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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Guest Post: The Dating Wish List

Once again, I am pleased to host a guest post by Daughter #1. This time she offers some insights on how her dating wishlist changed over the years. 

            Once upon a time, I believed Santa Claus would bring me anything for Christmas, as long as I was a good girl. Most of the time, I was. I expected to be gifted with my heart’s desire and every year Santa worked his magic and I received at least one very special item.

Maybe that wasn’t such a good thing because when I was in my 20s, I continued to expect extraordinary miracles—especially when it came to finding just the right man for me to date or to marry.

I developed a very, very long wishlist of characteristics I expected in a man. Reading it would have given Santa a migraine. Some of these qualities (a.k.a. the Short List) were the following:
  • ·      Educated (Master’s or higher)
  • ·      Makes enough money to support me
  • ·      Taller than me, at least 6 feet
  • ·      Capable of carrying on highly intelligent conversations
  • ·      Musical talent
  • ·      Catholic
  • ·      Very good-looking
  • ·      Blond or Asian
  • ·      Not boring
  • ·      Older, but not too much older—maybe up to 8 years older, no more
  • ·      No divorces or kids
  • ·      No smoking

While dating a variety of men, I soon learned very few of them fit my exacting criteria. 

So I focused my attention to three items on my list: musical talent, highly educated, better job and money than me.  Still, I preferred the man have an education in a science field, so we’d have something to talk about.

As time wore on, reality set in. Tall men were snapped up early in life.  The handsome ones were more interested in themselves than in me.  Musical talent is rare. M.S. and Ph.D.’s have become increasingly rare among men.

Then the recession hit, and nobody had a job anyway.

I struggled forward and tried online dating sites, eliminating men based on my admittedly shallow criteria.  When I was 28, I decided 38 was too old, but 35 could be okay.  Anyone 5’5” was too short and if they were bald, there was no way I would be interested.  Forget fanatical sports fans, too.  When it came to job information I crossed men off if they were self-employed, made less than $25,000 a year, or had an Associate’s degree.

By 32, I gave up online dating altogether, but meeting men in real life wasn’t much better than dating online.  I went through a series of losers: the pickup artist, the poet who quit his lucrative day job to write a novel, the man who wore a wetsuit to a pool party, and the neuroscientist who never wanted to leave his house.

At 34, I decided to try online dating again.  I was smarting from a series of nasty texts from one of the losers, and decided I could do better.  I decided to try a much smaller dating site, My reasoning was simple because the people at actually wanted to get out and go on dates. 

For my first date, I met up with an Israeli postdoc in particle physics. While he was definitely intelligent, he went back to Israel. I was doubtful about enduring a long-term, long distance relationship.  Besides, there was the question of religion.  I am not the world’s greatest Catholic, but it was hard for me to see how I’d handle the hurdles of a relationship with a devout Jew.

My second date at was Joe—and suddenly all my rigid requirements evaporated. 

Here’s Joe’s basic criteria:
  • Educated—Bachelor’s in biology
  • Less income per hour than me
  • No musical talent, although he attempted guitar once
  • 5’9”, so under 6 feet
  • Brown hair
  • Catholic
  • 4 years younger
  • No smoking
  • No divorces or kids
Still, he came with a lot that I had never considered to be important.  He’s kind and considerate.  He loves his family, even when they drive him up a tree.  Most of all, he loves me.  I can still feel my heart race in anticipation of seeing him—and then I never want to let him go.  He’s probably not anything that I thought I wanted, but instead may be everything that I really wanted.

So, did I lower my standards?

Do men have lists too?

What’s on your boyfriend list for Santa?


MarkD60 said...

I think everyone has a similar list. WHen you meet someone, you compare them to your list. If they don't match up with your list, for example, smoking, your choices are either cross that item off the list or don't go out with them.
If a person hates smokers, they don't get to marry a smoker and complain about their smoking the rest of their lives.

Penelope Marzec said...


I married a smoker but he quit when Daughter #1 was born. :-)

Lucky me.