Now that my life has calmed to a point where I finally have free time to dedicate to dating, I’ve been actively attempting to take a non-cynical, yet realistic approach to my encounters with men. Which is at least better than the “expect the worst, hope for not being murdered” mentality of years past. I haven’t been interested in semi-settling down until now, so I decided it was important for me to re-evaluate my list of standards and practices in an attempt to not repeat past mistakes. My, oh my how that list has changed! I don’t know if it’s related to age, experience or both, but the things I’m seeking in a companion are vastly different now than before. Let’s examine my list of do’s and don’ts for dating in 2021.
First of all, they must be successful at something. Anything. I’ve been broke most of my life and worked extremely hard to get where I am. The last thing I want to do is struggle as a duo when I can do that extremely well all on my own. I have set standards for a lifestyle that fulfills me, and to be able to accommodate those standards requires money. Travelling and seeing the world costs money. Eating good food and drinking good wine costs money. It’s not materialistic to want nice things for yourself when you’ve worked hard and to expect the same out of a partner. I also do not have children for a reason; because I don’t want to raise another human being. You don’t need to be John D Rockefeller rich, but be able to take care of business.
Next, they cannot have argumentative, provocative personality traits. I want someone easygoing, who just wants a drama-free, carefree existence with as little life stress as possible. I’ll give you an example. When I’m scrolling through dating apps and the first line in a man’s bio proclaims “I’M A LIBERAL, VACCINATED, ANTI-TRUMP FEMINIST” or their first photo is a meme about their love of the Second Amendment, it’s a pass for me. I hate hot button topics. I hate this current social climate of polarizing division between humans. It is draining for me, and most of the crap isn’t even real, it’s just made up BS by the media. If this is your first priority when meeting someone, it tells me you love provoking arguments about personal opinions and that is annoying. I don’t want to argue about anything; I want to enjoy life. I care far more about who you are as a person in your everyday actions- are you nice to servers and janitors? Do you lend a helping hand to the elderly or handicapped? Do you agree that Crocs are a hard no? Only the real hard-hitting issues for me.
A problem with dating at this stage of my life is that I run into the issue of children. Most of the men in my age range of 38-65+ already have kids, and if they don’t they might want them. I am not having children, and I don’t know that I would be very good at dealing with someone else’s; especially young kids. If you have children under 18, that means there is an active baby mama situation and 9 times out of 10 that is messy and I just want no part of it. Also I am probably the least maternal person on the face of the planet. I’ve never even babysat for god’s sake! What if they wanted to leave me alone with it while they went to the store or something? So, while I’m not totally ruling out a man with minor dependents, my preference is none or fully grown kids of college age or older.
One thing that made a surprising no-show on my list of priorities was looks. I literally do not care about appearances at this stage in the game. In fact, I have no desire to be with someone extremely classically good looking. If I scroll across a 35 year old hottie with a blinding white smile, chiseled cheekbones and 8 pack abs, I cannot swipe left fast enough. I spent 4.5 years with a bodybuilder whose entire life was dedicated to what his physique looked like. Do you know how miserable it is to worry about getting in workouts and counting macros while on a beach vacation? I like to keep myself up, but not at the expense of fun and happiness and want the same out of a partner. If that comes with a side of high blood pressure, so be it. Also, I want to be the better looking person in the relationship! I want a man who feels lucky to have me, not someone who feels like I’m lucky to have him! Someone desiring me like I am the hottest thing they’ve ever seen is WAY more of a turn-on than what THEY look like. (Which probably speaks more to my own narcissism than anything else, but this is just who I am as a person so I’m leaning into it.)
Finally, and I know this is asking a lot at my age, but someone who is not completely crazy would be nice. It seems like the older I get, the crazier people are. This could have something to do with the online era we live in, and people feel more comfortable letting their freak flag fly much quicker than in decades past. But if you could just wait 4 or 5 dates to let me know you have a foot fetish or a criminal history that would be nice. Or maybe it’s actually good we just get that out of the way early on.
I don’t know what lies ahead for me in the romance department but I’m enjoying the ride. For all my best intentions, it seems I still end up drawn to boys who are bad news for my heart, so I hope I can change that. But I guess we shall see. Stay tuned!