Ladies, you know what list I am talking about. The one you started when you were a teenager. The list of must-haves in a mate.
Have you checked your list lately? I have. It made me laugh. It almost made me cry. So long ago I had so many opinions and ideals about adulthood and relationships. I was so young and foolish. I was naïve and unjaded. Today I am not so innocent and I hate to say that I am jaded but I am more…experienced. Yes. I have enough life experience that I realize the absolute absurdity of some of my previous thoughts and feelings on life, love and adulthood.
My old list is enough to make anyone roll their eyes. There was the “must-haves” and then the “would like to have” things. I wanted a tall, blond man with blue eyes who was handsome; smart; funny; exciting; sexy; great kisser; understanding; loved dogs; wanted kids; loved family; loved music, dancing and movies; must have a fabulous job; must treat me like a princess; would like if we both liked the same football teams; would like if we both liked some of the same hobbies; would like if he had siblings since I had none.
Some of those things I still like. I still like tall men with blue eyes. I have moved on to liking them with or without hair. As you get older, hair goes and you learn bald can be sexy. I still want a good kisser because if he can’t kiss me well then he probably can’t do other things well either.
I still like smart and funny men but the way they’re funny and smart has changed. I grew up in a city of rocket scientists. I was a little spoiled. Smart men. Through my years of living, I have learned that intelligence comes in a variety of ways. Some men can be book-smart but not have a bit of common sense. If I had my druthers, I would love to have a man with both. But I will now take common sense over book smarts. Why? Because sometimes people with book smarts don’t have the intelligence to come in out of the rain. Or they’re so bogged down with the way things should be that they forget that life is to be lived and it doesn’t always follow an algorithm. Sometimes you have to just go with the flow. Life happens.
I need a man with a sense of humor because life is way too serious. When I was younger, I could handle all kinds of humor. As I have gotten older, I can’t. I just can’t. I cannot handle slapstick humor that is childish. I will stop talking to someone in 2 seconds flat because of that. It annoys me. And frankly, there are too many other things in life to be annoyed by. I won’t let that be one of them.
The rest of my list, though? Well, it’s kind of up in the air. At this age I am not looking at having kids so that’s a no-go. I wouldn’t mind someone with kids, though. I don’t need or even want someone “exciting” anymore. There was an element of danger that I associated with that when I was younger. I don’t crave danger now. Now I want stability.
I would like someone who likes movies and music. I am kind of a junkie. But that’s a negotiable. I do want someone who has a job. It doesn’t have to be fabulous, wonderful, exciting or anything like that. It needs to pay the bills. I’m not looking for a sugar daddy but I’m certainly not giving my money away either. Unfortunately I have been there and done that like an idiot.
I would like if he liked football. But I would prefer that he didn’t live it. Living in the state of Alabama, that’s a difficult thing. Football is a way of life. That’s a negotiable, though. But I am going to watch football whether he does or not. I once stopped seeing someone because he told me that watching the Iron Bowl was stupid and that I was dumb for wanting to watch it. Them’s fighting words. Actually, it was more like going through my contacts and deleting his number. But you see what I mean?
Whoever enters my life must tolerate cats and at least pretend to like mine. Sorry, that’s a non-negotiable. They’ve been in my life for 11 years and they’re better to me than most humans. They’ve given me sympathy when I have cried my heart out and I didn’t have anyone else to turn to.
I would like some common and uncommon interests. I have been alone so long that I have learned to do my own thing. I really don’t need or want a clingy ass man. Go fishing or something! I have things to do. I will gladly do things with you, but I can’t 24/7. I have dated a few who have tried that calling, texting, constant together thing. No thanks.
Treating me like a princess? Hmmm…well that’s nice from time to time. I mean, who doesn’t like a little extra pampering? I don’t need it all the time, though. I honestly don’t know that I would know how to act if that happened. What I need is for someone to be beside me through things when they’re good or bad. I don’t need a runner. I need a real man who can handle whatever life throws at us. I don’t need to be handled with kid gloves. I am not delicate like a flower. I am delicate like a bomb.
I believe that my list has matured. Life is no longer so superficial. It is more multi-faceted. There’s so many things that could happen in life that I never thought about when I was younger. Now I think about those things and I don’t get scared, but I get concerned. I don’t want to face this life alone, but I don’t want to settle either. I am working to find the balance for that. There’s a fine line. And that line often feels like a tight rope that I am walking daily.
So, ladies, if you haven’t checked your list lately, think about it. It’s an interesting way to see how far you have come. It’s also a way to gauge whether you need to adjust your expectations.