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Match Game

Here's a poll-type question (which I also just submitted for the Writer's Block feature):

What kind of partner did you imagine having when you were growing up?

If you're still looking, do you want or expect to find a person with those characteristics?

If you are partnered, does your current reality match your youthful fantasies? How do you feel about that?


I'm screening responses. Let me know if its okay to unscreen yours, otherwise I'll leave it secret.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
ladistrange
Sep. 22nd, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
My 'youthful fantasies' were pretty run-of-the-mill I guess. You know, I was going to marry Joe Elliott of Def Leppard sort of thing. Hmm..I STILL sorta have that one LOL!!

Honestly, I never saw myself with a life partner. I knew I wanted a kid someday, just not necessarily a spouse/partner. So I guess it's odd that the guy I DID end up marrying over 20 years ago even got past the first date! We are complete opposites in many ways, maybe that's why it works for us.

And it's fine to unscreen this, no deep dark secrets here.
watcher457
Sep. 22nd, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
I used to imagine a man who was slightly taller than me with dark hair and green eyes. He was funny, attractive, but more than that, there was an inescapable feeling that he was mine and I was his and we worked together. I don't remember if he was charming or intelligent or witty because it didn't matter. We clicked.

I am, unsurprisingly, still single. If I ever meet this man, I'll be very surprised. I'm obviously very picky, so if I don't feel that click, it's not going to be so.

And you can unscreen this if you want. :)
(Screened comment)
qos
Sep. 23rd, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
Re: This is great...
Thanks! I'm glad you find it valuable. It's certainly giving me food for thought myself. . .
athenian_abroad
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
Hmmm.... The answer to the first question is none at all. When I was growing up, I imagined that I'd be alone. When I started having actual relationships, they came as a bit of a surprise. So I never really had occasion to imagine any kind of "ideal" relationship or partner.

I wonder whether men and women will turn out to cluster differently on this question. My stereotyped imagination suggests that women will have spent a lot of time growing up imagining mates and relationships; men, less so. But I've got no particular reason to believe that this is actually true. I'm curious to know if the comments on this post line up with my stereotype or not.

[BTW, feel free to un-screen this comment; there's nothing secret here.]
rebeccax
Sep. 22nd, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
Okay to unscreen me.

I didn't much imagine having a partner and grew up to be epically single. Unfortunately, I was the recipient of some really ugly messages about myself and never believed I was partner material.

I'm not the person I thought I would be and my erotic life is no where near what I imagined it would be growing up. It's both good news and bad news. I have a great deal of sexual confidence and amazing partners that I never believed I would have. And bad news that I find it difficult to overcome the beliefs I have about myself.
fifthconundrum
Sep. 22nd, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
Love this poll! Love love love!

You can unscreen my reply, by the way.

What kind of partner did you imagine having when you were growing up?

I imagined a man who would adore me, dote on me, treat me like his equal, and take my feelings seriously. I would be the most important person in his life, and he would eloquently say so often. He would probably be someone of widespread influence, or *I* would be someone of influence, and he would be completely supportive of me in that role. As I grew into young adulthood he became someone tall, dark-skinned, and dreadloc'd. And, of course, there would be loads of hot, passionate sex day in and day out. (I was a sexually repressed teen. LOL!)

If you are partnered, does your current reality match your youthful fantasies? How do you feel about that?

My partner is tall, dark-skinned, and dreadloc'd. My partner also has the sensitivity I always imagined. That's about where the similarities end, at least for now.

There is also the detail that my partner is female. :-)

I am surprised, not only by the differences between my partner and my fantasies, but by how happy and well matched I feel with her. I always assumed that anything different from my fantasies would be less than my fantasies and not at all fulfilling. But I've discovered that at least with my relationship with her, the differences are mostly equal to or better than the fulfillment I imagined feeling in my fantasy relationship. (There are some exceptions, but I don't feel comfortable expounding on them here. Feel free to email me, if you want details.)
heron61
Sep. 23rd, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
My imaginings of romantic partners all came from SF novels - mostly from works by Andre Norton or (a bit later) Marion Zimmer Bradley - so what I imaged was an equal partnership with someone who was both caring and highly intelligent, where we shared every aspect of our lives. Also, in my mid teens, I encountered the idea of poly relationships (which I first saw in Bradley's The Forbidden Tower & in Joan Vinge's Outcasts of Heaven Belt), but I didn't really think about poly relationships being possible in my own life until more than a decade later. I didn't often think about what exact sort of person I'd be involved with, but on the few occasions I did, it was always someone who shared by various geeky and spiritual interests in SF fantasy and the occult. I'm wonderfully fortunate to have achieved all of this.

In retrospect I'm exceptionally glad that I imprinted on ideas of romance found initially in Andre Norton's SF & fantasy rather than the more widespread (and IMHO utterly vile) images of romance and romantic partnerships in more mainstream media. Feel free to unscreen this.

Edited at 2010-09-23 04:10 am (UTC)
qos
Sep. 23rd, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your comment. It's funny: I took for granted that I would be equal partners with my mate, but I don't know where I got that idea. My parents were certainly not equal partners; ours was a patriarchal household, but my mother was a traditional homemaker and looked to my father to be the head of the house. He was a good leader, however, not the stereotyped high-handed, short-tempered, selfish, jealous jerk that tends to go with that model.

But while I too read Andre Norten in my early adolescence, I don't remember any of the relationships in her stories.

In contrast to expectations, I think I found my model in the bodice ripper historical romances. Looking back, there's a lot in them that's dysfunctional, but what they did have going for them was heroines who were characterized as being the equals of their men, and who usually ended up quite firmly outside the bounds of "polite society" but thriving there.

But it's kind of a shock to realize that while I thought my parents had a good marriage, and they did model many good behaviors, I did not get my idea of partnership from them.
rainstardragon
Sep. 23rd, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
When growing up, I'd imagined someone tall, thin, blond, blue eyed, and extremely intelligent... or someone with enough Native American blood that our children would not be mistaken as White (go figure, no idea why). After the age of 9 though, I decided that I wouldn't have a boyfriend or husband, since I didn't want kids. At that time I wanted to be a volcanologist when I grew up.

By the time I reached high school, I did want a mate of some kind. He had to be smart, fair, kind, and of like mind.

Later... I wanted kids, and had changed major. The man that I had married did not fit either vision that I had crafted about the childish "perfect man" or the one formed in highschool. This relationship did not turn out well, barriers were crossed that I had been very firm on, and trust was then broken... and behaviors that I simply could not live with. Thus, I left.

The one that I am with now fits the original image much better, however, he is in Argentina... A long distance relationship was quite far, but he does have the qualities (as well as others that are much better and more realistic).

This can be left unscreened if you wish.
sharpchick
Sep. 23rd, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
What kind of partner did you imagine having when you were growing up?

The last thing I wanted was a partner. I was going to be an archaeologist, and a partner would have gotten in the way. Even as a teenager, I "flitted" from one kinda, sorta, almost, maybe, but not quite, relationship, primarily because I did not find anyone who was willing to let me just be me.

If you're still looking, do you want or expect to find a person with those characteristics?

In the place I am now, and have been for the last 15 years, looking is not part of the agenda. Honoring connections that I discover is more important.

If you are partnered, does your current reality match your youthful fantasies? How do you feel about that?

"Partnered" is not a term I'd use for myself - at least not in the western world sense of the word, the one-person-at-a-time majority world view. I have two SOs, and an abiding connection with a third who has passed on. To characterize my current relationships, I guess I am the hinge of a V, although labeling anything so significant goes against my grain.

And it all falls in line with my childhood fantasy, because both of my SOs honor and respect my independence.

Excellent questions...feel free to unscreen.
professor_mom
Sep. 29th, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
What kind of partner did you imagine having when you were growing up?
When I was young, I was in an extremely violent family situation. I always yearned to grow up and have a husband that was kind to me and cared about me enough to treat me gently.

I did find that person. I found exactly what I wanted. And yet there have been minuses to what I found in a partner. I have the antithesis of my own father and I thought that would be the fulfillment of my desires and yet it wasn't.

The man I married is a little too indulgent sometimes. In general he displays a laissez-faire attitude, indulging our children and giving them what they ask for and what they think they want, even though it might not be good for them. We've struggled with this a great deal and at times have clashed over situations with the children.

So basically, I got what I thought I wanted, but when I got it, it wasn't quite everything I had imagined.

Ok to unscreen.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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