1. Authenticity. I didn't have to think too hard about what went at the top of this list, because everything else flows from this: be whole. Be REAL. Be comfortable in your own skin. This encompasses personal responsibility and self-awareness: grapple with what you need to grapple with; if someone points out something they think you're not facing, consider it, talk about it, admit it if it's true. My inner Sneakoscope is very sensitive and is constantly going off [I cannot tell you how loud it is in church! ;-)]. If it's silent around you, you're on.
2. Listen. Really, really listen. Not just to me, but to everyone. I'm likely to melt if I'm watching you *really* listen to someone, no matter who they are or how crazy I know they drive you, because it says so much about the kind of man you are.
3. Treat the people who serve you the way you would treat the pope (if you're Catholic) or royalty. Say 'thank you'. Smile. Be patient. If something is wrong, explain it calmly. If you treat a shop assistant, waiter/waitress, bank clerk like crap - shouting, being aggressive or mocking, as seems to be the wont in OX2, whilst being a complete sycophant around your boss, clerics or anyone you perceive to be above you, you're out the door - and that'll be via my foot connecting with your ass.
4. Love children. I don't just mean as in 'I want children one day.' I mean that in the deep, powerful, protective, almost archetypal way that I love children. As in 'No matter whose child it is, I will fall at the first ditch to protect them.' I will know from watching you with them and from the longing note in your voice when you speak of them - I will know if they're as much your vocation as they are mine.
5. Put your foot down with me. Yes, you read that right. "Irim, you're wrong," is one of the sexiest phrases I can hear. I'm a very strong, opinionated, provocative personality - and I need someone who'll stand toe to toe with me and offer equal resistance. Too often, people just agree or don't engage. I want a partner, not a pushover; someone to engage with me, to tussle with - someone with the strength to work alongside me.
6. Be cheeky, cheeky, cheeky. Teasing and banter are amongst my favourite ways to communicate. I expect you to give me cheek, and I expect you to be able to take it. I do NOT mean the kind of edged, angry teasing that hides anger or poking at a sensitive place - mockery makes me angry and is one step away from contempt. I mean the warm teasing that comes from affection and intimacy.
7. Have depth, passion, complexity. Yes, that's all one. It's about being at home in the deep, where it can seem still, but there are powerful currents and emotions running through that you are in touch with. It means noting everything that is there: love, anger, joy, pain, hate, tenderness, hardness - and being able to hold it, being comfortable with it. Loving and playing with the nuances and teasing out the complex patterns found there - even better, offer me some of yours to play with...and I'll let you play with mine.
8. Offer strength, protection, sanctuary. If there is one thing I long for when I wake at 4am and can't get back to sleep, it's this - being held. I spend a lot of time being strong, holding space for and being a sanctuary for others - I need one of my own. I am deeply emotional and I go to some very dark places: I need you to be able to hold the space for me and not be afraid, not pull back, when that happens. I need to be able to collapse against you and know you won't break. I'm NOT expecting you to fix it or make it better; I need to know you're there, like a lighthouse bringing me home in a fog or onto tricky shores. Sometimes, I want YOU to stand up for me. I can stand up for myself, but to have someone who cares enough to stand up and say, "She's NOT like that, you don't KNOW her. Back off," means a lot - in my presence or out of it.
Ja, feminist I may be, but opening doors and making sure I get home or on the bus/taxi safely wins me over bigtime. That's not about control, it's about care; making sure that I'm doing what I can and not putting myself at risk. Oh, and if I've been drinking and tell you I can walk home, and you look at me and say, 'No, you're not,' in a tone that brooks no argument, that gets you bonus points (see #5).
And that's the way love goes...
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever).
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.