Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Whole Enchilada

Preface: I haven't written anything about Japan, not because I haven't been thinking about it, but because I don't know what to say. The tragedy hasn't been in my blog, but it's been in my prayers.

I turned twenty-six on Friday. I went to Happy Hour with a bunch of friends from work to celebrate my birthday and Spring Break. As usual, it turned into a discussion on "finding me a man" (their words; not mine). They wanted to know what are my non-negotiables.

As I get older, this idea of non-negotiables comes up more and more. My roommate told me her non-negotiables are not cheating and a stable job. Her non-negotiables have led her down this path where she is on the track to marriage. Only she can know what is truly in her heart, but I sometimes wonder if love was a "non-negotiable."

Now, I am not a relationship expert. I have spent far more time single than in relationships. I have learned something from being on my own, though. I have learned that I don't need someone to take care of me. I can do it.

It's just that I listen to a lot of my friends talk about relationships and they think of it sooo differently than I do. They talk about the house that they want and they see the men in their lives in terms of what he does and where he is going.

I think about my little dating frenzy last summer and I know that I can't fall in love with the whole package. Everyone thought that I should continue to date PreLawGuy. He has the bright future, he would treat me well. He really was the whole package.

I don't want the whole package, though. Down here in the Southwest we talk about something called the whole enchilada. By it, we mean, we want the good, the bad and everything else because enchiladas are so good.

I didn't want to be with someone that if he lost his job then it would change things. I guess my non-negotiable is sort of intangible. I just want to end up with someone who is who he is no matter what. I want to be with someone who thinks I am who I am no matter what. I don't know. I mean, I might not always be a skinny blonde. Certainly I won't always be young and fashionable. I might not always be a teacher. It has to be something on the inside that makes you want to be with someone.


Ricochet said...

I get it.

I had resigned myself to being single because I knew I am difficult. I am smart. I am strong. I am pushy and aggressive and can be obnoxious.

My non-negotiables were I wanted someone at least as smart as I was. And someone strong enough to stand up to me but not so strong that I would lose all the time.

And I found it.

I also gave up someone very dear to me because I knew I would run ragged over him in the long run - he just wasn't strong enough and, while I don't want to lose all the time, I don't want to win all the time either.

I think if you aren't desperate (and you don't sound it) you will find it - or it will find you.

And there are non-negotiables in life.

Jen said...

I married the person who didn't start to bug me after a few days/weeks/months! He was smart, funny, nice (and cute).

But mostly, I felt like we fit -- and I didn't date a lot, nor did I date anyone else for long periods of time, mostly because they started to annoy me pretty quickly (or I was annoyed at the person I heard myself being around them).

It worked too -- >20 years, three kids, and we're still making each other laugh a lot.

I agree with you if you marry for a lifestyle rather than the person, it's a set-up for unhappiness.

Anonymous said...

As a single guy the same age, I got those types of questions, too, but it took me a while to articulate my answer.

There's more to a relationship than having common interests or desired attributes, there's an intangible -spark-, and you either have it for someone or you don't. The girl I'm dating asked me if I thought we got along so well because we both liked to have deep conversations. I told her I was happy about it, but that it's not the important part. I mean, if I meet another girl who likes to have deep conversations, I won't leave my girlfriend for her. My girlfriend and I have a spark, and our common interests are just how we express that spark.

Common interests can give you something social to do while you look for someone...but you'll be looking for someone you spark with. That is, don't get so caught up in finding a book club for singles that you ignore the cute manager at the cafe where your book club meets.

luckeyfrog said...

I agree that there has to be a spark.

I had a very good friend that happened to be male when I was in high school. We hung out all the time, got along well, were interested in some of the same things, and I knew he was a great guy- so when he told me he liked me, I gave it a try and we went on a date.

And, unfortunately, I didn't have any feelings for him as more than a friend. We were missing that spark, even though so many other things would have fit.

With my fiance, there is a spark but we still have that friendship to back it up. One of the things that first struck me about him was that I wasn't embarrassed for him to see me in pajama pants, or without makeup, even pretty early into the relationship. There was this... ease, even with a lot of attraction.

I think you can have non-negotiables in mind, but you have to be willing to fall in love and not just cross traits off on a checklist. There are some things that just don't fit into a checklist category.

Good luck finding the whole enchilada! I think you've got the right idea.