I’ve given a lot of thought to this lately, especially as I’ve been lurking around r/childfree and r/relationship_advice looking for ways to reaffirm my life decisions.
It seems to me like people don’t always know how to go about determining if someone is actually right for them, and in a lot of instances, a person’s relationship history has been a deal-breaker. Not only that, but in instances of childfreedom, people don’t always discuss important topics like child-rearing and family planning. This kills the relationship.
So I thought to myself,huh, how cool would it be if people just came with relationship resumes?My mental response to myself:That would be pretty stupid. You should blog about this.
Obviously, it’s a ridiculous idea. I think it’s really just my brain’s way of rationalising the function and functionality of relationships. I like things to fit in boxes, and I like for life to have some order in it. It boils down to: I’m a control freak. A panicker. An overthinker. I would put this explicitly on my resume.
But run with me on this, if only for a moment. Envision this with me:
BEFORE YOU BEGIN:
Think of this relationship resume as part of the job application process. You are applying to be someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend. In order to do this, you must list your qualifications, proficiencies, and experiences.
You should also include a COVER LETTER.
In this cover letter, in a non-creepy way, explain to your resume’s recipient why you want/deserve to be their significant other. You should write about yourself in a way that makes you seem competent and confident, not awkward and ashamed. This is a good way to put your best food forward, and it will be the first impression your potential love gets of you. So make it count!
START FROM THE TOP:
- Your name
- Your basic life info - stats and dates and numbers
- Your contact info
- If you have a Facebook, link it. This profile will serve as your potential significant other’s (PSO) first basic glimpse into your interests and activities. It will also expose them to some fun facts about you, like your astrological sign, your religious preferences, and your political inclinations.
- If you have a blog (this tumblr, for example), link it. This blog will give your PSO a chance to read into your mind, see how you approach various aspects of life. Do you post Instagram’d pictures of your dinner every night? Are you self-depreciating? Do you avidly watch ghost-hunting/paranormal TV shows? These are important things to know before the possibility of a relationship is established!!
- Your email address, and if you can dig it, your cell phone number. Include the possibility for texting, picture messaging, and two-player gaming (think Draw Something, Words With Friends, that kind of stuff). This will let your PSO know if you are someone that can exist in the digital world. If they take you up on any of these things, they will also learn if you are consistent when it comes to responding, if you tend to ignore messages, and if you feel comfortable with conducting long or short conversations digitally.
- Your life motto. If you could sum up your life’s goal/mission/ambition/purpose in one or two sentences - a famous Einstein or Shakespeare quote, a math formula, a personal quote from yourself or a friend - what would it be? Think of it as your tag line. This can also be a clever pick-up line! :)
- A chronological history of your relationships
- Each relationship point should include the following information:
- The name of said ex
- The duration of the relationship
- The quality of said relationship
- The cause of the relationship’s beginning and end
- The various factors that initially drew you to that person
- The various factors that eventually pushed you away from that person
- Your current feelings/thoughts about that person (retrospective)
- Positive and negative aspects of yourself within that relationship (i.e., I was clingy, I was good at picking gifts, I was a picky eater, I was reliable)
- Experiences gained
- What sorts of things did you try while you were in that relationship? Don’t be scandalous; that part is next! For example: “In this relationship, I learned how to drive a stick-shift.” This helps your PSO know that you are willing to learn new things and expose yourself to new and uncomfortable situations!
- How did this relationship affect your pursuit of future relationships? Did it make you bitter, jaded, disappointed? Conversely, did it make you smarter, more confident, or healthier?
THE DARK SIDE:
- Sexual qualms and qualifications
- In order for a relationship to be successful, boundaries and expectations should be established prior to the relationship beginning. That is to say, you should include information that would help your PSO know well in advance what you are okay with doing, and what you are NOT okay with doing. this information should include such items as virginity status, views on said status, sexual orientation, openness to alternative relationships (gay, bi, open/polyamorous, etc.), and specific fetishes or fears.
- How many sexual partners have you had? If you don’t feel comfortable disclosing this information, you should probably reevaluate your life choices. This is important to many people, as sexual (in)adequacy can make a person feel very nervous or hesitant about entering a certain relationship. For example, someone of limited sexual experience may feel inferior, judged, or embarrassed when entering a relationship with someone of great sexual proficiency. Conversely, someone with a good deal of experience could feel guilty, overbearing, or forceful when entering a relationship with someone who is virginal or limited in experience. Always keep in mind the social implications associated with being on either side of the spectrum, and remember to behave considerately regardless of the situation!
- Family planning
- If you are applying to be a significant other, with the intent of the relationship becoming serious, it is extremely important that your PSO knows exactly how you feel about family planning. That being said, you should inform them of your plans for a family (do you want kids? are you decidedly childfree? have you cut or tied anything related to babymaking?), your consumption or use of contraceptive measures (birth control? condoms? fertility charting?), and your views on drastic emergency measures (adoption? abortion? fertility issues?). These things are important! ESPECIALLY if the nature of your relationship is to eventually become sexual; you should always have a back-up plan, and your PSO should know it in advance.
- History of rape or other psychological/emotional/physical trauma
- Many relationships end because one partner did not disclose vital information that affected their perception of roles in relationships. Previous positiveand negative experiences can dramatically impact the way you conduct your personal life, and it is important for a partner to know this beforehand.
- Roles within the relationship
- Believe it or not, some relationships actually end in life-long commitments commonly referred to as “marriages” (and in their later stages, “divorces”). What are you looking for in the relationship?
- What do you think a husband or a wife’s duty is? Do you want a homebody or a breadwinner? Do you want to lead or follow? TOP OR BOTTOM? Has this expectation been influenced by the relationships around you (i.e. your parents’ relationship, cultural expectations, etc.)?
YOUR EXPECTATIONS CHECKLIST:
- Make a checklist of specific traits, qualities, and factors you’re looking for in a person. Include some of the following:
- Income/financial stability. There is nothing wrong with saying you want to be with someone who can hold their own in the workforce, or someone who has good credit history.
- Religious or political affiliations. If you’re a Catholic and they’re a Jew, this might not work out so well for you. And if you vote left and they vote right, you might be sleeping alone tonight.
- Evidence of sentimentality or compassion. Let’s be real: engineers are not known for their cuddliness (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, ROWDY), and lawyers can definitely lean toward the antagonistic, cynical end of the pool (I’M LOOKING AT MYSELF, GUYS). What sorts of things do you expect your PSO to do to keep you feeling loved or emotionally attached? Is community service and a spirit of volunteerism attractive? Does your PSO need to stand for something, like a cause or a charity? Is cuddling a big part of your emotional satisfaction? Do you expect gifts or small reminders that you are loved? Your PSO should know what they’re getting themselves into.
- Life plans. What sort of career do you want your PSO to have? There’s a huge difference between stay-at-home parent and CEO of a corporation. Do they want to retire early, and how do they feel about travelling? These are good questions to ask because, though casual and flippant, they can have a huge effect on the course of your relationship’s future. In the long run, you should know.
- Personality traits! Do they consider themselves to be kind, patient, accepting, adventurous, selfless, mature, motivated, exciting, or frugal? Conversely, can they admit to their faults? Weigh the options and the cost-benefit relationship associated with having someone who meets some, but not all, of your criteria.
- Family background. Ahhh, the age-old in-laws conflict. It’s probably maybe DEFINITELY a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into as far as the other side goes. Do you get along well with your PSO’s family? Could you, if you tried hard enough? Or do they resent you, always wishing for their child to “do better” in life? Are they worth visiting for holidays and over vacations? Can you stand being in their presence for longer than five minutes without a protective plexiglass bubble or hazmat suit? If so, they you might have just won the in-law game. More importantly, make sure these expectations are passed on to your PSO. You should tell him about your family…your traditions, your go-to restaurants/vacation spots/stores/cities, your childhood, your siblings, your parents’ belief systems. These can, unfortunately, be make-or-break deals.
- YourPSO should have the opportunity to talk to your previous “employers,” in this case, your exes. What kind of person do they think you are? How would they describe you? What did they like and dislike most about you? What advice would they have for the person seeking to date you now? Pro-tip: if they don’t have anything nice to say about you, you’reprobably not gonna get the job.
- If something of concern comes up because of a discussion had with one of your references, this could open the door to open and honest communication, which we should all know by now is vital to the success of any relationship. A bad reference could give you the chance to justify yourself. “Oh I was a psycho in high school because my best friend pressured me to date bad boys” or “My family life was really rough and I took out a lot of stress on my significant other” could be life-savers.
- Remember: your PSO does not have to contact any references. In fact, most employers don’t. Too much effort, ya know? So don’t stress TOO MUCH about whether Johnny Boy or Suzie Dee is gonna bash on you when your PSO comes calling. They’re probably still bitter, too. They’ll get over it. Just like you!
So like I said, this is crazy and dumb, but I feel like the world would work so much better and relationships would function much more efficiently if all this was just kinda laid out right from the get-go.
God knows I could’ve saved myself so much time in high school and college if I had just demanded a resume. A couple of trainwrecks could have easily been avoided.
Oh well. I have since been won fair and square without a resume, so good on me, I guess.
Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but I wanna date you, so here’s my resume.