Whatever problems I’m facing in my life are just that — my problems. I know it’s natural for a guy to want to help, but I’m an adult, capable of living my own life, and I don’t need anyone to save me. What I want in a romantic relationship is a true partner. If you don’t see me as an equal, don’t waste your time trying to come to my rescue.
- I can handle my own crap. Still, I might need your help from time to time. The difference between them is us working together to fix something instead of you bulldozing over me. Working my way through my own crap is what makes me who I am, and I’m happy to put the work in.
- I need you to listen. That’s the only way this really can be a relationship of equals. If you can’t hear me, how are we supposed to come together at all? Really listen to what I’m saying instead of hearing what you want to hear. Communication is key to a 50/50 relationship, and I want us to have it down pat.
- I want a teammate, not a coach. I want us to be partners working toward the same goal. We can’t do that without a true team player perspective. When you win, I win, and vice versa. We’re both in the game together with equal footing and experience, and we should be figuring stuff out together.
- I need your respect, not your pity. When I tell you about the hard things I’ve gone through, I dread seeing pity in your eyes. What I’ve survived has made me stronger, not pitiable. Respect is one of the major hallmarks of a great relationship — without it, there’s nowhere to go.
- I need you to have my back. Sometimes I’m going to be wrong because I’m a human being. But if I’m facing down something big, knowing you’re there to back me up will make me feel a million times better. I’ll do the same for you without question.
- I may be broken, but I don’t need fixing. It takes time to heal, and you might be part of that process, but that doesn’t mean you need to swoop in and try and make everything better instantly. Just be here with me as I work through it, and that’s more than enough.
- I need you to fight with me, not for me. This means taking the time to see my side. If we disagree, that’s okay. Just don’t leave me behind and go out to fight it on your own.
- I want a relationship, not a fairy tale. Relationships are messy. We might need to duke it out from time to time, but at the end of the day, if we respect each other, that’s what makes it work. Fairy tales are overrated, but I still believe in true love.