When you’re a little kid, your parents encourage you to do your best and achieve, and they try to instill their values in you and make you a good person. My parents were no different. I recall a particular time when I was sick with the flu, and I barfed on the couch. Not entirely part of the story, but still a vivid memory. I recall lying on the couch feeling like death, but when my dad got home from work he came over to me and he had brought a rose and box of popsicles for me because he knew I was sick and he knew this would cheer me up. He always used to refer to those popsicles as “medicated popsicles”, and I’d be all over them. My dad always treated my sister and I like princesses, and he’d always bring us a box of chocolates at Valentines Day. We knew we were special, and I have never forgotten that.
As we got older, he was just protective enough, but just short of being intimidating to boys when they came to pick us up. He and my mom were always gracious and welcoming, don’t get me wrong. But they would never say “that guys a dick”, they would always trust us to figure that out. Of course, I do remember my mom saying something to me once about a boyfriend that snapped me out of my deliriousness and I broke up with him shortly thereafter. Again, not part of the story, but still a good memory of my mom telling me in her own way that this guy was not good enough for her daughter. My parents gave my siblings and I a long leash for the most part, and allowed us to learn from our own mistakes. Don’t be mistaken, when we crossed the line, you knew it, that’s for sure.
But I clearly remember my dad saying to me one day that “if you are not number one in your partner’s life, then something is drastically wrong”. This is something I have carried with me since then. I’ve strayed from that a few times, and have taken second place, but only to learn that there’s a reason it’s second place. Perhaps this is a main reason that my expectations in a partner are so high, but really, is that a bad thing? I expect to be important to my partner. Doesn’t sound so ridiculous, does it? I don’t think so, but it’s surprising to find that this isn’t as important to a lot of other people as you might think. Now, I’m not saying that I am a daddy’s girl and want to find somebody just like him. That’s not it. I see my parents as people, friends even, and they have faults just like anybody else. But it’s these things that they have taught me that remain important. That I am important, and I deserve to be important to somebody else, and if I’m not, then something is wrong. Everybody deserves that. Everybody. That also means that if I’m with somebody who I’m not willing to make more important than everything else, then it’s not right.
So, you can choose to take the backseat to somebody’s career, or just be second place because you feel that’s okay with you. Maybe you don’t think you deserve better, or maybe you don’t see a problem with that. But I do. I’m just sayin’.