Committing To Me Is A Privilege, Not A Chore

We’ve been dating for a while, but so far, no “talk.” Even though we haven’t yet formalized the commitment, I can tell that he thinks I’m something special—and he’s right. He’s imagining what life could be like with me as his plus-one. He knows perfectly well that I’m imagining the same, but the single life can be a hard habit to kick. In case he’s wondering, here’s why he’d be lucky to call himself my boyfriend.

  1. I know how to mix it up. If the million dating profiles I’ve read are any indication, every dude want to date a woman who “enjoys going out but also staying in.” I want the same well-rounded romantic experience they do! We can road trip, hike, hit the nude beach, or get gussied up for craft cocktails at that trendy spot downtown. We can schlep around the house all night, eating huge plates of nachos and watching dumb ’80s movies. He doesn’t need to date multiple women—I’ll give him enough variety to keep his life as well-spiced as he can handle.
  2. I’m independent and like doing my own thing. I’m not planning to latch onto him like a parasite and honestly, I’m not sure why the concept of exclusivity sends some men into a panic about losing their freedom. Psh! He’s really flattering himself to think I’m any more willing to sacrifice mine. Don’t worry—I’m not about to waste my time with a guy who’s constantly swerving to avoid a relationship. He can have all the freedom he wants—if he doesn’t hope to be with me and only me, I’ll be moving on to better things.
  3. I’ll get along with his friends and family. I can watch the game with him and his bros. I can assist his dad in the kitchen. I can even listen respectfully to his wacky aunt’s conspiracy theories. No, his nearest and dearest aren’t going to scare me off. If they’re important to him, I’ll always give them a chance. Their alleged strangeness is no excuse for keeping me at arm’s length. He should give them—and me—a little credit. Hell, I’m pretty weird myself; we might all get along better than he could have imagined.
  4. I’m a realistic optimist. He’s not perfect but if he gives me a chance, I might think he’s pretty good. Between us, we’ve got enough flaws and quirks create all kinds of hilarious configurations. It’ll be a beautiful mess and I’m sure the joys will heavily outweigh the frustrations. I won’t ignore the problem areas but I also won’t let them overwhelm me.
  5. He can take me at my word. Whatever self-help lit wants us to believe, no, we don’t come from separate planets, so he can cool it with that sideways look like he’s attempting to translate everything I’ve told you from girl language into plain English. I say what I mean; I mean what I say, whether it’s “I love you” or “I need a burrito immediately.” Isn’t that exactly the kind of communication he wants in our relationship?
  6. I’m extremely generous as long as I’m appreciated. For the right guy, I’d give up the last slice of pizza or spend all day together painting his living room. It’s not that I’ll suffocate him with my kindness. (Trust me, the moment he takes unfair advantage, the sweet favors will cease in a blink.) I just know how to show affection for those who’re worthy of it. My lend-a-hand attitude may seem selfless but I get the satisfaction of making someone I care about happy. I can’t imagine a better reward than that.
  7. I don’t nag or start fights—I know how to choose my battles. A one-off mistake doesn’t send me into a rage. I prefer to let a minor annoyance go without losing my mind, especially when it’s an unintentional gaffe. Even if we’re dealing with something recurring, I try not to resort to “you always” or “you never.” He should be warned, though—my reasonable attitude doesn’t mean he can treat me badly. If he doesn’t play as nice as I do, I’ll be the one to leave.
  8. I’ll make him think. Don’t get me wrong—those blissful spaced-out moments staring deep into his eyes are nice, but I can give him a lot more than winsome smiles and cheerful agreement. I like to engage intellectually too. I’ll introduce viewpoints or theories he maybe hadn’t considered before and I’ll want him to do the same for me. Cerebral chemistry is an important part of any relationship. A true partner won’t blandly agree with everything he says. She’ll ask questions, deliver counterpoints, and generally keep him on his toes. I’m a true partner if there ever was one.
  9. I don’t play games. Seriously, he’ll always know where I stand. If I’m available and I want to see him, I will. I’ll respond to his texts when I see and read them, not consult mathematical charts to figure out how many hours I need to wait.  A man who only wants me when I seem like an uncertain bet isn’t much of a man. Isn’t it nice to pair off with a woman who’s straightforward instead of strategic?
  10. I’ll let him go in an instant if he’s not feelin’ it. I’ve got no vise-like grip on his soul, nor do I WANT one. I’m asking him to join his life with mine for exactly as long as we both can honestly say that’s the best thing for us both. If he feels anything less than enthusiasm for our relationship, let’s scrap it. It does me no good to cling to a false hope, and I’ve made it plenty damn clear that I need a commitment in order to feel fully satisfied. I’d like him to give it to me, but above all, I’m begging him to be honest if he can’t. I’m too old for limbo. No matter whether he thinks I’m “The One,” I’m certainly worthy of his respect.
Jackie Dever is a freelance writer and editor in Southern California. When she's not working, she enjoys hiking, reading, and sampling craft beers.