In one of the greatest movies the 90s gave us, Singles, Bridget Fonda speaks to her ex-boyfriend/bestie about her "List." Like many women, she'd made a list of what her dream guy would be like. Over the years, she shortened it to just one thing -- what she wanted a guy to say when she sneezed.
While I do believe the poor dear was sacrificing a bit too much by shortening to list to one basic requirement, I totally understand revisiting and revising the list over time.
When I was a little girl, I thought that since all of my family members were "related" that I was supposed to marry a relative -- either my own father or my male cousin. By the time I hit kindergarten, I realized the error of my ways and began the great search for my life partner. As of now (at the ripe old age of 34), I have yet to find him.
Ten years ago -- even five years ago, I was looking for someone MUCH different than I am now. Yes, my list has shortened, but the shortened list has more weight. I've realized that as a 6-foot-tall woman, I'm probably not going to find a man who is taller than me -- and that's OK. There was a time when it wasn't. I'm also now OK with dating men who have kids -- something I freaked out about before I dated a man who had a 10-year-old son.
Even though I'm much more realistic about my expectations now, people still insist that I'm too picky. As if my singleness could be remedied in a heartbeat if I would just open myself up to the GLARING FLAWS I see in unstable men all around me. No. I don't want him. And I know that for sure. I think this actually makes me wise.
I do believe that there are certain dealbreakers that can show up on The List. Say you have kids. Finding someone who cares about your kids is a must-have on the list. Or let's say you want kids. Finding someone who also wants kids is a must-have on the list. But I challenge you to consider changing everything else on that list.
As we all know just by watching our own economy crumble, anything can happen at any time. Looking for someone with a "good job" might be a bad idea. What's wrong with the guy who has a temp job because there is nothing else in his industry right now? And what's really wrong with that girl who likes different music than you do? I recall music being a huge factor in my youth. Now? I don't care one bit. Listen to your music and enjoy it. Period.
There is one thing on my own personal list that has never changed. I want a man who takes an interest in my family. Note, he doesn't have to love my family. He doesn't have to go to every family get-together or become besties with my father. But he does have to "take an interest." I dated someone who couldn't have cared less about my family, and it really didn't work for me. That is my personal dealbreaker. He has to at least "try." And I will "try" at whatever is on his list. We'll decide later if the hurdles are too big.
How has your list changed as you've gotten older? What have you added or deleted -- and why?
Blondie writes at Tales From Clark Street.
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