Dear Future Husband,
I realize that we haven’t met yet. We haven’t even shared our first kiss, let alone a simple moment of flirtatious, lingering eye contact.
But the truth is that I can write you this letter right now, before I know you or anything about you, because as many people are writing themselves prescriptions of qualities that they think their perfect mate should possess, I’ve decided to retract my list of relationship “must-haves” for a moment and think about what it is that I want to bring to the table instead.
Because there’s a huge part of the committed relationship equation that many people leave out: themselves.
We take ourselves for granted to the point that we forget what it is about us that we want to share, and why exactly it is that we need such wonderful love relationships in the first place. The preferred qualities of our ideal mate are always good to keep in mind to help steer us from unhelpful or even unhealthy relationships, but mindfully knowing the preferred qualities of our own relationship “selves” will be even more helpful once the partnership is ready to begin.
So, dear husband, think of this letter as an introduction to me, but not the whole me. This snapshot of my intentions is most certainly incomplete, but what I leave out now I hope to pleasantly surprise you with later:
I will help you learn how to love me by being open and honest.
I’ll be gentle with you, but as obvious as possible in letting you know my needs and desires. This is a big one for me because it’s something I’ve struggled a lot with in the past. I had subconsciously made an agreement with myself that my needs and opinions were only important to a relationship if those things were convenient to the man I was with (which never seemed to be the case in my silly mind).
Admitting this now seems almost ridiculous, but it’s something that people-pleasers of all kinds struggle with in relationships. For me, there was a point where I had gotten so out-of-touch with myself in terms of how I wanted to be loved that I had no idea what I even wanted, let alone how to communicate it. So I’m telling you now that if you ever feel confused about what it is I want or how I would best appreciate love from you, remind me to show you and I will. With any luck, you wont have to remind me too often!
I will always be sexy, no matter my age or weight.
It’s important for me to feel attractive for you. Not just for the sake of your own pleasure, but because I think I’m the best version of myself when I’m feeling sexy. But there’s this thing about “sexy” that has so many people deceived, and that’s the idea that sexy can only be categorized in a one-size-fits-all-skinny-girl-lingerie-ad that comes to mind for many with mention of the word.
You should know that I will not always be that particular brand of sexy. I hope to always be a physically active person, but as a woman the shape of my body will always be changing to some degree. With the long term affects of time calculated in, you can certainly expect my body to wax and wane like the moon. There will be stress, joy, babies, possible illness—you name it.
All of these things are simply life, the fabric of love stories, and I’ve resolved to remain sexy by my own definition throughout the process. Because if I invested all of my self-confidence in such superficial notions as whether or not my body looked like it belonged in a magazine, neither of us would ever have any fun.
I will encourage you to grow by allowing you to be vulnerable with me.
It’s not just the job of men to protect the women in their lives. Men need to feel that they have a safe haven just as much as women do, although the shape that space takes may look different depending on your needs. I never want you to feel like the safety you provide for me isn’t reciprocated. I too have the strength to provide you with a place to explore your emotions and desires, and it’s important that you never have to guess whether that place is there with me or not.
I’ll always be willing to give you the space you need.
I’ll always be willing to give you the space you need while you make it clear to me how much space that is.
Please make it clear to me how much space that is. It is extremely important to realize that by being in such an intimate and long-term relationship with one another, it is inevitable that we will trigger pain in each other at some point. Yes, I promise I’ll disappoint you. It may be an offhand comment I make that triggers emotions from your past, or perhaps I’ll uproot some subconscious expectation you were holding for me.
No matter the case, these sensitive points of pain triggered in between our love are very important because when I unexpectedly hit a tender bruise in the fabric of your world, I’m helping you find (or remember) the places you need to work on in order to grow. And in order for you to do that kind of serious personal growth, you are going to need some serious room.
So I’m telling you now that I’m willing to provide you with the space you need as long as you are as honest and open as you can be about what you think that space needs to look like.
And I promise to do the same when you’ve triggered pain in me as well. If mature love has taught me anything, it’s that the space we create for each other—though seemingly creating distance—is actually bringing us closer together. Giving you your space is a sign that I trust and respect you enough to do what you need to do without fear of betrayal.
I will not save myself for you nor will I let you save me.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this letter, we haven’t actually met yet. That means that as of today, I’ve spent over 26 years on this earth learning everything that I’ve learned, all of it without knowing you, in order to write such a letter as this. I’m no longer naive enough to believe that I need some kind of saving or that there is some special, secret part of me that could only be saved for you. I came into this world as a whole and completely functional human being; I’ll leave it just the same but perhaps, with any luck, a little wiser.
You are exactly the same way.
You are already perfect, and have been forever.
All of the experiences that you’ve had without me have only added extra layers of awesome on top of your innate perfection. When we eventually meet, there will be no completion or saving, only creation. The relationship and eventual family that we build together will be outside of our individual selves; a completely new and amazing thing. There’s nothing left to be done inside of us as individuals that the other person can somehow save. We will continue to grow as individuals based on our own experiences (whether shared or otherwise) but remember that I’ve always been whole and always will be, same as you.
I hope you’ve found this letter to be helpful to you, my future love. There’s always more to discover, and I look forward to the possibilities the future holds.
Your Future Wife
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editorial Assistant: Hannah Harris / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Oleh Slobodeniuk/Flickr