I miss the excitement of dating and I miss the comfort of being bored with someone. I miss the familiarity of knowing someone so well you barely even have to talk, but you do because you love the exchange of thoughts and feelings.
What I don’t miss is the drudgery of cleaning up after another adult. I have no desire to ever wash someone else’s dirty underwear ever again. I don’t miss having to check in with someone every time I have my plans change or an invitation comes in. That’s all part of a normal, considerate relationship, but it sounds really challenging to me.
I’ve been living by myself for over 10 years now and I love it, but being a normal, human, woman I have spent some time thinking about what I would look for in a man. Years ago, I was dating a new man who asked me what I wanted in a relationship. I sent him my full list of what I wanted. I suspect he was a little intimidated by all that was on it, but each and everything on that list was important to me. I’m not sure what version of the list I sent him, but below is the final version I used to keep on my desktop:
I deserve, and am ready for, a man who is Available, Able to Plan, Accepting, Appreciative, Attentive, Attractive, Athletic, A Best Friend, Companionable, Comfortable, Compassionate, Confident, Exciting, Faithful, Funny, Honest, Independent, Interesting, Kind, Loving, Nice, Nurturing, Positive, Present, Rational, Respectful, Single, Smart, Spontaneous, Stable and Strong. A man who I can be with or apart from and we both still continue to grow in the relationship.
I haven’t thought about that list in years. But finding it again got me thinking, what do I want now? It goes without saying that there will be a connection and attraction between us, but what else is important to me?
I want a man who understands how important my independence is to me, but who also understands that there are times I need someone to be there. I know that’s a fine line to walk, but I’ve been on my own far too long to become joined at the hip with another human being. Even the cat gets on my nerves some days.
I want a man who respects my ability to do things for myself and by myself, but who also knows when to say, “I got this babe.” Having someone to lean into occasionally sounds like the world’s greatest luxury at times.
I want a man who supports and encourages my dreams, but also keeps me grounded in reality. I have spent the last three years shooting for the stars and I have no intention of changing my aim. I would love a man who lets me have my creative time, but also helps me keep current on what’s happening in this crazy world we’re living in.
I want a man who calls every day, even if it’s just to say “hi.” I’m not asking for this because I want anyone to “check in,” but I want a man who truly cares how my day went and how I’m doing. I want a man who wants to share how his day went and how he’s doing with me.
I want a man who introduces me to his family, but doesn’t expect me to spend all our time with them. It’s important to me to know that he respects me enough to let the whole world know I’m in his life, but I do not want to have my social life dictated by someone else’s friends or family.
I want a man who can make me laugh, but who also knows when to be serious. I love belly laughs and I need them in my life. I also love to think and research what’s going on in the world. I want someone who is capable of being both serious and silly.
The last few lines of my old list still resonate with me: He will be ready to nurture me, cherish me and make me a priority in his life. Love can feel warm, accepting and present. I am ready to be happy. Love is all around me. I am lovable and loving. I want all of that in the man who is in my life.
As I see my 60th birthday screaming towards me, I realize that many women, (and men,) feel like they need to find a mate soon so they don’t have to face the horror of growing old alone. I have a number of alternative ideas of how to live independently as I age, so that fear is not one I share. I am fine alone and will continue to be fine whether I’m alone or with someone.
I have spent years feeling like everything I want in a man is too much to ask for. With that attitude, the Universe has given me exactly what I expected and has presented men who agree I’m asking too much. I am writing and posting this for two reasons: 1) to help me clarify what I am looking for; 2) to put those desires out, very publicly, to the world; and 3) to share how confusing this whole relationship thing can be.
I am not looking for a man to complete me, but if you happen to run into one who is age appropriate and fits all of my criteria, please let me know. Immediately.