Sunday, 30 November 2014

Romance & Love For Beginners: The List

The List. The source of unrealistic expectations and our deepest wishes. The topic of countless badly made romantic comedies.

We all have a mental (or even physical, I won't judge) list of the qualities we want in our partners. I know I do. I had a general disregard of this List when I was a teenager, that might have had to do with just my general sheer (embarrassing) desperation to have a boyfriend, any boy would have done (that's a whole other topic for later).  But as I have gotten older it seemed like a good idea to have a general standard to which I should adhere.

My list circa 2009 (my first year of university) went something like this:
  • Must wear skinny jeans
  • Must be slightly alternative
  • Must like cuddles
  • Must have nice hair
  • Must like pop punk music
  • Must have a job

My current list has gotten a little more extensive (dare I say picky?) as I have made my experiences and as my priorities have changed. I've even learnt the value of having 'non-negotiables'. Currently my list looks a little like this:
  • Must have a good job he enjoys (non-negotiable)
  • Must either speak German or be willing to learn German (non-negotiable)
  • Must have interests outside of Match of the Day and Playstation/X-Box/computer games (non-negotiable)
  • Must be emotionally available (non-negotiable)
  • Must like cats or corgis (non-negotiable)
  • Must have a good relationship with his family (non-negotiable)
  • Must not own a pair of TOMS or think it's a good idea to own a pair of TOMS
  • Must drive (German car preferable, but negotiable)
  • Must have nice shoes
  • Must own at least one suit which gets worn regularly (and not just for work or funerals/weddings etc.)
  • Must be willing to take my blog photos for me
  • Must enjoy food
  • Must like to travel
  • Shouldn't be a big drinker
  • Smoking not great, but is comprisable

As you can see my list has gotten longer and more specific. And unrealistic.  Finding someone who speaks German in South Wales (and who is dateable) is like finding a sober person in Cardiff on a Saturday night. Impossible. Whilst writing this I also realised how many of those points were non-negotiables. The man I want to date doesn't exist it seems. Also my points regarding smoking and drinking make me sound like the fun police. Well excuse me that I don't want my house to smell of smoke and my boyfriend to be as risk of lung cancer. Who's the fun police now?

John Gray in his book Men are From Mars, Woman Are From Venus - Starting Over (don't laugh this book really is enlightening!) says that these lists are dangerous. The list acts as our list of conditions and requirements. Gray sees the list as a way for people to protect themselves from rejection, and the more overprotective we are the longer the list is. We become picky because apparently no one will ever be good enough. We'll only have our checklist to keep ourselves warm with Netflix at night.

However, I am tempted to disagree slightly with John Gray. The list is important because the list keeps my standards high. Every boy I have ever dated has been a massive step up from the previous boy. So if I keep my standards high then who knows who can walk into my life next? I do completely understand that my list is obviously ridiculous in parts. I doubt very much that some poor guy is able to tick all of those boxes. I'm know not a perfect person and never will I be able to tick all of someone else's boxes.

It's worth mentioning that, the list really isn't a 'set in stone guide' to love and relationships. The Man from Flat 3 (see that saga HERE) ticks a lot of my boxes on the list. However in person he doesn't live up to his paper self. Frankly I've had the dubious 'pleasure' of getting to know him more recently and it's just resulted in me sprinting past Flat 3 when I get home.

The most important thing to remember is that your list is not a checklist but more of a guideline. I am not expecting someone to fulfil all of those qualities, that would be impossible. But the list is there to remind me to not settle. I have settled in the past before and it just put me in an unhappy place. I believe that in relationships there will come a time when you need to compromise. But that's about things like 'do we get a fancy dishwasher or a fancy TV?'. I am not so willing to compromise on the person I want to spend time with. Maybe that will get me into trouble and I will just live alone with 50 cats and when I'm dead nobody will notice until the council come knocking. Who knows? But at least my list is a little more attainable than this guy's.

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3 comments

  1. I this to a certain extent you have to be a bit fussy, even if it's just to narrow down the online search! IMO if you chat to someone online who ticks lots but not all the boxes, you should give them a chance and meet in person. If there's chemistry and you like them, give it a go (even if the boxes aren't ticked). If there's no chemistry, that's the time to be fussy and move on! That's just my opinion though, I'm as clueless as everyone else! X

    ReplyDelete
  2. hey pretty ! nice blog :) kisses from Poland

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  3. Nice post. P.S: Love that The Man from Flat 3 is a thing now. Lol

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