Sunday, 1 May 2011

A shopping list for dating.

Ok, despite my ever-strong desire to be a spinster (men are still a lot of hassle), the Royal Wedding and various other things this week have got me perhaps in a place where I may be possibly contemplating putting myself back on the metaphorical shelf in the dating market.

Well, I can dream?
Now don't get me wrong, I have no intention of starting anything serious in the near future, definitely not while I still live here (I have utmost admiration for anyone who manages an LDR because I know I couldn't) but if a half-decent guy were to come along and show me some interest once I've moved and settled, I wouldn't instantaneously shun them.

I was talking about this with a single girlfriend last night who is newly single too, and we were talking about what we have learnt from our failed relationships and what that teaches us about what we want from a future partner. And I came up with a list which I thought I'd share as a reminder to my future self.

  • If a guy brings out the worst in you (i.e. turns you into a jealous, possessive dragon) then they aren't right for you, because you're not usually like that.
  • I need a guy who has ambition in life, and preferably in terms of the greater 'life plan' has roughly the same aims as you. But otherwise, they need to be passionate about something and always striving for something better and remember, if they aren't, you can't change them!
  • Whilst money isn't everything, I can't deal with a guy who is completely skint. I'm hardly a gold-snatcher, and I feel a bit harsh in saying this, but I need someone who can at least pay their own way.
  • Someone older, at least a couple of years older. I'm still not settled in my life yet and having someone who is the same will mean we'd probably end up going different ways anyway or making decisions based on the other and that's never a good thing.
  • Taller than me - I need to be able to wear heels and not look like a giant. So I'm looking at at least 5ft 10 if not taller. This isn't a superficial thing though - I wear heels when I go out to feel sexy, which gives me self-confidence. When I don't wear heels, I don't feel as good about myself and if I have another boyfriend who whinges at me for wearing heels, he's only going to make me feel less attractive in what I have to wear as a consequence and therefore less self-confident. This might sound like rubbish but it makes sense to me.
  • Someone who doesn't see me as a sex object. I had an ex once who used to demand sex on the grounds that "that's what boyfriends and girlfriends do!". Yes, but they should also both want to and the more it was expected of me, the less sexy I felt.
  • I need to have my space and be allowed to have my own hobbies. If I like it, doesn't mean you have to too and if you insist on doing all the same things as me, I will end up going a bit mental and you will end up being dumped. Simple.
  • REGISTER THE EARLY RED ALERT SIGNALS. If you don't feel happy or comfortable in the first few weeks, that will never change. Get out early before it's too late! 
  • They need to be able to cook but generally willing to relinquish control in the kitchen. I do the cooking, you do the washing up, deal?
  • Jealous and possessive = instant ditching. Don't feed their insecurity by 'helping them through it' and certainly do not change what you want to wear, where you want to go and who you want to go with.
  • They need to have manners and be polite. This is such a big bug-bear for me with the 5 year-olds I teach, so if a grown-up can't manage it then he's o-u-t.
  • They need to have some brains - I don't want to be running a translation service when I, for example, tell you to stop being 'pedantic' or use the word 'intrinsic' (which is one of my favourite words, no idea why).
  • And as a consequence, if you don't know the right "their, there and they're", "two, to and too" and "your and you're", then you're out. It's not difficult, I know 8 year olds who know the difference, and if you can be out-smarted by an 8 year old and I have a constant itch to get my marking pens and stamps out whenever I see a tweet or text, you're not the guy for me.
  • If my Nan wouldn't approve, then you're out. Sorry, guys, she's a fussy bean...

As a good friend once told me, keep searching for your knight in shining armour, never settle for a guy in a tin foil hat. I don't think I'm being too over-the-top with my list? Possibly other than the Nan one, but she knows her stuff and I've never known her to judge someone and be wrong. I suppose I just want a gentleman and a bit of old-fashioned chivalry really, and I know most modern women would cringe at my saying that, but regardless of whether I've watched too many Disney films or not, it's my success criteria! I'm sure it will change, apparently we women will kiss 22 men on average before settling down and I'm not even nearly half way through, so I think it's time to hit the city (when I move to London, obviously, the men here are generally good for Jeremy Kyle and nothing else), flash a smile and see where it gets me.

Cheers for the confidence boost, girlies from last night!


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