The statement that would make me the most elated is not "I love you" or even "Will you marry me?" but one that I hope one day may follow them. "I've sacrificed some dreams of mine to be with you, and it has been worth it . Being with you means more to me. I know I made the right choice."

This doesn't mean that choosing between me and a dream is required. It is idealistic to think that some sacrifices are made when you commit to be with someone; that's normal. What it means to me is that while I am not perfect or a dream come true, I would still mean enough to someone for them to let go of some unfulfilled dream.

I've been in love with someone who basically told me, "Look, I'm going to do this; you can either come along or not." In my case, it was moving to New Orleans. Common sense should have told me this was not the kind of man I should follow to the ends of the earth . But common sense always seems to be in shortage when it comes to the things you think at the time are indispensable, like a first love .

My second argument for this stance is the simple fact that men have dreams that they carry with them for the bulk of their lives. Some of these dreams are not always so lofty and unattainable that the man isn't in some stage of planning for them to come true: saving money, buying maps, staring out into the ocean or out the window at the open road . A man's dream often becomes the next invention , another step into the future , motion where before there was none. For these reasons in addition to a man's own desires, they are right to have dreams.

There are a lot of men I've met who had no dreams to speak of , none that had the power to choose between the present and the future. I've found these men, while stable , to be boring and lacking a spark in their eyes, as though they are not clever enough to have dreams of their own. They would have to be issued dreams, which ruins the whole idea.

This is also not to say that women don't have similar dreams or the lack thereof. I have had my own dreams and am still working on some new ones. In both cases, the dreams of men and women as individuals are often in contrast to The American Dream of getting married, settling down, and raising a family. Even if done poorly, it is fairly easy to acquire part or all of The American Dream, if anything because society looks highly on its pursuit and even needs it to survive. The dreams of men and women are also usually in contrast to one another. It is hard to dream about something when you have to figure a second party into the equation. Besides, the dream of falling in love or being with someone is seldom a true dream, but a hope playing on romance and ideal scenarios .

I can only speak for myself as a woman, but I would have a little less difficulty sacrificing my dreams for the guy, since a lot of my personal dreams (and this may apply to other women, I don't know) can be attained if the backdrop changes. I could read and write and teach almost anywhere. Besides, it has always been more fitting for a woman to do that anyway, since the subservient role finds itself in just as many homes today as it did in the fifties. We are in some ways trained to build our dreams on our future mate, which is not always a bad thing. I think that one role for a man (should marriage be appealing) is to support his wife in the things she wants to do, just as a woman does for a man. I guess I am a bit old fashioned .

But for a man to give up even a boyish dream knowing that it would keep him from someone he wants in his life, to me that is the greatest compliment . It would say a lot about him and a lot about me in just a few words. Even if I never hear it, I would like to believe that I am the kind of woman it could be said for. You could say that is one of my smaller dreams .

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