what WOULD i want

In the wee small hours of the morning, when I’m lying awake my thoughts sometimes turn to what I would want in a partner, should I ever be brave enough to date again. In my therapy session yesterday it came up that I feel very upset that I do not have a successful relationship history. If one measures success in life by a successful intimate relationship than I have not succeeded. I think in part I do measure my  “worth” in this way, so the good job, friendships, kids, professional success somehow measures up to being of ‘less value’ than a longstanding happy relationship.

Given that I am quite a driven person, I guess its natural that I should think about how to go about getting what I feel would make me happy. I’m not ready yet, and may not be for some time, but I do wonder what it would be like to build a relationship without the lubricant of alcohol, whether all that I have experienced has ultimately made me a better judge of character ? whether I could reign in my impulsive streak and learn to think with my head when it comes to choosing a partner (all be it that there has to be a spark of attraction as well)

So what would I want ? What’s important to me? What do I NEED?  here’s what I’m thinking at the moment …I’m intending to look back at this in 6 months and see if its changed !

I would like to meet a man who is independent, has his own life. I don’t want or need anyone living with me and the children; somebody reasonably geographically close – I don’t have much time to be travelling far. I’d like someone at the same ‘life stage’ as me – i.e. no pre-school children, and probably not already retired… I don’t have a problem with a moderate drinker, but I don’t think I could cope with a heavy drinker. Drug use of any kind  is a complete no, as is any other active addiction (gambling etc)

so far so straightforward

I’m far from perfect. I’m messy, for one, and there are lots of other faults I have, some significant some not, but I’m wouldn’t be looking for a Mr Perfect, rather  someone right  for ME..so if I had to list my top character attributes …  non negotiable, they would be…

Kindness – kindness, to people you know and those you don’t (bus drivers, the woman on the street, a sales assistant) is absolutely critical. Unkind people can turn and be unkind to you …Kindness indicates (to me) a basic respect for others and a person that can treat others as they would like to be treated. Critical. I’m kind, and I need this in a partner.

Integrity by which I mean more than basic honesty. I mean a moral code that includes working hard, not taking advantage of others: Having a set of intrinsic internal belief structures that include telling the truth even if its uncomfortable … The older I get the more I realise how important trust is to me, and respect, I can’t respect a man without integrity.

Solvency this is less a characteristic than the result of one. I don’t expect to be ‘provided for’, but I don’t expect to have to provide for another adult. Equally, as an adult who has worked hard all her life, I don’t want a partner who has ‘nothing’ For me lack of fiscal responsibility is (now) deeply unattractive ! the ‘struggling artist’ holds no appeal whatsoever, as too often its an excuse to live off someone else…

I hope, that if I am ever in the position where I meet someone again, I can hold fast to these thoughts and not let my heart overrule my head as it has done so often. It takes time to get to know someone, and by the time I have got to know that someone does not meet these standards I don’t want to be so involved that its hard to walk away. I will look at ACTIONS , not listen to their words… the old adage is just SO true. ExP kept telling me how upset he was NOT to be working … but his actions did not support that statement …

Caution, patience and reserve; trust in my gut instinct. self belief, self confidence… that’s what I need before I even THINK about dating again…





  1. One word of advice I heard in treatment, and one that I have given to others, is that when it comes to early recovery and the relationship scene, it’s important to date one’s self first! Learn to like yourself, respect yourself, love who you see in the mirror and to see the value in yourself before looking to others. I had to do this in some ways as well, even though I was married (we separated for 6 months while I started to get back on my feet) – I had to see that I had worth, that I was useful, that I was worth of giving love and receiving love. A lot of things had to come from within before I could even think about reconciliation.

    A lot of guys would ask me how to get their girlfriends or wives back, and I would tell them not to worry about that right now. Focus on yourself first! Changes within reflect on the changes without. It’s quite amazing!

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this! I hope that you find that great mate!


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  2. What I find interesting with your list is that it is everything that you have said ExP was not. You want to avoid anyone remotely like him. Obviously in the beginning of the relationship you loved him. But by the end you discovered so many things about him that you did not love. This has helped create your list. If nothing else the relationship has shown you what you don’t want and don’t need. When you are ready to move on the path will be much clearer.

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    • yes indeed. Most notably kindness. If I had looked I could have seen quite early on that he was NOT kind. But because he was, at that time, kind to me and my kids, I ignored the red flags of him being UNkind to others .. I won’t do that again …because eventually of course that unkindness extended to me and my children …

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