So, I was reading an article entitled "Your Relationships Provide a Window into Understanding What You Need" and I really liked this part of the author's resolve:
When we practice being and doing the things that we expect others to be and do for us, we have a far greater level of self-knowledge that makes us hugely aware of who we bring into our lives. We need people that add to what we already do, not subtracting from where we’re already malnourished.
If you tend to neglect you by not treating you with love, care, trust, and respect, any ‘ole person can come along and they can make a fanfare with some hot air and crumbs and it will look like a golden loaf because it is more than what you’re doing for you.
And that led me to reading another piece: "Setting Standards for a Healthy Relationship":
Everyone has relationship standards. Would you enter into a relationship with someone you knew was addicted to heroin? Each person has their limit, a threshold for behavior, traits, and values, below which they are unwilling to tolerate a partner. Furthermore, research has shown that people suffer distress when their romantic partners do not meet their standards. Unfortunately, many do not identify their essential needs before entering a relationship, and sadly, some are willing to accept sub-standard treatment and conditions and remain in unfulfilling relationships rather than insist that their needs be met. What keeps people from setting a higher bar?
Which led to this (further down in the article):
Where should I set the bar?
When I ask clients how they envision their ideal relationship, some have no idea where to begin. A good starting place for setting standards is writing down a list of the qualities and behaviors that make you the happiest in a relationship, are the most meaningful to you, and that are non-negotiable, i.e. you are unwilling to live without them (or unwilling to live with them, if the qualities are unhealthy). You can make this list a work in progress, and modify it at any time. If you want to borrow some ideas, the following are relationship standards that previous clients have identified:
I must feel attracted to the person
The person must want me (have genuine interest in me, desire to spend significant time with me)
The person must be honest, trustworthy, and faithful (the relationship is exclusive)
I must feel safe with this person
The person must practice good self-care and not engage in unhealthy or destructive behaviors
The person must have ambition or goals, and be success-oriented
The person must be employed, energetically pursuing employment, enrolled in an education or training program, or caring for children or dependent family members
The person must believe in equality and fairness in a relationship
The person must treat me well and is not excessively critical
The person must make an effort to get along with my family and friends
The person must have his/ her own life and interests, separate from mine, and must accept my right to pursue my own separate interests and activities from time to time
The person must be able to handle conflicts and differences in a fair and civil manner, and be willing to make compromises
I must have effective communication with this person, and we must be able to express ourselves and listen to each other
The person must bring positive energy to my life
The person must like children; if I have children, the person must accept my children and be willing to co-parent in a cooperative manner
The person must not be overly-involved with unstable friends or family members who demand excessive time, money, resources, etc.
Once you have established your essentials, you might try working on the wish list—characteristics that you desire and may look for when pursuing a relationship, but may be negotiable if you meet someone great who does not possess all of them. The following are sample wish list items:
S/he comes from a particular race, ethnicity, nationality, or religious background (note: for some, this may be a standard, and not a wish list item)
S/he has particular physical traits I like
S/he has achieved a specific educational, professional, or income level
S/he is athletic, or artistic, or philosophical, or handy, or funny, etc.
S/he has social and political beliefs that closely match mine
That's some good stuff. After all, how can you be mad about not getting what you need when you don't even know what you want? You know what they say: "Never apologize for having high standards. People who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them."