Just a little tidbit that I found floating around the blogosphere when I should be sleeping but can’t. It pretty much sums up what I’m looking for in a guy. It’s hard to articulate, but I’m going to try to drop a few points – perhaps commenters can fill in some of the blanks I’ll inevitably leave…
I want someone who will challenge me. This does not mean I want someone who will nag me or disrespect me or push me in a direction that I clearly don’t want to go in. A while ago I went on a date with someone who actually did this well… we were talking about our respective educations, and where we were going with them. He’s finishing his PhD while I’m still in the “not quite sure” stage, I but tossed out a couple ideas about what I might do next. He ran with them, and put it back to me in a way that made me think “gee, why aren’t I doing xyz.
The suggestions weren’t his ideas, or his plan for what he’d do in my situation – it was a logical next step that really suits my interests & abilities – and the way he was able to phrase it made me want to move on with things. He clearly respected the direction I had taken thus far (which is extremely different from his own), and had faith in the fact that I could move on in some very interesting and relevant directions if I would choose to – and in fact not moving toward it would be doing myself a great disservice.
Nothing else about that particular encounter worked out – but the equal footing he immediately stepped onto in the above example is something that’s stuck with me, and that’s a point not a lot of other men I’ve known have been able to succeed at getting to. Most seem more interested in gaining a Mother or Daughter than an equal partner in a relationship.
That particular challenge is only one of many that could come up. Generally though, no one else has been able to find that precise point of interaction that makes me want to care about him and his life, rather than either patronizing or injuring him. It’s been hard for me to find someone who can express their interest in me without them coming off as desperate or sleazy. I’m not saying the guys aren’t out there, but I’m obviously deficient in finding them.
Of course, being a female, there isn’t a precise set of instructions that will be the magic formula to make me happy. Instead, there’s a set of extremes that I’m hoping some special person will eventually comfortably fit into the middle of. Basically it comes down to a guy who is a strong, independent individual, comfortable in his own goals and beliefs, and who is looking for an equally strong, independent counterpart.
Perhaps I’m just a little stunned, because many of my complaints seem to be about a total and utter lack of basic manners and respect for either the self or the other person (that other being me). Being with someone simply involves being with them in a way that both parties are comfortable with. It does not involve becoming the other person, or having them become you. It is about respecting the individual, and encouraging them to become the best version of themselves that they can be. Not what the best version of (or most convenient complement to that version of) yourself might be.
I’m now starting to ramble & repeat myself here so I’ll wrap it up. But I really wonder if I’m asking too much to find mutual attraction, respect & equality in a partner these days – because I’m not finding much of it around. All the good ones indeed seem to be taken.