(Prince Charming from Once Upon a Time…nice touch, eh?)
I believe one of the most important functions of dating is actually to learn about yourself. You try on a couple different kinds, decide that one with the big, scruffy beard doesn’t work for you, the one with the box of rocks personality is too boring, and that staying home by yourself is the best thing ever.
Then, once you get into a relationship, the most important thing you do is learn how to communicate with each other. At first, your communication is pretty poor as you learn which buttons to press, and which ones NOT to press. You learn which insecurities to stay away from in an argument, how to say ‘I love you’ (and sorry) in their own unique language, and which T.V. shows you can, and cannot, make commentary during.
Since I’ve been on this existential journey, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and since I’m getting kind of up there in age (and am an introvert, and a woman, which really does make me complicated and hard to read), I thought I would write my future husband an instruction guide on how to communicate with me, you know, so once we decide we are each other’s One True Only’s, we can skip all the complicated stuff and just get to the wedding:
First of all, you know I’m angry with you when I don’t give you any information. Part of my existential journey was figuring out which parts of me I didn’t like and wanted to change, and which parts were unchangeable. This is one of them. For some reason, when I get mad at people, I won’t give them any information. I won’t tell them how my day went, what I did during the weekend, what my friends are up to. It’s probably a territory stamping thing (at this time, I don’t feel you deserve to know anything about me), so I keep it locked away. When you ask me how my day was, I’ll probably give you a short answer, and then deflect the question back on you.
So when you notice this occurring, let me simmer in my funk; I’ll talk to you when I’m ready to. It’s inevitable that you will say something or do something that offends me, and I will get upset about it. As an introvert, I’m naturally a deep thinker, so when something is bothering me, I want to tease it out before I confront the issue. Honestly, in my head, I am trying to determine if I am angry from some kind of projection of jealousy or insecurity I am personally having, or if its directed towards you. Most of the time, it’s probably me–something I myself have to get over–so I don’t want to punish you by getting into an argument. I’ll tell you I am processing something, and I’ll let you know when I’m ready to talk about it (but I’ll get irritated if you keep pestering me).
I’ll also expect you to come to me when you have an issue. I don’t really do this passive-aggressive stuff. I won’t slam the door on your face, so please don’t slam it on mine. I won’t do the “Oh I’m fine but I am just really hoping you prod for more because I want attention”, so please do “I’m fine” me. I won’t slump around on the couch, ho-humming, hoping that you ask me what’s wrong, so don’t do that to me. Chances are, I can probably sense there is something up, but I am going to give you the opportunity to come to me about it first.
Please don’t lie to me. There is nothing that irks me more than when people lie to me. I once had a boyfriend who lied to me all the time, and it always turned into a Taylor Swift song when I uncovered the lies. Again, as an introvert, I’m a deep thinker, and very intuitive. I’m also really good a putting together puzzles. It might take me a little bit of time, but when you tell me you were out with your friends last ninght, and you friends mention being out with a girl who has google-y eyes for you, or you tell me so-and-so told you something that so-and-so could not have possibly known, I’m going to eventually catch you, and it would have just been better if you told the truth in the first place.
I’m really fine with you being gone often. This season, I decided that I could actually work really well with a hunter, because hunting season is also during poms competition season, and I would probably prefer that you be gone for a week while I do my thing, stressing over music and sparkles and rhinestones that I know you know nothing about. You should probably come watch a couple of performances, but I will honestly probably ignore you because I’ll be so focused on doing my thing. Its kind of a boys-are-off-limits space anyways.
You should never take anything I say too seriously. Oscar Wilde once said, “Life is too important to be taken seriously”. I will probably tell you my favorite part of teaching is the summer’s off, I think the Dutch have long legs in order to float when the canals flooded, and when I was in Ireland, I secretly snapped pictures of the all gingers to send to my sister so she didn’t feel so alone. It’s all slightly true, slightly sarcastic, and nothing I do or say is ever serious; life’s too short.
And, because I am sarcastic all the time, if you do want to talk about a serious topic, then you should probably ask me twice. What will likely happen the first time is you say, “What do you think about moving in together?”, and I will say something sarcastic like, “There’s a stall out in the barn for you!”, and then, I will go home to think about our conversation, how you were likely trying to prod me for something more serious. I will feel bad for killing the mood, seriously think about moving in together, and wish I would have answered in a less sarcastic, more serious way. So, give me a few days, and then ask me again, and you will likely still get a sarcastic answer, but then I’ll respond more maturely.
I do have a few weird quirks you will have to deal with. I dance around the house like a 5 year old. I speak in a different language with my sister. Smells really bother me. In our house, we enjoy having dance parties and screaming Alan Jackson. You will need to schedule everything around my yoga classes. Those are things I’m not willing to change.
And, if I bring you home and the dogs don’t like you, none of this will even matter because you aren’t getting to the second date.