A wide sea of eyes…

A list of things I want in my next relationship

Twelve: A team player

You don’t have to be an athlete, but you do need to know how to be a team player to be successful in a relationship with me.

A person can learn a lot from participating on a sports team.  However, it is not a guarantee that you will be a team player in a relationship.  I have known many athletes who can be selfish players and have trouble getting along in relationships because they don’t know how to be part of a two person team.

The flip side of that is that there are people who have not had the benefit of playing organized sports, but still know how to make a positive contribution to the “team”.  The experience of playing team sports is great, but it is not the only way to learn how to be part of a team.  I can see it from both sides.  I learned the value of team play much later in life, and my children are all very active in team sports.

So what does it mean to play on team WSOE (Wide Sea Of Eyes)?

Being on the WSOE team means:

  • read my entire blog (just kidding…but seriously, read it)
  • treat me as an equal
  • respect my opinions
  • communicate your own opinions
  • being an active participant in the relationship
  • be flexible
  • be positive
  • know how to give and take
  • cheer for his team members!

Here are a couple of pictures of one of my little athletes.  The first picture was taken when he was just getting started and now he is quite a skater.  He is a great sportsman and will one day be a terrific partner to someone.  He is one of the fortunate people who is growing up  playing a sport he loves, but that is not enough for him to learn the important skills needed to be a part of a relationship team.   As his mother/coach/cheerleader, it is my goal that he will learn those skills and be happy in his own future relationships.  I am hopeful that this will happen.  He has his own personal coach after all!

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Eleven: Attentive

Happiness in a relationship is about taking care of the little things.   It’s about being attentive to your partner’s needs.

This week I had two separate conversations with friends who are each going through some major health issues.  One friend is older and has been married for a long time.  The other friend is a new bride, just starting to build her life with her young husband.  Both women have reached out to their husbands to ask for some attention, a little TLC, and both women feel that they have been let down.

The young bride joked about it and said, “Oh that’s just how he is.”  I cringed when I heard her make his excuses.  I wanted to tell her not to accept his neglectful and inconsiderate ways and to expect more for herself and from her husband.  All she had asked for was a bowl of soup.  A bowl of soup!  She had just come from the emergency room and was recovering from surgery and this dude couldn’t make her a bowl of soup?  Are you kidding me?  I wanted to cuff this young pup on the back of the head and tell him to smarten up and take care of his beautiful bride.  I didn’t do that, instead I kept my opinions, and my hands, to myself.

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My older friend also feels let down as she deals with her own health issues.  All she asked of her husband was to say, “I don’t get it, but I will love and support you through this anyway.”  She wasn’t expecting him to understand what she is going through.  She wasn’t asking him to do anything or to make any grand gesture of support.  She just wanted a hug.  Instead he stared at her like a deer caught in headlights and then bolted from the room as soon as he got a chance.   She was frustrated because she has had many conversations with him over the years about how to be supportive.  She has given him the words to say, but he just won’t say them.

All relationships have issues to work on.  I understand that.  I just don’t want this to be an issue in my relationship.  For me, it’s a no brainer.  If the person you love is sick, you take care of them.  You make them a bowl of soup and you give them a hug.  In my opinion, you should do those things willingly.  It’s those kind of little gestures that make a person feel loved and cared for when s/he needs it the most.

In fact, we should feel loved and cared for even on our healthy days.   Why shouldn’t every day come with a little bit of positive attention from your partner?  Little touches, hugs, compliments and smiles of support and encouragement are not a lot to ask for and should be given freely and often.  Compliment him on his blue eyes, tell her that her hair looks nice, give each other a sweet smile when you first open your eyes in the morning.  Say, “Good morning beautiful.  Good morning handsome.”

Be attentive.  Say nice things and say them often.  Remind your partner how valuable they are to you with small daily kindnesses and loving words.  Why wouldn’t you?

Ten: Supportive


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There’s no question about it.  Life can be a challenge.  There are people in our lives who can be difficult and test our patience, our resilience, and our confidence.

I’m not going to say that the world is full of hurtful people or that I run into too many jerks in my life.  That is too negative and I am not about that.  I am just gong to say that there are some people who make life unnecessarily difficult.

I will never understand why they do that, why they create a problem when none existed, why they over react to minor issues or why they feel envious of people who are happy.  Who knows why and quite frankly, who cares?  It is too exhausting to try to get into the heads of some people.  I am just going to say that those people don’t need to be around me.

Go away negative people!  You try to bring others down in order to make yourself feel good.  You don’t have the self-confidence required to be happy in your own life so when you see someone who has it good, you go for the jugular in a futile effort to

bring

them

down.

How misguided is that?  It’s a flawed formula for personal happiness.

Go and find your folk, like-minded cranky pants-es like yourselves and leave me to live in Lanaworld - a world where there is beauty in nature, joy in children, and warmth in connecting with good people over a cold beer, tasty snacks and some good music.

This blog post is about being in a relationship where there is support for one another.  Like it or not, I am going to run into these  toxic people.  Those are the days when I need someone to have my back.  I need him to rally behind me and say, “Hey!  That’s not fair!” and “You didn’t deserve that!” and “No matter what happens, I am here for you.”

“I’ve got your back.”

Powerful words aren’t they?  How lovely to hear them.  It feels so good to have someone to count on.  It feels awesome to be able to give that support in return.  A relationship should create a soft place to land at the end of the day, and at the same time be the rock solid foundation on which you go about your busy days.

It’s important to me to be the kind of person who supports others whenever I can.   I believe you get what you give, so why not give the best gift of all?  Give yourself.

Nine: Worldly

Recently I went on a date.

He was super nice and went all out to plan a special meeting.  It was a picnic by the river.  He paid attention to the food I liked (in this case Asian) and made a big effort to bring a few special dishes.  He even purchased little Asian style dishes and chop sticks and served the food on a pretty Asian style table cloth.  For dessert he brought strawberries and gave me a little gold box of high quality chocolate wrapped in a golden bow.  So sweet.  It could have been the beginning of something awesome, right?  A romantic tale to tell of how we started out as a couple.  Sigh.

I knew instantly that he wasn’t the guy for me.  There were a lot of reasons why this nice guy was not going to be my next guy but the one I want to talk about today is that he hadn’t done much in his life.  He was a wanna be.

He wanted to travel.  He wanted to eat sushi.  He wanted to have adventures.  He wanted a dog.  He wanted a girl to take him places, to teach him about exotic food, and to open up his world.

So why hadn’t he already done some of that himself?  I mean, how hard is it to get a dog?

A little while ago I made a life list or some call it a bucket list.  I was going for 100+ things and was running out of ideas.  So I looked around on the internet at other people’s lists for inspiration.  It was a good idea because as I read other lists it was like, “Oh yeah!  I want to do that too!”

But as I read more and more lists I began to notice that I have already completed a lot of things that other people  have as their goals.  Like:  sleep on the beach, climb a mountain, ride a camel, ziplining, sea kayaking, white water rafting, scuba diving, and visit many of the world’s landmarks and exotic places.

It felt really good to be able to look back and say, “Hey!  I’ve done some stuff!”  

I want to meet someone who also has done stuff.  That is what makes life a little less boring and it is what makes people more interesting.  I want to be entertained by his stories and have him listen attentively to my tales.   I could take him kayaking or on a mountain hike; he could introduce me to motorcycles or sailing, or whatever.  Then we could make a new plan to try something that is unique for both of us.

I don’t want to have to make all the plans and have to hold someone’s hand as he follows me around the world.  That feels too much like parenting, “Now hold my hand so you don’t get lost honey!”

Echhh.

Speaking of parenting, I am the mother of 3 boys who have travelled more and have had more outdoor adventures than most adults I know.  How can I be expected to date a guy who’s biggest challenge in life is eating a piece of Japanese style fish and hasn’t gotten around to getting himself a pet?

My oldest son and I paddling down a dark creek looking at turtles, whirligig beetles and frogs.

My youngest son standing at 4,626 ft. He is looking at other high peaks, planning which one he will climb next.

My boys have been to both coasts of Canada and the U.S. multiple times.  One time we camped in a tent for 6 weeks while travelling to the West Coast.  They have been to many parts of the US and all 3 of them are planning on back packing around either Europe, Asia or South America (or wherever) when they graduate high school.

(I may have planted that idea in their malleable young minds)

I myself have done a ton of travelling.  I have lived in three third world countries and used those places as jumping off points to see many other cool and interesting places.

I am not trying to toot my own horn.  Lots of people feel that their lives are full and complete by staying near home, close to their friends and family.  I get that.  I am not putting anyone down if that is what makes them happy.  We all need to live the life that makes us the most happy.  I am just saying that if you want to see the world then you should just do it and not wait for someone to take you there.  There is no way I can be with someone who wants that life but hasn’t done anything about living it.

I realize that I am looking for a select individual but I am a very patient gal.  I can wait.  He will turn up eventually.  Until then I will continue to live my extraordinary life.  I encourage anyone who reads this blog post to take stock of their life.  Are you living the life that makes you the most happy?  Do you need to do some stuff to make your life happier?

I will finish this post with a quote from one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite musicians:

“My shoes have kicked up dust from here to somewhere else,

Is this wanderlust or runnin’  from myself?”

The Pilgrim, by Sam Roberts

P.S.  I am still a new blogger but as I write this post, my stats say that my blog has been read by people in 17 different countries.  So please feel free to share your adventures from around the world.  Or just say hello in your language!  Cheers everyone!

Eight: A Yes-Man

Why be in a relationship unless you are doing things together that you enjoy?  I don’t understand people who are fun spoilers, the speed bumps on the road to good times.

Being in a relationship should be fun.  Everyone has a different idea about what fun is and that’s okay.  But if the person you are with is constantly coming up with reasons to say no to what you want to do then it’s time to ask yourself, “Why am I with such a Negative Nancy/Ned?”  

Life should be easier.  It shouldn’t be that hard to have a good time.  Being in a couple should be about making life better, smoother, and a lot more fun.

I’m not talking about taking huge out of character risks.  No one is saying you have to sky dive or bungee jump to have a good time.  How hard is it to say yes to a movie, a concert, a walk or a dinner party?  It’s even more fun to say yes to a trip, a mountain hike, or a roller coaster, but to each his own.

It’s about having an attitude of willingness.  Showing some positivity.  Getting your ass off the couch, looking your partner in the eye and making a plan to do something you both enjoy…together.

This is fun couple vocabulary:

Do you want to live a fun-filled life full of everyday adventures, joy and happiness? Then try saying “YES!”  It’s really not that hard.

Seven: Hugs, Lots and lots of hugs…

Oh hugs…

cuddle on the couch hugs, wrapped in a blanket hugs, one-armed hugs, soft hugs, firm hugs, lift you up hugs, hugs with kisses, hugs with hair stroking, back patting hugs, bum squeezing hugs, foreheads touching hugs, good morning hugs, good-bye hugs, I missed you hugs, I wish you could stay hugs, spooning hugs, playful hugs, jumping up and down hugs, spinning around hugs, falling down hugs, hugs with kids in between, protective hugs, I’m sorry hugs, I forgive you hugs, I’m here for you hugs, I love you hugs…

There is nothing better than a pair of big arms that pull you in and wrap around you, holding you in so that you can breathe in his perfect scent, feel his warmth and let the worries of the day melt away.

Yeah that’s what I’m talking about.

And now it’s time for some funny images about hugs:

These are (obviously) from http://www.someecards.com and in my humble opinion are freaking hilarious.

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Six: Attractive to me Part One

Of course appearance matters.  Of course it does!  Why deny it?  A guy can be all kinds of fantastic things but if the thought of kissing him makes me think, “Ew” then it is never going to work.

Does that mean I want a guy who looks like one of these guys?

Um…well…sort of, but not really.  Their six packs intimidate me.  I have a six pack too…but my six pack is in the cooler.   Just looking at their pictures makes me want to adjust my shirt as I sit in my comfies snacking and blogging.

I totally accept that at this point in life that my man may have a belly or a bald head…or both.  He will have eye crinkles and a few scars from earlier times.  His knees make creek and his back many give out now and then.  That’s all okay. Honestly!  I really mean it!

Sometimes a person can be totally hot just because their personality makes them so.  Those people are not very photogenic but there is just something about them that is so darn attractive.

Remember this guy?

Javier Bardem is not conventionally handsome is he?
But he oozes sexiness.

Or how about this guy?

Chris O’Dowd is also not typically handsome but he is a cutie-pie!

Both the above actors have awesome accents which bring on a ton of sex appeal. But they also have an honest to goodness attractiveness that comes across on film when they play likeable characters.  I don’t think either of these dudes sport six packs but who the hell cares?  They are soooo cute and sexy in live action.  I bet they smell good too.

Okay so let’s put Hollywood actors aside.  What am I looking for in real life?  Here is a brief list:

1.  Nice teeth – not perfectly white and straight but clean-looking white and straight, know what I mean?  Generally men who take care of their teeth also have good breath which can be a deal maker or breaker.

2.  Taller than me – this isn’t asking for much since I am 5′ 5″ but I want to be able to wear heels whenever I feel like being all girly and stuff.

3.  Smells amazing – On this one I need to be careful.  I have known some really great smelling men who were also what we would call bad boys.  Their smell was intoxicating and we all know the bad decisions we make when we are intoxicated. Sheesh.

4.  A certain je ne sais quois – he is attractive because there is just something that I can’t put my finger on.  Something about his personality, his sense of humour, his friendly, positive, up beat, cool, unique personality that comes across in his facial expressions.  I don’t know how to describe it but I sure know it when I see it.  Sigh.

So there you have it.  It’s a pretty short list.  I don’t think I am asking for a lot.  I am not looking for Hollywood handsome.  I just want someone who is attractive to me.

Now that I am done writing this post for today I think I will go do some sit ups. Seriously.

Five: Communication

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I am picturing my future self sitting on the front porch with my partner.  We are both very old.  Our children are grown and no longer live under our roof.  They are in happy relationships of their own, living good lives, have found satisfying careers, have maintained great friendships, and are giving us the cutest grandchildren EVER!

In this snapshot of my future I am talking with my guy.  We have spent years talking to each other and still think that spending time in intimate conversation is one of our favourite things to do together.

I don’t know what we are talking about because the subject doesn’t matter.  It’s just nice to share our unique perspectives on the world.  We have told each other our darkest most innermost thoughts over the years and know that we can say anything to each other.  We have shared things that no one else knows, and have protected each other’s secrets.

We’ve had our share of disagreements as all couples do.  But we are the type of people who respect each other in our arguments.  We know the boundaries and do not cross those hurtful, destructive lines.  At least we try not too.  Sometimes we make mistakes and say the wrong thing.  But it doesn’t take much for us to apologize and fix what we broke.

Our talks make us feel good, make us better people, help us to feel loved and valued.  We know that few people have that kind of connection and that we are so very lucky to have someone to talk to.  Our children model with their partners this same intimate pattern of communicating.

In a wide sea of eyes, there is one pair into which I can see understanding, respect and admiration.  Sometimes a look is all that is needed to communicate that we are loved.

Four: Trust

Trust – It makes me sad to write this post because it forces me to remove my rose-coloured glasses and take a good look around.  When I do that, I see a lot of assholes.  Why would I want to see those guys everywhere?

I had a real pair of rose-coloured glasses, Janis Joplin style, as a ten-year old that I wore with a poncho and flared jeans. I thought the world was a very cool place in those days.

I love looking at the world through my “rose coloured’ glasses.  I like to see the good in others, even the ones who have done me some wrong.  I suppose I give people too many chances and wait too long to recognize that someone doesn’t deserve my trust.  I know that I am too naive.  I know that I shouldn’t always take what people say at face value.

I could be a little less trusting…

Trust does have to be balanced with some street smarts so that I don’t end up in a nasty van with an axe murderer.

I may be a little too trusting, and I need to be more careful about who I put my faith in, but I actually like that about myself.  I like seeing the good in others, I really do!

I am going to buy myself an adult pair of rose-coloured glasses this week and I am going to wear them happily.  That will be a little gift to myself, a visual reminder that the world is a good place and there are still lots of truly trustworthy folk in it.

Eventually I will meet a person worthy of my trust no matter what lenses I am looking through.

Three: Kindness

Even tough guys can be kind!

I had a list of what I wanted in a man when I was in my 20’s that included things like educated, attractive, athletic, and I don’t know what else but I do know that I didn’t include kindness.

What the hell was I thinking?

When I think of kindness I think of two things 1. Children and 2. Animals.  How he treats both indicates the level of kindness in his heart.  If he hits his dog, or ignores his children…then he isn’t a kind man.

If he calls me names and swears at me than he isn’t kind.  If he turns his back on me or ignores me when I am hurting then he isn’t a kind-hearted man.  If he hurts me physically and emotionally without sincere remorse then guess what?  He isn’t a kind person.  If he lies, cheats and plays games, then he isn’t a kind-hearted man.  If he treats me like a door mat or a second class citizen, then he is lacking kindness.

Why didn’t I have kindness on my twenty something list?

I

Was

An

Idiot

I just didn’t think it all through.  I didn’t have enough good character traits on my list to make sure that I had kindness in my relationships.  I took it for granted that other people are like me.  It never occurred to me to do those awful things and I naively believed that most men are kind.

Now I know better.  

I am proud of myself for getting rid of the unkind men I have known.  I deserve better than those assholes and now I really know it.  Now I know to expect it right from the beginning and to expect nothing less.

This blog isn’t just about finding a kind man but it is about developing a kind relationship.  I know that my partner will want kindness from me in return.  Kindness goes both ways after all.  I know how to speak softly, to protect a tender heart, to touch gently and to appreciate the small things and to give them in return.

Kindness…such a fundamental ingredient to a healthy relationship and one I will never again live without.

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