Recently, I have been thinking about what it means to have a relationship that lasts longer than three months, a year, or ten years. What does it mean to have a life partner? Someone who will be at your side for as long as you live. Pretty big thought, huh?
Finding a definition like the one above is easy to do, but to find out what you yourself and personally want out of a relationship that lasts that long, is a question not many people ask. For example, can a life partner be someone who is your significant other for a certain time in your life, but not as long you live? What feature makes this person qualify as your life partner? And do you need a life partner whith whom you live in a “partnership” together? Do you want someone who supports you in daily life or someone who is there to discuss the deeper questions of life with you? Or a combination of both?
Personally, I do not expect to find someone whom I can be with, live together, get married, have kids, etc. I would rather find that one person I can always count on. Many people see that in a best friend, but I will take it a little further. I have experienced friendship and relationships that were based on a very simple idea: loyalty. And I like the idea that a life partner of mine would feel most of all loyalty for me. Because that means they will certainly stand with you “for as long as you both shall live”.
You may say that this is not enough. You may say that you need someone who will love you with all their heart. But isn’t that what loyalty means? Loyalty means that you let go of your entitlement to be helped and loved and give that to someone else. Not the entitlement, but love and help. You give them support and despite the fact that you don’t promise to do so forever, both you and the other person know that you will be loyal to them.
Now, besides loyalty, what else is important in a life partner? To me, it is important that my life partner is not for life. He or she should be for living life – discussing important things, playing outside, wandering through woods, visiting exhibitions and museums, traveling, and many more. I don’t need someone to discuss the weather, an idiot at work who ruined my day, or how long it took me to get through traffic. Of course, I do discuss these things if necessary, but that is not and will never be the main purpose of a relationship for me.
Here is the perfect person for me to be my life partner: someone who is just as interested in discussing the not-so- and fundamental questions of life, who doesn’t need me as life support (aka person to discuss the weather with), who can and wants to be loyal to me just as I will be loyal to him or her.