The “List”

I know I’ve written about the shitty “list” that they made us write in church back in the day. In case you forgot, our pastor’s wife suggested we write a list of the ideal husband and pin it to our wall and pray over it. That’s so ’50s. At seventeen (and even again at eighteen), my list was absurd. I have it and I’m sure as hell not going to share it here. But let’s just say it was ridiculous. (I will say that I was dumb enough to put “he must love chocolate” on the list. What the ever loving fuck? lol) Even worse, since I didn’t have as much experience dating anyone, I was totally unreasonable in my list. Once you have a few real relationships under your belt you realize that some expectations are just absurd, and some traits are ‘nice to have’ but no one is a robot. You might get what you want and you might just fall in love with someone totally different than you expected to. No big deal.

I’m bringing the list back up though, because the other day my NOT-’50s friend S. said she just made a list of her ideal girlfriend. To be fair, she’s neither a pastor’s wife or really a religious person. Just a cool girl who was having some retrospective moments following a breakup with a girl who wasn’t really a good match for her. When she talked about some of the things her ex-girlfriend said to her over the breakup, I was pretty mad. So, for her, I’m a fan of the list for her.

I don’t really have a list but I started talking to her about things I like in dudes. I prefer to think of it less like a list and more like  ‘lessons I’ve learned along the way and why some guys just don’t do it for me’. Ha! Like the too-young guy. I’ve dated him before (quite a few times, actually!) and most of the too-young guys weren’t ready for any kind of serious relationship yet. They were still playing video games…over and over and over. Or living at home, or didn’t have a job. These aren’t really things some guys get over, though, so I’ve learned it’s not always about age. But there comes a point in a woman’s life when she has to date a man, otherwise the relationship is a lot like caring for a puppy. Mostly, I’ve just learned it’s best to spend a lot of time getting to know someone before getting too committed, no matter how old they are.

When I was younger I HAD to date a Christian guy. Just had to. Or I’d…die? I don’t know what the threat was there. I think it helps if people have similar values and morals, but they don’t have to be the same religion for that to happen. After I became atheist, I thought I only had to date atheist and agnostic guys, but then I dated atheist and agnostic guys. We had a lot in common and a lot to talk about, but I’m much more complex than just my lack of beliefs and experiences in church. At some point this year, I got over my anger and anxiety about uber-religious people and realized that there were some very cool, laid back Christian guys I could date. I almost hate to admit it, but some of the Christian guys I dated were actually some of the most romantic, most caring guys I’d dated. (On the other hand, some of them were the biggest jerks…so it goes to show you that being an asshole isn’t just reserved for certain religions or lack thereof.)

Politics are another thing I’ve kind of been adamant about but now I’m more flexible. I was really into politics for about two years there, but I spent most of my life as a moderate. I enjoy life around moderates much more than around extremists when it comes to politics. Mostly because you can’t get a word in edgewise when someone is very political and they think they’re right…all the damn time. I hold fast to the idea that you’re allowed to change your mind when you get new information and I feel like political views should be a lot more flexible than they are.

I wish I could say I’m the kind of girl who has a specific type, but I really don’t. Sometimes I’ve dated really insecure guys and they freak out and question me. DON’T YOU HAVE A ‘TYPE’, WOMAN? I KNOW I’M NOT IT! To me, it’s less about a type and more about the person: how much they love you, how much they respect you, how much they challenge you to be a better person, how much you trust them and mostly how they treat you.

To be honest, I’ve fallen hardest for friends and that’s why I think developing a really deep connection via friendship is much more important than passion or sex. There’s something incredibly intoxicating about becoming so close to someone, and knowing they are an incredibly authentic person in every way possible, and then one day just waking up to find out you love them. It doesn’t happen all the time and to be honest, it’s also as scary as it is intoxicating. After all, they know your flaws and insecurities and your biggest fears, so if anyone could judge you or use that against you, they could. But because you both care about each other, you know they’ll support you instead of tear you down and you know they understand you well enough to believe the best of you.

So, the specifics? Race? Don’t care. Height? Don’t care. Hair? Who cares? Weight? I like it all. Buff guys are usually assholes, though, so I try not to get too attached there. Sorry. I’m more of the kind of person who falls in love with someone’s personality first and I actually think chubby guys are really hot.

Probably my only real criteria is that I’m challenged intellectually by the person. That doesn’t mean he’s smarter than me–maybe smarter in different ways, or maybe not. But someone who makes me think and encourages me to learn. I’m invigorated by learning new things, the more complex the better. Whether it’s philosophy or coding, I just find intellectualism very hot. Very. Hot. Very.

Do you have a ‘list’? Share it with me below or email me. I’d love to hear your take on this subject. Or, if you’re boring and married (JK), did you have a list? Or did you just know?

1 thought on “The “List””

  1. I did have a list. It changed over the years, of course, but right around the time that I came out as an atheist, I decided to actually write it down with a bit of hopefulness, because fundamentalism had kept me single my entire adult life (I was 25 when I became an atheist).

    Deep. Able to be serious. Emotionally available. Witty. Goofy. Open. Tender. Gorgeous. Tall, skinny, but a little muscular. Curly hair, blue eyes, spiritual (by this I meant philosophical yet intuitive), great in bed, and, of course, one who adored the bundle of contradictions that was me! The last item, with every word underlined, was No Sports Junkies.

    That very night, he walked into my workplace. Every item on the list. Literally that very night!!

    And he hates sports.

    And he’s an atheist, but he’s also a very heartfelt, conscious man, which I think helps to avoid potential atheist-guy pitfalls (“Fabulous, honey, you’re quite right, but could we talk about something other than Pascal’s Wager over dinner — for the 71st time?”)

    Good luck with your list 🙂

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