The following are values that I wasn’t aware that I valued until I started dating someone for the first time.
- Truly honest communication even if you’re going to hurt the other person. I know that sounds funny, but let me elaborate. For example, I asked at the beginning how we should go about paying for things. He answered that he would pick up a majority of the time, but it would be great if I picked up once in a while. Well, it turns out he really wanted it to be a 50-50 split, but didn’t want me to think of him as cheap. From my perspective, I have been on my own for 27 years and can handle myself. I understand men don’t *have* to be providers anymore. I also appreciate frugality and good money habits. Had he been honest in the beginning, it would’ve avoided a disagreement down the road. Another example is when he suggested we take his motorcycle to Newbury street, but had no intention on actually doing so. He explained that it’s a really big risk to have me on the back. I asked my male friend what the deal was with this, and he said sometimes he promises his wife things without thinking about the consequences and in reality it would be a bad idea. He apologizes when he recognizes he does that.
- Grace. This was already on my list, but I have a new perspective. Grace for yourself. In my point on honest communication, there are going to be times you feel angry/resentful/dishonest/shameful and you need to be honest about that with your partner. It’s ok to have those feelings. Let’s figure out what’s causing them and have the respect and grace for each other to know we’re human and will feel those things and let’s work toward fixing it.
- Expecting the best out of people. I understand this can’t be helped depending on how you were raised. I come from a family where everyone we knew was a friend/trustworthy until proven otherwise. Sure, we get burned sometimes, but in the long haul it pans out. I don’t think this is a deal breaker, but it does manifest itself in odd ways.
- Empathy. I thought I was really terrible at this. While that may be true, it turns out I still have a pretty good head on my shoulders.
- Having a high self image. I often thought that if only a man were not intimidated by me it would solve all self image issues we would have. (I have none. *sarcasm*). I discovered that the man has to believe he is lovable, which is why it is important to love yourself before you get into a relationship. The hamster wheel and I were bffs as I was constantly running to make him feel like I was truly interested in him for being him, and not because I had been single for 27 years and was desperate. I know relationships are work and about choosing to love, but I learned that you can’t teach someone to love themselves.
- “The only man that deserves you is the one who thinks he doesn’t” This quote has long been a pet peeve of mine. I understand the sentiment, but I’d rather a man with the self confidence and self image to say “I’m awesome, I deserve her” than one I have to constantly work to build up (similar to 5, but I wanted to break it up)
- Consistency. In one minute, I was criticized for making him feel like a wallet. In the next, I was told not to put so much pressure on myself to figure out my retirement/being a stay at home mom situation because there would be a male in the picture to help some day. In one minute, I’d be told I was too productive and should take some downtime, and in another I was told I wasn’t productive/ambitious because I wouldn’t work toward advancing my career skills. It’s hard to hit a moving target.
- Who doesn’t keep score. Love is 100/100, not 50/50
- Someone who doesn’t treat me like a chore/obligation
- Someone I feel comfortable being honest with. I started out being honest (at times brutally) and would learn his reactions to things. It became harder and harder to be honest and I had to start making decisions about whether I would bring things up or let it go. One weekend we were going to an event near my parents’ house. I thought it would be cool if my parents could join us. However, when he met my parents, he made a comment about how meeting them was a huge deal like it was a big sacrifice he was making for me. I was hesitant to bring up having them come to the event, even though I knew they’d enjoy it.
Disclaimer-This list isn’t my comprehensive values list, it only consists of values I didn’t know I had until this relationship developed.