Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thirteen Must Haves in a Man

Well, since I have decided to get back on that train headed for the dating station, I figured I’d dedicate this Thursday Thirteen to figuring out what it is that I, Candid Karina, after many, many years of being single, am looking for in a man. This is by no means an all inclusive list, and some of these are more serious than others, after all, it’s Thursday Thirteen, it’s all in good fun! The idea for this TT, by the way, is in part inspired by Miss Frou Frou, who has also decided to enter the world of dating once again, and recently posted her own list of “must-haves”. I loved her list, so decided to do my own.

1. A non-smoker. This one, I’m afraid, is a deal breaker for me. I grew up in a house of smokers, both of my parents still smoke (and are actually, thankfully, in the process of quitting…send them good vibes please), and I abhor the smell of cigarette smoke. I actually have a difficult time breathing in a room full of smokers, and am nauseated by the smell left on my clothing and hair when I leave my parents’ house. (Which does not keep me from visiting them, I love them dearly). Add to this that I’m not interested in heavy drinkers. I enjoy a good drink as much as the next person, but if his weekends are all about how drunk he can get, I left those guys back at the frat houses in college.

2. Someone with a sense of humor. This is huge. Everyone says they want a partner with a sense of humor, and I’m sure everyone does. But, I really think in general life can be too damn serious, so I’d like to meet someone who can laugh about most things, and have an outlook on life that leans toward the ridiculous. Be quirky, be silly, be able to enjoy yourself even when things aren’t exactly going to plan. Make me laugh, and we’re on the right path.

3. That said, the ability to be serious and mature when the time calls for it is essential. I really do want to go through life as lighthearted as possible, but there is a time and place for everything, and cracking jokes in the middle of the priest’s sermon at church, for example, might not be the most appropriate time. Save the joke for later though, I might find it funny then.

4. Leave the drama for your mama! I’m way past mind games and b.s., therefore, I have no interest in getting involved with someone who has unresolved issues with his past. Be they in the form of emotional baggage that hasn’t been checked, baby mamas who think they still lay a claim to his every moment, or someone who feels the need to play “hide and seek” with his feelings, I’m not interested. If you aren’t sure where you stand in your life at the moment, figure it out first, I took the time to do it, therefore, I’m not interested in standing around waiting for you to figure it out (hear that LawBoy?).

5. Going along with the previous one, let’s be real. What I mean is, basically, if we vibe, let’s enjoy each other’s company and see where it goes, and forget about society’s expectations of how long he’s supposed to wait before he calls me, and how many days I’m supposed to leave between his call and an acceptable day for our date. After all, I’ve never been one to do what society thought I should anyway, so why should I start now? If I like him and want to spend time with him, I’m going to tell him. Hopefully, he’ll do the same, it’ll save us both some headaches. Honesty is a big thing, both at the beginning and during any relationship.

6. He has to be intelligent. I’m not looking for a rogue scholar here, but we have to be able to carry on a conversation without my eyes glazing over. In fact, I like a man who challenges my opinions and debates the finer points of my beliefs with me. I don’t mean he should disagree with me on everything (No, thanks, really), but I’m open to a little fueled discussion over dinner now and again. I want to know that he is invested in the world around him, and cares what happens day to day. The flip side of this is that he must possess the ability to disconnect. A smart person knows how to both be a part of the world, and be apart from the world. (I should copyright that quote, I like it).

7. Please let him be employed. Look, I don’t care if he’s a doctor, or a construction worker. I’m not hung up on the whole “successful career” thing. What I care about is if he’s a hard worker. I pride myself on being such, and on supporting myself, and being able to make a life for myself. I have ZERO interest in supporting someone else, and even less tolerance for someone who believes things should just be handed to him without any effort. That’s just not the way it works, and I need someone who realizes that. Of course, if he’s independently wealthy, I’m not adverse to that, as long as he’s got some purpose in life, and is doing more than just partying with the likes of Paris Hilton. That said, please don’t be a workaholic. I’m a firm believer in the “live to work, don’t work to live” philosophy of life, so as much as I’m a hard worker when I’m AT work, once I walk out that door, it’s ME time. Off time is just as important (if not more so) as ON time, I need someone who can make that separation.

8. Loyalty is a must. Seriously, I’ve done the playing the field thing, it was fun, but if I’m going to get involved with someone now, I’m hoping to find that guy who’s in it for the long haul. If he’s still into playing the field, being sneaky, or having three girlfriends, well, I’m not planning on being one of the three.

9. The ability to be loving and romantic. This is a biggie. I have quite a few friends who are in relationships which to me are lacking a certain amount of warmth. As strong minded as I can be, I’m also a sensitive person, and I need both physical and emotional tenderness once in a while. A man needs to be able to both tell me and show me he loves me. A squeeze of my hand, a kiss on the way out the door, cuddling on the couch, those are actually the things I miss most about being with someone. And guys “You know how I feel” is NEVER an acceptable response. Yes, we know, but we still like to hear it once in a while. Blame this one on my parents, who after 33 years of marriage are still so darn loving and cute together. And why in the world some of my friends accept men in their lives who constantly criticize them is beyond me. I’ve got myself as my own worst critic; I don’t need any help in that department, thanks.

10. Sounds simple enough, but he must be open minded, not racist,
sexist, prejudiced in the least. This should go without saying, but the truth is, I come from a varied background, I have friends AND family of all races and life styles. I’ve always prided myself in that I seem to be surrounded with the most eclectic group of individuals there can possibly be. A man who cracks racist or homophobic jokes is not going to be on my list of winners. And God help you if you think a woman has “her” place in society. I’ll show you a place or two you can take that opinion.

11. He must be a family guy. And I know not everyone is as blessed to have the type of relationship with their family as I have with mine, so I understand if he’s not as close with his own family. He just must know that once I introduce him to my family, he’ll become a part of it, and he’ll have to be okay with that. I spend a lot of time with my family, and that is something that will not change. That said, I also LOVE my time away from my family, and have my own life separate from them. So, momma’s boys need not apply. Love your mom, but don’t let her dictate your life.

12. He must be a man. Okay, let me clarify that a bit, I don’t like girlie men, I don’t particularly like pretty boys, in fact, I don’t really like boys all that much anymore. I want a man who can make me feel like a woman. I don’t scream at the site of bugs, so if you do, we’ve got a problem. I can open my own jars, but if you can do it for me, I won’t complain. I’ve made myself pretty self-sufficient and independent, but I still would love to have a man around who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and do some of the “manly” things with me. Notice I said “with”, I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty either. He must also be enough of a man that he’s not afraid of breaking the stereotype and doing the traditional “female” tasks in the house (whatever those may be nowadays). If he cooks, that’s a major bonus. Nothing is sexier than preparing a meal with the one you love. OH, and let me add to this the love of food. PLEASE love food, experimenting with cuisine, trying new restaurants out as much as I do. If he’s afraid of spices and flavor, we’re going to have a major problem and will need two separate kitchens in our house.

13. Looks do matter. I’m not going to sit here and lie and say that appearance doesn’t matter to me. We all know that’s not true. However, the truth is that it’s not so much about how “hot” a man is, as how attractive to ME he is. A man’s personality can certainly enhance or deter from his appearance. If I fall for someone, he immediately becomes the hottest man in the world to me. It matters to me not so much whether he’s a head turner, but whether he takes care of his appearance, and has a personal sense of worth that shows in how he presents himself to the world. Whether he chooses to express it in a three-piece suit, or through his tattoos, is really part of what makes it so much fun. I’m okay with both.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

(The banner for the TT was created by me, from a picture I pilfered from Men's Health Magazine).


Julia Phillips Smith said...

"Be quirky, be silly, be able to enjoy yourself even when things aren’t exactly going to plan. Make me laugh, and we’re on the right path."
This is my favorite thing about my husband. We've had some interesting times, believe me - we've dodged some serious curve balls thrown our way. But we've laughed our way out of everything.

Great TT, Karina!

Anonymous said...

Good list. #2 and #3 definitely require a balancing act.

Rebecca said...

Good list - some of those aren't musts for me but others are - like that he must be employed. No, I'm not hung up on money, but I want a man who works hard ;-)

Happy TT13!

lissa said...

I agreed with everything on it. I do like a guy with a sense of humor and smoking is definitely a no-no.

Great list!

Cinnamon Girl said...

AMEN to 7. That was the only thing wrong with my ex. Turned out to be a lot o' wrong.

qualcosa di bello said...

WOO HOO!!!! great list karina! my girls wanted to know my "short list" for an ok guy & i told them that he must be kind to children, animals & his momma (but NOT a momma's boy). i think i will send them in your general direction for eloquent detail!

MommaBoo said...

Now if you could just slip this into a mailbox BEFORE going out with Casanova...

Cute list!

Anonymous said...

Wow, if I was a guy I'd be your man :o) Except maybe the being too girly part. I'm a bit girly. But other than that, you describe me to a T. Hee! Seriously though I do hope you find the perfect guy for you. And crossing my fingers on your parents quiting smoking.

Anonymous said...

Interesting list. Seems like your standards are very high. There are very few perfect men around. There's me, and some bloke in Chicago I read about, and that's about it!

Amy said...

Great list! Not Mr. Perfect, but a reasonable person grown up enough to know himself, yes?

Looks do matter, but what's sexy to one girl isn't sexy to the next girl... for example... guys with little noses (Rob Lowe, for example)... blech... I like a man with a manly nose ... some of us like 'em thin, some bulky, some ripped with guns loaded...

Miss Frou Frou said...

Am terribly late responding... but a great list... not sure myself about the getting back into dating thing though... think I've been overthinking it... NO RLY - she says!