :)
Exercise #1
What sacrifices do you make?
(In which we list the things we sacrifice when in a relationship, pretty obvious, duh.) So I have sacrificed the following:
  1. My identity
  2. My ambition
  3. Male friends, and female friends as well
  4. Money
  5. Independence
  6. Hobbies
  7. Time with family/friends
  8. Family ties
  9. Some morals and values
  10. Peace of mind
  11. Sanity
  12. Personal space
  13. Self image
Exercise #2
Adjustments and sacrifices
(In which we identify the adjustments we are willing to make to ourselves/our lifestyles for a relationship, and what sacrifices we will NOT make)
  • My schedule/time
    • Seems weird to be an adjustment right? Well, it is! Personal space and activities are very important to me, So are my friends and family. So to give up my alone time (or some of it as I will never give it all up to be honest) is a big deal for me.
  • Doing things together, being engaged in similar interests and family stuff
    • Guess what, I am not really interested in watching football or going fishing! Nor am I interested in video games, at least not all of them, but I want to be in a relationship where I am engaged with my partner in the things he likes, if he wants to, as I would love for him to be engaged in the things I like, without making me feel like I am dragging him along like a cranky child. Capice?
  • Financials
    • Now even though most guys out there would say they don't want their wives sharing in the household, the tone changes 180 degrees after marriage, simply because this is how life goes on now, and for a guy to ignore that, he is either filthy rich (doubtful), blind, or manipulative. So let’s be honest with ourselves from the start, shall we?
  • Living smaller
    • I'm going to emphasize on that later in the sacrifices part (which compromises its presence as an adjustment) but seriously, am I willing to live on a smaller scale than I do now with my family? Yes I am! But on my own terms.
  • Smoking. I seriously do not think I can ever be in a relationship with a smoker. There is just too much baggage there for me, even though I do enjoy the occasional second hand cigarette.
  • I can never be with someone who patronizes me, takes me for granted, or does not respect me or my choices. I'm not looking for a guardian or a father figure contrary to what everyone may think, I am looking for a life partner. So what you see is what you get, if you don't like it, roll your eyes at it, or make jokes about it, please go away!
  • I've sacrificed my friends before, some I got back, and some I lost forever, and I will forever regret that. It will not happen again. So male friends or no, two of my best friends are guys, I won't give them up, or my night out with the girls.
  • Family first! His as well as mine, and that includes treating them with the respect they deserve mister.
  • Career, ambition, crazy business idea that I decide to follow through, you name it!
  • Financial independence. I've seen too many lives ruined as a result of that. So no matter how big my money problems are, I will not give it up.
  • What I wear, what I read, what music I listen to. OFF LIMITS!!
  • My personal space. I can't be "sharing" my life all the time. Sorry, but it just takes the 'my' out of 'my life'
  • I won't compromise trust and honesty. So if he is into the mind game business, things would just go south and it would be a waste of time (besides I read somewhere that BOYS play mind games, men don't)
  • Quality of life. This is the rule that defines the adjustment. I don't mind living in a smaller place as long as it is in a good location. I don't mind having a small wedding as long as it is a good one. I am totally ok with a small car, but not a used one. Get the idea?
Exercise #3
Listing what you want
(In which I answer the question of what I want in a relationship)
P.S. I had to validate if they are not complete fiction with a male friend.. weird exercise but fun none the less :)
  1. I want peace! I don’t want the fact that I am in a relationship to stress me out. I’d like it to take away the stress instead. In other words, I’m a restless person. If I am with someone who makes me more restless, I’ll probably just kill myself!
    I just want to note that I do understand fully that relationships have their good times and their bad times, and the bad times are, guess what, stressful! But I believe, and maybe I’m a bit of a dreamer (although my male friend who took part in this exercise says that it’s a realistic request in a relationship) that it doesn’t really matter how good or bad things are, but in the end, there will always be peace inside even if things aren’t as peachy on the outside.
  2. Contentment! Not happiness necessarily, at least not happiness all the time, just to be generally okay and to know that it will always be okay.
  3. Understanding. Coming from a crazy person, this is high on the priorities list. For someone to listen AND to make sense of all the seeming nonsense I have to say, That’s it!
    Again, I am not all roses and butterflies, I know that men don’t always get it and neither do women. Men aren’t mind readers, and neither are women. If there is no good communication, there will never be any understanding.
  4. To have interesting conversations and share some laughs. So funny AND interesting.. BOTH… At the same time… my friend says it’s possible, I honestly have my doubts.
  5. Acknowledge my qualities. No, not validate me, but know my worth. Why would he be with me if he doesn’t?
  6. Support. This is the person I’m spending the rest of my life with (that’s the plan at least), do if he’s not the first person to support me through thick, thin, and crazy, as I am going to be the first person to support him, then something is definitely missing.
  7. Love, care, openness, yes all the mushy stuff too!
    Note from male friend, no man can be open 100% but yes, he should have is moments, and I should expect 60% openness. I’m fine with that.
  8. Bold. I don’t quite know how to explain that, but I want it!
  9. I want to live by a good set of values; honesty, openness, communication, generosity, trust, family, religiousness.
    Note from male friend: Yes definitely, but they don’t have to exist in both parties on the same levels (I think what he was trying to say was that men stretch the truth sometimes.. I can live with that!)
  10. Fun! It isn’t a business partnership you know!
  11. Confidence. I really think he should be confident, not threatened by me or by other men. I mean if he’s really lacking, why would I be holding on?
    Note from male friend: It can exist to an extent. Confident men don’t act upon their insecurities. I didn’t like what he said at first so he gave me a valid example. Imagine the lady is a rocket scientist. Now her partner could be amazing on all aspects and she could appreciate him to a great extent, but if he is not a rocket scientist as well, he will never be able to engage that particular passion of hers, and so he will feel lacking on not being able to do that while some other bloke from work can. I think my friend needs to watch Doctor Who, (Hello! Rory!!) But I sort of get his point.
  12. Love. Cliché but it’s a must.

  13. He has to be OK with all my shades of crazy

As a final note from my male friend, Even though this is all realistic according to him, the odds of finding all these things in the same person are “SHITTY”

I’m done!

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