This is how I want to be treated | Part One

Since I wrote the post about what I was looking for I have been thinking about two more things – how I want to be treated, and the characteristics I’m looking for in a partner.

It’s taking me a while to get to these posts because I had such great material from FetLife.

I suspect this is going to be a series, as I think of more things that matter to me. Now, when something feels crappy, I am trying to pay more attention to it and figure out what the source of the issue is. Given the generally bad behaviour I observe on a regular basis, there’s no lack of inspiration!

Here are the things that first came to mind regarding how I want to be treated.

Make me a Priority
I want to feel like I am a priority. Despite being busy, I can carve out time for another person, and I want the same in return. It’s about making an effort, taking a little bit of time, and letting me know I matter.

I didn’t say #1 priority. And this is probably significant. A man is not going to be my primary priority. My son comes first. I’m working on making my friends come next.

Perhaps what creeps me out with men who are too overbearing is they go too quickly to #1 priority (or it feels that way). Conversely, I won’t make a man my #1 priority either. Sometimes I get a little (cough cough) obsessive, I do recognize that.

However, nobody will ever be more important than my child, even in a committed long term relationship. But there also won’t be all that many times that I would have to choose one or the other. I think.

Be in regular contact
I want to hear from someone. The reality is with smartphones, it’s pretty easy to be in regular contact.

I expect someone to be in touch with me every day, unless we talk about it in advance. Now, I do not mean constant texting all day – I have done it, but don’t need it. Nor can I do it most days, so it’s a precedent I no longer want to set with someone. Because for me, I don’t want them to feel like I’m backing away, and neither do I want to be on the receiving end. In addition, I would prefer to be able to focus on my son in the evenings.

Perfect for me would be a brief exchange in the morning via text, perhaps a comment or two throughout the day. In the evenings it totally depends. Some days all I have time for is something short via text.

But other times I would love to have a phone conversation after my son goes to sleep. Last night I asked Dan if I could call him instead of texting, and he called me in response. It felt nice. We chatted for 15 minutes, said goodnight, and I went to sleep.

As much as I get caught in texting, I prefer phone calls when I can. Especially before meeting someone in person. You get a much better sense of them. Now I will insist on a phone call before I meet someone in person. I haven’t always in the past.

Communicate with me

Last but not least….I need someone who communicates with me. Yes, this is different from contact – because contact doesn’t have to have a lot of depth. Contact is touching base.

Communication is more about the content and willingness to engage in real dialogue. I understand that not everyone is an open book, but as you probably know from reading my blog, I delight in conversation. Debate. Inquiry.

I will probably ask a date things he doesn’t want to answer. I would like to be with someone who can say “you know, I’m not really comfortable answering that question”. Usually I am totally fine with that. Exceptions would be if I’ve asked if he is married or in a relationship. That kinda shit he needs to tell me right away.

I would like to not be left guessing how things are going, how someone wants to be engaged, what they want. Now, I know I need this to an extreme, and I’m working on it. My insecurities get triggered when my basic needs aren’t met. For example, with Dan, I’m not sure why I wasn’t hearing from him all that often. It would be great if he could proactively say “hey, just so you know, I often get home from work and need some time to chill out – then I go into my garage to fix my car. If you want to talk with me in the evenings the best way is just call me.”

Perhaps a better example is the kind of thing that Andrew did when we first started talking. He was very good at communicating what he was looking for. I was really clear. I liked that I didn’t have to drag it out of him.

So, those are the first three: Make me a priority (but not necessarily #1), be in regular contact (but not non-stop), and communicate with me (even if it means telling me you don’t want to tell me something).

These don’t seem all that extreme to me. You?

0 thoughts on “This is how I want to be treated | Part One

  1. Not extreme at all… Necessary! The right man will give u these things without having to ask. The right man is someone who wants to remain in contact because you are on his mind. That’s how it should be. No game playing and replying to texts 3 hours later, just a genuine desire to communicate with you that they won’t hide.
    Always set high standards, you deserve a good man.

      • I have made a list of deal breakers and written about that, but never a list of what I’m looking for or what I want or what I need. I definitely think that I should get a list like that on paper though. It is easier to make sure you are with someone who is meeting your needs if you’ve been able to identify them yourself. I feel like my list will look very similar to yours. On my “to write” list I will add “write list!”

  2. These sound perfectly reasonable! I was thinking about doing the same thing myself…in a way it’s like consciously manifesting the man you really want and deserve.

    • Exactly. I think it’s a great idea and the time is right for me to do it too. Reality is a year ago I could have made the same list, but I wouldn’t have stuck to it at all. Now I think it can help me focus my energy on those who are worthwhile. Or at least have the potential to be worthwhile!

      I look forward to reading your list πŸ™‚

  3. Not only is this NOT extreme, this treatment should come naturally. If a guy can’t do this without prompting, it will eventually fade even if he responds to your queues. I don’t understand why this would be so difficult to expect from another person who says that they want to be with you.

      • I wouldn’t go there so quickly, sweetie. It may take a guy some time to get a feel for you and hold back until he trusts you with himself.

        Communication is only just now beginning to develop for Will and me. I can’t believe that we let this go for so long.

          • I think that the situation and the guy and your response to them will dictate the priority. We are human and complex beings. We may habe preferences and patterns to our character, but we are fluid and respond to what happens around us. There isn’t a script that we follow. You are aware of what you want and I think that you are starting to understand what it is that you need.

        • Savannah,

          Not to argue with you, my love, but our communication is starting to really expand. We are being tested right now, but we are getting through it BECAUSE we have been communicating openly and honestly for a while now.

  4. Well said! It’s funny you mention the texting/calling thing because I always get really surprised when any one of my guy friends actually call me because I only expect texts. It is sad that the phone call is such a shocker. Texts can be useful and efficient but sometimes phone calls are more efficient and should be recognized as such! Rant over haha but I really liked your stipulations for how you want to be treated, same goes for me!

    • I know what you mean! I didn’t even have a phone that *could* text before I became single (my company locked down that functionality on my blackberry). Everything was email and phone. When I started dating I realized I needed to be able to text, and then quickly I ended up predominantly communicating that way.

      Like you, I remember the first guy who called me and it felt odd! But I quickly realized it was WAY better when meeting someone new. And you can have a much faster conversation than endless texting. Forget the risk of being misunderstood :/

      Have you written a list about what you want?

  5. So, um, if you don’t wanna be his #1 priority, where on his “priority list” do you feel you need to be positioned? I read “Make Me a Priority” three or four times to make sure I read it right before asking this question…

    • First of all my son will always come first if I have to make a decision. I know for men who are parents it is likely the same.

      I don’t mind being THE priority, but right away is offputting. For me what priority means is making decisions on a regular basis that lets me know they are choosing me. So, calling me instead if washing your hair. Or carving out time in a week to make time. That kind of thing.

      Does that make sense?

      • Yeah – I understood that because I’m a parent as well… but that’s not why I asked the question: Women are so funny about this by wanting to be a priority but, then again, not so much of one… but you’d better not ‘forget’ or ignore her in anyway or do something dumb like blow off a date with her to hang out with your boys… but if you spend too much time making them your #1 priority, now you’re being too clingy and not giving her any space.

        Does this sound familiar? I asked because I’ve learned (the hard way) that what priorities mean to me doesn’t tend to jive with what it means to a woman and more so since most women I know can’t stand being set at a lower priority in the first place; I’ve had it said to me – and I’ve heard it said to other men – that if they’re not going to be the #1 thing in a man’s life, they can keep moving on and there’s no excuse for us not to make them our #1 priority and Lord help us if we don’t.

        • You raise a very good point and it’s something I haven’t really articulated clearly.

          In my marriage, for example, I used to encourage my ex to build relationships with friends. He wasn’t all that social and so it was a challenge. I wanted him to have outside interests. So I’m not someone who expects that in a long term relationship that I’m the only one the person spends time with.

          I want my own free time to spend with friends (or by myself), so it’s helpful when your partner sees things the same way.

          For now I can speak to extremes. I don’t want to feel like there is almost ALWAYS something else that comes first. Friends, sporting events, work, sleep, etc. That is crappy. I want to feel like someone is making an effort to carve time out for me.

          On the other extreme, maybe it’s not as simple to just say “#1 priority”. Because my friends and family etc. are also important. It really shows when there is a tie that needs to be broken – in my marriage or a long term relationship, if I have plans with a friend but then something happens to my partner that means I need to stay home with them, I would do that.

          I need to think more about how to articulate this.

  6. I assume that this is merely a list and that there isn’t necessarily an order of precedence for these first three. If so, I find it interesting that you have communication at the bottom of the list. I am not being critical of this, but to me it appears that it is less important. I think that most relationships suffer because communication (honest, deep and substantive interaction between two people who care about each other) is not sincere nor do both parties fully engage. What is lost on people in regards to communication is that listening to your partner (meaning having empathy, understanding, identifying with) is as important as one’s own verbalizing and expression of thought. Do we honestly know HOW to listen?

    Savannah and I are still learning about this. We only really began to communicate with each other once we figured out (on our own) that we could be vulnerable to each other. This meant that we had to trust each other with everything inside of us. I knew that I had to stop cherry-picking my thoughts and what consumed my mind, giving her that which will be easy (my assumption) for her to digest. No. She needs it all. She needs to know where my head AND my heart are. I need the same from her.

    Communication is difficult. It is challenging. I have a daily fight with my instincts of self-preservation (which causes me to want to hold things back) and I need to persevere and trust my wife with me.

        • What you wrote makes perfect sense. I agree with you but wanted to ensure it was clear that there was no priority sequence.

          I understand the place you are in and can see why this would be a hot button for you right now.

          • I don’t think you see yourself quite as I do. There is considerably much more about you that I am learning (especially in your recent comments) that gives me a touch of insight into the real you. I like that side of you and I hope that I get to see more of it.

          • I don’t know if,

            a) what I want to say to you would be appropriate for you blog,

            b) if when others read what I have to tell you would leap to the wrong conclusions (especially in light of my situation),

            c) I could fill a rather lengthy post and I would probably shoot myself if it was lost in the process and vanished into the WP black hole after laboring on it.

          • Well obviously I can’t force you to tell me…but I hardly think there is anything that could be inappropriate on my blog. Also, anyone who takes your words on my blog, then reads your blog, and draws some nefarious conclusion, can bugger off.

            But I would love to know what you think and if you would rather email it to me that’s fine too. But if I love it, and/or if it challenges me in a really serious way, then I may ask your permission to post it.

          • Ann,

            I signed off and got in a lengthy workout. Savannah came home from the gym, we caught up with the kids, got them off to bed and then spent a lengthy night talking about some posts, my comments, her comments, other peoples’ comments some emails that were related to her posts and how we both are dealing with it all. Needless to say, my mind and night were consumed.

            I am working through a MOUNTAIN of emails and then there is this work-thing. πŸ˜‰

            I am going to write what I said that I would. Not just for you, but for me as well.

          • Wow! Zing!!!

            If you can’t tell by now that my frame of mind is considerably off kilter, well then, all hope for us is lost. I don’t know what I am going to do without you, Ann. πŸ˜‰

            “Mr. Literal.” You are too funny and I really *need* funny. Thank you for that.

            “Glad you are going to write. I also look forward to you telling me…” for the record, I was referring to the email regarding the earlier comment about you. I haven’t fully resigned myself to write about “my side” of the event. If I do, I might let a little more time elapse just so I can clear my head and think about what I want to say without emotional distractions.

          • Ah, gotcha. Given the situation and that you and Savannah are already talking a lot about it, it’s probably best to collect your thoughts before you write about what happened.

            But when it comes to me? Write away πŸ™‚

          • Yes, my dear Ann. I am fully capable of expressing my thoughts about you in the midst of all of this. I think that because of this situation (and your very poignant comments), you are on my mind and my heart. Yes, I will be putting thought to keys.

          • FYI…I finished my post. It is set to be published tomorrow. I need to let it gel for a while just to make sure that I am ok with what I wrote and that nothing was overlooked.

  7. I guess im still new to singledom, but this was a factor in all my relationships prior…we were a priority to each other (i.e, decision making without the other there, setting plans for the weekend) while still having our outside life (hanging out with friends or doing your own thing). Having that balance is where relationships will thrive. Remember, you are your own priority before anything else. I disreguarded that rule and i ended up forgetting who I was….

  8. Oh Ann, that was a rhetorical question, right? πŸ˜‰ A couple of things;
    1) i’d expect this topic to be a series-especially as you evolve and have new, different and even similar experiences. what I’ve found I enjoy is your process while you are on this journey. Always open, honest and frankly, messy at times. It’s all good.
    2) while this list isn’t in particular order, I don’t know that they can be because depending on the person or situation, they can all be weighted equally
    Great post Ann, a good reminder of what we should all want and strive to give as well.

    • Thank you…you know how much I appreciate you sticking around for my journey πŸ™‚

      Things ARE messy at times, for sure. Some of these things I haven’t had to think about ever. Not to the same extent. So I’m still very much figuring things out as I go.

  9. Not only this is perfectly reasonable as it is the minimum we can expect from someone who truly care about us.
    Best of luck, Ann, you deserve this. Don’t settle for less πŸ™‚

  10. I’m sure we could start a club of who is in on this list! The phone call thing….have to say I’m rarely ahead of you but I learned that one very quickly after the catfish cop. Never again.

    Further, I’m sure most in this blog will agree about the contact and communication…but we blog. I find this to be very elusive. I agree it’s impossible to really find a good excuse for not contacting someone every day to at least day you can’t communicate that day.

    • I realized that last fall but just hadn’t had to really think about it lately, given the relationships I had earlier this year. But really good for you to realize it early on. Super important.

      And yes, it’s a good point…there’s really no reason.

  11. Pingback: Forthcoming | My blog is my boyfriend

    • Oooohhh well I’m hoping my rules help. I have found lots of “advice” promoting game playing and being inaccessible, to keep a man’s attention. I’m not sure I can do that. But perhaps it works?

  12. Communication…Jesus…I swear every single person in the history of dating should be made to take a class in communication. Know what you want! Be able to make that clear verbally and through your actions! …these are not high demands here…Jesus!

  13. Agree 100% with the things you look for, because hell the chemistry just builds when you’re in touch, when you show concern. Instead of random hook ups.

    I thought I was one of those people that was okay with a FWB without any contact. But I’ve learned over time, I need to be spoken with, shown interest in etc.

    • There is a real difference for me between a hook up at a swingers club and someone who I may see regularly. But I realized through all this that I can’t really have an “FWB”. I think they are bullshit, frankly, unless you were actually friends before you started having sex.

      I’ve yet to see or hear of a situation where a man will put out an effort to date a woman (dinners, events, etc) when it’s casual sex only. But I thought this could happen and I see other women speak about it as well.

      • Sure its rare, but I think it happens. Perhaps more so if the ‘relationship’ is setup that way though? You aint getting none, till I get some (dinner, dates, etc)

        But for the most part you’re right, we’re sto sex driven, humans/men. Once you know you’ve got ahem, access, its not the same. The drive isn’t there!

What do you think?