In life, we go through a series of experiences that helps to us define what to look for in a partner. Some of us are more fastidious than others, nevertheless, we all have a set of criteria or standards that someone must meet in order for us to consider developing a relationship with. In my experience with dating, here are the typical “male- seeks-female” qualifications:
– God fearing
There may be a few other qualities, depending on the person, but this pretty much covers it. Now, here is the typical “woman-seeks-male” qualification:
– God fearing
– Financially aware
– Good listener
– Likes to travel
Much like the male qualifications list, these standards can be revamped depending on personal experience. Of course, the woman’s list is a bit longer and specific, but that is not the issue that I want to discuss today. The two main questions I have is 1). When do we present the qualification on the list to the potential partner? And 2) Does the list disable us from truly getting to know someone?
The typical first date is usually uncomfortable and mundane. You greet each other, crack a joke, comment on how nice each other looks, and then, it begins…the date interview, which usually always begin with the question, “ What do you look for in a man/woman?”Geesh, I hate that question. The reason that I hate that question is because the answer is usually premeditated. Just like when you are trying to get a job, there is an elevator speech that is already prepared. “Hi my name is Nicole. I’m looking for a man who is sweet, honest, trustworthy, and considerate who eventually wants to get married someday. In my spare time I enjoy collecting stamps, reading, riding unicorns, and long walks on the beach”. See how premeditated that sounds? What is the point of telling someone what you want in a partner if that something is always changing? If we always knew what we wanted, wouldn’t we just stay single until we found that special someone? Why would we choose to go through unnecessary heartbreak and drama when we claim that we “know” what we want? The answer to those questions is, we learn more about what we want and what we don’t want in each relationship, right? Correct! So then why go through “the list” when we don’t know the outcome of the relationship and then our standards change yet again? I say the first date should be something fun. Plato said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”. Think about it! When you were younger and played with your friends, you were able to tell if that person or peoples played fair, was too rough, pushed you around, got upset easily, looked for you if you got lost, helped you if you got hurt, etc. Talk is cheap, action is priceless.
I had a guy who was attractive, accomplished, went to a top school in the country, a home owner, owned 2 cars, and made a substantial amount of money give me his list. I remember thinking, “We should hit off! I’m all of those things and more!” What happened? I’m still single. There could be a plethora of reasons as to why we never really hit it off, don’t really care now, but the only reference that I used to evaluate what happened was his list. I began to think how this guy is really missing out, but because of his “list” he denied himself of a wonderful experience of getting to know me. “The list” serves as a filter for bullshit. But it also can disallow someone from truly seeing who they are dealing with. “The list” is a blinder my friends and I want to encourage all of you to get rid of that list and really try to “see” the person you are dating. Now this does not mean that you are going to like what you see and that person is “the one” but you can at least give them a try. You might be surprised with what you might find.
We are desensitized to the true essence of a person. This is because we are automated to view our relationships, how they should be, when we should get married, what type of house we should live in, what type of money we should have, and how often we even have sex in a certain way, which is improperly influenced by the media and generations of lies that stem from a Eurocentric ideal of beauty or the “American Dream”. Our filter has been given to us. It is not of our own. We are so anxious for our destination that we don’t even stop to appreciate the journey. Our journey’s allow us to appreciate the destination once we get to it. This also consists of finding the right person. The right person is not who you think of in your head, it’s who steals your heart.