Twenty-eight and finally getting it

January 23, 2009 at 7:18 pm (in my head, On dating and mating)

I’ve been hearing it lately (and by lately I mean last year) from a number of sources. I have too many rules. I’m too rigid about how the men folk should behave. I expect too much. Yeah well, yes and no. I don’t think I’m asking for too much (but you can weigh in later), but I have been asking too little of myself. The Ex-ALM kept telling me that my excuses about approaching men were bullshit. “But I’m just not that girl,” I’d say. Sometimes he is wise: “You’ll never be that girl until you start doing it, but once you do, even once, then suddenly you’re that girl.” And he’s right. His explanation of why I need to approach guys instead of waiting for them to come to me was rather flattering (and could have been complete bullshit), but the real gift was how empowering it was to realize that I don’t have to be who I’ve always been.

I don’t know why this came to me so late, but it did. And I think that realization is behind my recent happiness. I’ve always been good with women and unavailable men (men who I know have no long-term potential – *cough* bartenders *cough* – being a subset of the latter group). I make friends easily and get along well with people, but put me in front of an attractive, available man and I clam up. I become not just shy, but cold. I go out of my way to appear uninterested because heaven forbid I have to face rejection. You know what? Not any more. Right now, before I waste another second letting what someone else thinks of me matter more than what I know to be true about myself, I am choosing to be brave. Now let’s get to talking about the guy who would make my heart do flips.

Everybody else gets to do it. Especially the boys. Those male bloggers make lists like they’re shopping from an REI catalogue. Yeah, well, my turn. And since this isn’t a profile where I have to pretend to be less picky than I am (oh you know you do it), I’m just going to be brutally honest about it. (And obviously I want smart and kind. Let’s just consider that a given.)

1. Shoulders. Shoulders matter more than height (but height does matter). They should be big and broad and strong. A small belly is no impediment if there are shoulders.
2. Height. Yeah, sorry. I’m just not a small girl (unless 5’7″ suddenly qualifies as petite), but I like to feel small. This one really is about me, not about you.
3. Dancing. Again, I’d love to say that it doesn’t matter, but in an ideal scenario, the dude can dance. He has rhythm. He may have played a musical instrument.
4. Athleticism. I swim, run, dance, etc. and I never plan to stop. I can’t go long without a workout. He’d be the same.
5. Dining out is an experience he enjoys. He knows which fork to use and not to butter his entire piece of bread. He’s not afraid of the wine list, but is willing to defer to me. He has a favorite hole in the wall place and lets me know I’m really in when he takes me there.
6. He will accompany me to the ballet without complaint. Not regularly, but once or twice a year when he knows I need it.
7. He diffuses arguments with humor (see naked in a hard hat).
8. Affection is important. I want lots…even in public.
9. He enjoys spending time with his family.
10. He has a sibling (or four).
11. He has close guy friends and they have guys’ nights.
12. He shares the shower.
13. He’s not into blonds.
14. Let’s face it, he’s probably going to be a boob man.
15. Valentine’s Day doesn’t matter, but birthdays do.
16. He finds it endearing that I do a little dance whenever I see gummy cherries.
17. Morning people need not apply.
18. He relishes an adrenaline rush.
19. He owns music that doesn’t involve a guitar.
20. He gets me to lighten up.
21. He appreciates what I bring to the table.
22. He doesn’t use “gay” as a pejorative.
23. He can’t keep his hands off me.
24. Intelligent humor.
25. Must love dogs. Duh.



  1. WendyB said,

    “You’ll never be that girl until you start doing it, but once you do, even once, then suddenly you’re that girl.” — True about pretty much everything in life.

  2. Bridget said,

    I am with you on the shoulders part. They can make up for any other miniscule flaws…

    And the dogs. Must. Love. Dogs. So glad I am not the only one.

  3. SoMi's Nilsa said,

    So, as the lady who didn’t meet her soulmate until she was well into her 30s, let me tell you this. I think it’s amazing to know exactly who you are and what your *ideal* man has. What’s equally as amazing is to fall in love with a man who doesn’t have all (but most) of the qualities you’re looking for. In other words, use that list as a guide, but be willing to bend for the right guy!

  4. BS said,

    I’m with you Nilsa. But knowing what I’d be willing to compromise on won’t keep me from making this list.

  5. Jess said,

    This is a great list, and I love that you’ve realized that you don’t have to be who you’ve always been. So important.

  6. So@24 said,

    I’m 5’3″ with really broad shoulders.

    I wonder what that says about me…

  7. So@24 said,

    I’m 5’3″ with really broad shoulders.

    I wonder what that says about me…

  8. amber said,

    Wow, we have a lot of similar requirements – most notably, ‘diffuses arguments with humor’. Very attractive trait.

    I hope you get everything (or at least most things!) you’re looking for.

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