The Things You Should Know Before Dating Me #1: The 5 Things I Am Looking For In A Date

I’ve been doing this dating thing for far too long – and with little success.  I can count the number of girlfriends I’ve actually had on one hand, which coincidentally ties with the number of intimate encounters I’ve had.  (I’ve only had more of those, in fact, if you realize that in counting girlfriends, half were from grade school – and not counting that, is still only one more than what I had in middle school, high school, and college combined!)  if there’s anything I’m a failure at, it’s getting into stable relationships.

Over the years, however, I’ve refined what I am looking for – gone are the days of desperation, where the necessity of a girlfriend existed out of a lot of little needs that, in hind sight, weren’t needs at all.  Bigger picture needs took precedence when I met my ex, and while she filled many of my needs, her needs weren’t as fulfilled as mine were.  (That’s the nicer, gentler way of saying that I was never a good match for her.)

Since being dumped, I’ve gone through a lot of mental changes – and noticed a lot of things that irk me worse than before I met her.  It amazes me sometimes how some people, male or female, populate the planet with kids:   While attraction and looks are subjective, how people talk and act aren’t.  How can a person who hasn’t the decency to dress to go anyplace, let alone a Wal-Mart, get more people than me?  How can a person who calls women “bitches” and “hoes” have any kids at all, let alone from multiple women?  It makes me want to scream “Hypocrite” when I’m on a dating website and see how some of these people, who look exactly like I mentioned above, only want “good, honest men with jobs, cars, and houses of their own” – I live on my own, have a car, and work half of the year, yet I don’t fit your standards not because of anything wrong with me, but because you can’t tell the truth on what you’re looking for.

I don’t like lying to people, and I don’t like people not understanding me, so I’m going to help you out – by laying down WHAT exactly I am looking for.  In this multi-part series (which I’ll edit later as soon as I have a definitive number) you’ll get to know more about the me that exists in my brain.  Hopefully you’ll understand why, if I reject you, it’s not an insult; why it’s difficult for me to get comfortable with anyone, what I value most, and what ultimately makes me connect to you.

At the same time, I’m hoping to learn new things about myself and finally admit to those things eating at me as a person AND as a lover.  Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is admit something uncomfortable to yourself, something that, to a potential mate, may make you feel more embarrassed or ashamed than actually being naked in front of a group of people who are laughing and pointing at you.

In this first editorial, You will learn what I am most looking for.

1.  Attraction

This is the one that aggravates me the most when I get rejected:  how many people can’t simply tell me that they find me ugly or unappealing.  I can take a look in the mirror, see the graying hair, the lack of tone and muscle and presence of fat, and accept how unattractive I am – I don’t need the mystery of “what’s wrong with me?” to see how many people may find me repulsive to look at.  (If you’re going to reject me, reject me and be honest about it – otherwise, I have no use for you when I get my life together later!)

I’d be lying as much as the next person if I said physical attraction wasn’t a part of it as well.  I’m learning more on how to keep to what I am trying to do, and have learned to look past a person in their current age to visualize what they may look like years from now, though I’d be terrible at describing what I see.

Some immediate turnoffs:

–  Skin color:  While I hate the thought of being racist, when it comes to date-worthy attraction, I’ve only met two women so far of dark skin tones that I felt were actually what I’d call “beautiful” or “attractive.”  I don’t consider anyone else to be ugly (though I’ve met more than a few “Exceptions”), but I’m not physically attracted to them.

–  Fat:  While I still will give people a fighting chance who are fat, that doesn’t mean I find you attractive.  Usually the ones I reject are the ones who I can’t see being a good-looking person skinny and/or older.

–  Hair color:  While I know how easy this is to change, I also know what usually turns me on in this area.  I usually tend to find blondes and red heads more attractive than any other.  (I have met a few dark-haired women who I thought also looked good, but they’re fewer and further between than these two.)

–  Eyes:  THE SINGLE MOST ATTRACTIVE PART OF A WOMAN. (Without being naked!)  Color hear makes no difference; it’s what I see in them, the sparks of imagination and character, the personality that screams out the most in your eyes.  If I reject you after meeting you in person, this could be part of the reason.

–  Butt:  If you’re ever wondering why I’m staring at you when you’re undressed, you now have a clue on where I am focused.  Size isn’t as big of a factor as how “cute” it is; there’s nothing sexier than walking in on an undressed woman laying on her belly reading or watching something.  I’ve never rejected anyone because of it (yet,) but I won’t waste my time asking anyone who doesn’t have this either.

– Balance:  While size may not be a factor for one single body part, it’s a huge factor over all of your body.  I’ve seen plenty of attractive big girls, almost as many as skinny women, and the biggest thing all of them have in common in physical features is how everything is laid out.  A woman whose hips or breasts are bigger than the other parts on her looks ugly to me, and makes me wonder what’s wrong with them.  Most women don’t realize how attractive they really are because of this, thinking their boobs are too small, or butt too big, etc.  If I’m attracted to you, like the eyes and the butt, you also have this.

Attraction goes beyond what I can physically see on you:  one of the things I do when I meet someone for the first time is consider how that person will look 20-30 years down the road.  If there’s a second or third date, you passed this test, as I see you aging gracefully and beautifully.  This one has extra importance:  I grew up with my grandparents, and while they weren’t a perfect relationship, one of the things I could take away from my grandfather is how he was still able to see the woman he married years before.  It’s easy to find someone you’re attracted to when you’re young; it’s much more difficult to see them as they reach old age.

2.  Necessity

Some of the people I ignore immediately are more perfect for me than anyone I’ve seen online, yet because of one obstacle or another, I can’t consider them.  Sometimes temporary obstacles, such as when I couldn’t drive, prevent me from meeting someone only a county away; other times, I simply have too much on my plate without having a relationship as well.  Sometimes it’s not me – can’t help it if you thinking going to get plastered is more important than a relationship.

My current necessities include:

–  Where you live:  I have a plan that I am currently following to improve my life, and unfortunately it’s going to require me to move at certain points.  I already know where I will be going to school next, so  the big issue for me is making sure whoever I date isn’t going to be too affected by where that is.  Unfortunately, that means limiting how much further north than family I’ll travel; this is why I don’t look at people from Wisconsin right now.  Likewise, those in Freeport or further west will also have a hard time being considered for the exact same reason.

–  The ability to have kids:  I’ve gone back and forth (sometimes in the same day) on whether I want to have kids of my own, and the older I get, the less in ability I will have to have any.  It also makes finding someone in my age range more difficult to find:  At this point, I’m looking at someone younger with the potential to still have them.  I immediately reject people over 40 and people who say they don’t want any most of the time for this reason, usually accepting them when I’m in a “don’t want any” mood. Even though people and attitudes can change, the last thing I want is to be with someone who I have to beg and plead with to have A CHILD – let alone two or three.

–  Self-motivated, working on your problems:  Remember how I found fat unattractive?  Most of the women I’ve met have it and are – so why give them a chance?  The biggest difference between whether there’s a date 2 or not stems on this variable.  This is a necessity for me as I try to lose weight:  the last thing I need in my life is someone who’s encouraging me to go to the all-you-can-eat buffet instead of the gym on a daily basis.  If you’re not working on your problems, why should I care about improving myself for you?  If you’re fat and I reject you, it ain’t the fat that’s the problem.

Some of these will disappear as I complete what I am working on and become more mature, or decide certain variables in my life.  In those situations, I do my best to explain exactly that:  the problems temporary, and if you’re still around when I finish said obstacle,  maybe there’s a chance for us.

3.  Attitude

While moods can change in the blink of an eye, this persists, and remains the biggest relationship-killer for me.  Some of this is exhibited in the stuff mentioned above:  You should feel as uncomfortable going grocery shopping looking like a slut as I do wearing anything less than a T-shirt and jeans, and you should be working on any flaws that I also share and intend to fix.

What usually disturbs me, and turns me off for good, are the number of women who scream “JUST ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM” without a thought as to improving themselves, or the women who think of themselves as “Queens,” “Princesses,” “Divas,” or “Bitches.”  I don’t expect to ever find someone who’s truly perfect and ready to go on the first date, but a woman who thinks they’re either perfect the way they are or can’t improve themselves any further have views that I find damaging to life and happiness.  I’m not going to work my ass of to make myself into a sexy beast so that you can bloat out to look like Jabba the Hutt, nor am I going to lie to or plead with you to be better and enjoy life.  Likewise, I’m not going to cater to, or be a slave, of you.

While I believe in people’s ability to change, this is often the hardest to change, and the one that hangs people up more than any other single factor.  I want to be with those people who are going to make my life worth living, and so far none of the people with those attitudes have done so for an extended period of time.

4.  Actions

How you handle various situations plays a huge part in my opinion of you, moreso than any of the previous factors.  This comes in how you treat animals and kids, as well as how we are in public.  While I probably won’t reject for telling a bum to “F— off” the first time, I may have to question you after the second or third – after all, how am I supposed to know the difference between you just being rude to a stranger that needs help and being rude to someone who has legitimately harassed or caused problems in the past?  That dog you kicked may have accidently got in the way, but there’s a huge difference between that and taking a running kick with the intent to harm the dog.

It’s very important to me in how you treat animals and kids, especially since they reflect how much of a family we could really have.  I won’t be around someone who intimidates me, and if they’re constantly yelling at their kids, THAT’S THE FORM OF DISCIPLINE THEY’VE CHOSEN.  I can forgive extremes – the kid who just knocked over the television probably doesn’t realize how expensive it is, and being scary in those cases could be justified.  However, screaming at your kids 5 times to go to bed and they don’t listen until you get up is just as bad as the kid sneaking off with food after you’ve repeatedly told them they can’t have it.  Something ain’t working.

Before you post a response or message me on how unfair I’m being, consider the fact that you’re also looking for someone who fits in your comfort zone.  I understand that sometimes you have to be scary to get your point across, and some kids are truly unruly.   I’ve been blessed, however, to see good disciplinary action and adults that grew up from both walks of life, and know that the kids who have the best shot at life don’t get yelled at on a daily basis NOT because they don’t do anything wrong or break the rules/objects, but because the parents understood the difference between an inconvenience and bad behavior and something legitimately to be scared of.

5.  FUN

Why would someone who’s into video games and movies want to spend time with someone who’s into camping and skydiving?  Why reject the sexy bar drinker over the nerd with glasses?  In most good, stable relationships there are qualities both sides bring to the table that balance each other out.  He might get her to go shoot hoops with him on the weekends, while she gets him to try camping a few times during the summer.  She might suck at bowling, but her laughter and spirit while trying or doing it might make those games we share worth it.

I’m serious most of the time by nature; that’s just how I look most of the time, and I understand how scary or misperceiving it can be.  I may not have powerful descriptors, or may need time to think how clearly I did or did not enjoy something, but I want someone to enjoy and try new things with.  This is life, and it shouldn’t be spent in depressing monotony – while it’s fine to have similarities, being able to enjoy each other’s differences is equally important.

The thing I’m looking for the most is if you could be fun – there’s nothing wrong with a movie night or a night in bed together, but I should neither be constantly asked what I want to do, or dragged into what you want to do.  Those things shouldn’t be every night or every weekend, and as I get skinnier, we should be exploring more of the things I’ve yet to do, such as roller coasters, sky diving, etc.  I know I’m boring as hell now – but I have too much I want to do to just be pushed aside.

Next time I will talk about the big taboos of discussion:  Politics, Religion, and Views on Life.  

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