I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
1. Please touch us
Cuddle us, spoon us, grab the small of our backs. Kiss our foreheads and make us feel small. We crave your hands all over us. We love them no matter where they happen to land.
Just. Touch. Us. It reminds us that we’re yours.
2. Take pride in us
Relish in the fact that we’re yours–that we belong to you and no one else. Smile when we enter the room because you know we’re walking toward you. It lets us know you care. It makes us want to be better for you.
3. Let us cry
When we are sad or angry, or pissed the hell off. When we drink too much…especially when we drink too much, let us cry our eyes out. Let us be messes, with mascara running down our cheeks and pints of ice cream in our hands. Let us be okay with not being okay once in a while. This one requires no action from you, just that you be okay with it when it happens.
Despite how hard we try, we will make mistakes. We will fuck things up, say things wrong, do things crazy, and when that happens we need you to forgive us. We’re not talking immediate forgiveness, or that a price won’t often be paid for it, but forgiveness that comes eventually. We need to know that the slate has been wiped clean, all trespasses have been forgiven…and when it happens, don’t forget to let us know. See number 5.
We need this.. If we don’t discuss something, it will fester in our brains forever, eventually driving us crazy. A three minute conversation could ease hours of worry for us once an uneasy feeling sets in. If that can be prevented with a few sentences, please take the time to speak them. Honestly, like two seconds of your time could stop our heads from exploding….and you don’t want to clean up that mess, do you?
6. We want you to make us feel pretty
Not that you don’t make us feel super sexy pretty darn often, but once in a while, it’s good to actually hear. Tell us our ass looks great in our yoga pants, that our hair looks especially shiny today. Tell us you like our new boots. Notice something small and compliment us about it, and our hearts will swell for days. Compliments let us know what it’s like to look through your eyes. Those are glimpses of the world we don’t often get to see.
7. It’s the little things
Some of these are sounding cliche, but are just so fucking true. Sure, your big gestures of grandeur are admired, but it is often the small things that get our cheeks turning red. Leave a note on the mirror in the morning telling us to have a great day. Sit next to us during a movie you have no desire to see. Take the dog out in the morning so we can sleep in for an extra 10 minutes, remember what ice cream we prefer to eat when we cry. If you do these things, we’re yours for life.
8. Remember things
Speaking of little things, try to remember them. Things like how we take our coffee and the name of that bitchy girl who sits next to us at work. Remember anything. Three weeks from now, bust out some silly story we told you over dinner one evening in great detail. Remember something we’d never expect you to store into your internal drive. Remember our first concert together, and our best friend from kindergarten’s name. The more obscure the better.
9. Deal with us
When we’re singing in the car. When we drink too much wine. When we completely melt down. Deal with our pasts, and when we don’t feel pretty. Deal with our stretch marks and insecurities, our early bedtimes and exhaustion. Deal with our mood, and how we load the dishwasher the wrong way. These things silently tell us that you’ll be by our sides regardless of how nerdy, silly or utterly hopeless we can get.
Finally, the most important thing we need from you that we’ll never say out loud:
10. Be the most stable thing in our lives
Be stronger than us. Be the one person in our world that won’t turn on us or walk away. When life becomes scary and confusing, and we just need something solid to hold onto, please be our anchor. It’s because of you that our awful days are easier to get through. Don’t be perfect. Just be there. It’s the only real requirement on this list.
Please note: I understand the irony between #5 (Communicate…often!) and the title of my post, “Ten things we need from you but won’t say out loud.”
My response to that is simply this: I get it. I get that it totally contradicts things and makes no sense…but, me? I make no sense. If you ask me, in articulating this list, I’m doing a damn fine job of #5ing myself.
Lastly, yes. Relationships are two-way streets. If I expect these of my partner, I sure as hell am doing these things for him. Sometimes, we just need a little more of the wonderful things you men already do. This is a little nudge to remind you of that.