Monday, August 12, 2013

Partner Call

So I had a conversation yesterday with one of my favorite people on the planet. This conversation, as benign and casual as it appeared to be, had me awake for quite some time yesterday afternoon when I was hoping to nap instead. Staring out the window, listening to the snoring from canine and human alike, I wondered what is the most important aspect of a partnership to me. As a woman who has refused to settle on anything in her life ever, I sat contemplating what makes a good partnership, and if maybe I am actually a terrible partner as I can be uncompromising sometimes.

A relationship is a partnership. It is not ownership, it is not a dictatorship... it is a partnership and it should be approached in the same way that we select our friendships. It is my opinion that you should be wonderful friends with the person that you decide to spend the rest of your life with because eventually the passion is going to die out, our asses are going to get saggy, and we are all going to be hideous when we are 70. We treat our friends with respect, admiration, love, and humor.... often times treating them better than the people we are in intimate relationships with. Our relationships should be treated the same way. 

All too often, people claim to love someone yet they disrespect them, cheat on them, lie to them, use them, manipulate them, and have absolutely zero regard for the other person's feelings. They claim to love them and yet they let their friends talk badly about them in public and show a malevolent disposition toward them.... they treat the "love of their life" worse than they would treat a complete stranger, and yet they say they love them. That's not love, it is called comfort. It is a fear of being alone that keeps people like this together.
When I was 20 years old I made a half-ass decision in the heat of the moment to get married. I married a man that I barely knew, we had a year and a half of wedded bliss, and then we split up. I don't regret this decision as it helped guide me into better decisions and taught me that there are consequences that come with our actions. The pain that I caused him taught me that you can not tread lightly when it comes to other people's feelings and that when you say you love someone, you need to treat them accordingly. It taught me what commitment was and it scared the shit out of me for a long time to ever commit to anyone else.

Somewhere in the time that has passed in the last 10.5 years since then, one person was able to break through that fear and showed me the joys of a loving, stable, relationship that was built on mutual respect and friendship. For this, I owe him my eternal gratitude, for he taught me how to love someone other than myself. While we had a great run while it lasted, unfortunately, we discovered along the course of our relationship that we were not meant for one another as a lasting couple. This discovery did not end our friendship, just our relationship. This ended a few years ago and the last three years of my life has been spent being mostly single, figuring myself out and what I need from a partner. Finally, I think I have it figured out.

I need someone that will climb mountains with me... metaphorically and physically. The trust and commitment that goes into a climbing partner, is the same level of trust and commitment I need. The friendship and bond that is developed in a crag is the same I need from my significant other. I feel like my heart and my head are on the precipice of war sometimes as they don't always agree with one another, but as I lay there feeling contentedness wash over me and sleep start to take over, I realized exactly what a partnership means to me. I realized it doesn't have to be definable by other people's definitions and it doesn't have to answer to anyone else. It is the West Buttress of Denali and it needs to be conquered together, as equals, with mutual respect, love, fear, and above all else trust.

P.S. It is my dream to climb Denali in the next few years. 

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