What do you want from a relationship, really? What is it that you think you're looking for? Emotionally? Physically? Logistically? Should the person look a certain way, speak a certain way, think a certain way? No really…think about it. We all have our personal tastes that determine why we eye flirt with the third person down at the bar and not the fourth, why the nerdy guy with converse sneakers is more eye-catching than the dashing one with crystal blue eyes, and why you can't get enough of her despite the way she snorts when she laughs. Maybe you only date people who like to cuddle. Or maybe you can't stand PDA. Maybe you like 'em badass and sexy. Then again there's much to be said for the quiet and alluring. Perhaps you think that you would never date someone who didn't agree with you on issues a, b, and c. I mean, your viewpoints are part of you for goodness sake. Then again, maybe you just don't date.

I think I just always assumed that anyone I dated would fit a certain outline. Not that I had a pre-made box ready to throw the person in the moment I decided we should date. More that, like many people, you tend to eventually develop an idea of the person you picture yourself with. Not necessarily long-term, but if something were to become serious, you're pretty sure they would fit these guidelines. I'm not sure there's necessarily anything wrong with that. I would consider it a very positive attribute to understand who you are so well that you also understand what you need from a partner.

But what happens when you find yourself in a relationship that you have no idea how you got into? Or the person you adore waking up next to fits only 2 of those 25 guidelines you had all neatly prepared for yourself and your future? What if this person's stature, political beliefs, sex, favorite foods, level of enjoyment derived from reading a good book in the bathtub), or skin color just doesn't match up? Well, crap.

Then again, maybe that "crap" is uncalled for. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Maybe you need to let down some of those barriers you have up to protect yourself from deviating, not necessarily from the comfortable, but from the understandable.

Every day I'm trying to figure this all out for myself. I keep soaking in the aspects of my life here that are different and trying to see what my perspective on them is. Then I try to connect them to my lifestyle, my relationship, and the future I see for myself and it becomes that much more confusing. The simple fact of the matter is, the way people think here is very different from the community I come from. It's both fascinating and frustrating at the same time. Often, I confuse my personal life with my social and political one and it's something I tend to regret. A relationship is something between two people. But where, and how far, do the outside factors enter?

For instance, if you are a Mexican man (born and raised in Mexico), do you inherently have a little bit of "macho" in you? Not that you raise your fist at the first hint of anger but more that you see thing from a certain perspective, you enjoy things a certain way. Does this "macho" man need a very "feminine" woman? What if she doesn't like cooking enchiladas and wearing tacones (high heels), and becomes defensive discussing the femincides in Juarez? One deviates from the norm, the other doesn't. Does that mean these two people truly can't form a loving and balanced relationship? It's safe to say they probably have some of the same expectations of a relationship – care, support, understanding, acceptance…but should they truly have to "accept" each other? Should we "accept" our partner? Or should we wait until we feel we are entirely embracing who they are instead?

From a personal viewpoint, who the hell knows what a relationship is "supposed to be like". And really, the only people that know what a specific relationship is truly like are the ones taking part in it. We can probably all agree that it's about learning who you are, who they are, and if those two factors can blend. I'm not talking about forcing them to blend or even waiting until they blend naturally. I'm just saying, sometimes, with a little remodeling, two opposing puzzle pieces can be meshed together a lot easier than we may think. Hence why that macho man and his "liberated" woman, an opinionated and vocal woman and her soft-spoken partner, or any other combination you want to create could potentially find the path to a successful relationship. Then again, maybe the whole idea of a "committed relationship" is an unreachable dream that we've been forced to believe in. The Cosby Show, the Brady Bunch, and the Camden Family…it's all a figment of your imagination.

But it helps to talk about it.

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