litmus tests

Since deciding it was time to be single again, I’ve had some time to think about what I want/need in relationships and how to determine if it’s time to fold my hand.

Some will probably argue with me, but I think it’s important to share certain things.  Music, movies, books, a vision for the future, cleaning habits, and roadtrip behavior.  Oh, and geographic location.  That’s sort of important.

Opposites do attract.  It’s nice to be different.  I’ve learned a lot and have grown a lot because of the differences.  Sometimes, that’s a great thing.  But there has to be some sort of common ground somewhere.  Often, that combined alchemy causes problems.

My last ex and I differed in pretty much every way imaginable.  He liked screamo metal/noise music–the one kind of music I just can’t take.  I like lyrics and harmony.  He was into action movies.  Most action movies make me want to gouge my eyes out.  His favorite books were books on my “do not read ever, ever” list.  Which is a really short list.  He wanted to move to the country eventually.  I’m a city girl with a strong appreciation for nature.

You get the idea.  He did seem pretty clean, though.

The biggest incongruency between us, though, was where we were in life.  We were extremely similar to each other in many ways, but when we had problems, I realized it was usually because he was stuck in patterns I worked through a few years ago.  And my tolerance of his being stuck in said patterns was pretty much nil.  Because it had been so difficult for me to break those patterns in myself, being around him made them resurface–much to my chagrin–which made me very impatient with him…because I was having issues with me.

And we had a lot of problems when it came to politics.  Namely, human rights related issues.  He just didn’t get my views, at all.  And I couldn’t tolerate his.  They violated my values.

Values can’t be violated without some damage.  Just sayin’.

But, funnily enough, the thing that made me realize I just COULD NOT continue was our travel differences.

Which was fairly shocking.

We’d both done a fair amount of traveling, both internationally and in North America.  We both adored roadtrips and liked taking pictures.  We spent a good deal of time talking about trips we’d like to take together.

But then, something happened.

He tried to take them over.  He started hard core planning things we’d only barely discussed.  Without really including me.

I’m kind of a road warrior when it comes to travel.  I like long road trips (though I’m not as into them lately) and am used to driving for hours upon hours.  Sometimes, I’ll do that and turn right around.  Driving is fun for me.  I’m pretty much a roll with the punches type of person.  When I travel, I might do a little research beforehand, but I rarely marry myself to activities and plans.  I know that things change fast sometimes, and I really like to be surprised.  I like to explore and go with what feels right rather than scheduling myself for things which may not.  I like to meet people and get their recommendations.  I’m not the best at reading maps.  I don’t freak out about making it to places by certain times–unless it means no food or gas.  I like to just do my thing.  I’m fairly laid back that way.  And because of that, I pretty much always have a good time.

Unless, of course, I’m with people who aren’t like that.

Which have been many.  I’ve only really enjoyed trips with my ex-fiance.

Pretty much every other person I’ve been close to, that I’ve traveled with, has gotten on my nerves.  And, now that I think about it, the reasons behind the nerve-wracking moments were good litmus tests for why we ultimately didn’t work out.

I don’t live my life based on a lot of rules, but–if I have problems traveling with you–that’s a big indication you won’t be in my life in a few years.

Lately, I’ve taken to solo trips.  Which I enjoy SO MUCH more.  Hopefully, I can take a few in the next several months.  I miss Jackson Hole and Santa Fe.  A lot.

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