Things That Are Important When Choosing A Mate

I think we can all agree that there are certain characteristics one looks for when choosing a partner, can we not? Some of those characteristics may come and go a little with age---for the latter half of the 1990s, my own personal list was amended to include "eyebrow piercing" and "knowledge of the oeuvre of Jim Morrison"---but the main things we look for in a mate rarely change, I think. I've always been drawn towards artsy boys, for instance, and in college I went through a short-lived phase of dating people whose last names began with H. (Although that was pretty much just coincidence, I think, and not a matter of me going up to men on the street and saying "You're nice-looking, but what's your last name? Smith, you say? Oh, forget it then, never mind.")

I'm not sure I've ever actually written this out---other than in my head, I mean---but here are a few things I think are important when selecting a person with whom you'd like to spend the rest of your life. Feel free to add your own. Also, probably best not to print this out and bring it to the bar.

* Kindess

* Sense of humor

* Generosity

* Propensity to look good in plaid

* Interest in reading books

* Some nice physical feature that prompts me to say "wow, I hope our kid gets his ______."

* Good manners (must be nice to waiters and the people who take your toll on the bridge)

* Ability to cook something, even if it's only one thing

* Calmness

* Mostly decent taste in music

* Good vocabulary

* Driving skills (please note: this has evolved since 1995 when it was simply "car")

Apparently I also should have added "ability to understand the Lost finale and also listen to me as I rail against it and announce my disappointment." That one came in handy last night.

1
Locusts and Wild Honey
May 24, 2010

They were all dead all along. Ba ha ha ha.

Worst. ending. ever.

That's a wonderful list and I'd say you got all that you hoped for and then some.

2
Alex
May 24, 2010

If understanding the Lost finale is a requirement, I think we would all be solo for many years to come!
www.laundryandvodka.com

3
Kristen
May 24, 2010

The kindness thing -- let me tell you that the moment I knew I loved my husband (well, I mean, he was only kind of my boyfriend at the time; by the time I married him, I was pretty damn sure I loved him) was when we were at his apartment and a tree frog had gotten stuck between the screen and window. He went outside, finagled the screen off and saved the frog. I don't like frogs, but I LOVED that Jared went out and saved the little guy, not because I asked, but because he wanted to save a little creature. I was done for after that -- the fact that he knew the words to Apache Indian's Boom Shaka Laka was just icing on the cake.

4
soul-fusion
May 24, 2010

never been one to make a wish list for a mate but maybe that is why I'm still single, your list is a good start.
My brother had a very short and oddly detailed list: curly dark hair, speaks Italian and sings opera. Within a couple of years he met that woman and they are now happily married with two kids. We don't call him the Golden Child for nothing.

5
Tami A.
May 24, 2010

They weren't dead all along and I thought it was a great finale. A show like that would disappoint me a little if it actually answered every single question fans had.
But your post wasn't about LOST, so...
great list!

6
Sheila
May 24, 2010

I'm guessing that you filled in the blank about Sean's physical feature you hope your children inherit with "hair."

Although I have seen the photos of him you posted from the 90s, so maybe you didn't think it right off the bat.

I used to have "must be older than me" on my list, but then I met The One and he turned out to be 10 months younger. Good thing I wrote my list in pencil.

7
Eliza
May 24, 2010

My mother has always suggested it boils down to "kind, dependable, and able to lift heavy objects." Not a bad list of requirements, I feel.

8
Nothing But Bonfires
May 24, 2010

Sheila, I was thinking more "eyelashes" but I guess hair is all-encompassing.

9
suzrocks
May 24, 2010

that's funny- I had written a decently long list back when I was 18ish. Like 20+ things. I forgot about it until right before we got engaged.

Found it- and was like 'OH!!! this is why I fell in love with you- you match like 22/23 'requirements' of my list. Crazy. almost 10 years later.

10
Amy Louise
May 24, 2010

I need to come up with a list like that. Maybe that's why I've been single for four years!

11
Nic
May 24, 2010

Funnily enough, even though I never made a list (that I can remember, at least), my husband fits all but 1 of your requirements. Luckily it's the "propensity to look good in plaid" that's lacking - if I had a list, I don't think it'd be very high up there anyway...

12
Sarah
May 24, 2010

I fear I'll definitely date myself with this comment, but here goes...

The LOST ending was worse than that season of Dallas, the one that was not only crazy-nuts, but a complete waste of time. That season's finale left you all, "Wha???"

And then, after waiting all summer, you learn that the previous season was ALL BOBBY EWING'S DREAM.

A DREASM

Yeah, an entire season, wasted.

I was maybe 13 or 14 when that happened? AND STILL IT BOTHERS ME.

Sorry about the Lost finale. If it affected you the way that Dallas dream season affect me, it could be many years before you get over that.

13
NGS
May 24, 2010

Plaid? See, I think we differ here. If my husband wore anything with plaid, I might have to leave him.

And I'd like to add "able to have intellectually stimulating conversation about social movements inspired by US Weekly" to the list, too.

14
Moose
May 24, 2010

My list just keeps getting longer and more intricate. If I add anything else, I'll have eliminated approximately 100 percent of the male population minus, say, three. There will be three men on the entire planet who meet my criteria and one of them died in 1953. Dating's hard enough, yo.

But looking good in plaid is key. I'm totally adding that.

15
Di
May 25, 2010

List? Oh gosh, was I supposed to have one before I married him? I just lived with him for 10 years first until I knew him VERY, VERY well.

Oh, and he refuses to wear plaid unless they are flannel PJ's in the wintertime.

Di

I've always tried to make a list, and it's never seemed to make sense once it's been on paper.

In the end I have to simply agree with the logic that every woman is looking for her father. I know I know, CREEPY, but when I look at my own boyfriend and my father together and I see how mirror they are of one another, I realize that all those things I listed in my head for why I love HIM, are the same reasons I love my dad.

18
Melissa F.
May 26, 2010

I like that you said to be nice to toll collectors. :) My summer job between college semesters was a toll collector on the PA turnpike. You would not believe the rude people out there. I always said hello when someone pulled up and thank you when they paid. Some people treated me like I wasn't even there. I always gauge people now if were come to a toll stop.

19
Janet
May 26, 2010

Check out this list my friend Dave found in a coffee shop. It is hilarious:

http://sliceofpink.typepad.com/qualitiesinaBF.jpg

20
Katie
May 27, 2010

For me it's all about: is he a good story teller? Does he put his hand on his heart during the National Anthem? Does he use his blinker (indicates not being totally self-centered)? The clincher is when he's kind to old people. That about does it for me.

21
meredyth
May 30, 2010

Whoa. I guess according to your criteria (which would be very close to mine if I'd written it out) I should DEFINITELY marry my boyfriend. Especially when I got to the part about "ability to cook something" and the desire to read (poetry! I know!). Although I don't care at all for Lost and slept through it he watched it and loved it and (don't tell him I said this) cried over the conversation Jack had with his dad. I got to comfort him and that made me appreciate the finale. :)

22
Nathalie
Jun 01, 2010

Funny. Definitely funny/sense of humour/witty, whatever you want to call it. Most of all, he must make me laugh, everyday. I'm glad to say I found me one who makes me laugh many times everyday, and he's good looking to boot! :-)

23
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24
sargonsami
Mar 31, 2011

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