Beyond the Given


This sort of just popped into my head as I was trolling my twitter feed so I thought I’d jot down a few lines. The question was “what’s your type?”  and the question reminded me of those lists that old(er) women tell you to make, the ones with all the qualities you desire in the man for you. In my culture, we ‘pray’ over the list so that God knows who to bring for us. This, by the way, directly contradicts the idea that God already knows who we’re supposed to be with, so don’t worry about it, just be the right one he’s looking for. Double speak. Hate the stuff.

ANYWAY. As we get older, and I remember hearing a podcaster talk about this once, our lists either go away or they get shorter, more pointed and direct and we get pickier. When we’re young, the net is cast far and wide. Why, ANYONE could be our match! JUST ANYONE!  When you’re staring down the barrel of 40, that JUST ANYONE narrows to ANYONE over a certain age with a certain number of specific characteristics, like if said person has a job/home/car/children/crazy ex lover who would put on a diaper and drive across the country wielding a knife with which to stab you to death. Those kinds of things.

I believe that I heard Dr Phil once (yeah I’m gonna quote the good doc, every once in awhile he says something that makes sense) say that your list of wants should go beyond the given. No one wakes up and says, I hope I meet an unemployed loser who doesn’t want to get a job. I hope he has kids he doesn’t take care of and I also really want to meet someone embroiled in a bitter divorce or custody battle and who ALSO hasn’t grown emotionally since the 7th grade. I also hope he is shallow and materialistic and GOD PLEASE MAKE HIM A CHAUVINIST PIG!” I’m being facetious but you know what I mean? The things most people list are givens.

Most people say, well we have to have chemistry. DUH. If there is no chemistry there is no relationship unless it’s an arranged marriage or an ‘arrangement’ of marriage for money or some such thing (do those things still happen? I’m asking for a friend). He encouraged people to think deeper than those surface characteristics we always list. Beyond the physical  beyond the given, beyond what everyone else thinks to ask for.

Do you want him to know how to play chess (because it shows an analytical mind?) Do you want him to read the New York Times cover to cover (because it shows an interest in the world around him?) Do you want him to be comfortable around women and children (because it shows an underlying feeling of respect and a want to protect those he feels are in his charge?). Deep, deep considerations. Not just listing characteristics but asking WHY those are important.

So I’ve been thinking about this topic, getting down to the nitty gritty. What’s REALLY important to me… because we all know I am not going to date the loser I described above. There are millions of nice, accomplished men on the planet. What will differentiate the man I want from the rest of them? What will make him stand out from the crowd?

It’s an interesting question….  I’ll be pondering and attempting to form a list of substance