Saturday, July 19, 2014

The List

Do you have a list of certain qualities you are looking for in a perspective relationship? Most people do. Even if they don't admit it.  I hear a lot of people say they don't have a "type." In fact, I say that too. But, recently I realized I do have a type.  And a List.

My good friend and Guru, Tammy, is big on lists. She writes them for all kinds of purposes.  We try to get together monthly with some of our friends from the college days for what we like to call a "Loser Convention."  It's not that we feel we are losers in the sense of being failures. But, Loser is the nickname we gave each other nearly 20 years ago when we watched Ace Ventura and could not stop laughing at the way Jim Carrey said, "Loser!" So the nickname was born and stayed for decades between me and Tammy and our friend Ryan. We have added Losers to our crew as the years have gone on. It is a special title bestowed on the worthy, like Crazy Cousin and some of our other friends.

At our monthly Loser Conventions, held at the finest pub in the area, we discuss and attempt to solve all the worlds problems. But, mostly we make fun of each other and talk about sex. Not much has changed in 20 years.

Tammy brings her little black notebook and we write lists.  THE LIST of course is the one where we name qualities we want in a future date/romantic partner.  Now THE LIST is not a new idea. I remember being in high school and my friend Stephanie and I would spend hours developing our Lists. We were very specific. One time our list had about 100 qualities on it ranging from white teeth to speaking English at home to driving a 1968 Mustang. Needless to say not many teen boys had all 100 qualities and sadly none had the Mustang.

In my extensive research over the years I have realized there are different types of Lists. And Lists can help you recognize that you go for different types of people.

So in January for our New Year's Resolutions, Tammy had all of us Losers write new Lists of what we are looking for. I hadn't needed a List in about 11.5 years so I found it difficult at first to start the brainstorming process. But, I eventually got a few qualities written with some help from chocolate martinis.

Here is The List I developed that night. (The martinis may have influenced this a little)

The List of Qualities I find Important in a Man...
1.) Chemistry/Sexiness/Romance  (all equally important)
2.) A job $$
3.) Broadway Shows and movies
4.) Chicken Parm
5. )Musical or Artistic Talent
6.) Tall/Full
7.) Fun

Needless to say,  it was an eye opening experience to see my List on paper.

In my 20's when I was dating to find "marriage material" and someone to have children with, my List was more extensive and included things like: trust, honesty, respect, spirituality, calm in a crisis, stable, dependable, emotionally available, mature, financially responsible, believes in truelove. Blah, blah.  
I should have just titled that List: Person That Does Not Exist on Earth.

Dating after Divorce is different obviously. There is no pressure in it and it is much more entertaining.

Being married for a decade, I hadn't paid much attention to the men in the world around me. So I started seeing people in a whole new light all of a sudden. Men were suddenly everywhere. Their wedding bands or lack thereof became glaring.  I had no gauge for age or expectations or intentions.  So the first time post-divorce that I met someone that sparked an interest I was taken off guard.  I learned that you never know who you will connect with.

Also, it was shocking to realize I do have a type. I kept thinking there is no common factor in the men I tend to be attracted to over the years. They are different heights, weights, races, their accents vary, they have very different jobs, etc.  But, I had an "aha moment" when it became clear that I go for guys that are entertaining.  They tend to be charismatic and I am drawn to that type like a magnet!

I also seem to go for workaholics, but I guess when I put "job" as my #2 quality I can't be surprised.

There are two types of Lists: The Short List and The Long List.
The Short List tends to include things like: nice smile, honest, loves life.
The Long List gets into specifics like: stays up until 10 pm on weeknights, eats pasta, likes wolves, reads 3 books a year or more, has a plan for life, etc.

The thing that I have found to be true in my research is the people with The Short List tend to be happily married for many, many years.

The people with The Long List tend to be single because no one really lives up to everything on The List.  Or they are divorced because….no one really lives up to everything on The List.

So I leave you with these thoughts…is it important to have a List? Even if you don't have a written List, do you mentally check someone against a certain expectation in your mind? Do you have a Short List or a Long List?

How has your List worked for you or against you in finding love? Inquiring minds want to know!