Thursday, July 29, 2010

100 Things

Dating is easy. Relationships are hard.

I have been in a handful of serious relationships since I divorced from my husband of 19 years in May 2001. For various reasons, each ended rather badly. I haven't completely written off the man I have been with the past few months, but he is newly divorced and, at least for now, unable or unwilling to give me what I need. So I guess that means I am still looking.

Or, at least, I'm not NOT looking.

* * *

From a recent issue of Oprah magazine:

"Jackie Scheller, now 46, was 'divorced and content with being single' when she read about a woman who wrote down 100 things she wanted in a man and five years later found her dream guy. Jackie decided to do the same thing... Nine months later, she met Chris Gilliam, now 40, at a senior citizens' dance, of all places... 'Chris has every quality I wanted but is much more,' says Jackie. The couple married last December."

So I decided to come up with my own list of things I want in a man. It took several attempts, but I finally came up with 100. You may laugh at some of them, but I no longer take ANYTHING for granted.

Here they are, in no particular order.

My ideal partner:

1. Has a great sense of humor, but know when to be serious.
2. Has a nice smile.
3. Makes eye contact.
4. Eats healthy/is not a picky eater.
5. Exercises regularly, but not fanatically.
6. Has steady employment.
7. Likes animals.
8. Expresses affection easily.
9. Likes travel (especially cruising).
10. Likes to try new things (food, places, experiences).
11. Enjoys reading.
12. Appreciates good music.
13. Is college educated.
14. Likes to dance.
15. Is a non-smoker.
16. Drinks responsibly.
17. Has good communication skills.
18. Knows how to dress for the occasion.
19. Has good personal hygiene.
20. Likes children, especially MY children.
21. Is emotionally mature, present and stable.
22. Is financially secure.
23. Is capable of making a commitment.
24. Has a variety of interests.
25. Is open-minded and non-judgmental of others: not a racist, a bigot, or homophobic.
26. Is faithful to me.
27. Takes an active interest in the well-being of the planet.
28. Treats others with respect.
29. Tips generously.
30. Does not do illegal drugs.
31. Is not jealous of the time I spend with girlfriends.
32. Is tall.
33. Is confident and self-assured.
34. Is not vain, arrogant or conceited.
35. Asks me how I'm doing and sincerely listens to my answer.
36. Compliments me generously, especially when I have made a special effort to look nice.
37. Has goals and dreams and the drive to achieve them.
38. Knows how to do basic household chores.
39. Is interested in culture.
40. Doesn't keep me awake snoring.
41. Believes in doing the right thing.
42. Tells the truth.
43. Enjoys spending time with me.
44. Surprises me and likes being surprised.
45. Does not have a hot temper.
46. Does not think it's okay to hit someone - ever.
47. Is not verbally abusive.
48. Has developed a personal philosophy.
49. Understands that my children come first.
50. Gets more satisfaction than dissatisfaction from his job.
51. Is intelligent.
52. Is street smart.
53. Does not have friends of the opposite sex who are more than friends.
54. Has never been convicted of a felony.
55. Trusts me.
56. Does not withhold affection when he is upset.
57. Is okay with my independence as well as my occasional neediness.
58. Brings me flowers and candy for no reason.
59. Stands up for me when I am maligned and asks questions later.
60. Understands the value of play.
61. Smells good.
62. Misses me when we are apart.
63. Has a great speaking voice.
64. Tells me he loves me. Often.
65. Has his own group of friends.
66. Has his own interests that don't have to be the same as mine.
67. Is aware of pop culture and understands pop culture references.
68. Is young enough to keep up with me but old enough to have acquired some wisdom.
69. Is not condescending or patronizing.
70. Knows how to cook.
71. Is not argumentative, but is capable of healthy discussion/debate when we disagree on things.
72. Gets along with my friends and family.
73. Welcomes me into his family.
74. Has good table manners.
75. Has a good grasp of grammar.
76. Sees his glass as half-full.
77. Picks up after himself.
78. Knows more about cars than I do.
79. Can fix things.
80. Enjoys yard work.
81. Does not have a serious mental illness.
82. Is capable of sharing his feelings.
83. Is quick to forgive.
84. Is quick to sincerely apologize.
85. Is proud of me in public.
86. Can handle idiosyncratic behavior (for example, I am a pescetarian for the most part, but I love hot wings. And bacon.)
87. Is not overly materialistic but takes care of his physical needs.
88. Is independent as opposed to tied to a group of friends; is comfortable being alone or just with me a good deal of the time.
89. Enjoys going out with a group of people sometimes.
90. Is a good listener.
91. Thinks I am beautiful on the outside.
92. Thinks I am beautiful on the inside.
93. Understands that most things are not a big deal.
94. Is a safe driver.
95. Doesn't take unnecessary risks.
96. Understands the value of social networking.
97. Knows how to use a cell phone.
98. Is willing to make plans.
99. Is capable of being flexible when the circumstances warrant it.
100. Takes care of me when I am sick.

* * *

There are actually nine more, but since this blog is rated for general audiences, I am not including them on this list. If you are over 21, feel free to email me and I will share them with you. Unless you are my mom or dad. Or my brother.

What do you think? Am I asking for too much?


eric said...

Ummm, yeah. I'm definitely down with "Don't ask, don't tell" in this case.

Carley said...

No, I don't think you're asking for too much, but I don't think you're describing any mortal man, unfortunately. Life is a compromise at best. Wishing you the best always & with my love.

Pam said...

@Eric: LOL!!

Pam said...

@Carley: Hey, Mom, I'm not asking for anything I'm not willing to give! I love you too! :-)

Anonymous said...

He's out there, sweetie! Your sense of humor alone will lure him.

janetburden said...

I don't think you're asking for too much, because your list includes about 90 of the items I would include on a list. I also agree that I would not ask for something I'm not willing to give myself. My dad was a very wise man and I remember him saying, "The older you get, the more particular and less desirable." I thought it was funny at the time, but now realize that I do get more particular and that's not a bad thing. I may also be less desirable in some ways...a few wrinkles and not so tight abs, etc., but that's not necessarily a bad thing either. I am not interested in someone who values those things over a mature woman who knows herself and knows how to do a mature relationship. Besides that, I find bald or gray haired men pretty sexy!
If you're willing to share, I would love to hea
r the other 9!
Love you, Janet

Stacey said...

I asked for a man that loves me unconditionally. I married (after knowing him for 30 days) a pizza delivery man that was homeless. Now, he is everything on your list. Thanks for posting that Pam; it makes me appreciate what I have! I think by making the list, it helps materialize what you want and need. Go for it!

Julee Johnson-Tate said...

A girl's gotta have her standards. You are not asking for too much, but realize that if he runs shy on a couple of things (isn't tall or doesn't always use good grammar), that's acceptable. Being faithful, liking your kids, etc., those things are not acceptable. I've always believed the right one will come along when you're ready and here's hoping you're ready soon! Love ya!

Pam said...

@Pete: Thank you so much. Here's hoping you are right!

Pam said...

@Janet: I am curious as to which of the 100 items you would not include and what you might include in their place. I love your dad's saying; it is true that I am getting more particular, but I HOPE not less desirable. Our culture's obsession with youth is obscene; I know I spend way too much time concerned with the effects the aging process has had on my face and body, and I HATE it when someone asks my age. And I agree with you that older men can be sexy! As for those last nine items, check your email! ;-)

Pam said...

@Stacey: Your comment brought tears to my eyes, and gives me hope! And I sincerely believe that stating our desires helps manifest them. I know when I was young, I didn't have a CLUE what I wanted. Thank you for checking in!

Pam said...

@Julee: Good point; I should have made it clear that ALL of those 100 items aren't deal breakers. Many are, but several aren't. And some probably could be more specific. For example, by "tall," I mean "taller than I am." Which is most of the US population over the age of 11. ;-) So you really think that Mr. Right will make his appearance when I'm ready? Then I'd better GET READY!!

Denise said...

I think everything you've asked for is totally reasonable and realistic. You didn't ask for a blue-eyed, billionaire, who speaks 6 languages, and builds model airplanes. You simply asked for a mature, self-sufficent man who loves and adores you and isn't afraid to express it. Isn't that what we all deserve? Bottom line it's what you want and you always are within your rights to want what you want. He's out there. Oh, and on #38 I would add, "and will do them without prompting."

Pam said...

@Denise: Thank you so much. Good suggestion on #38. But I have to admit if a blue-eyed billionaire who speaks six languages appears on the horizon, I won't turn him away. He doesn't even have to build model airplanes. ;-)

Tami Brothers said...

Hey Pam! I agree with Denise, you didn't go over the top with your requests like some people I know would. Heck, who hasn't prayed to win the Mega Millions? I honestly don't know for certain if this person is out there, but as long as you know what you won't accept, you are ahead of the game.

You have to dream big in order to get big things out of life. Why not the same with what we want in a man?


Have a great week!


janetburden said...

I took another look at your list and you have nailed it. I guess the only thing that would not be important to me is that he knows pop culture, because it's not something I take any particular interest in.

I would add a few others, such as interested in current events and politics, but not obsessed.

Another necessity for me is someone who is an amazing kisser!

BTW, we really must get together soon! My schedule is a little better now. Yours is probably just getting busy again, but let me know if you have a little time.

Pam said...

@Tami "You have to dream big in order to get big things out of life." That sums it up! I think I'm going to print that out and hang it up on my bedroom mirror! Thanks for posting.

Pam said...

@Janet Maybe you could substitute politics and current events for pop culture. I am thinking primarily about contemporary music when I refer to pop culture; it would be hard on my whole family if I were with a guy who is stuck in the 80's where music is concerned. Although I like 80's music, too! Also, I agree with you about kissing - that is on my list of nine. ;-) Yes, my life is about to heat up again, but I have only 42 students on my schedule this year (not by choice - it's the economy) so my teaching schedule won't be as crazy as it has been. So hopefully we can plan a rendezvous soon!

Anonymous said...

This is a great list. I hope you find him.
Marilyn Baron

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks, Marilyn. I hope so, too. He is worth waiting for. :-)

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

One caveat: I'd include "and is willing to" to those "knows how to" items.

Lots of men know how to do something, but won't.

I'd say your next step is to prioritize, so it's clear in your mind which items are sacred cows, which must have some degree of compliance and which are expendable IF you have the sacred cows.

DariaM said...

'LOVE the list! Adding (straight to the top) ~ Is Ukrainian ~ like me!