Since it’s almost V-Day, I’ve got romance on the brain…
Last year around this time, my friends helped me to create a list of criteria for a future partner. It was a fun exercise to see what they hoped for me, to add a few of my own desires, and to comment when I think they missed the mark.
Based on my dating experiences since then, I’ve added a few things to my list:
- I’d like my partner to be flexible and adaptable. To be the kind of person that when you take a wrong turn when you’re heading somewhere, doesn’t panic or get angsty. But who sees it as an opportunity to explore somewhere that neither of you had anticipated.
- Enjoying good food is a must. Having an adventurous palate and knowing one’s way around the kitchen is also pretty important. Because I get so much pleasure from creating and eating food, I want a partner who can appreciate the effort that goes into preparing a meal, and who enjoys the subtleties of spice and fresh ingredients.
- I’d like for my partner to be a naturally happy person, whose default mood tends toward the positive and who radiates enthusiasm. While we all have our down days, I like being around people who feel hopeful, and for whom negative experiences are an exception rather than the norm. They should smile often and easily, and even be prone to fits of occasional giggling.
- I also want my partner to be passionate. About their life, their work, their hobbies, their goals, and their future. Ok, and a little passion for me should be somewhere in there, too :)
One thing that was a surprise to me this past year, was the realization that dating inside of the ivory tower isn’t a necessity–because for a long time I only imagined myself with another professor-type. Since then I’ve learned that I spend so much time with other academics, it’s actually quite refreshing to get outside of that bubble. But…on the flip side, I’ve found that some of the non-academic people that I’ve dated don’t like hanging out with intellectuals, or are intimidated by a group of friends who all have advanced degrees. So I’d have to say that anyone I date that’s from outside that world, needs to also appreciate that my social circle tends to revolve around the university, and not find that too daunting.
This dating stuff has been quite a wild ride. I’ve found some people who were “right” in all of my categories but for whom I had zero romantic attraction. And then there were those who were so different from me that I didn’t even know what we find to talk about, but who made me so weak in the knees that I didn’t care much at all about the conversation. And of course, I have found those that I was attracted to both mind and body (and what a delight).
I never expected to go through dating or courtship again after I settled on marrying John, so this has been totally unexpected phase of life…but also one that’s both more exciting and more satisfying than I could have ever imagined.
While I’m still not thrilled that my ex left me, I am glad that I get to choose a new partner now. Especially being so much wiser and more practical than I was at age 18 when what was paramount in my future husband was that he was a faithful Mormon.