Naturally, there were more things that I needed to do other than just learn to take a chance on adventures of the heart. Once I was really ready to actually put myself out there, I had to reevaluate what exactly I look for in a man. Over time, I had created impossibly high standards that no man could ever achieve (The Boyfriend List was just the tip of the iceberg). I wondered why I wasn’t finding Mr. Right. No man was smart enough, cute enough, good enough. If he didn’t meet all my requirements, I wasn’t going to date him.
In short, I had become a stuck-up, snobby bitch.
I think that it was really just another method I used to protect myself from getting hurt. “Oh, he doesn’t have a masters degree? Then I shouldn’t date him even though he’s pretty much perfect in every other way.” Yeah, that’s just stupid.
What I needed to do was sit down and look at what was really important to me. After going out with a couple different types of guys, I realized that my criteria weren’t going to work for every single man out there. Every man is unique, so having a standard set of requirements was not going to work. Forget The Boyfriend List and just give every guy a chance.
So I did.
It didn’t work out quite like I hoped it would. Having the most basic standards (is he human?), I wound up with guys who were completely not what I was looking for, like Captain Planet, the High Five Bro, and Vladimir Putin.
I learned I should still have a couple guidelines to follow, but that some of the items on my Boyfriend List needed to be updated. I grabbed my list, a red pen, and a large glass of wine and sat down to make corrections. Lots of corrections.
My Boyfriend List wasn’t fair to a lot of really great men out there, but it took online dating for me to see that. Before this experience, I would never have considered dating a man who did not have at least a bachelor’s degree. But then I went out with not one, not two, not three, but four men in the IT field who had no college education, and were making twice, triple, or quadruple what I make (and I have a masters degree). They were successful and passionate about their careers. They were self-taught, but that doesn’t mean they were stupid. In fact, I’d argue they’re probably a lot smarter than me with my liberal arts degree.
And even though a guy might not meet all of my physical ideals, that doesn’t mean he can’t be attractive. He might not be George Clooney, but I believe that physical attraction can grow provided that it starts somewhere. The parts of him that I don’t find attractive may eventually become attractive to me.
So now, instead of using The Boyfriend List as a strict set of rules that must be met in order for a man to be considered “boyfriend material,” I’m using it as a set of loose guidelines. It would be nice to have this and that, but if not, that’s okay.
The Beau only meets about 2/3 of the items on my Boyfriend List. Is he the perfect man? Absolutely not. But I’m no where near the perfect woman, either. Together we work on our imperfections and we learn to love the things the other loves.
So ladies who have a Boyfriend List (and anyone with a “list”), take my advice and loosen up. Always take the opportunity to consider those who don’t meet all of your criteria exactly. You might just be happier with someone who doesn’t.