by: Melanie Sue
Hold out for someone who is proud of you. Someone who wants and expects people to love you just as much as they do. Someone who will value and respect your passions and the things that are important to you, who won’t refer to your dreams and interests as silly, naïve, or condescendingly “cute.” They don’t try to one-up your successes. Hold out for someone who believes in you.
Hold out for someone who listens. They remember the things you say, whether they’re painful secrets or funny stories. They ask you questions about yourself because they want to know you, and they aren’t just waiting for their turn to talk. This person wants you to feel loved just as much as they want to be loved in return.
Hold out for someone who realizes you’re human. They don’t idealize you or put you on a pedestal, at least not after their crush on you becomes something deeper. They know you are capable of making mistakes, of succumbing to weakness, of being insecure. They know when you need to be reminded that you’re loved, instead of chastising you or expressing their disappointment. They don’t expect perfection, especially when they’re not saints themselves.
They don’t expect you to be the answer for everything, because they know that you’re just another person figuring all this out. You’re not a personal savior, and you weren’t born to fix someone else. Being a good support system is much different than being someone’s entire team of life coaches. Again, we’re all merely humans, and sometimes the best we can do is just be humans together.
Hold out for someone who will take care of you. They don’t get mad at you for being sick on a day you were supposed to have fun together, and they don’t get freaked out when you feel sad. Hold out for someone who will bring you soup or do stupid voices to cheer you up. Someone who knows that sometimes all you need is for them to sit silently with you, or to let you be alone for a while.
Hold out for someone who knows you deserve the truth. Someone who lets you into their life, who shows you who they truly are—not who they think you want them to be. Someone who lets you meet the people they care about. When they go out without you, you’re not scared that they’ll cheat on you or pretend you don’t exist. And they should trust you just the same. They realize that extreme jealousy isn’t cute, it’s insecurity. Be with someone who realizes that trust is like soil.
Hold out for someone who makes you laugh. Hold out for someone who makes even the most mundane activities fun—brushing your teeth together, going grocery shopping, the car ride to your parent’s house, rainy days, watching terrible sitcoms. Wait for someone whose presence can make you feel safe and relaxed, but exhilarated and slightly tipsy at the same time.
If you’re the kind of person who pushes away people you love because you’re scared of being hurt, hold out for someone who has the nerve to push back. They will ask you what it is you need, and they won’t let the rift between you grow too large because they were too busy to ask you what’s wrong. Hold out for someone who will call you on your bullshit, and who doesn’t let you walk all over them when you’re angry or upset.
Hold out for someone who is kind. They’re kind to their friends, your friends, your family, animals, strangers, children, the elderly, and definitely you. This doesn’t mean they’re always in a good mood, and it doesn’t mean you never argue with each other. But it’s important to remember that how you fight is just as important as what you’re fighting about. Be with someone who fights cleanly and fairly, and who doesn’t take personal attacks when you’re arguing about something totally unrelated. No one can win in a fight laced with resentment. And without a doubt, be with someone who would never lay a violent or non-consented hand on you. Ever.
I don’t know if I believe in soul mates, and I know that not everyone wants the same thing out of a partner or relationship, if they want one at all. But I do believe that there is someone (even multiple people!) for everyone. And they’re not people you’ll feel like you’re “settling” for, and the right ones won’t be just settling for you, either. Things might work out with them, but they might not. Sometimes it’s not either of you at fault; it’s life that gets in the way. But the right ones will know that. Hold out for someone who thinks you’re the best thing, not just the best thing that’s come along recently. Hold out for someone who is glad they held out for you.
Melanie Sue graduated from DePaul University with a degree in communication and media with minors in sociology and gender studies. Her biggest celebrity crushes are Edward Norton, Amanda Palmer, and the country of Iceland. In her spare time she likes taking photos, spending time with lovely people, playing with cats, collecting recipes, wearing dresses/neckties, and wishing she could play the banjo.