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I Can’t Tell You What Kind of Partner I Am, and That’s Okay

·418 words·2 mins
Advice Friend Relationships

“You write an awful lot about other people, how kind they are to you, and how much you appreciate them. I find myself thinking that I hope you are as kind to them back. I hope you make an effort, too. And I wish you’d write more about what kind of partner you are, because I don’t like wondering about it.”


Here’s the thing: When it comes to my relationships with other people, I try my hardest to be a good partner.

Of course, “trying” is ambiguous, so what does “trying” mean to me? Everyone has their own specific picture of what ideal love looks like. What I want from love is a connection in which I can trust another person completely and they, me. A relationship in which we’re both on the same team, never playing stupid zero sum games or keeping score.

Where we are great friends, great lovers. Where we’re both extremely lucky to have one another.

I want relationships in which there’s never any doubt that we want the best for our partner. Even if that occasionally leads away from what we would selfishly want for ourselves individually.

But that’s what I want.

The question remains: How close is my lived reality to that ideal?

And that’s where it gets stickier.

There’s a reason that I don’t dive deeply into that question, the question of whether I’m good partner or not. It’s because I’m not the best person to ask.

It would be better to ask the people dating me. And of course, that would likely be through the filter of “am I a good partner” for them?

Because no one is a good fit for everyone. That’s a ridiculous idea.

At the end of the day, that’s not my story to write. I’m not the person best qualified to comment on what kind of partner I am.

That’s a question for others to answer.

I know I’m a person who cares. And a person who does what she can. But whether what I can do is good enough for any given person at the end of the day…. well, that isn’t for me to decide.

And that’s okay.

I just know that I’m happy and that it seems like I’m not the only one in my life who is.

Sometimes we don’t get answers, you know. Sometimes it’s better to learn to enjoy the wondering than to demand closure from a universe that has an awful lot of other things to do.


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