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What I Want

When I fall in love again, I don't want it to be the instant we lay eyes on each other. I want it to be gradual. I want to get to know you, really know you, and you, me. I want to understand each other on those deeper levels, knowing we can never learn everything about the other, because there is a lifetime to learn already, even as we build one together.

I want to miss you, but not when you're lying right beside me every night. I want to want you, but I want you to want me, too. I don't want to be your knight in shining armor, but to defend you when you need it nonetheless. I want to see you every day, but sometimes not. I want to be the center of your world, but never for you to forget that the rest of the world is there. I want to have adventures, sometimes together and sometimes not, so we always have something to say.

I want you to be intelligent and articulate, but not too serious. I want you to be creative, and passionate about the things you care about, but passionate about me, and the things I care about, too. I want to encourage each other in our arts and desires. I want you to know that just because I don't have a degree, it doesn't mean I'm unintelligent or uncultured.

I want to cook, if you'll clean, but not always. I want to do your laundry, and smell you in your clothes, but only if you'll do the same for me, too. I'll forgive you for singing off-key, if you'll forgive me for correcting your lyrics. I want to listen to CĂ©line Dion all day, and you not to hate it. I want to buy you things, because I can, and I want to, and I don't want you to feel guilty if you can't return the favor. If you enjoy it, then it was worth the cost, and the balance of your bank account is unimportant.

I don't want to be in charge, but I want to know that my opinion matters to you. I want to make compromises, but never to compromise who I am, nor who you are. There should never be a tally of "wins" or "losses," just decisions we made together.

When we have sex, I don't want either of us to be in charge. I want us to go with the flow, with what feels good, or right, and let the control pass between us like the moon and the tides. I want to feel the swell of your breath, and know that I'm making you feel good, inside and out, because I know how to touch you just-so.

I want you to know that I'm often sad, but it's not your fault, and when those old horrors and pains and fears haunt my eyes, I want you to understand that I may need to be alone for a while, and when I call you, I'm ready. Then, I want you to hold me, and tell me things will be okay, or even that they won't. The truth from your lips as they're pressed against the back of my neck is more comfort than a thousand platitudes. And when old wounds haunt you instead, I want you to know that I'll do whatever you need me to. And if, sometimes, we are just holding each other in the darkness, because we are both sad from things that came years before we met each other, I want that to be okay.

I won't be a servant, but I can't be the world to you. We must be equals, if not in all things, then at least in ways that strike a balance. I want less give-and-take, and more freely-offered-and-openly-accepted. I want a partner.

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