One year ago today, my life ended. After the last of many break ups, I moved out of the apartment that had become my home in the past year. This day marks the beginning of the real end of my last relationship and was followed by weeks of agony and pain. To leave all this behind – the hopes and dreams that I had with my ex-partner, all the energy I had put into our home – was just devastating, and the prospect of starting all over again by myself left me lying in bed for the follwing days.
One year ago today, my life began. I knew I was taking the right decision, no matter how hard it was at that moment. I knew I could only look forward and make the best out of it by using my newly gained freedom to create something new. I allowed everything to be there: missing him, hating him, loving him, drinking each night to numb the pain, meeting and having sex again because we’re just so used to each other, getting closer again just to have another even bigger fight. I allowed and accepted it all, because I knew it would end one day, one way or the other, and I would come out of it even stronger.
Coming out of an emotionally abusive, codependent relationship, I really didn’t know what was real anymore for a few months. But the more distance I get to this one-year-long relationship that felt like a lifetime, the more I can see all the things that went wrong. And in my recent Vipassana course, I spent a full day thinking about what I will look for in my next partner(s). This is mostly a reminder for myself, but maybe it can be helpful for you as well:
I deserve a partner, or several partners, who
- take the decision to trust me
instead of questioning my ability to love and constantly demanding proof of my appreciation.
- treat me as the independently feeling and thinking human being that I am
instead of claiming that they know more about what I’m thinking or feeling than I do myself.
- respect my need to be alone
instead of taking it personally when I don’t want to spend time with them or their friends or when I’m not interested in the same things as them.
- give me a safe space to express my feelings
instead of making me afraid that they will judge me for it or or hold it against me.
- communicate openly about their feelings, desires and fears
instead of expecting me to read their fucking mind.
- know what’s their own shit and that they mainly have to deal with it themselves
instead of making me responsible for their problems.
- love me for who I am and where I’m at right now
instead of subliminally or even openly suggesting that I’m not good enough in this or that regard.
- accept my sexuality as an integral part of my self
instead of morally judging me for it.
- understand jealousy as a sign of possessiveness, insecurity and distrust,
not as an expression of “real love”.
- have the desire to constantly work on themselves,
because no one is free of mistakes.
- rejoice in my successes
instead of competing or comparing themselves with me.
- stay humble and open
instead of claiming to know what is right and wrong or good and bad opinions.
- support my aspirations
instead of belittling or ridiculing them.
- honour my boundaries
instead of pushing me to “compromise” on what I want by threatening with withdrawal of affection.
- make me feel emotionally and physically safe
instead of weak, insecure or even threatened.
- believe in me and my ability to grow
instead of doubting it or telling me I’m “not really trying” or “not trying hard enough”.
- see and apologize for their mistakes when confronted
instead of evading or counter-blaming.
- are able to forgive
instead of demanding repeated apologies and self-humiliation.
- ask for my help when he really needs it,
not be cause he’s a lazy ass who thinks he still lives with his mother (this one is only male on purpose, lol).
And since our relationships are full of projections, I know that in order to find a partner like that, I have to become this partner myself first: loving unconditionally, speaking openly and honestly about what’s going on inside me, respecting the boundaries of the other. This is what I’m pracising every day as much as I can, with my close friends as well as with people I met over breakfast this morning.
One year ago today, one door closed and two hundred doors opened.
And what a year it was!