Romantic relationships

I was thinking about romance at one point, and wrote up some thoughts about what I want out of a romantic relationship, and what I enjoy about them. The original version was written to a particular person at the time, but I was thinking about the topic in the abstract, and have since made it a little more general.

I like companionship. I have vague philosophical problems with this, as I've mentioned elsewhere, but the fact remains that I like doing social things with other people, and I don't like doing things that I think of as "social things" by myself. Doing things with friends is all well and good, but doing things with someone I'm in love with is particularly nice. I like going out to dinner. I like watching movies and TV shows and plays, and talking about them afterwards. I like doing athletic and outdoorsy things, like biking and hiking and camping. I like making plans together, to see friends, or go on vacation, or host a party.

I like admiring you, and being admired. I like it when you do something that makes me say wow, she's really amazing, exceptional, talented. I like it when you look at me like I'm succeeding, doing something well, being who I want to be, being who you want me to be. I sometimes like it when you tell me those things, but I sometimes feel embarassed and awkward.

I like trust. I like it when you ask me to do something that I know is important to you, and I like doing it. I like knowing that I can ask you to do something, and that if you offer to do it, you will, and you'll do it well. I like knowing that you won't try to hurt me, that I can let my defenses down and open up to you. I like it when you trust me with things that you feel could hurt you, and know that I never would.

I like sharing. I like helping you, in both mudane and unexpected ways: Cooking a special meal, or helping you figure something out, or taking care of chores and letting you relax, or leaving a romantic note somewhere where you'll find it when I'm not around. I like being helped by you, and letting you do all those sorts of things for me. I like merging our lives together, thinking of us as an "us", making both important and unimportant decisions together. I like making you laugh, and when you make me laugh. I like being strong when you're not, and leaning on you when I'm not. I like giving and receiving: I like it when I offer you something that you like, and I like it when you take the initiative too.

I like being affectionate. It feeds into sharing, companionship, and especially certainty, using little gestures to show how we feel. I like holding hands when we're walking together. I like kissing you when we suddenly find that everyone else has left the room. I like stealing a quick kiss when we think no one's looking. I like exchanging glances with you across a crowded room. I like meeting you at the airport, and seeing on your face that you're happy to see me. I like it when something reminds me of you, and I think of you and smile.

I like intimacy, which feels a lot like a physical and emotional version of sharing. I like talking about things that are important to each of us, and that are personal, and scary, and hard to say aloud. I like sharing a glass, or a meal. I like coming up behind you, and giving you a whole body hug, not so much in a way that says "I want you now", but in a way that says "I know it's ok to want you". I like watching you undress, and undressing while you watch, knowing that you're watching, but without it being awkward.

I like sex, an even more physical sort of sharing. I like touches in public that say "I want you, and when we're alone, I'll have you". I like falling asleep naked in each other's arms. I like when a touch brings sudden rush of desire. I like when a drowsy embrace and a languid kiss softly build into long, slow, warm lovemaking. I like letting go, while you take control, doing whatever you want, letting you focus me on your pleasure, letting you do anything you think I might like. I like taking control, having my way with you, exploring what pleases you.

I like being in synch. I like knowing that we're doing something that makes us both very happy; or knowing that we're moving towards that. I like feeling sure that we like where we are, where we're going, and how we're getting there. I like to be able to tell if we're getting there, or if there are obstacles in our path that we need to overcome. I like being able to test my assumptions, whether subtly by observation, or openly in conversation. I like it when our expectations are met. I don't mind when our expectations change, but I don't like expecting one thing, and seeing another. I like when we can exchange whole volumes of conversation with a glance or a gesture, when we both know what to do without having to ask, when we finish each other's sentences.

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Last updated on 2003-06-09 (Mon) at 06:45 PDT