You're about to get loved ... hard.
When someone asks me what I'm looking for in a future partner, the first thing that always comes to mind is a big heart. It seems like a pretty simple, expected and straight-forward quality that likely, most people in your life have.
But when you get right down to the nitty-gritty parts of finding someone to share your life with, I'm often surprised by how few men have that so-called heart of gold I'm looking for.
And maybe the reason why that loving, kind and positive nature is so important to me is based on my own personality. If you asked my friends or family, they'd tell you the only thing larger than my booty is my heart, and that when it comes to helping people, I'm the first to volunteer to plan a party or remember their birthday (and send a snail mail card!).
It's those type of manners and that thoughtfulness that my Southern upbringing taught me, and maybe, just the way I was born. More than anything else, I want people to feel loved, and when you date someone with a heart as big as mine, there are a few things to remember:
1. We've already been writing letters to you ... and we've never met.
Remember those cards I mentioned? I've been writing letters to my future husband for, well, a decade. It was an idea I got when I was wondering what he was like and when I'd meet him, and instead of wondering, I decided I just do what I do best: write to him.
I have dozens of cards, from all different life stages and adventures, addressed to this mystery man. Before ever meeting you, you're already a big part of my heart.
2. We take everything to heart, even when we know better.
I try my best to keep with sarcasm and I can even fake it sometimes. When I crack a semi-sassy joke, my friends are always surprised. (Most) other times, I'm pretty sensitive and have to constantly remind myself that not every little thing means something, and that sometimes, things are just things people say without thinking. I'll try my best to remind myself when we meet.
3. We remember every tiny detail you tell us.
One of my ex's was a big Teddy Roosevelt fan and he had a deep-rooted interest in politics. So, for his birthday, I managed to win a bidding war on eBay for an original campaign pin from when Teddy became president. Did he cry when he opened it? Nah, but he came close. Whatever you tell me, I'll remember — and it'll be my goal to shock you with the details.
4. We need constant words of affection.
If you haven't read The Five Love Languages, book mark this article and come back later after you've read it. You'll figure out how you like to love and what kind of love you need in return, and for me, most important are words of affection ... quickly followed by physical touch.
When we're together, I want you to tell me you love me; that I'm awesome; that you want me, like now. The best part? I'll always return the favor.
5. We want (and need) to do nice things for you.
No, but seriously. I'm actually looking forward to steaming your shirts before a big presentation. Or throwing you a surprise 40th birthday celebration. Or doing something ridiculously sweet for your first Father's Day.
It makes me feel good that the people in my life feel appreciated, loved, and cared for. You'll have to let me take care of you ... if only just a little.
6. Our big heart comes with big fears.
The thing about having a big heart is that it comes with pretty deep-rooted emotions, and unfortunately, some fears, too. I have to constantly talk myself down off the edge of an imaginary cliff where I see all of my hopes, dreams, and future plans crashing down around me.
I'm afraid I'll never get married. That I can't have children. That I'll never publish a book. So every once in awhile, you might have to give me a pep talk, or at least a Xanax.
7. We're used to taking care of other people, but not being taken care of.
As much as I like doing nice things for folks, I have a hard time letting people take the lead and do something for me. I'm terrible at letting people surprise me. I often plan the week ahead without leaving room for spontaneity.
I once busted open a can of pasta sauce with a hammer because I refused to walk down the hall to ask a dude to do it for me. So when you start to be my partner and truly support me — emotionally, physically, in everyday life — it might take a while for me to let you.
8. We sometimes give too much, so you need to make an effort to give more.
I don't give to get something in return, but I sure would like it. I won't resent you, but I will start to wonder if you care as much as I do. It can be as simple as a sticky-note that says "I love you," or keeping almond milk in the fridge for my morning coffee. Those things go a long way for this girl.
9. We can be idealistic about romance.
I know as well as my friends, my parents, my co-workers and my dog that I can be a little unrealistic about romance. In my gut, I know that I'll meet someone pretty incredible, but that he won't be exactly how I've pictured him. As much as I want a big romantic gesture from a big handsome man to fulfill my big 'ole heart, I'll keep my expectations in check.
10. More than anything, we truly believe in love.
The best thing about a big heart? Its ability to love. I'll always believe in the love that surrounds us, the people in our life who love us, the love we see through strangers, and the love we have together. It doesn't have to be perfect — because love never is — it just always has to be there. Otherwise, what's the point in your heart, anyway?