the beginnings of a list

In light of the fact that I have recently re-entered the dating scene, I have decided to make a list of things I would like to find in another human being in order to not just merely tolerate him, but to actually appreciate him and enjoy him. I've done this before, and had good results..sort of. More on that after the list.


  • A grown-up..this is a hard one for men, as they seem to reach maturity somewhere between the ages of 35 and 70. Young at heart is a great thing, but the following are important for qualifying as sufficiently grown-up:

           able to clean up after yourself
           able to dress yourself appropriately (are we getting the sense here that I'm not about being any man's substitute mom?)
           dealing with stress/conflict without throwing a tantrum
           being able to discuss serious things without judgment or a closed mind.

  • Someone who can laugh..at himself, at life, even its injustices, and who can make me laugh. Laughter is one of the biggest turn-ons for me.
  • Someone who somewhat balances my free spiritedness..not a stick in the mud, but having 2 people together with their heads in the clouds is probably not conducive to actually getting anything accomplished. I'm thinking yin/yang.
  • Appreciation of art, and the fact that my life is much about that. Yes, it can be difficult to deal with someone (me) whose day can go badly simply because the muse isn't available.
  • Some vanity is necessary. Let's face it; I want to be physically attracted to a guy. This does not excuse using more product than I do or taking longer to get ready. That's just gay.
  • Know something about many things. I don't want to listen to the stats of the last 22 seasons of some team's accomplishments and then be looked at blankly when the subject of, say, politics comes up. If you must know about every draft pick for the past decade, at least pick up the other sections of the newspaper, as well.
  • Be able to give and receive compliments...people need to feel appreciated, and to feel that they make those around them feel good.
  • Ability to be equally comfortable in a group situation or ordering take-out and having a picnic on the living room floor. Who wants a guy who's the life of the party but shuts off one-on-one? Or one who is great when you're alone, but leaves friends thinking, "Who was the dead weight she came here with? Does anyone even remember his name?"
  • Someone who is not overly attached to a specific life plan, but who isn't just drifting about aimlessly, either. There needs to be some wiggle room for me to fit in, but I'm not going to pilot your life.
  • Have opinions. Do not simply agree with me all the time because it's easier, or agree to disagree. I want to know why you think what you think. Maybe you could even change my mind about something by looking at it through your eyes (ok, not much chance in that, but I would dig someone trying it).
  • Someone who has traveled is a big plus. Especially globally. I find it hard to relate to someone who's never been outside the country, or never aspires to. Don't even get me started on those people who have never left but have strong opinions on the way the world is/should be.
  • Have passion..for something, or lots of things. If I'm one of those things, big plus..if I'm the ONLY thing, a little scary. I'm all about being the center of someone's universe, as long as his universe involves other stuff.

Well, that's some of the major stuff. Ok, so as I mentioned, I made a list like this before. It was longer, about 3 handwritten pages, if I remember correctly, and probably vastly different. I was 20 and just breaking up with my first love..my first very long term relationship. Yes, long term..at 20. We dated for 7 years total..the last 2 being after the list was made (and surprisingly granted).

Here's how it went down: [this is where, in the movie version, there would be the blurry and the echo, letting you know that we are retreating back in time] Heart broken, make list. Not making those same mistakes again. This list will embody everything I want in a guy, so I can make a mature, adult decision about the person I'm with and not just fall in love willy-nilly. A couple of months later, I meet him. The man sculpted from my list exactly. He's beautiful and successful, sweet, respectful, and on our 2nd date, he starts planning our life together. Yes, a man of 32, and ready to get married and have a family and has already staked out some property in Connecticut, where he wants to build his dream house. This was where our second date took place. He drove me up there to show me the lovely, large plot of land with a pond. "Here is where we can build your art studio, and this would be a great place for a garden", etc. That night, he and his friends were throwing a party in the house next door to this property. They had bought it together to fix it up and flip it, and it was the pre-demolition celebration. The place was huge, and there had to be 100 people there. A psychic was wandering, telling people their fortunes. He was doting and sweet and introducing me to people whose names I'll never remember. The psychic tells us that we have an amazing connection and that the only thing that can ruin it is if one of us allows things from the past to creep in. About an hour later, my phone begins ringing incessantly. What possessed me to get one of those stupid cell phones anyway? It was the ex. He needed to talk to me, he was very upset. Please call him. I left that party that night, knowing I was going back to the guy who met almost no criteria on that list. I was letting the past creep back in, because that's what I wanted. I wanted to believe in the fairytale..that love conquers all, despite any obstacles. I was watching Jay Leno one night a few months later and they were doing a Valentine's Day thing where they were interviewing random couples in a restaurant. There he is: the list guy, looking handsome as ever, beautiful girl by his side (dark hair, blue eyes, eerily similar looking to me), wearing a rock on her finger the size of an ice cube. They had just gotten engaged the night before. The perfect Valentine random interview.

I still want to believe that love conquers all. I want to believe that guy really fell in love with the pretty girl and they are living in that house he imagined, their children feeding ducks on that pond. The guy I went back to instead of signing up for the fairy tale list life? Still one of my best friends. Life is just like that..you cannot predict. So, really the most important thing I need to add to the list:


  • Someone with whom I can fall in the kind of love that conquers all and can make it ok if everything else on the list isn't met.

5 comments:

Jeff said...

You're right about everything.
Dwight Evans was the best fielder ever and had more 20 home run seasons in a row than any Red Sox player.
What's product?
Art stinks.
The world should bend to my wishes...I'm an American!

How's that for ensuring that we maintain a careful, calculated distance?*

*disclaimer: if this made you laugh, it was unintentional and I want to assure you that I would either obsess completely over you or make you a peripheral part of the universe that is comprised of all things that are Jeff.

sitboaf said...

omg, that's so sad. glad you shared it with us.
i am so enamored with your inner beauty
- and how you curse like a sailor.

elizabeth said...

thanks, glad you enjoyed. I got through that whole post without cursing once, I might add! I must be losing my fucking touch.

kjm said...

Call me crazy, but I think you're better off without your lost dream list guy. I wasn't there, don't know him.. true, but if he's talking marriage with you on the 2nd date and then a few months later is engaged to someone else, that sounds a bit unstable to me. Someone who always jumps that fast into relationships creeps me out. Someone I dated once told me he loved me on our 2nd date and that significantly helped to kill the relationship for me. Well, that and the fact he had some weird, weird habits, but that's a story for another day.

elizabeth said...

oh, i don't regret lettting the list guy go. he was sweet and there may have been some potential there, but i followed my heart, and it was the right thing.

i would love to hear about the weird habits though. in fact, it has inspired some memories of that from my own relationships. new post!