Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dating: Knowing What I Want and Finding It

I think one of the greatest things about dating later in life is that I have figured out what I really want.  I have figured out what I need too, which is more important.  When Sam and I were doing marriage counseling, we read a book called The Five Love Languages.  While I found the book a bit cheesy at times, I think the underlying message that we all feel loved in different ways was brilliant.   The key is to identify which way your partner feels loved and show them love in that way. 

My love language is Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch.  Knowing that about myself now, I know I need to find a man who can compliment me and express his love to me verbally.  I also need physical touch.  I like a man who will put his arm around me or hold my hand in addition to the bedroom stuff.  These things make me feel loved and adored. 

Remember when you were a Mia Maid and you made a list of all the qualities you wanted in a future husband?  You wrote stuff like "RM, handsome, tall?"  Well, those are all still on my list but that is the jumping off point.  My list has gotten a whole lot longer.  Making the list was easy--finding a man with all of these characteristics is the hard part.  Here are some of the things that I have realized are important to me now:

1.  A man who is kind--first and foremost.  And I want a man who is kind to others, not just me.

2.  A man who values education and preferably has an advanced degree.  I want a man who has a career (not just a job), is passionate about his work and takes it seriously.

3.  A man who loves his family and respects his mother.

4.  A man who is a devoted and loving father.

5.  A man who has a strong testimony of the gospel, holds a calling and takes his Priesthood responsibilities seriously.

6.  A man who is funny.  I am a sucker for guys who make me laugh.  Seinfeld is usually my litmus test.  If a man loves Seinfeld and quotes it..we will probably hit it off.  If he loves Colbert, that is gravy.

7.  A man who is fit and active.  I used to think this didn't matter to me but it does.

8.  A man who can be a man.  I love an alpha-male.  I think it is because right now--I have to make all the decisions and be the head of my household.  I want a man who takes charge, makes reservations and solves problems.  I like a man who opens doors, makes the first move and isn't afraid to show me he is interested in me.
9.  A man who is honest, classy and speaks kindly of his ex-wife.  This speaks volumes about the guy.
10.  Okay, okay, tall is always a bonus for me.  I am 5'9--I love a tall man.  And of course, we have to have chemistry--chemistry is more important than looks.

The older I get, the more I realize what matters in a spouse.  I refuse to settle. When I was going through a hard time at the end of my marriage, I would turn the radio on and this song by Sugarland always seemed to be playing. I still hear it and it reminds me that I am not settling this time around for anything less than everything:

"I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time
I ain't settling for anything less than everything"


Linde said...

You have it exactly right! I have never understood girls who date a guy and then months down the road they wonder why he wasn't what she thought he was. I always need to SCREEN him better! Don't take it all at face value!!!!

Great posts on this!

Cameron said...

Thanks for not elaborating on the "bedroom stuff"

Jill said...

I'm a believer in The Five Love Languages too, despite the cheesiness! I'm Gifts and Acts of Service.

It's so great that you know what you want and that you aren't just looking to marry someone else and hope for the best. It seems like divorced women are often so desperate to find another husband that they don't do what is actually best for them and their kids.

Heather said...

So fun to see you last night! I think you are a way smarter dater than I ever was... seriously, blind squirrel finds a nut. I'll let you decide who is the squirrel, and who is the nut...

alexandra said...

I totally agree with you on the Alpha Male thing. I knew I needed to marry a leader.

I love your list. It shows how mature you are, especially that the guy be respectful about his ex-wife. I am excited to see who you do end up with. He is a lucky guy.

Ashley said...

Okay now remember the rest of that lesson when you were 14 and made the spouse list--now you ask yourself if you are all those things. And I just went through your list and you are everything except an alpha male which is probably good. You are a total package and you would go crazy with anything less.

Em said...

I truly loved reading these dating posts.

According to the Mormon standard, I got married later in life, and so I had years of thinking about this, and agree one hundred percent with your lists and love what you've shared. I met Chuche in a non-conventional way, and one thing I learned is that you have to "let go, let flow," but still be really picky about what you want. It's interesting how what you want and value changes the older you get.

I loved the Sugarland lyrics you shared. My mantra while still dating were lyrics by Tracy Chapman: "This youthful heart and can love you and give you what you need, but I'm too old to go chasing you around, wasting my precious energy." ;)

You'll find him, Brooke! Or technically, as the alpha-male, he'll find you!)