The Everyday Girl Guide to: Dating (Shopping List Dating)

March 24, 2013

I admit it… I belong to an online dating site.  I’ve actually tried a few of them.  With the way my life runs, it seemed like the logical thing to do.

I wasn’t really that worried about it.  After all, before I got married, I met all but two of the guys I ever went out with online.  (Yes, that’s an admission of my geekiness.)  I met my ex-husband online.  How hard could it be?  It’s actually pretty tough (I may post why at another time), but that’s  not what this post is about.

Too many people on dating sites have unrealistic shopping lists.

Yep, I’m going to go there.  But let me make a comparison that will maybe help drive the point home.

If you want to go buy a car, you have a budget.  You make a list of what you really want and what you’d like to have and you go out, find a car within your budget, and you buy it.

I’m 41 years old.  I’ve been married.  I’m gonna guess this would put me (or any guy I’m likely to be connecting with) in the category of “used car” at this point.

Do you know how many 41-year-old men and women think they’re going to get not only a new car, but a customized new car.

“Yes, I want the one with the tinted sunroof, the removable seats, the extra chrome, Sirius/XM radio, blah blah blah”… and under my budget.

Let’s get a little serious here.

In your twenties and maybe early thirties, there’s still a pretty good selection out there.  As you get older, a lot of the “good” cars are already paid for.  Doesn’t mean someone doesn’t trade in a good model now and then… but even that good model might not match up with your extreme expectations.

I’ve watched more frustrated people get upset that there’s “no one available” than I’ve seen people get upset about movies being unavailable at the Redbox on a Friday night at 10pm.

If you’re in the same boat as I am, do yourself a favor: make a realistic list… and keep it short.  I have seen a list pretty close to this online:

“I want a man who loves God, loves me, loves my kids, is smart, sensitive, likes to go for long walks, loves my favorite movie, has a romantic side, knows how to lead but isn’t overbearing…”

Seriously, I’ve seen this (and she wasn’t done).

So do yourself (and the rest of the dating public) a favor.  Make a realistic list.  Then pare it down to just five musts.  I’ll even put mine up here, just so you can see what I mean.

  1. Must have an ongoing, personal relationship with God.  Would it be nice if he was active in his church, knew the Bible well, or had been a Christian all his life?  Yep.  Is it essential?  Turns out it’s not… not to me.
  2. Must love me and my kids.  We’re a package deal, the kids and I.  I don’t expect a man to come in and parent my kids; they have a dad.  I don’t expect him to necessarily even have ever wanted kids himself.  But he needs to love my kids because they’re my kids and they’re going to be around.  Be friends with them, not “daddy”.
  3. Have a sense of humor that fits with mine.  Serious all the time is not going to deal with me well… and I’ll probably get depressed.  On the other hand, if his sense of humor is a little too caustic or too “Three Stooges”, we might not ever make each other laugh.  I like laughing.  This is important to me.
  4. Be intelligent.  I’m not talking about book-learnin’.  I’m not even asking that we share the same interests– I’m more than willing to learn something new and I love to be challenged.  But… I’ll get bored.  I know, that sounds snobby.  I don’t mean it to sound that way.  It turns out it’s important to me, though.
  5. Be active.  I realise that when you hit the 40s, the waistline tends to expand on a lot of people.  Mine did for a while.  This isn’t so much about weight as it is about attitude.  Please don’t be the type who wants nothing more than to go home and “veg”.  I don’t need to be go-go-go all the time… but I do need to get moving on a regular basis.  If he’s not going with me, that’s a significant amount of time we’re spending apart.

So, not too complicated, right?  Notice that I don’t have age requirements (mine are pretty wide), height, weight, income, looks, or even location.  It would be nice to find a guy in my city, a little taller than I am, making decent money, who is within a few years of my own age.  But it’s not essential.  I can work with those variables.  I can’t really change the ones in my list of five.

If you’re out there and dating, think about your own list.  I challenge you to get it down to just five things… and everything counts.  If you do this, I’d love a comment about what you settled on, too.

For now, I’m going to stick to my list and be open about the extras.

2 Responses to “The Everyday Girl Guide to: Dating (Shopping List Dating)”

  1. I love your post! I can’t wait to read more of your blog and see what else you write about. You have definitely put a new twist on what others typically write about in this post 🙂

  2. Wow you made some really good point. So many people want such a perfect person that they don’t give the good people in their life a chance. Honestly, that is something I am learning right now. I was burned so many times that I decided I’d never settle for someone unless they were perfect. But now I’m realizing I shouldn’t be so picky. Some compromise is ok.

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