2008 was the year of Ana making bad dating decisions. From a couple months "in a relationship" with Red (a comedian who went a little nuts) to a couple months in an intense fling with Mickey (there's probably a post I need to write on this one) to a couple dates with a 6'6'' Russian super genius who looked like Justin Timberlake's taller, Russian cousin (read: a-hole), I couldn't seem to make a healthy decision. By New Year's Eve, I felt like I'd broken my dating bone or dislocated my intelligent choices joint. I was lost and I knew it.
What do you do when something is broken? You fix it. And what do geeky girls do when they don't know how to do something? They study it. So...at 24...I bought a dating self-help book.
I was determined to figure out what I was missing, what I needed, what vital understanding I lacked. Most things in self-help books you already know, but sometimes you need someone to just restate them to you in order for you to believe the simplest truths. The book had some great exercises to help understand your wants vs your needs and I would honestly recommend to everyone to take the Emotional Index Quiz to help figure out what things make you feel the most fulfilled. (That sentence makes me sound like a gigantic douche, but, I swear, there all good things to know.)
I recently rediscovered this book gathering dust on my shelves and came across a list I'd made inside of the ten MUST haves and ten must NOT haves in any guy I will consider dating. There are so many beautiful varieties of guy out there and it's sooooo hard for me to say no. The first step to finding that person you want is determining what that really, really means and stop wasting your times with guys you'll just want to punch in the face.
- Good family values
- Social confidence
- The ability to laugh at himself
- A love of animals - I'm always going to have pets, I love going to zoos...he's going to have to be able to roll with this
- An interest in different cultures
- Musical talent
- A successful, satisfying career
Must NOT haves
- Any racist, sexist or homophobic sentiments
- The need to win - it's good to be competitive and it's great to aim for success. But I can't stand someone that needs to "win" an argument, a board game, a seat on the bus, etc. Sometimes success has different definitions than the defeat of others.
- Constant need for validation
- Mounds of debt
- Ex gfs they describe as "psycho" or "crazy" - the first thing I think when a guy says this is "what did you do to make them that way"
- Substance addiction
- Police record
- Bad hygiene
No one is every going to be perfect...there will always be SOMETHING that annoys you or you'd rather were different. If they fulfill your ten musts and must nots, however, the other things are just details you can cope with. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth and just accept that someone, someday can make you happy.
2009 was a better dating year than 2008...certainly. Although I'm still learning to stick to my guns on the list, it's improving. If you know the guy described above...give him my number.
Let's get it going in 2010. Make a list and then look for THAT guy. What's on your list?