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#790232 - 10/30/12 08:29 PM Choosing a Partner
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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Here is my view on how and why I chose dependability as the key trait in my partner relationship.

We humans tend to invest enormous amounts of energy on choosing our partner in life, and for good reason. In my ideal relationship, my partner is the one person who puts me before all else. I put him before all else (except my son). We are the one person who is there for each other no matter what.

I talked in another thread about having a very close friendship. In that relationship we are "nearly partners". There is always going to be an exception. In a disaster I would put Bob before my best friend. My best friend would put her mother before me. That is fine. We know that.

This partner nature of "most important connection" was recently portrayed on screen for me.

The final episode of In Plain Sight was an incredibly powerful one to me. Mary and Marshall had been partners for many years. They had always been there for each other, no matter what. Marshall was now getting married to another woman.

He turned to Mary and said in essence "I love you. I would do anything for you. I need to know, now, that you are going to be OK. I want to now be that be-there person for my wife. But if you call for help, I will run to you, and abandon my wife. I cannot be that kind of husband."

Mary then says, in essence, "You will be a good husband. I will find other support, and I will be OK. Trust in me to be OK. Dedicate yourself now to your wife."

To me it epitomized this very type of relationship, and I found it quite powerful. They were speaking to the heart of how important that emergency-be-there relationship was, and how it could really only exist at a specific one-on-one level. Marshall could not be equally there for two separate people. He would still love Mary - and he needed a sense that she would have other support to turn to. He could not be that person for her, because he now had another responsibility.

When I chose the St. Louis guy as a partner, I was looking at traits like "highly intelligent" and "fun to be with". I wasn't looking at "dependable". I got what I looked for.

When I came back to Massachusetts I absolutely looked for "dependable". Yes I also looked for "highly intelligent" but I turned down many other guys based on judging their dependability level.

When I had to drive out to St. Louis to pick up my cat, Bob asked no questions. He took the day off from work, oil changed his truck, and drove me out there. When my eardrums both ruptured in my scuba test, he drove home from his playoff game to be by my side. When his mother said "you cannot have Lisa sleep in your room when you visit" he said to her "we will stay in a hotel then, because being with Lisa is more important to me."

He repeatedly demonstrated with actions that I was the most important thing in his life and that I would maintain that focus. It wasn't a "courting act". It was an indication that other ties in his life would take second place to the attention he felt due his partner in life. I saw that, I valued it, and I chose him because of it.

We've now been together for sixteen years, and every day I treasure that aspect of our relationship.

Did I give up other traits in order to get "dependability"? We all make compromises. I am very content with my choice. There have been so many times over the years that depending on him was critical, and that he was there for me.
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#790236 - 10/30/12 09:39 PM Re: Choosing a Partner [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Jilly Offline
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I don't see myself having that. Unless I move back home and make my mother the most important person in my life. That's what dan did, in any case.

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#790247 - 10/30/12 10:31 PM Re: Choosing a Partner [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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Dear Jilly -

I think a first question would be if you wanted that. We all have different things we want most in life.

Maybe the most important thing for one person is to have a partner who is a delightful singer, because they want to play guitar all night long and have a singer there to sing along. They don't care about dependable. They are fine taking care of themselves and not relying on anyone else. If they get stuck in the rain they'll just call a cab. If they get really sad they'll call their best friend. They don't need those things in their partner. What they really want in a partner is a singing partner. Just as an example.

So I would (hopefully) never assume what I personally am drawn to is what every person is drawn to. I'm sure others are drawn to other things.

If you thought long term about what an ideal mate would provide to you, what things spring to mind? Don't worry if it's possible or reasonable or anything else. Just think about an ideal fantasy story.

If it helps, maybe think about how you'd feel if he *didn't* do something. What if he didn't want to go hiking? What if he hated talking? What if he didn't like SciFi? What if he didn't show up when you needed help? What "lacks" would bother you the most? What areas would you shrug off, because you could go elsewhere to handle that need?
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#790253 - 10/30/12 10:47 PM Re: Choosing a Partner [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Connie - ADD/Sandwiches Offline
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Lisa, I looked for dependability and integrity. Sense of humor was right up there, too! Thirty-five years later, we are still happily together.
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#790254 - 10/30/12 10:48 PM Re: Choosing a Partner [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Connie - ADD/Sandwiches Offline
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Chimpanzee

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Lisa, I looked for dependability and integrity. Sense of humor was right up there, too! Thirty-five years later, we are still happily together.
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Connie Mistler Davidson-Editor-ADD/Sandwiches
Attention Deficit Disorder
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#791786 - 11/08/12 02:59 AM Re: Choosing a Partner [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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Connie -

It's great that you found someone with a sense of humor! That sounds like a delightful partner to have.

In my case Bob isn't really a sense-of-humor guy, so I had to find that trait in friends smile.
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#791789 - 11/08/12 03:08 AM Re: Choosing a Partner [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Connie - ADD/Sandwiches Offline
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Chimpanzee

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It's great to watch a movie with Bob. He laughs in all of the right places.
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Connie Mistler Davidson-Editor-ADD/Sandwiches
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#791792 - 11/08/12 04:05 AM Re: Choosing a Partner [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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Dear Connie -

You are a lucky duck! smile
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Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
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#791804 - 11/08/12 05:42 AM Re: Choosing a Partner [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Lori - Marriage Offline
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Registered: 11/26/09
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Sad to say, but I did not make a conscious decision when choosing my mate. There was a clear and undeniable "cosmic" connection. Not a romantic, head over heels infatuation. But a compelling sense of "There is something about this man that I cannot resist, and I always want to be with him."

He was funny, witty, intelligent. An interesting conversationalist. Curious and open-minded. Knowledgeable about so many different topics. Very grounded. Conventional.

I'm known to be flighty so I needed his sense of stability. I am a butterfly, meandering about, while he is a bee, busily buzzing in straightforward fashion. I have to remind him that even though the butterfly and the bee have very different approaches to life, both pollinate the earth. smile

We've had our challenges, but we've also had a grand life adventure together. And we love and adore each other more than ever. smile

If I let my head get in the way, I might have decided we had too many differences and walked away. Because I really wanted a man who had a strong faith and belief in God. He doesn't but I ended up learning to see spirituality in a new and different way. Less dogmatically. So sometimes, our cosmic partner brings us great growth, if not smooth going.
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#791813 - 11/08/12 07:52 AM Re: Choosing a Partner [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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Dear Lori -

In my psychology classes they felt that all decisions we make are both conscious and subconscious. That is, if he had been a drooling ax-murderer you probably would have overridden your feeling of connection smile. But there was nothing there to trigger your conscious fears. So you were able to go with the many subconscious draws you felt. That is fine!

It was fascinating to learn how much of our draw comes down to hormones. When a woman is fertile, she tends to be drawn to 'power' in a man. When she is not fertile, she tends to be drawn to 'gentle' in a man. Men also pick up on this. When they tracked tips given to strippers, the tips varied very directly based on the woman's sexual cycle. The men could pick up on the hormones - without knowing it - and tipped far more when she was fertile.

Men in studies thought women's photos in red frames were sexier. They swore it was the woman. They had no idea they were being affected by the color red.

Experiments show women are drawn to men who are genetically different from them, which of course is good for our offspring. We can smell those differences in their scent. So we absolutely are drawn to certain men based on their smell.

That is great that you found a man so well suited to you!
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