I Don’t Want A Boyfriend, I Want A Life Partner

There’s a difference between a boyfriend and a life partner. For one thing, a boyfriend is on an undetermined timeline with no expectations on him to stay in the relationship long-term. A life partner is someone who’s committed to sharing his life with you for as long as you both see fit. It’s pretty much the ultimate relationship. Here’s what I’m looking for:

  1. Someone I don’t need to impress To me, real comfort in a relationship means that there’s no pressure to look or act a certain way. It’s a relationship in which we accept each other unconditionally and even embrace our weirdness and quirks. We think it makes us special, in fact. I don’t wear a slinky dress or spend hours on my hair because I want to impress him or feel pressured into because I’m afraid he’ll reject me. I do it because he inspires me.
  2. Someone who I can tell anything I don’t really have anyone in my life who I can tell everything and anything to. I mean, what’s a life partner unless I can divulge to them my deepest, darkest secrets? A relationship just isn’t a real relationship if we’re both hiding things from each other. Only when we have no more dirt to dish have we officially reached life partner status.
  3. Someone who will always have my back Life partners are forever and I want to know that mine has my back until the very end. Nothing upsets me more than when the guy I’m with turns his back on me halfway through the relationship. It’s almost as if he’s reached his peak with me and then starts to act like he’s not on my side anymore. This is strictly boyfriend behavior AKA someone who’s only with me until he gets bored. A life partner would never do this.
  4. Someone I see myself building a future with I consider someone to be my life partner when I’m having unexplained thoughts of our future together. I’m not the type of girl who gets all crazy over weddings and houses and starting a family, but if he feels like more than just a temporary boyfriend, you can bet my wheels will be a-turnin’.
  5. Someone who balks at traditional gender roles With a life partner, things feel equal. It’s not about being a man and a woman, it’s about joining up to become this new thing, this force of nature that makes both of us more powerful than if we were individuals. I would feel free to explore my masculine sides and he would be free to explore his feminity without placing any expectations on ourselves.
  6. Someone who knows me on a deep level. I love it when the guy I’m with just “gets” me. When he knows me on the deepest level possible. That’s all anyone ever wants, right? A boyfriend might know me as his girlfriend but he doesn’t really know me as a whole person. That’s where the difference lies.
  7. Someone who gets my jokes I make A LOT of bad jokes and the only way a guy will be able to put up with me in the long-term is if we share the same sense of humor. Those couples who seem to have the greatest time just talking to each other is where I wanna be with someone.
  8. Someone who has nothing to hide from me With a life partner, everything is out on the table. If we’re in it for the long haul. there’s really no point in keeping secrets, is there? I want a guy who would trust me with the world, who feels like he could tell me anything and who knows that his secrets are safe with me.
  9. Someone who would drop everything if I needed him to A temporary boyfriend is not going to drop everything the second I need him—I know this from experience. I used to bend over backwards for boyfriends who had one foot in and one foot out and it proved to be really exhausting. The best and only way to know that I’ve got a genuine LP on my hands is that they will do whatever it takes to make me happy.
  10. Someone who accepts all of my emotional states. Sometimes I feel like I have to be or act a certain way in order to make a guy happy and it’s usually because I get a certain vibe from him that he wants me to be a certain way. A life partner would never expect such things from me, in fact, he would value my authenticity over being a nice and well-behaved girl whatever that may mean at the time. I don’t have to be the perfect, happy girlfriend for him because that’s not what he wants and that not what I want from him either.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.