My Must-Have List

A friend asked me, as I’ve been categorized as “in a fulfilling relationship” as to what my must-haves are. My first reaction is:

  • Kate

In all seriousness, however, I must admit that Kate is definitely unlike anyone I’ve dated before, and I think that that is why we’ve been as good as we are. I’ve dated a lot of people, I’ve been in a few serious relationships, even been married once.

What I’ve learned is that you cannot have a concrete list of things that are absolutely necessary. When you find the right one, you’ll know. Kate’s the one — we’re different in a bunch of our interests, but have a few in common. We’re different politically: I’m more engaged than she is. We differ on the abortion issue. I love football, she fell asleep at a Vikings game. She dislikes bicycling, I don’t need to point out my obvious addiction.

But we come together where it matters. We agree on the things that are truly important — the need to secure our financial future, the desire to be parents, that we support each other in pursuit of our dreams — and that our lives are richer for having fallen in love with each other.

I don’t know how to quantify her, and that’s part of what I love about her. She’s a complex woman, smart and funny and possessing of a mushy interior hidden by a tough outer shell. I do know that I can laugh with her, that I love the mischievous glint she gets in her eye sometimes, and that waking up with her in my arms is the best start to a day that I could ask for.

Chalk this up as sentimental, and not true to the original challenge, but I don’t think that love is something you can find by checking off boxes on a list.