I am a hard work, high maintenance woman.

I am not for everyone, and it takes an incredible person to be with me.
I am demanding & challenging. I will test you to your limits.
I have high standards.
And expectations.
By God, do I have expectations.

I expect you to be an extraordinary lover – not just at the beginning when it is all hot and heavy, but forever. I expect you to keep getting better – like a well written mystery that takes me deeper and draws me in further. A page turner. I want to be unable to put you down.

I expect you to look after me. Not because I am not completely capable of looking after myself, but because, well fuck it, sometimes it is just nice to know that someone has your back. Like, truly has your back. Trusting that you can look after me means that I can allow myself some softness. It also means I can stop emasculating you with my words, testing to see if you have got this. (It is a nasty habit and I don’t like it either!)

I expect you to challenge me. I don’t want to grow old and comfortable with someone. I want to grow old and wild with someone. I expect you to be the one to put your boot up my ass when I am about to give up. I expect you to be my personal trainer, my drill sergeant, my personal motivation when I cannot motivate myself to go another inch.

I expect you to challenge yourself. I want to see you grow and I do want to see you change. I don’t want to be stuck with the 1985 version of you when I am 85. I want you to be the very best version of yourself you possibly can be. That inspires me and allows me to become the very best version of myself.

I expect you to hold me and know me. You know what scares me and you know just how I will react. You also know exactly what to do in those moments – even if it is just to throw chocolate at me from a safe distance. You will know because I will have told you, I will have shared my stories, my vulnerabilities. And you will have heard me.

I expect you to set my heart on fire, dance with me, flirt with me, play with me. Why? Because I need those things in my life, like I need oxygen, or food. And I want them to come from you. I will not go without them and I am not interested in looking outside our love for them.

I expect you to love me.
Wildly. Freely.

Choosing me.
Every day.

Because you see, anything I ask of you, I do so because I know I can deliver the same, in equal measure.
I have that much love to give.
I am that much woman that I can meet you in that place.

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I wrote this for my sister, and for every woman who has ever settled for less than her worth, ever shrunk in the face of being called hard work, high maintenance or any other variation on that bullshit lazy line.
I wrote this for every teenager who is testing the waters of love and learning to ask for what they need – may you be brave enough to demand your worth.

I did – and I was rewarded with the love of my life.