Sometimes when i’m not busy (on warm summer evenings) I think about what I might want in a relationship. Not out of narcissism, but more out of optimisim. I keep the possibility open that maybe I might try that whole thing again. It’s an attempt at avoiding bitterness.
Honestly, I look around and I’m torn. Sure, relationships are convenient, but perhaps they’re not always as useful as we would like. Of course that’s my cynicism shining through. When I step away from my jaded view of life I remind myself of the basics. What have I learnt about myself and others in the last decade? What compels me to entertain the idea of sharing anything with another human being?
And then I think of the beauty of…
Books: Doesn’t really matter how, when, where or why. Bring up a good book, and then seamlessly begin to discuss your thoughts and opinions about the main themes. I will never turn down an opportunity to discuss character arcs, and mismanaged themes.
Puzzles/Word Games: There’s something charming about the teamwork. The most enticing thing is a chance to devour new words and learn vocabulary. But if you’re not a fan of speed scrabble that’s fine, we can do a 500 piece puzzle. Don’t worry, i’ll help you pick up puzzle pieces off the carpet if the box spills.
Service/Ministry: There is a moment where a young person shifts perspective, and begins to see the value of serving others. This is a crucial component to any kind of attraction on my part. What would you have in common with me if you weren’t a servant leader? 🙂
Communication: It’s kind of funny that I’m even talking about this. I’m not very talkative, and honestly if we’re going to be friends you need to commit to express what’s going on, by any means necessary. It’s for your own benefit. I will live, reside and dwell in my own (INFJ) mind for hours at a time. I acknowledge the tragic discrepancy this creates, so i’ll just say “I’m a writer…and I was raised as an only child.”
Selective Viewing: I do not endorse mindless consumption of media. This is almost a deal-breaker. If you are unable/unwilling to filter the media you consume I will interpret it as a blatant lack of integrity. There is liberty in being able to watch or read something without having to be anxiously concerned with the time and place. If you are continually looking over your shoulder, or are terribly jumpy when someone happens to view what’s on your tablet/phone then maybe we can’t be friends. The filtering of media and material through the lens of respect for self, others and God will shift a person’s focus squarely onto what is most important.
Recall: I will admit it, this is how I weigh and build every serious relationship. How often do you remember to call me back? When you called, did you stop to buy juice, or was it a priority? For me there is one thing that sets an individual above the rest. This thing is central to my understanding of intimacy.
Do you listen when I’m speaking to you? Does it matter if I seem flustered? Do you genuinely want to understand my perspective when I respond.
So much of this feels universal, but it’s not. For every reasonable and open conversation I have caught myself in twice as many shallow and abrupt discussions, defined by disagreement, distraction and distasteful misunderstanding.
When there’s nothing left to discuss, or we’re just not in the mood to talk…can we just enjoy being around each other doing other things [independently]? If we can, then we’ll get along fine.
As I get older, the more I appreciate the simple things. The more I cherish the quality of the time I spend with others, than with the quantity of time. For so long I’ve spent too much time trying to impress people I only sort of liked, even when I knew they didn’t really like me. But now that I’ve made my expectations more simple, it’s a whole new world.