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I’m sorry, but screw your ‘Perfect Partner’ checklist

All these boxes

These checklists women prepare

Dot-points, paragraphs and rulebooks on what their ideal partner must have

Before they will even think to open their hearts, to share their lives with someone

I hear this so often

He’ll have his own successful company and he’ll like yoga and he’ll look at me like i’m the moon and the stars soaring over the ocean or whatever Beau Taplin fed you on Instagram this week (love that guy, but I mean, come on)

 

For the longest time I felt guilty

That I didn’t sit and prepare a checklist like I see so many women do

To see if you ticked all the boxes

I felt like I was doing “empowered, conscious woman” wrong

And therefore like our love was wrong, or not real

 

But the universe doesn’t always work like that

You were in my veins before I could pick up a pen

The scariest thing is I almost didn’t tell you

Because I was angry at myself for not falling in love with the “right person” in the “right way”

 

One year later it is terrifying to me how close I came to letting you go

Just because you didn’t fit the ideal of what I thought my partner “should” be

I don’t care that your music taste is stuck in the nineties, or about your (insane) haircut

I don’t care about the fact you’re ten years older than me

Or about the gentle swell of your belly

I don’t care about the fact you bodyboard when everyone else is surfing

Because all these things communicate to me a man who does not give a fuck what anyone else thinks

A man who belongs so completely to himself

Who threw off the shackles of others expectations a long time ago

THAT is what I want in my life

Someone just as thirsty as I am for freedom

For a bone-achingly brilliant existence

 

What draws me to you is not tangible

It’s not some bullshit degree or certification

Or the keys to some amazing car

It’s not a passport full of stamps from all these exotic, far off locations

And it’s definitely not how much shit you own

It is purely this: you are a rare thing in this world

You are a pure, raw soul

You attack every single day like a bat straight out of hell

And throw yourself into your work, the surf, into me, like every day could be your very last day on this earth

Your guttural laugh comes straight from the core, every time

Like you’ve never known pain

Like you didn’t grow up while your city was torn apart by a brutal 12-year war

And God, how you share with others. Down to the last scrap of food on the plate. Down to the last cent.

That is what I want. Like that Frida Kahlo letter, your heart leaks something so strong they can smell it in the street.

And I almost let it all go,

Because it wasn’t what I had planned

 

I used to think the most romantic thing a partner could do was pine for you while you were apart

I now know true romance is a kiss on the cheek at the airport and a “go do your thing. Don’t even think about me. I’ll be here waiting when you get back.”

I write all this because I think its important to remember

While I believe in making sure our partners share the same values as us

That they are as committed to growth us as

That they respect and honour our soul

I also think we can get fixed ideas in our head on who our ideal partner should be

In which case we can let some epic love pass us by

Just because it doesn’t look how we thought it should look

(Or in some cases, even have the gender we thought it would)

Fuck those checklists

Who knows your soul better than you?

And who else has to live your life but you?

If you meet someone and feel a deep resounding ‘yes’ in your bones

That’s the stuff right there

Not some person on a screen telling you

The kind of love that you should be having

Love isn’t rational nor textual

It’s visceral.

 

 

Feature image: @raskal

About the Author:

Caitlin is a journalist and writer from Australia. She’s into collecting and sharing the stories of other human people. Mostly women’s stories. You can find her at @caitlincreeper

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