Every woman has an invisible checklist for her ideal mate. On mine, it says: tall, dark, smart, funny, cultured but not pretentious, and generally has his life together.
Throughout my idealistic late teens and early twenties, I wouldn’t consider dating anyone who didn’t fit those requirements (at least not seriously.) I needed someone who was cultured enough to understand my artistic esprit, I reasoned, and tall enough so I could wear heels without hovering over him. He had to have dark hair so that my future kids would have raven hair and green eyes like me – and, as for being smart, funny, and having his life together – Well, what woman doesn’t want those things? But the problem was whenever I did meet a guy who was everything I hoped, I would freak out in the worse “oh-my-gosh-this-could-be-it” kind of way. Most memorably, there was the guy that I met on a college tour who was unconsciously probably one of the main reasons I chose the school that I did. He was 6’4, spoke fluent German and Korean, and was a soccer-playing, future art major who hit all of the major points on the list. The second and last time I would ever see him was as I was moving out of the dorms. He got onto the same elevator and then purposely stepped on my friend’s foot, just to have a reason to turn around and apologize to me. Holding my eye contact for a second longer than a person normally would, he seemed to be waiting for me to say something, but all I could manage was a polite “That’s okay.” Several women I know have stated that their husbands aren’t the guys they thought they would end up with and I’m starting to think the same is the true for me. Unlike my experience as a mute, when I first met my boyfriend, things were easy. Although he is a tall-ish WASP-y blond who prior to meeting me, had never even been to a museum, I came to discover that he is smart, confident, hilariously funny, loyal and most importantly, adores me. Every day that we’re together, I am so glad I didn’t pass on him because of some arbitrary requirements that I came up with at 16. He may hate it when I wear heels (“You’re already tall enough!” he counters, “Platforms are for shorter girls”) but he is the love of my life.