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Finding Mr. Right4 comments

Photo: Getty Images |

Photo: Getty Images |

What’s at the top of your list? No, not a grocery list; we’re talking about the mental tally tattooed on the insides of your eyelids from a lifetime of dreaming of Mr Right.
| by Adrienne B. |

You think you know exactly what you want in a man, right? You can probably even list the attributes, qualities and qualifications that your future husband needs in order to apply for the job of your mate. I had a three-tiered system myself.

First, there were the requirements: an interesting profession (preferably in the arts), a great sense of humor, a sterling character, financial security. Next, there was the frosting (as in, wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if-he-were…): over six feet tall, devastatingly handsome, a cat lover. And finally, there were the deal breakers: children, difficult ex-wives, bad toupees.

Of course, like you, I fancied myself to be magnanimous and flexible in as much as I was willing to overlook certain undesirable traits – say, thinning hair and a few extra pounds – for the perfect guy. Now, even if your list is different from mine, I think you know what I’m talking about.

Here’s some advice: Lose your lists now, Ladies! Mine almost kept me from getting to know my husband.

Tim and I were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. We were both divorced and practiced daters, and knew the rules of the game. We met at a conveniently located wine bar and immediately set into the first date volley of get-to-know-you-questions: Where are you from? What do you do? How many siblings? My first impression of Tim was that he was utterly unobjectionable: nice, attractive, smartly dressed, well mannered. But something was missing…

Lists only rule people out, which isn’t a good way of allowing someone new and wonderful into your life (presumably your goal).

Let’s revisit my list. First off, Tim’s “interesting profession” was in finance, which to a writer like me seemed like a big snoozer of a job. Next, he was a listener, so at first glance, it didn’t appear that he had a “great sense of humor.” As for the other two requirements – a “sterling character” and “financial security” – both are tough to determine on a first date. What he did have in spades were deal breakers – two sons (teenagers, no less) and a horrific ex-wife. My thought bubble at the time? Check, please. What to do next was a no-brainer: I finished my glass of Shiraz, graciously declined his dinner invitation, gave him a peck on the cheek and thought, Nice knowing you, Buddy. I went home, curled up with a book and didn’t give Tim or our date a second thought.

Luckily for me, my husband didn’t subscribe to the list mentality himself. He called. He pursued. He courted. I joked about him to my friends – Who was this suit and why wouldn’t he just leave me alone? But Tim was sincere in his feelings and steadfast in his determination. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. Since I refused to make time for proper dates for weeks, he tagged along to some readings and other literary events. Reluctantly, over the course of several months, I got to know him. Turns out, Tim is unquestionably the man of my dreams, though he bears little resemblance to the fantasy man I thought I’d end up with. Tim is funny and smart and warm beyond words and, though finance still isn’t fascinating to me, it is to him, which is all that matters in the end. He has given me a daughter and made my life happy in ways I would never have imagined. And to think, if left to my own devices – and my own list – I probably wouldn’t even remember his name right now.

Here are a few things to remember. Lists only rule people out, which isn’t a good way of allowing someone new and wonderful into your life (presumably your goal). If the guy you’re with is not as tall or as rich or as skilled in witty bantering as you thought Mr. Right should be, take the time to notice what his strengths are. It’s always easier to see what’s wrong than what’s right, and far more rewarding to do the opposite. Remember, it’s hard to find love if you’re busy thinning the herd. Besides, are you really willing to gamble potential happiness away because he doesn’t earn seven figures? Get to know the person across the table from you and above all, be open!


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4 comments

  1. Pam

    Well, Adriene – I totally disagree with your article. Telling women to throw away their “lists”..is a bad idea. We all need “lists” in life. Just like you go to a grocery store or looking for a new home. U make a list of what you want and need to be happy. If not, you go into the store blind sided and come out with stuff that you dont need or already have! When i brought my home, i made a list of what I wanted in a home and found exactly that! I am so happy with my home and all that it entails. Lists are just a blue print to what we desire. Nothing wrong with that. Sure u should be flexible….i would nto suggest ruleing out a guy that has gap or bad breath, cause those things can be fixed! But if he totally horrible looking and you can not even bare to look at him without throwing up, you should move on. Or if he has 3 kids by 3 different baby mommies, do you really want to be the 4th?? I know i dont. I think you have been brainwashed into thinking that the person you married is the man of your dreams, when in reality he is not. You basically got tired of waiting and being single so you let this man take over and u married him. We need to stop settling ladies. List is not a bad word. We need to have standards as Steve Harvey puts it. If he does not have our top 4 things that we look for in man, then move on. Don’t be brainwashed. Dont feel you have to settle cause your clock is ticking..there is plenty of time. I know my top 4 things are – Handsome, educated, God fearing, and loving. If the has only 2 of the 4 things, I am not going to just settle and give up. I am going to keep it moving until i get ALL four things. Period. Trust me ladies, Mr right is out there, don’t give up hope and DONT give up your LIST!

  2. Sasha

    Whoa I don’t think Adrienne meant her point to go as far as u did. I think she just meant b open to the unknown, I sincerely doubt she would say give a guy a chance even tho he has 3 kids from 3 diff women? Granted we need lists for things like groceries and such, but she didn’t mean throw those out she meant our mental lists we have on men. That’s it. Of course she wants us to keep our standards and values, she wouldn’t agree with us dating a meth junkie either. Read between the lines and don’t take way ppl say so seriously.

  3. Pam

    oh i’m not taking anything seriously..its just my opinion and honestly, its the opinion of alot of women i know. What worked for her may not work for everyone… We are all visual creatures..if you want a handsome man that is educated and treats you like a queen ( cause that is what is on your list) Then hold out for that. Don’t throw that list away as the author suggests and settle for a man that may not be as attractive but treats you like a queen.. u will regret it later down the road…trust me! I honestly believe she got tired of waiting for Mr right ( having the things she wanted on her list) and gave in too soon. He basically grew on her into making her think that he was Mr right. I mean if you want a man to grow on you..thats you, but for me, I’m holding out for the very best! ( meaning everything that is on my list) I’m worth it. I’m open to the unknown, but i’m also not going to settle for someone that is not what I am looking for. why do you think so many marriages end in divorce? Because women are settling for less then they deserve or want. Thinking that it will work out in the end and we will make it work, when it never does. All i’m saying is take your time..what’s the rush? Enjoy life, enjoy yourself and most of all love yourself!

  4. Zahida

    I found this article quite amusing because it almost makes being a woman with standards a bad thing. I did not appreciate that the article depicted a woman’s list as a waste of time or that we demand a man with a lot of money and prestige, not saying that those women are not out there but if you are going to write an article generalizing a sex, than do just that…generalize and enlighten your audience with numerous angles to the subject. Bottom line, women and men should have standards (lists), but what the writer fails to express is the fact we all as individuals must allow ourselves to be open and sincere enough to actually listen, look and learn the person we go on a date with regardless if we interact with them once or on numerous occasions. Bottom line: life is to short and serious… Each of us deserves a chance, so take the time…

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