Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What I Want In a Partner

Opening note: There are far more important topics for discussion than little ole me and my love life (or lack thereof). But since you’re visiting my blog, and the whole purpose of my blog is to explore my faith journey while navigating my sexuality, please indulge me.

I’m going to put church stuff aside this time and concentrate more on love and my quest for a fulfilling relationship.

As you may know, I maintained an anonymous blog 4 years ago. I’m much more open and willing to share these days, name attached and all, not much to hide. But, in September of 2011, I wrote a blog entry that was pretty challenging for me to write at that time. It was entitled “What I Really Want In a Relationship With Another Man”. Click here to go back in time with me and see what I wrote.

It was difficult to give voice to what I actually wanted. After all, I’ve spent most of my life putting aside what I really want and instead, settled for things I was supposed to want or expected to want. I’ll readily admit that I put most of that expectation on myself. But it was SO freeing to put my thoughts into words and put it out there, even if it was under an anonymous blog. It felt good to express it, even in a limited way.

In 2011, I wasn’t exactly open to the idea of dating and actually going after these things. I was “all talk” and not sure if I could actually pursue a relationship or give myself to another man and feel like I was in good standing with the Lord. While it was nice to voice my desires, I just didn’t see how I could actually pursue them. My views have evolved quite a bit since then.

This new entry is written with that old blog article in mind. But this time, I can share freely without the need to hide my name. I want to share the things I’m searching for in a relationship for a few reasons:

1.    To put it out there. You know…it’s the Secret! Put it out into the universe and it will come back to you. Haha. Okay, not sure I believe that. But I DO believe in voicing what you want and the power of positive thinking. Being willing to share what you want with others makes it more likely that you’ll get it.
2.    To give others hope. There are others who, like me, have said no to love or the chance of a relationship because of their religious convictions. I can only speak for me when I say that I feel peace in my relationship with God while pursuing a relationship with a man even though the church I belong to regards such relationships as sinful, perverted and counterfeit.
3.    To cut to the chase. I plan on sending all of my future first dates to this blog entry. It’ll save so much time! I’m totally kidding on this one. But I am interested to see what “2015 Nate” wants compared to what “2020 Nate” will want in 5 years. It’ll be interesting to look back and see how this account changes.

I recently expressed to friends (in person and through Facebook) that I don’t want to spend the holidays alone anymore. It has truly sucked all these years to celebrate them without someone special in my life. While I wasn’t necessarily looking for dating advice, some friends offered that all I needed to find someone is the courage to say hello. As well-intentioned as comments like that are, that’s not why I’m single. If I can so freely share some of my innermost thoughts and feelings on this blog, I can certainly work up the nerve to say hi to someone.

I’m single because it’s only been in recent years that I’ve permitted myself to even consider the idea of dating men. For a couple of those years, I was hung up on a man I was in love with and I wasn’t really open to pursuing anyone else. In addition to that, the ongoing wrestle that I was having with my upbringing, my own beliefs and the expectations of others has simply been crippling at times. To reduce my experience to a dating tip such as “you just need to say hi to someone” isn’t helpful.

This entry is to boldly proclaim that I am ready to love. Ready to give it. Ready to receive it. Fully. Deeply. Madly. Unconditionally.

It took some doing to get to this point. It doesn’t mean I’ve let go of all of my previously held religious beliefs. But it does mean that I’ve finally found a balance where I can love God and love another man and feel good about both kinds of love.

With this in mind, here is a quick list of things I’m looking for in a relationship: 
  • I want to be loved.
  • I want to be adored.
  • I want to be desired.
  • I want to matter.
  • I want to be someone’s top priority.
  • I want to be considered.
  • I want to be regarded.
  • I want to be cherished.
  • I want to be touched.
  • I want to be kissed regularly.
  • I want to be held.
  • I want to be pleased.
  • I want to be listened to.
  • I want to be validated.
  • I want to be challenged.
  • I want to cuddle and have interesting conversations.
  • I want random funny or sexy texts just to check in, make me laugh or turn me on.
  • I want gifts for birthdays and Christmas that are thoughtful or creative.
  • I want full access to touch and be touched.
  • I want a man to appreciate where I’ve come from and where I’m going. 

There, that’s good to start with. I’m not asking for anything unreasonable, these are things most people want. I’m willing to give every single one of these things to my man. In addition, I think I’m justified in wanting these things considering that I’ve gone my whole life without the joys of a romantic relationship.

I’m not expecting a fairy tale and I don’t expect perfection. But there are some things that I believe should be in place, amidst the frailties and imperfections that my future partner and I will exhibit. I’ll take the good and the bad.

In short, I just want a guy to reciprocate. I’m prepared to love a man pretty completely and intensely. I recognize that, as new as I am, it might take more than one relationship to find what I’m looking for. But I’m also making up for lost time, so I am hopeful that my time on the sidelines has served some purpose.

I have no idea what if feels like to like someone on a deep level and actually have them like me back. Finding that ideal is one of my top goals for 2016. I’m ready and I intend to finally make this a reality. I think about how my life could be affected for the better if I had that. I can be complete and happy without it. I’m my own person. But, let’s be honest: Love is power and I’m ready to experience that level of power.

I’ll close with a quote from a recent episode of “Modern Family”: 

Why do we choose partners so different from ourselves? It's not fate or chance or cliches like, "the heart wants what the heart wants". We choose our partners because they represent the unfinished business from our childhood. And we choose them because they manifest the qualities we wish we had. In doing so, in choosing such a challenging partner and working to give them what they need, we chart a course for our own growth.

I’ve gone on long enough (as always), but I could write a whole entry about how this quote applies to me. Instead, I’ll just say that I find it interesting and true in some ways (and beautiful in many ways).

I hope this article doesn’t come across as though I’m the only person who has ever been lonely or without love. Many of my married friends are lonelier within their marriages than I am. But, you have to admit, my experience is a little unique. I’m 38 and only now am I ready to seek a boyfriend. I feel like such a teenager.

My love and support goes out to any of my readers who are also in search of love and haven’t found it for whatever reason. I love you and hope you find your version of love.


  1. You deserve all of those things... And more!! :-)

  2. Love this entry. Never feel guilty for pursuing what makes you happy. Never settle for anything less than what you've expressed you want. I truly hope you find someone special and genuine, you deserve only the best.

  3. That is a beautiful entry. I am glad to see that you are willing to go out and find that perfect love. You are a perfect person and deserve that perfect love.

  4. Thanks for sharing. My journey has been similar to what you describe here and I am now celebrating 10 years with the love of my life and my husband who I adore in the ways you want to be adored. Our relationship is much better than most Hetero marriages I know. Every night I fall to sleep with him in my arms and wake up the same way. It just gets better and better as I change to understand the world through his eyes. Unfortunately I have four siblings whose belief in Mormonism and homophobia have prevented us from being close but I have accepted this loss. As my husband is older than me, I also inherited 3 step-children and am now the grandpa of 4 adorable children. I hope you find even a portion of the happiness I have found in my journey!

  5. When you find Mr Right, you'll be shocked by how deeply it is possible to love, and by how happy it makes you. The very best to you on your journey.