because knowing is truly half the battle
i’ve been thinking lately about the qualities i seek in a romantic partner; not a listing of things like “be rich” or “tall, dark and handsome,” because i’ve come to realize that it’s futile to make a recipe for a lover or life partner like a short-order dish at some all-night diner. and i’ve been thinking about what’s gone wrong in the past, or why some people and i just didn’t click, or why i’ve felt dissatisfied in some relationships. and i think what i’ve come up with is a fair and reasonable framework that i can work with. i realize no one, least of all me, is perfect. but i’ve also realized that if you want to get what you want, you’d damn well better know what you’re looking for. and so, this is the kind of man i’m looking for.
have a sense of humor
maybe you're addicted to the daily show
. maybe you've got old george carlin bits memorized. or you find humor in life's little idiosyncrasies. perhaps you think life would be more fun as a christopher guest movie. or you're a sucker for slapstick. just know that laughter is divine, and that i will love to hear you doing it, that i will love it when you make me laugh, and that often i will try to make you laugh. what constitutes a good sense of humor is highly individualized; but for laughing out loud, at least have one!
be conversational, articulate and expressive
sometimes when i first start dating someone and there's a silence, i will ask the person to tell me a story. i don't care if the first line is "this one time, at band camp..." or if it's about some childhood holiday memory, a lost dog, a ski trip, your driver's exam... just tell me something. everyone alive has a lifetime of stories. know what you like and don't be afraid to vocalize it. tell me if you would or would not like: to see that movie, try that kind of food, drive on that highway, it a little faster or slower, go to that party, to hang out at 6:00. i am not a mind reader and when you leave room for guessing with statements like "i dunno" "whatever" or "doesn't matter" you leave room for misunderstanding.
have a job. have some bills and pay them. have an address different from your parents. have the ability to cook at least a couple of dishes that don't involve a microwave, unwrapping a big mac, two slices of bread with peanut butter, or anything made with an artificial cheese product. i am not your mother; i would love to get to know her if possible, i don't want to be her, and i don't want to see her every time i'm at your place.
you might not necessarily have a phd in medieval english literature, but your highest level of education should surpass the g.e.d. some might say i'm a snob, but the fact of the matter is i'm smart, i'm bright, i'm educated--why shouldn't my mate be?
we don't have to go at it all night every night! we don't need to make home movies or frequent sex clubs. but like sex. hell, love it. enjoy it. enjoy when i give you pleasure. enjoy giving me pleasure. be open to a little experimentation. make out with me on the couch, join me in the shower. take the time to learn what turns me on, and let me know what works for you. and if being sensual means being sexual, then that means being sexually responsible; get tested for hiv and stds, be open about your sexual history, respect your body and mine, and above all else, be safe.
have goals and ambitions
if you don't like the job you have, what is it you want to be doing, and what are you doing to make it happen? do you want to someday open a bed and breakfast in a mountain resort? do you want to go to fantasy baseball camp? take an archeological tour of egypt? write a book? make documentaries? get your real estate license? learn to speak russian, to make cheese, to yodel, to sail? just be passionate about something, and work towards its achievement. dream big, dream little... just don't sit around complaining and talking in terms of "if only..."
this applies to so many things. balance work with play. balance friendships with your romantic relationship. balance alone time with social time. balance your checkbook.
tell the truth even if it might hurt you to do so. tell the truth but do what you can to ensure it doesn't hurt the one you're telling it to. be honest with yourself, be honest with others.
be (what i consider to be) a good person
this means you are: courteous, respectful, a gentleman, loving, kind and caring. this means you are not: a nazi, a murderer, a plagiarist, a rapist, a republican, a cheater, a woman hater, a religious zealot, a freeloader, a drug addict/dealer, a right-to-lifer, a pimp, or a con artist. be someone who knows that: i have only good intentions, i was raised lovingly by four good people, i don't say things i don't mean, i will do everything in my power to not hurt you, and, if nothing else, that i only want to love you.