We know we're supposed to be treated well, that he's supposed to notice that our toenails are the same color of the pinot noir we drink, that our eyes are the color of glaciers. We know we want to live in love songs, the kind they play on country stations. We know we want to be called beautiful, to feel alive in his presence, to feel desirable, to feel wanted. We know we want flowers and birthday cards with mushy notes written in black ink in his sloppy handwriting, gifts for no reason. We want hand holding and stolen kisses and sweet words whispered between soft sheets. We know we want to be appreciated, to feel smart. We want him to laugh at our jokes, and give us the kind eyes of empathy when something's gone wrong. We know we want to feel like the only woman in the world in his eyes.
We want romance. We're supposed to look, keep looking, until we find the kind of fairy tale we've seen in a million movies, on a million diamond ring commercials. We're not supposed to settle. We're not supposed to put up with anything but perfection, that a man who loves us will do anything he can to keep us by his side.
We know we're supposed to find a man who will love us like our parents do, unconditionally and without exception. We're supposed to find the man who will adore us like our fathers have, who will dote on us like our mothers. We know we want him to think we're most beautiful first thing in the morning, with messy hair and sleepy eyes. We know we want him to dedicate love songs and leave us love notes. We want him to love us for who we are beneath the breasts and the tiny waist and the curves of a woman.
We want to know he's there for us. We want to know he's someone we can turn to when in trouble. We want to be able to rely on him; for safety, security, protection, comfort.
We know we're supposed to take care of him in return. We know we should make ourselves beautiful for him; wear frilly underthings and lingerie with black stockings and high heels. We know to make him feel special, to be excited to see him. We wash his shirts and tandem with our own, marrying our loads of laundry to show him we care. We get him gifts, tell him he looks handsome, tell him we need him. We know to make him feel needed and wanted, just as much as we need to feel needed ourselves.
We know it takes work. We know we will fight and disagree and not see eye to eye. We know we'll say things we don't mean, and that he will do the same. We know we will cry - with joy and sadness. We know it will love him so much that it hurts. And we know that very love will make us more vulnerable to pain. We know that he'll know how to hurt us like no one else, but the he can make us happier than anyone else could ever dream.