I always thought it odd when people leave a breakup exclaiming ‘you will never find someone like me,’ as if this rhetoric would change anyone’s mind. Do they think someone hearing that will make them come back or are they just trying to hurt someone? (Also you kind of suck if you are just trying to hurt someone, but we all suck sometimes.)
Anyway, if someone chose not to be with you, why would they want someone like you?
We are sometimes stuck in the narcissistic idea that ‘I am the best thing in the world, so why would this person ever reject ME?’ And ‘They’re screwed in love now because they will never find love like the love I have given them.’
I have thought this in my very distant past and while the sentiment is true, I have realized it means something different. Yes, that ex-lover will never find love like you because that is the love you give that they chose to leave. The love you give is just not what this person wants or needs.
We need to understand first that every person has a choice of whether or not to be with us. This is a direct reflection of something called free will. You cannot make someone be with you or force it, unless you’re a witch in which case, right on! Love-spell away, sorcerer. Just leave me out of that end scene where one of you falls out of a window like in cult classic The Craft.
I, myself, have chosen not to be with some people– some people just as desperate to be with me as I was of some crushes in the past. I used my free will as they couldn’t push me or convince me to like them. As I have said in the past, you can’t do that.
You can’t force anyone to truly like you no matter how hard you push.
For the rest of us non-sorcerers, we are stuck trying to prove to someone that we are worthy. We try to prove that their free time, or allotted dating time is best spent with us. The thing is: we don’t even know if that is true. We don’t know if we are the best thing for someone and so this is a silly way to think.
BEST ‘PARTNER’ POSSIBLE
We should be out to find the best partner for us who matches us and complements us and our lives. We should be looking for someone that suits us and speaks our love languages, someone that works with us.
It is easy to find someone attractive. It is easy to find chemistry in bodies. It is not easy to be with someone and compromise and work to find a way to both be happy.
LOOK FOR YOU PARTNER
Kelly Gonsalves defines the term ‘partner’ as ‘a way of describing someone you’re romantically or sexually involved with. She states that “It doesn’t necessarily indicate any particular level of seriousness or commitment, although some people do tend to associate the word with a more committed relationship.” (https://www.mindbodygreen.com/wc/kelly-gonsalves)
This is why we must understand that in dating it is truly most valuable to look for a ‘partner’, a true partner-in-life. That is where that term was adapted from– first as a way to non-genderize relationships. Ya’ll forgot us gays and half-gays haven’t you? Typical.
Well partner is the best term because that is the true meaning of significant other. They are significant because you’re forming one life together, 2-in-1. You are shampoo and conditioner and unlike the claims of the late, great Mitch Hedberg, “2 can[
not] fit in one.” It can, dear sir, may your funny one-liners live on forever.
Partners find a way to build two completely different whole-lives into one merged unit. It is the miracle of partnership to fit 2-in-1.
Two wholes making this imperfect, perfect life together– the dream, the miracle of marriage/lifelong partners in any form.
MY LIFESTYLE, YOUR LIFESTYLE, THEIR LIFESTYLE
There are all kinds of lifestyles in love, many different from mine. There are people who choose to live with the ones they love, some having multiple open partners, some having one. There are people who choose not to date, choose a life of solitude. Others choose to love from afar with homes of their own. Some choose to have children or not, some choose to travel and some to stay put.
There are so many lifestyles that one can choose and design to work for them– to work towards happiness in love. Those lifestyles are all their own. They are not part of my experience and so I cannot speak on them. My point in mentioning this is, I am not saying everyone should be out in pursuit of one lifelong partner, with the dogs and the kids, and or a storybook ending. This is merely my ‘dream’ partner, the life I have seen myself in with my eventual everlasting loveeeeeeee.
When I say the ‘dream,’ I fully encourage you to figure out your own. Maybe your attractions or your designs are not mine. You don’t have to be stuck in societal norms. I have spent my entire adult life figuring out where I align in the master scheme of gender roles, sexuality, and queerness. All of us are thrown into society are expected to look for those heteronormative dreams.
Honestly, I am still figuring it out. The fluidity of desire, attraction, and the natural adapting of new lifestyles is something I have always enjoyed exploring. My 16-year-old self would be floored; her mouth would truly drop if she knew where it was all going. Not a bone in my body said ‘queer’ to me until later, ‘tomboy’ being the only thing I heard as a child. All of that said, I am somehow still looking for the white picket fence. Take that as you will.
A LIFESTYLE YOUR OWN
Figure out your own lifestyle and then be honest with your partners, or just yourself. As always, I say communicate and get what you want out of relationships.
My dreams include a lifestyle of settling down in the one place I love, traveling when COVID stops. I would be close enough to work to get there when it snows, but have a place to go when it’s pretty out (and not 7 degrees like now.) I see some dogs and kids in the very distant, body-doesn’t-want-to-play-rugby-anymore, future. In the meantime, I am playing rugby and running my way through the weekends.
These dreams are rapidly coming together in this part of my life and so these dreams are creating my actual real-world lifestyle. My lifestyle is based on the fact that I want my own solo life— plus one loving partner. I have tunnel vision and I love spending time with one person when I can, which is why I have always chosen monogamy.
Jeez Louise, I can’t even imagine being able to find attention for two love interests with my schedule. I also can’t see myself ever truly being in love with two people at once. It hasn’t happened. Usually I shift and it just isn’t there anymore for that last person, even when a real friendship remains.
I don’t put down any other lifestyles because not only am I accepting of all, I truly don’t understand why some people want to get involved in other people’s choices.
I couldn’t care less where others choose to live or who they live with. Unless someone else is hurting me or other people, I am not phased.
I am open with what I want with my partners because things can change. You can’t get upset with someone because they changed their mind. You CAN get upset with someone if they change their minds and lie or try to hide it. For one example, sexual health is important so something like cheating can drastically affect your partner.
Monogamy is a choice. Polyamory is a choice. All of these lifestyle preferences discussed are choices. If you are open about them, they’re all fine with me.
WHAT DO I WANT LIST
Now, I am neurotic, so this is of course extreme, but I implore you to think about what you want in a partner. I have truly journaled and made a list. If that is crazy to you, make a mental list. At least reflect on it.
What do you want? Who is your ideal partner? Envision them and maybe you’ll find you’re a witch and they look exactly like what’s in your head! Or maybe, you’re normal, and just maybe, you will still find the person that checks all the boxes of the What You Want checklist.
I have figured out why the hell my last partners didn’t last or didn’t even get to the level that I would call ‘partner.’ I have figured out how I fucked up and could have been better. I have figured out why all the ‘talking tos, the ‘hooking up,’ and all those levels in between didn’t last. They didn’t check the boxes! They didn’t complete the list of what I wanted. The percentages sometimes were deplorable. I mean how hot could he be? 2 out of 10? YIKES!!
Oh, the exceptions. The exceptions are rare, but I always talk about some people being different. Some people are so magical that you make exceptions even though they don’t check some boxes. Maybe they are the witches and you’re the one under a spell.
Now, I can’t say these exceptions or non-checked boxes mean that it won’t work, because I have seen it in others. People have found some ways to make the exceptions work. I have seen the outdoor adventurer settle down with a homebody– finding separate time to enjoy their own separate interests, but also finding time for their love. I have seen the rare exceptions work.
None of the exceptions ever worked for me, but I can’t ever deter love.
True love is weird and rare. Yours just might be an exception.
FINDING THAT PARTNER
Now, as far as finding the partner goes– the wheres, the hows, the pickup lines– well those I can’t help you with. The thing I will say is looking for a partner will always be difficult, but try to look past your mere physical attractions. Try to truly think of if you work with someone, if you are capable of having them as a partner.
Do your love languages match? Does your lifestyle match?
Partners are teammates-in-life, ones you get to sleep with. I think we can agree we’re all mostly looking for that.
We are all just looking for someone who is ‘on our team’ in life. That means they are out for us to win and we are out for them to win. Same team so we both win if we win! We play the same game and play by the same rules. We call the plays and listen to each other. When one of us calls the ball, the other doesn’t go for it and knock us over. It is easy to exist when all of things fall so easily in line. Easy to exist as (sexy) teammates-in-life.
I may be dating someone from my rugby club, but I promise this metaphor extends past the literal. Find your life ‘teammate.’
AND IF YOU DON’T
So if there is a next breakup for you, and I’m sorry but that’s the case for a lot of us, but if there is, remember: there is someone better for you just like there is for them.
If you’re the one doing the breaking up or you’re the one saying you’ll never find someone like me, you’re right, and I hope they’re looking for someone better for them, as you should, too.
You don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you or with someone that doesn’t match you. And even if you think you do right now, you won’t forever and you will get over them.