George Clooney’s looks, Tom Hank’s sweetness, Jim Carrey’s sense of humor and really the money of any of them.
Although this is a bit of an exaggeration of my “wish list” of the man I’d like to find, I really thought I’d find someone who was a decent match of most of the traits I wanted to find.
After many miserable years of marriage, I set off to find my George/Tom/Jim and ride off into the sunset, living happily ever after. He’d wear a white suit, get on bended knee, I’d say yes and we’d make love on a bed covered in rose petals all night long. What I ended up finding was a punk in jean shorts, bloody knuckles from fighting, we had sex when we drank on my living room carpet, ouch. So, strike one right?
There had to be more choices, right? Every man just had some awful trait after another, some less obvious than other. Cheaters, liars, drunks, flakes, creeps, wow I dated every loser within a 50 mile radius. Lucky me!
I went to a bona fide shrink after having so much trouble with the dating game. She gave me extremely wise advice that I always share with others and will do with you now. The advice was to sit down and make a list of the traits you seek in a romantic partner. Don’t do it when you have someone in mind that you’ve fallen for and are simply making a list to validate that person to yourself. Instead, do it with an open mind and really dig deep. Do you want someone who likes the same things as you, what are their family relationships like, how do they handle money, goals, fitness, personality? Make a list of the traits you want to find in someone you’d want to spend your life with.
After a dinner out with my best friends, a couple of bottles of Cabernet and some post mortem over my past relationships, I had my list. It was reasonable, honestly it was or at least I thought it was. I headed out to find my Prince Charming or maybe I’d even settle for an Assistant Manager of Charming Charlie? (a favorite store of mine) I’d given up on white horses, suits, sunsets, bended knees and rose petals. I think I’d now settle for a man on a white bicycle , wearing a white t-shirt, could simply bend his knees and would gave me a bouquet of dandelions.
Once I had my list in my nightstand to pull out after a really great date and measure him objectively. Out of my list of 10 I had to tell myself, I wasn’t going to find a perfect match of all 10 criteria, it just wasn’t realistic. However, he had to have match most of the important items on my list.
I wanted someone I was attracted to, he didn’t have to be movie star gorgeous, just attractive, was that too much to ask for? I didn’t think so. He also had to be a decent person, good values, have some kind of career goals. Was my list too unrealistic? It didn’t seem like it, honestly it didn’t.
As I look back I know I’ve settled for men who were way less than I deserved. It makes me sad to think I ever did that, however I’ve definitely learned from it and never will again.
On the other hand, I’ve had to learn to compromise what I’m looking for at times. There’s a big difference in compromising and settling. Compromising is accepting that I’m not going to find a George Clooney look alike and be ok with that. I feel like compromising is realistic and while I might not find my George, I’m not going to settle for something way less than I deserve either. I hope you find the George of your dreams, happy dating.
~The Single Mom