Why do you have a SO? Or want one? (rambles a bit)

Why did you get married, move in together, etc. or if you aren’t currently paired up, why do you want to be? Do you do it for what you get out of it? The benefits outweigh the annoyances? Because you want companionship, you prefer to live with someone? You want children? Regular sex? Someone to go on vacation and out to dinner with? A feeling of security? Because you think that’s the way things ought to be? Or because you want to make another person happy?

I’m not really looking for answers like “I just knew he was the one” but more like specifically why were you even looking for the one in the first place? What’s the drive and motivation to find a mate?

I’m trying to sort out my attitudes and figure out why they seem to be so different from the norm and I’d be interested in hearing how other (presumably more normal) people approach this issue.

I want to love and be loved and I want to be emotionally and sexually intimate with someone. I could live and be alright without it, but I would like to experience it, at least. I do need emotional intimacy and support in some form but very close friends and family could provide that if I never find a mate.

The second answer is, I really want to have kids. This is what complicates things for me - I don’t want to be a single parent, and I want my kids to have a father with whom I have (and thus model) a loving, functional, long term relationship. I often rather wish I didn’t want kids, because then I would feel no pressure to find such a relationship within my biological time-frame. But I do, so I do.

Even Lone Wolves get lonely. I’d like some sex too. :smiley:

Much as I have a Groucho Marx attitude (“I would never join any club that would have me”- fake quote, should be close to the real thing), there is no WAY I’m as bad as the many happy guys out there who don’t seem to have any problems being girl-magnets, despite these guys’ total lack of decency. :eek:

An SO…hope springs eternal. Or something.

My husband is my partner in just about everything; it’s him and me against the world. I’m a solitary, independent, self-reliant person by nature, but my partnership with him works for me and suits me. There is a lot of security in being in a good partnership, too - neither one of us has to do everything all the time. And I think the companionship in a good relationship is often understated - we don’t have to be doing anything in particular to be enjoying each other’s company.

I started out (pretty damned early) with the assumption that probably I’d want to avoid monagamy and instead hook up semi-permanently with a half-dozen women each of whom had other boyfriends (and/or perhaps girlfriends).

Lo and freaking behold: I, umm, seem to have used that freedom (loudly and emphatically insisted upon early in any relationship) to, umm, end up pretty damn monogamous.

That could change in the next 8 hours, you never know.

The expectations, attitudes, and equally emphatic statements of the person I am with do of course play a role. She’s a self-described serial monogamist and while she accepts my stated right to not ascribe to mongamy, she has the right to ditch relationship and has said she probably would if I have sex with anyone else. Result is a fair amount of tension but we’re good together.

I keep on not finding sufficiently delicious opportunities and she keeps not finding any reason to abandon ship for someone more officially mongamous.

That, in a nutshell, is why I have an SO.

For some reason when I was about 19 I decided that marriage didn’t sound like something I’d like. I picked a career where I am not bound to any company or city and set about to make myself independent. I’ve never planned with the thought of getting married one day. I don’t want children, and marriage just seems like an odd arrangement to me.

Now, I still date when I feel like it but it has never been a situation where I feel like I need to find someone. If I feel like dating, I make myself available. If I don’t, I give off those “go away” vibes and don’t give out my number.

Even if I find someone that I really like and date for a long time, I have no desire to move them into my house. I like my space.

The idea of a perfect “SO” for me is someone I’m attracted to for a sexual type relationship and casual dating if we feel like it. No taking all of each other’s time or any of that. A lot of my female friends say “That shouldn’t be hard to find.” but you’d be surprised how many guys get jealous and want more from you. Any of them that seem like they wouldn’t want more are the ones I don’t find attractive. Go figure.

My parents are still married after nearly 40 years and have a great relationship, so who knows where I got my weird ideas.

Well, heck, dependiing on age range & etc I should consider auditioning for Butterfly chorus :slight_smile:

Seriously, same idea.

I have very similar ideas but I know they’re very far from average. Most people do form long-term relationships; I’m interested in hearing why.

Every time I get the somewhat sporadic urge to date, I try to think about what I want out of a relationship. And every answer I can come up with is pretty selfish: someone to go to dinner and the movies with, sex, someone who makes me feel good. I’m rarely considering the other person and what they’re looking for.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who’s replied so far. Hopefully, more people chime in tomorrow. Just to be clear, I think there are tons of perfectly valid reasons to find a SO, I’m not trying to be judgmental in anyway whatsoever.

Well, to tell the truth my husband had to work on me a bit. I had a marriage phobia! I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go out with him (only I did kind of like him, it was just that I figured he would want to get married–which he did, so I was right). Luckily he was smart enough not to try to move me along very fast.

So, I married him because he’s my best friend, I love him, and I knew I would be able to depend on him. I knew he would work hard for his family and would be a good dad. I knew I wanted children sometime in the future. But I didn’t marry him so taht I’d have a father for my kids–I love him and he’s great. We laugh a lot together.

Now that we’ve been married about 12 years, I feel very lucky. I can’t think of another guy I know who would be such a good match for me. We are a great team and I don’t think I’d be so happy with anyone else.

Part of what hooked me on him was his willingness to respect my wishes. He didn’t try to push me into getting married or anything and he always listened to what I wanted.

I like having someone to talk to and who cares about me when life is being shitty. And I like being able to help and encourage him when things are tough on his side. Without it, life is harder. I can get the same thing from my friends, but its kind of demanding and socially awkward to be dependent on non-SOs for that kind of support.

I like having someone to cuddle with and take me to movies he’ll hate knowing that I’ll have to watch a movie I don’t like next time. He’s funny and makes me laugh, even when I’m being cranky. I actually didn’t want an SO at the time, but didn’t want to turn him down and wonder later on. So far it is totally worth it.

When my soon-to-be ex first hooked up, it hurt to be apart from her for any lenght of time. If felt right just to be near her. I really enjoyed those times.

It’s over and there’s a pain in that…but I would certainly do it again. :slight_smile:

tremor, I don’t think most people think of the idea of a long-term relationship in terms of what they can provide to a partner they haven’t even met yet. Most of the time, you think of what you want/need out of a relationship, and try to find someone who seems both capable of providing what you want/need as well as happy to accept what you are as something that they want/need.

Actually, I think this selfishness aspect is one of the things that makes the idea of a long-term relationship so attractive- that you can be selfish by wanting them, and they can be selfish by wanting you, and that somehow not only works out, but grows into something deeper.

Of course, YMMV.

I met my boyfriend online many years ago, and honestly, when I realized I was in love with him, I was with someone else.
Who I then dumped and went straight to my current SO.

I wasn’t really looking for love at the time, love happened to just find me. I realized one day that I was in love with this guy, and I had to be with him. We’ve been together since.
Now if only he’d move out here…
In any case, when I’m with him I feel safe, I feel loved and cared for, protected. I love him and he loves me. I feel like a part of me is complete, and I can close my eyes and just relax and be when I’m with him.

What you said, except for the part about having children. I didn’t want them, he kind of wanted one, and we each promised to be open to the idea of changing our minds on that topic. He was the one who changed his mind. After ten years of marriage, we’re still best friends and it still feels good every night to come home to each other.

A few years ago, I wasn’t looking for an SO. I was 39 and enjoying myself. I’d finally gotten over a long term relationship whic had died; I had a social melieu where there were lots of men I could flirt with, including some here on the SDMB, and was enjoying the heck out of single life.

Then there was this shy guy with a nice smile. I found I liked talking to him and I liked the way his mind worked, so I gave him my phone number and started spending more time with him. The more time I spent with him, the more I liked spending time with him, and he felt the same. I wasn’t looking for an SO or a long term relationship, although being in love is nice and sex is somewhat more than nice, but I like being with him. Life was good without him, but it’s better with him, even if we’re only hanging out and watching TV. I still like talking to him. He’s kind, decent, honorable, fun, and interesting. The end result is I tried on my wedding dress for the first time last night.

I need to be touched every day. That sounds like I am joking, but I really am not–without physical contact, I get tense, bitchy–everything else aside, I’d hate to go weeks or months without a backrub or a hand to hold. I hate to sleep alone. This isn’t a mushy emotional thing, it’s a basic physical need for me, and was probably, honestly, my main reason for looking for a SO when I was young.

Now that I’m with my husband, the fringe benefit is that it allows me to be a much better person to the rest of the world. Because I know, unequivocably, that he has my back, I can be peevish and cranky with him, I can vent my petty frustrations and my unbecoming thoughts, and then I can go out in the world and be kind and generous and sympathetic.

Plus, we just have a lot of fun together.

Well, I’ve just (month and a half ago) come out of my longest relationship yet (four years), so I’m coming from a rather bitter angle.

I’ve always ended up in relationships with someone where initially there is a mutual (with luck insatiable) sexual attraction, and then continued from there better or worse depending on the profound/superficial level of our mutual understanding.

I consider ‘Love’ to be an agreement really, which in my experience inevitably ends in heartbreaking disagreement to some degree or another.

Right now I quite fancy the idea of an Insignificant Other, who’ll share my bed regardless.

Similarly for me. I found that simple human touch grounds me and makes me more relaxed and better able to cope with the world. Cuddling is very underrated.

I don’t really know. After my last relationship ended, I said to myself “Never again, relationships just are not worth the bother” and I intellectually know that is the truth, but still I long for one. Badly. Such is life, I guess.

We were headed the same way and decided it was more efficient to carpool.