People tend to be surprised when I say I’ve never had a boyfriend. I don’t blame them. I’m a sociable, well-adjusted, mildly-attractive guy. Why wouldn’t I have at least a one serious relationship under my belt at this point?
My response is always the same. I tell them I’m picky. I don’t fall very easily. I know what I want in a significant other, and I have no desire for a placeholder.
The follow up questions are predictable. They ask the traits I look for in someone, though I never answer this question quite truthfully. I give half-hearted generic answers to fend off further probing. I’ve felt my real answers wouldn’t be easy to digest to the average listener, yet I’ve never made an attempt to compile them.
That is until now. This is my checklist.
You’re an optimist. You are a dreamer that holds lofty expectations of life. You waltz through each day with rose-colored glasses seeing the world not for what it is, but what it can be.
You’re a dork. You’re someone that’s so sure of their own self, so comfortable in their own skin that you are shamelessly you. Someone who is fearless in embarrassing himself, just to make another person smile.
You’re thoughts are calculated. I’m constantly pondering, analyzing, and anticipating the different possibilities for a given situation. I need an intellectual equal. You’re someone that can call me out and challenge the very foundation of my arguments.
You appreciate the mundane. You understand that unnamed moments together–holding hands on a car ride home, a smile from across the table–can be the most powerful. These seemingly forgettable experiences can bring far more joy than the most extravagant adventure.
You enjoy long-winded stories. I’m all about the build up of a story. I view far too many details too important to omit. You’ll laugh to yourself as I get lost in my own storytelling.
You’re an introvert. I need balance in my life. As someone who can easily become the loud obnoxious one in the group, a gentle reminder to tone things down is what I need by my side–someone to ground me.
You’re selfless. I make the habit of putting others before myself. I should expect no less from someone I want to be close with.
You have a sense of adventure. I never want to go on a relaxing luxury vacation. Give me my passport, a backpack, and let’s hit the road. The world is such a huge place to explore, and I want be around someone with insatiable curiosity.
I don’t expect the next guy that comes into my life to possess all of the above, but a nice combination of these would be more than enough to catch my eye.
I think the last part of this piece is the important one. It’s great having an idea of what you want. Some people take years to figure that out or may never get a clear image of their ideal partner. Making sure that you’re open to someone not fulfilling everything on your checklist makes life a lot easier.
Once you develop feelings for someone, some of these requirements fade away, and you discover new characteristics that are endearing to you. Some things I had on my list were caring about social justice, doing some sort of visual art, and liking hiking.
My boyfriend hates hiking, but he’s gotten me more interested in fashion and gourmet hamburgers so that’s cool.