The way I would answer this question combines both “something” and “someone.” The thing that no one should ever live without someone who truly loves them. I’ve tried living without someone who truly loves me and it’s not fun. I’m not talking about my family, because I know they love me no matter what– and have proved that time and time again. I’m talking about romantic relationships.

I’ve tried living with (and marrying) someone who did not truly love or value me. At the beginning I did, but after a while, it was clear that he only loved himself and I was just a means to an end– to do what they wanted me to do and let them slack off in regards to the love all for the sake of bettering their lives. I married that someone and recently got out of a relationship where that was the case. It might take a while to realize that their behavior is that way (or at least it was for me), but soon it becomes apparent that there is truly no mutual love in the relationship.

No one deserves to be told their not worth every ounce of someone. True love is the giving of yourself and self-sacrificing. BUT it MUST be mutual, a give and take. If one person is doing all the giving and the other is doing all the taking, the relationship becomes unbalanced and there is no longer true love, or even respect. How can anyone be respected when all they do is take, take, take? Or even in the reverse, that someone gives and gives without it being reciprocated.

I’ve learned a LOT from my last two relationships, but the biggest one is that if someone really cares about you, they will show it. And if they don’t, you will be fighting them for that love and affection for… ever. And no one should ever have to fight for someone to love them– because then it’s not true love. I know that relationships go through ups and downs, but what I’m talking about is the foundation of that relationship– before “I do” is said, when it should be the time of happiness and flowers and rainbows. But as I’ve learned the hard way (even though I fight like hell for it to not be true) “people tell you who they are but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.” (Don Draper, Mad Men) People rarely change, and if they do, it’s probably after years of therapy (me being a case in point). And a beginning of the relationship is not the time or place to be trying to go change people. It’s the time you’re learning about each other and loving every little quirk about them. If you’re already annoyed, it’s probably a sure sign things shouldn’t continue.

Why I ever went through with a wedding when things already seemed like we’d been married for years because there was no longer that love or passion or  level of excitement is still a complete mystery to me. And I then spent the last 8 months with someone who would argue with me about me wanting to spend too much time together (2 nights a week was “too much”). No one deserves that. I don’t deserve that.

We all deserve to find someone who thinks we are the greatest person in the world. As the dad in Juno says “Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

That’s who I’m determined to find.