Peace, All. I had written previously about the idea of reevaluating my standards, needs, and wants so that I can be more open to finding my soulmate. I can safely say that spending 30+ years on this Earth has taught me a lot about who I am and wish to be (or not be). I take much stake in the idea that one attracts what they put out. Taking this into consideration, one of the best ways for a person to find someone who compliments them is by (A) setting things right within their own house and striving to be their best self. Additionally, one has to (B) have a clear vision of what qualities in a mate are important for them while keeping an open mind. So, I was assessing my situation the other day, and I felt like I was on point regarding Part A: I’m happy, healthy, working toward existing goals and setting new ones, etc. But then I got to Part B, I realized that my “list” as it were of things I look for in a man hadn’t changed a whole lot since high school - the hell??
Even in high school, I would've had to ask him to put his damned shirt on pronto.
How could this be? I’ve changed so much since then that teenaged me might as well be from some parallel universe. But they say love finds you fastest when you aren’t looking, and that’s exactly what happened, one relationship right after the other, in the last two cases. Thus, even though what I desire and need has undoubtedly changed, I hadn’t stopped to formally formulate the thoughts until now.
Taking a hard look at what I want in a man, I came to the conclusion that many of the things that traditionally tended to draw my attention aren’t important at all to me anymore. There were quite a few things taken off of or added to the list, but there were also a lot of things that stayed. I’ll share some of them with you.
Off the List : Size.
Ahem, I mean this relating to height. However, in the minds of most women, height is also an indicator of other sizes as well. I know for a fact that this isn’t always true, but many women think it is. At any rate, in the past you had to be at least 6 foot to ride this ride. I might go as low as 5’ 11”, but that was the limit. Many women feel this way; perhaps this is more so for Black women because average height for African American men is already pretty tall compared to that of some other racio-ethnic groups. There is definitely a social psychological reason for explaining why women tend to prefer taller men. For me, some of it had to do with the fact that I was buying into the whole size correlation myth, but more of it had to do with the equally spurious relationship between height and stability. That may seem absolutely inane, but I assure you that this is a true sentiment shared by many women. In this past dozen or so years, though, I was able to work out just how flawed this line of reasoning is, and size – perhaps of all things physical – became less important. Honestly I don’t need my man to be that tall. I mean, I’d like him to be taller than I am, but I’m 5’ 3”, so…
|Maybe I shouldn't have put money on this thing.|
When I was a lot younger, I liked and dated (if that’s what you want to call middle and high school interactions) a lot of boys who weren’t African American. My first kiss was with a Cuban boy, one of my first crushes in high school was Vietnamese, and I went out with or was enamored with a number of White guys and guys from the Caribbean (of various race and nationality) all through middle school and the beginning of high school. But I moved in high school to a place where interracial dating was not looked upon kindly. First of all there were very, very few people at school or in my neighborhood who weren’t Black or White, and even friendly interactions between these two races could be tense. I’ve never been a person who paid much attention to race, ethnicity, or nationality, but it was definitely something I was forced to confront in my new home town. I ended up dating only Black men in my late teens and twenties for a number of reasons. I’ve also decided to come off of this practice for a number of reasons. Both of these sets of reasons are too involved to go into in this post, but feel free to email me if you want to get into that conversation. I will say though, that having dated across the rainbow a little bit, I don’t believe that a Black man could be a better mate than any other type of man. Sure, there will be some cultural differences when dating interracially, but that could also be the case within one’s own race. Personally, I think that embracing cultural differences can be a rewarding experience. If two people want to be together, they’ll figure it out.
Remained on the List: Strength.
|Pretty disturbing. Yet, I cannot look away!|
This concept remained but not in the same form. I will simply say here that females are generally attracted to strength by instinct. But what a woman knows that a girl may not is that strength of character far outweighs physical strength in the modern era.
Remained on the List: Wealth.
|"I'm riiiich, bitch!"|
I’m certain to have mentioned this elsewhere, but the amount of money someone makes, in fact their occupation in general, is not something that I really take into account when considering whether or not I want to date someone. Obviously, he needs to be employed well above the minimum wage level, and it’d be nice if he had a job that he was able to show enthusiasm for, but that’s about the end of my requirements regarding this. I’ve never been a person who equates success with wealth or selfhood with what one does for a living. It’s not a necessity for me that my man be a diplomat or be in the mid-6 figure salary range. This seems a little off to some. What could possibly be a woman’s motivation for not actively seeking out only doctors or lawyers? Well first of all, don’t get me wrong; I’m not going to kick you out of the running just because you make a lot of money. But I won’t dismiss you simply because you don’t make a lot of money, either. If you enjoy your profession and/or are good at it, then whether you’re involved in commercial plumbing work or investment banking, I’d be just as pleased. Yes, money is good to have. If you can’t take care of yourself and your responsibilities, you have a problem. But, there are a lot of people making 6 figures that spend more time at work than they do with their kids. This is something I simply wouldn’t allow for myself. In my opinion, when money becomes your life rather than being a tool that you use to live your life, that’s also a problem.
Made the List: Sense of Humor.
|Well, I thought it was hilarious.|
There are few people on Earth who can make me laugh like my family members do. These people frequently make me go into the full body, inaudible, can’t continue what I was doing type of laugh. I don’t know why that hadn’t been a priority of mine in the past because it seems like a no-brainer, but it’s definitely on the list now. My sense of humor is pretty dry and super corny. It frequently involves references to miscellaneous stuff like lines from shows, songs, and previous conversations. I collect slang words as an unofficial hobby. It’s not impossible to find me pretend-dancing for a second or two in the supermarket or even at work. Yep, all random and out of the blue like. I guess I need a guy who isn’t totally repulsed by all of this and wouldn’t mind jumping in, at least occasionally. Oh, I’m totally fine with acting silly all by myself.
Made the List: Generosity.
|"Here Sir, let me help you get|
your damned bedazzlement on."
When I was a little kid, one of the best lessons I ever learned was that people are just different. They have their own way of doing things and their own agendas, and not everyone needs to be like me or do things my way. This was really freeing because made me more tolerant of others and opened me up to being able to think and act as I truly wanted. I am a helper. It’s always given me satisfaction to be able to assist even a stranger with a task or goal. I’m also a giver, particularly with people I’m fond of, but I try to be giving towards everyone, at least in a small way. Giving of myself without expectation is a constant theme in my life, but the people I’ve chosen to be with in the past weren’t usually like that as well. It seems that even though I learned to accept that people are just different in grade school, it wasn’t until I became an adult that I learned that you don’t have to have someone in your life just because you accept who they are. So in the future, I’ll be looking for someone who is as free with their kindness as I am.
Made the List: Driven.
This one’s self-explanatory. I don’t feel that it’s possible for me to be the motivating force behind anyone else’s life but my own. When you think about it, that doesn’t even make any sense. However, I’m more than willing to act as a source of support and encouragement for others. That’s what friendship is all about.
Well, those were the biggest or most interesting changes to the “list.” I’m absolutely interested in knowing what these things say about my character to others.