“I believe with all my heart that the cliches are true, that we are our own best friends and best company, and that if you're not right for yourself, it's impossible to be right for anyone.”
― Rachel Machacek
When I got married, I had one piece of criteria for my future mate. I wanted someone who wouldn't beat me.
Yes, you heard that right. That was the ONE thing I wanted in my lifelong partner. I didn't have a LIST of things like: he's kind to kittens and puppies; he enjoys being with me; he makes me laugh; he is interested in the same things I am in interested in; we have excellent communication, etc. etc.. Nope. I had ONE piece of criteria. And that wasn't even REALLY all that tough an expectation to meet.
Now, I'm sure that my Ex-Husband WANTED to beat me at times. But he never laid a finger on me. He never even LOOKED like he was going to raise a hand to me. As a matter of fact, I only remember him raising his voice to me maybe once ever.
|My date night at the drive-in paraphenelia|
The problem stems not only from my low expectations but also from my, let's face it, solid lack of self-love. I am all ABOUT loving other people. I give everyone else everything I have. But me? I don't think I'm worth giving the time of day to. There are, naturally, deep-seated reasons for all of THAT nonsense but there's no need to delve into all of that right now. Suffice it to say that I need to love myself before I can expect anyone else to love me. This is not rocket science here, people, but solid psychological mumbo-jumbo.
There are people out there who are truly amazing at loving themselves. (We like to call them narcissists.) And there are people out there who think far lower of themselves than I do. (We call THEM cutters.) I'm just your regular run-of-the-mill low-self-esteem kind of girl. (Obviously. Have you NOTICED how much I prattle on about me, me, me in this blog. I'm practically BEGGING for people to love me.)
OK, so, the plan tonight was to take myself out on a date to get to know myself a little better and to appreciate what I bring to the table. I mean to SERIOUSLY DATE MYSELF. Let's look into the magic ball and see how it went...
- Like any first date, there was bound to be a little awkwardness. I didn't want to arrive TOO early but I certainly didn't want to be LATE. I went home after work and spruced myself up a little. I changed into some decent jeans, fixed my make-up and fluffed my hair. I even removed the old polish from my nails. I wanted to look good for me. I left with plenty of time to make the drive-in movie by 7:00 pm. I knew I wanted to get there right when it opened because I like to be up really close. It was convenient to take myself because I didn't make any concessions about being up close to the screen. (Point #1: Speak up for what you want/need.)
- On the way to the movie, I decided I would like to stop and get something to eat. I consulted with myself and decided that a sub would be the perfect thing for this lovely summer evening at the drive-in. On my way to get dinner, I stopped in at WalMart and found an Ultimate 80's CD. I laughed at my whimsy and decided to purchase the tunes on the spot. (Point #2: Be yourself. Even if you like to listen to pop-y 80's music. Or Barry Manilow.)
- My GPS was a little wonky on the way out to the drive-in. But I didn't get irritated with myself. I just figured I would find it when I found it. No need to stress out about getting to a movie at exactly 7pm when it wouldn't even START for another two hours. (Point #3: Relax. Go with the flow.) I did find it. And I found it AT 7pm. Without stressing out. Bonus!
- Before the movie, I opened up my newly purchased book (FINALLY bought And the Mountains Echoed on my Nook) and read happily for close to two hours, totally content. (Point #4: Be sure to do things just for YOU when in any relationship.)
- During the movie, I got completely bored when they stopped focusing on the relationships of the characters and started doing that blow-em-up-continuous-action-sequences. I spent about 15 minutes looking up at the stars (there were a LOT of stars out there in the country!) and then I pulled out my phone and started screwing around on Facebook and taking pictures of the movie screen. I didn't at all worry about paying attention to the movie because I was at the movie. The movie wasn't working for me, so I changed the plan a little. (Point #5: If something isn't working, change it up. Flexibility is a big component of any successful relationship.)
- After the first movie, it was pretty late. I decided that the Hangover III (the second feature) could easily wait for a Redbox rental later on. I packed up my date-night gear and hit the highway. (Point #6: See Point #5.)
- On the way home, I popped in my Ultimate 80's CD and sang along with Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, and that chick who sang the Flashdance theme song (Irene Cara, maybe?). I cranked it UP and sang loudly, smiling and laughing my way through the countryside. (Point #7: Have some freakin' FUN. And smile, dammit.)
And, I think in ADDITION to the "He musn't beat me" criteria, I'll add a few things to what I need from a relationship, INCLUDING the one with myself:
- drive-in movies
I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
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