Ask a single girl out there what she’s looking for in a man and they will most likely have a list. Shit ask a non single woman and they can tell you what was on their list or what they missed on their list or what they have on the list for the next relationship. We all do it. Especially if you are online dating. They make you narrow down the field so you have to search by saying what your list is. Height? Body type? Types of activities? There are dozen of options while shopping ….oops i mean dating online. My list was full of very important things like love my children, sense of humour, ability to communicate.
But then there is the ‘secret’ list. The list no one will admit to but this list is actually full of the deal breakers. I call it the let’s get real list. I’ve heard it over and over…..oh god, his GRAMMAR was soooooo bad. The minute he sent me a text with “u” instead of “you” i blocked him. Or well he lives at home with his parents and he’s 40 so there is no WAY I’m going to date him. Or he’s totally not a professional, he works in the oil field. Or best yet, I don’t think I’d have anything in common with someone who is in a bowling league…I’m much more into the theatre and opera. I need someone to do those types of activities with me. And that ladies and gentlemen is the REAL reason that we can’t find relationships. It’s not that there aren’t any good men/women out there. It’s not that there isn’t someone who works for each and every one of us. It’s that our damn lists are off! I mean COMPLETELY off. We are looking for the wrong damn things.
My ex husband was 100% perfect for me ON PAPER. He was an educated professional who liked watching football and listened to the same music. We both enjoyed foreign movies and travel and living overseas was high on both of our lists of things we wanted to do. We could watch the same tv programs and do the same activities almost every day of the week. We liked the same type of people and we had the same type of humour. Seriously it wasn’t a big surprise that we seldom fought and got along for the most part, we were very similar. Well except we were miserably unhappy, completely and totally wrong for each other AND I was 100% faithful and he….was not.
So I suppose the reason I was so open to dating someone that wasn’t my normal “type” was because I knew that my picker was off. My normal type wasn’t working for me, and in fact, it never had. I know that I was open to different but online it was hard not to be a judgemental bee with an itch. I cared about things that have no impact on day to day life. I mean when would my life be so horribly affected by someone using bad grammar? I’m a smart girl, I can tell what someone is trying to say when they type it out in text speak. So why was it one of the things that I dismissed people for while online dating? I think I know the answer. We don’t know what will make us happy in a partnership and so we look for things that we hope will be a good reflection of us. Remember back at about 14 or 15 how much it matter what your friends thought? You could really like a guy you met while on vacation or during summer break but as soon as he was under the harsh glare of the other high school girls he suddenly wasn’t so awesome. We then take over for the mean girls and do our own judging. Exactly how will someone else’s bad spelling make it hard for you to live with them? When does someone’s taste in sweater vests affect their ability to communicate in an open and honest way?
Here’s what I’ve learnt. NONE of that shit matters. Here’s a list of the things that in the past were red flags that this time I didn’t give a rats ass about. BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T MATTER.
1. Dress sense. Fashion sense. I used to judge a man by the clothes on this back. I’m not proud of that fact because it’s pretty shallow but if a man had on bad shoes I usually didn’t want to date him. Do NOT get me started on polo shirts.
2. Education. Grammar and spelling were things that used to seriously bug me. I thought that being equal intellectually would make it easier to understand each other. News flash, it doesn’t. Not even remotely.
3. Housing situation. To be fair this one sort worked itself out FOR me. I was a home owner all by myself quite young so I used to judge people based on their ability to own a home. Or at least be living independently. Then I left my ex and was living in my friends basement. Reality check. Shit happens and people do what they need to do. So meeting a Cowboy living in an RV on a commercial trucking lot didn’t really throw me like it would in the past. In the past I wouldn’t have given him the chance and I never would have found out about his beautiful 100 year old house that he renovated himself but didn’t get to live in because he was out west drivin’ truck.
4. Movies, Music & TV Shows WHY??? In the past I would always make a point to find out what type of movies someone liked. The truth is we have more than one tv out of necessity because if I have to watch one more Mountain Men or Alaskan Men or some such nonsense I’m going to poke an eye out to ease the pain. BUT we find a couple of shows we both like and we watch those together….big deal. Having similar taste in television shows does NOT mean we get along better. It means you need less tv’s. That’s it. I used to give it way too much weight. What my Cowboy likes to watch on tv has NOTHING to do with who he is as a person. It doesn’t make him smarter or less intelligent. I have no idea why it mattered so much to me.
I guess what I’ve learned is more people need to throw away the list. It’s not about settling as I thought in the past. It’s about reevaluating what makes you happy. What makes ME happy is being with someone who cherishes me. What makes me happy is being in love with someone who loves me back. What makes me happy is trusting someone completely and knowing that no matter what life throws us we have each others back. Unless Mountain Men is on….then I’ll be upstairs watching something with subtitles.