Getting Clear About What You Want…What I Want

Okay, revisiting expectations for Mr. Right. 

Seems like I spent a lot of time doing this the last three years of my last marriage, but, things change, I’ve changed, and I guess I just need some time to take stock and revisit what I thought seemed so simple so many (4) years ago.

First off, I think it is a good idea to be very clear about what you want. 

When I think about how I want my home life to roll with kids, chores, schedules, behavior, conversation, routines, etc. I always have a very clear idea of what it is that I want it to look like when I’ve reached my goal.  I don’t think about what it looks like when I’m close.  I think about what it looks like when I’ve arrived.   So, for example, if my goal is that I should be able to go out to dinner with adult friends and come home to a clean, orderly home where young ones are in bed and old ones are doing their thing quietly and all messes are cleaned up and the house is not partially burned down, then this is what I envision as I seek to teach my children what my expectations are.  Keeping this vision in my head is what helps me guage whether or not I’ve attained what I originally sought.

Sadly, men are not children and the ones we are dating we cannot simply teach (at least not directly) the behaviors we desire.

So, we have to think about stuff a little bit differently. 

For example, we must be very clear…okay, drop the we, I must be very clear about what my idea of the ideal “Match” for me would be.

Sadly, after the thousands of hours of thinking about this and journaling and reflecting and dating and analyzing and tallying my point charts up and doing my pro’s and con’s lists, I’m no closer to nailing this one than I was when I started. 

Some tell me my expectations are unreasonable.

Others tell me, “Dont’ settle.  You deserve and are capable of choosing the very best for yourself.”  Whatever that means.

I don’t get it.  I know I screwed up big, twice in the past with marital mistakes.  I personally think this was due to letting other people navigate my course rather than me navigating it for myself, but I could be wrong.  I also think guilt, fear, shame and religious legalism played into my errors in a big way. 

So, now I am, once again, back to the drawing board, and for no other reason than to just make sure I’m still clear on exactly what it is I want.  I have no serious (some potential, but not really, probably, serious) contenders for my alliegiance for an exclusive relationship.  After my last little rendezvous with The Beau, I’m not so sure I’m going to jump right into an ‘exclusive’ dating relationship until I’ve revisited some of my priorities.  This is easier said than done.

Okay, so I’m going to make a stab at it.  I might not finish tonight but I’m just going to let it roll and see how far I get before I fall asleep at the keyboard.

First priority for meHe has to be “all that into me” AND I have to be “all that into him”.  This alone has been the dealbreaker for most relationships I’ve started, entertained, considered, met, whatever.  It usually doesn’t get much past this.  He’s either not that into me or he is and I’m not that into him. It has to be a mutual “into each other” thing. 

But how do you know when that happens?  Is this something you know immediately…or is it something you develop over time?  It’s a strange thing. 

Okay, look.  I’ve dated enough online to know that if you get to know someone in digital world, before you meet them in real face to face world, you can fall completely in love and ready to commit to forever with that person.  Then you meet them and you find you are not at all physically attracted to this wonderful person you met, conversed with and got to know digitally.  This is where digital world is problematic.  We can get to know the heart of someone really early on, and love it, but then later find out that the physical part of this person is simply not attractive to our physical part.  I know it sounds shallow but we are both physical and relational, emotional beings.  If we can’t connect physically…well…I don’t know.  Seems like a tough problem to resolve for me.

I know the physical aspect of relationship is important to me.  But I could no sooner tell you what I think that looks like than fly unassisted to the moon. I’m guessing my ideal type of guy is the quasi nerdy, professional, intellectual sort.  I don’t go for the Brad Pitt hotties.  I go for the bright, articulate, competent, I guess, nerds (but I don’t think of them that way).  But how do you describe any of that physically?

I know I like guys taller than me.  My issues, but, yeah, the guy has to be taller than me even when I’m wearing stilettos…or else…he has to be completely confident and lacking in small man’s disease if he is shorter than me.  Every woman wants to feel delicate and femine at some point, okay, maybe that’s just me, but being three feet taller than my guy and thinking of the idea of squashing him if I’m on top is not exactly a pretty thought…and I’m not a big woman…hopefully you get my drift here. 

There are some things that can work and there are some things that just won’t and in between there’s a huge playground of possibilities to explore.  How do you possibly nail down expectations on that one? 

If he’s into me AND I’m into him regardless of what we both look like I’m good.  However, I say that with the full expectation that he has to be attractive to me.

Priority Number 2:  He has to be attractive to me and I have to feel like I’m one sexy babe around him.  Not just sorta either.  I have to really want to, yeah, well, you know, make all his fantasies come true every night!  I couldn’t tell you what that looks like either.  I generally and pretty consistently fall for the tall, dark and handsome sort.  But that isn’t a hard and fast rule and they don’t always have to have brown eyes, but generally that’s been the trend for me.  However, a man with all the right personality and temperament and philosophical qualities housed in a blonde haired blue eyed body wouldn’t automatically be crossed off the list either.   On the flip side of this, if I get the feeling he just doesn’t get that turned on by my physical self, then it’s not going to be a go, because that will only inhibit me in the affection department.

Are you beginning to see how really difficult it can be to nail down one’s expectations for “The Perfect Match”?

Let’s talk about Priority Number 3: He has to have a sense of humor that isn’t constantly based on being funny at someone else’s expense. This one’s an easy one to determine.  If I’m falling out of my chair, tears streaming out of my eyes, and my guts hurt, yes, physically hurt, from the deep belly laughs this person emits from the depth of my tentative, frightened-to-express-myself little soul, then he’s definitely ont the short list for my undying affection.  If he’s droll, relies on canned humor exclusively and doesn’t get my quirky, weird sense of humor then we’ll probably both be unhappy together.

Okay, well, we got as far as my top three before I decided it was bedtime for me.  I’ve had an ultra long (though really wonderful) day and all the Valentine celebrating is taking its toll.  Plus, the weightlifting I did on my upper body yesterday is still giving me muscular reminders that it occurred. (Oh, yeah, I’m feeling the ball squats too!) 

Take your best shot.  What are the top three most important priorites for you in determining expectations for your “perfect match”?

3 thoughts on “Getting Clear About What You Want…What I Want

  1. It seems to me that whatever kind of man you want. Then that is the type of woman you need to be.
    If a woman wants a strong, confident attractive man….. that’s great. But those type of men are looking for the same type of qualities in a woman.

    Also it would help (in my opinion) to define or redefine yourself. Who are you? What do you believe in? What do you stand for?

    Think about your beliefs. Spiritual, political, financial, child raising…whatever. Define exactly who “YOU” are and draw an imaginary line in the dirt. (so to speak) Then do not cross that line no matter what.

    Those who do not like you, will still respect you when you’re able to do this.

    It will also establish whether the next date is the guy for you or not.

    When you define yourself and live within those perimeters, the guy will know exactly where you stand after a couple of dates. Then either he will fit into your same belief system or he will not….but at least you’ll know.

    If you don’t agree with getting slobbering drunk, then do not go with him while he does. If lots of four letter words are offensive, then do not accept that as intelligent conversation. If he thinks you’re a prude, then go ahead and cull him right away.

    Strength and intelligence are much much more sexy than a fine body.
    The body doesn’t hurt be it’s not an end unto itself. ( I think I said that right. LOL!

    Anyway…not trying to tell you your business…just trying to give you some feedback.


    1. Jeff,
      Where have you been???!!! Silently lurking out there in the blogosphere? I’ve really missed hearing from you
      Okay, now, about your comment. I think your approach is a far, far better approach than trying to nail down what “my” expectations are. Because, I know me better, and trying to guess the other person is insane.
      And, expectations are elusive and slippery little things that can change on us depending on how they are packaged, how much we’ve had to drink or what time of month it is and they are not all created equally.
      So, look for me to respond to your comment in a further post on the already over-worked topic.
      Let me just close by saying this: I do operate exactly as you suggested (which is probably why I so love your comment).
      In fact, since I know that I am emotionally available and willing to invest should the right person enter the arena, it does not work for me to be spending a lot of time with someone who is uncertain, especially when this uncertainty is manifested in excuse making. My last Beau could not understand this.
      I knew where I was with stuff.
      He did not know where he stood with things and it became evident.
      I told him plainly and simply where I was. It doesn’t work for me to waste a lot of time with anyone who is kinda sorta not that sure about me, them, where they are with me (I mean, after the getting to know you stage and even then it is questionable, because I think when you know you know…if you’re paying attention and I am). Blah. Bad writing there.
      Anyway, the biggest reason I haven’t dated anyone longer than about six weeks and most of them not more than two dates is because I can pick up pretty quickly on the stuff that won’t work with me. Not a hard choice for me.
      I’ve been in two miserable marriages, both of them, even though they were miserable nightmares,recieved 100% investment from me and, crazily enough, I’m willing to invest all that energy and more again. But…I’m not ever going to do it for a “just kinda sorta” deal.
      It’s going to be the freaking best love of my life or I’m out.
      I won’t settle.
      Everything else is just insignificant.
      Hmmmmm, maybe that should have been a post all to itself.
      Anyway, Jeff, I’ve missed hearing from you. Thanks so much for chiming in.


  2. Thanks! It’s nice to be missed:)

    I wanted to come back and check in on several different occasions…but it seems life keeps getting in my way.

    I’m pleased that you welcome my comments.


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