My best friend and I came up with an activity. Well, she came up with it, because that’s what she does.

Come up with non-negotiables for future relationships. You see, we’re both single right now after the end of our short lived relationships. And we’re both thinking, what do we deserve. We deserve to see red flags and walk the other way, instead of bypassing them all together. So – new game plan. We each develop a list, the non-negotiables. Something we can remind each other of in future love endeavors. And something to re-visit ourselves. A reminder of accountability, love, and worth.

After reflecting on my past relationships, my values, and my desires I’ve come up with the following:

  • Self reflection – Being with someone who knows who they are and what they want, or is trying to, is really special. I pride myself on self-reflection and have grown immensely because of it. I’ve been with people who don’t engage in self-reflection and it’s not something I want for the rest of my life. I want someone who is constantly trying to learn from their mistakes, and grow into their highest self.
  • Loves my kid – You don’t have to love kids but you sure as hell have to love mine. I need someone who plays with my daughter and is willing to help me care for her. Someone who she loves just as much. Playful, kind, stable. A parent.
  • Open communication – Let’s talk through things without the constant defensiveness that most people turn to, myself included. I need someone who will prompt a conversation when I’m too scared. Someone who’s not afraid to say sorry, or call me out on my shit. I want to be able to sit down with someone, conflict on the table in front of us, and confront it together – rather than confronting each other.
  • Vulnerability and real – I need someone to show me their broken sides, because I love the broken. I want to see the pieces before they are all pieced back together. I enjoy watching the journey of falling and rising, and it takes vulnerability to show the fall. I also need real-ness. Someone who is unapologetic about being themselves. Someone who loves their real, honest, raw self. Instead of trying to be perfect, just tries to be them.
  • Kind – I am a sensitive soul. I need someone to approach all conversations with a level of kindness. I’d appreciate someone who is also kind to others. Who cares about the world, and the pain it carries. I also need someone to be kind to me. I know pain, and when I’m depressed I need a kind hand to help me through it. Not someone who is going to drown me in tough love, because quite frankly that approach just doesn’t work for me.
  • A spark – I want to want who I am with. I need the fucking spark of love and life. Someone who makes it so easy to fall so hard. Without passion, I won’t know happiness.


It’s hard to write about love when I have no interest in it right now. I’ve gone back to not wanting a relationship. Not seeking it out. And writing this, I wonder if this person exists outside of me, and if I’ll find her. I also wonder, how many relationships will come in between. How many times will I turn someone away for not meeting my criteria? Will that save me pain? Wasted time? I think so.

Dating is hard.

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