Belenen (belenen) wrote,

What do you look for in a significant other? (what I want to be given)

most people answer, in one order or another, “intelligence, looks, humor," maybe with a shared hobby thrown in. I think those people are super new to understanding humans because 1) everyone has those things and 2) those things don’t make a relationship good.

If you actually want a positive relationship that nourishes you, I'm convinced you have to figure out what you want another person to GIVE, not what you want another person to BE. Except for sex-related things, this whole list pertains to close friends as well:

I want to be given:
1) love.
mostly expressed through the rest of this list. I want to feel that the person has a very deep appreciation for my existence. That is especially important at my birthday, as I feel like celebrating that day is a statement that the person feels my existence is a gift.

2) respect (belief in equality and practice of careful consent)
Being respectful of me and of all humankind (a person doesn't have to be perfectly equalist, but has to work on shunning/dismantling ranking systems like sexism, racism, heterosexism, lookism, elitism, etc.). Being respectful of all life and refrain from causing unnecessary destruction. Also being willing to pay close attention to my yes/no, my boundaries about my body, and to avoid pressuring me to anything I did not want to do.

3) expressions of desire to understand me.
Especially asking questions about things they know I care about, and asking follow-up questions to things I share, and giving feedback for the things I share. Particularly while listening to me with their whole body facing me while making eye contact.

4) expressions of valuing our connection and wanting to be close to me.
For instance, pointing out things about our connection that are especially nourishing, or that are unique. And simply stating it, like "I love how we connect." Also, building our connection through pointing out spaces or times when it is weaker and working on it. (and, if we were in a sexual relationship, expressing desire to have sex with me specifically, and appreciation for how we have sex). Another way of expressing that they value our connection would be talking about it to others, or showing public affection, or representing it in art, or appreciatively mentioning to others something I've done (in my presence).

5) affection.
through focused and emotionally present touch, eye contact, and verbal appreciation of my passions and idiosyncrasies. Especially these specific things: cupping my face in their hands and looking in my eyes. initiating kisses. hugging with bodies pressed close and faces nuzzled in for at least 8 seconds. rubbing my feet. kissing me randomly on shoulders or whatever part is in reach. stroking my back or arms lightly and briefly in passing. playing with my hair. holding my hands and looking in my eyes. noticing some small thing I do uniquely and commenting on it with affection, or adopting it as part of their self-expression also.

6) inspiration to grow, learn, and create, through them doing those things and encouraging me in those things.
looking for opportunities to grow and mature, especially with regards to increasing compassion and unlearning prejudice. Actively creating a more positive self and world, and being curious about everything (and people in particular). And being creative in some way or another (including work as an art form). Asking questions about my processes in these areas, pointing out places I have grown or could grow, and making sure to give space for those things.

7) voluntary and enthusiastic communication, through them sharing openly and honestly with me.
share zir thoughts/feelings/motives voluntarily and truthfully, with a goal of becoming ever more authentic and transparent. Desire to be known by me as much as possible.

8) freedom, through them not placing expectations on me without my explicit consent.
this means especially not expecting that kind things I do imply that I will continue to do those things. Every single time needs to be a gift, never an obligation. Also, not expecting a certain amount of my time, or to be prioritized above other things.
Tags: love, openness, questions, relationships, the essential belenen collection, touch

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