Over the last year and a half, I’ve learned a few things about dating. I only started doing it when I turned 40. Yes, you heard me right. Long story, just go with me on this. I’m seriously behind the curve when it comes to the modern relationship. But, it’s brought me to this place. The place in time where I’ve decided to write a brief manifesto. I struggled with using the word “manifesto” simply because in the age of the Internet, I didn’t want to get flagged by the Department of Homeland Security. In particular, I live in Montana, where lots of wackos come to embrace their wackoness. Generally, wackos in Montana aren’t actually born here, they’re transplants. I was born and raised here, so I’m perfectly sane... really.
I decided to stick with “manifesto” because it’s time to get serious. It’s time to be true to what I want and send a clear message to those “potentials” out there. I also mean it as a new age-y double entendre. If you know anything about manifesting what you want into your life, you’ll know what I mean.
So, here goes. Listen up people!
If you think relationships are a game to be played with strategies and plans: Move it along, I don’t have time for you. I am who I am. I don’t want to try and manipulate anyone into liking or loving me. So, I’ll just tell you a little about me. I am caring and kind most of the time. I occasionally get pissed off, but that’s usually directed at my family and people who lie a lot. Not once, but a lot. I can stand up for myself, I am hard on myself, I am funny and I can be generous. I am extremely independent. I tried asking for help from someone I was seeing, once, because all my girlfriends told me that guys like to rescue the ladies and to fix things. My girlfriends were mistaken. I am strong, both emotionally and physically. I want a partner, not someone to take care of me or pay the bills. I deserve the same.
If you just want to “help each other out”, aka: friends with benefits: Move it along and quickly. I don’t want to be your friend with benefits. Friends with benefits is a complete misnomer. It should just be called “benefits” or better yet, random sex with someone you sort of know. People (both men and women) who just want benefits typically don’t know what real friendship is... at all. And although I want a relationship that includes lots of the benefit in question, and I mean lots in a very literal way because I spent 15 years in celibacy, I want the benefit to be in addition to a good conversation, endless laughter, spontaneous dancing in the kitchen, sitting on the couch cuddling (yes cuddling) and lots of other things.
If you’re married but unhappy: Run far away from me. I understand your plight, I really do. Things happen, people grow apart, things change, things are complicated, there are assets or children involved. I get it. But grow some balls and make a decision. You aren’t doing yourself, your spouse, your children, or your finances any favors. Is it hard? Abso-freakin-lutely! But life is too short to make each other miserable and trust me, the kids know, and they aren’t happy either. In fact, everyday you “fake it” you are chipping away bit by bit at their ability to have a healthy relationship in the future. And I am not willing to complicate matters further by being your friend-with-benefits-second-choice-waiting-in-the-wings-hoping-you’ll-eventually-choose-me-girl. Nope, sorry. So, run away and good luck in your quest for testicles.
If you want me to take vacation time so that we can sit in your basement and play “World of Warcraft”, forget it. I really shouldn’t have to explain this one.
If you want to uproot your whole family and move to my hometown before we even talk on the phone, let alone meet each other... I’ll run, you stay where you are.
If you want to send me penis pictures before we meet in person: As an artist, I totally appreciate the learning value. And the variety in shapes and sizes is scientifically fascinating. A couple were even fairly impressive, but let’s face it. It’s just a little too exhibitionist. Let’s avoid it. After we’re in a relationship... I'm all for it.
If you bought your car... your jacket... your shoes to impress someone: Move it along. I’m pretty sure we’ll have nothing to talk about. This goes double for someone who makes snap judgements about people’s looks or fashion sense.
If you won’t allow a dog to sleep on the bed or get on the couch: See ya!
If you are relatively honest, funny, sincere, creative, like adventure (not the extreme-you-could-die-zip-lining-in-the-Amazon type but more spontaneous and slightly safer adventures)... if you like movies, being outside, working hard, building a future, laughing, traveling, art, cuddling, zombies, sex (not zombie-sex... ewwwww squishy! And ewwww!) and me... then say hello. Better yet ask me for coffee.
Because here’s the thing. I’m worth it.