By Holly A. Phillips
“What kind of guys do you typically go for?” my date asked me over bottled beers.
I skirted around the answer, because that was a tricky question, especially for a first date.
In the past, I’ve dated guys who make me laugh, despite having little in common. I’ve dated guys who cheat, lie, and have beer bellies.
I’m either really into a challenge, or I’m a masochist.
But the more dates I go on, the more I’m learning what I’ll accept – and what I won’t – in a potential partner.
In relationships I’ve had before, I never wanted to stir the pot. I always wanted to be the “cool” girlfriend that was okay with things most women weren’t.
What I thought was “cool” was actually desperation, and it resulted in men treating me like dirt.
So, I’ve decided to jump right in the gumbo, and stand up for a few things, in hopes of finding Mr. Right.
These things include a 9-5 job, an interest in fitness, and a “full” life. Let me explain.
How to Avoid Dating Someone “Typical”
1. Learn From the Past– There’s a reason past relationships didn’t work. Make a list of things that could have been avoided.
2. Find Deal Breakers– Whether it’s smoking, or “doesn’t understand my passion for football,” decide what’s not okay in a relationship.
3. Stick To It– Once you’ve got deal breakers, stick to your guns and refuse to put up with something that doesn’t work for you.
I work from 8am until at least 4:30pm, sometimes later. As difficult as it was for me to admit, though true, I can’t date someone that isn’t awake during daylight hours. That’s just how it is. I sleep from 11pm-ish until 6am. If my boyfriend is working during those hours, our routines won’t match up at all.
“Take it from me,” a friend said, after breaking up with a guitarist in a local cover band. “You’ll never spend holidays together, no Friday night dates, just because of the schedule.”
Though small, those things affect a relationship. I want holidays and weekends together; I want our lunch hours to match.
On the fitness front, I am not a personal trainer (though I am certified), nor do I want to date one. However, I do try and eat healthy most of the time, and I am in the gym five times a week.
I do care about my appearance, and I feel good all around when I break a sweat and burn a few calories. I don’t want a boyfriend to harp on me about my weakness for wine and dessert-like coffee drinks, but I do need a man that is supportive of my healthy lifestyle, in general.
My desire for my potential partner to have a full life is multifaceted. I have always believed that the best relationship consists of three parts: two separate lives, and their life together. When those three parts aren’t balanced, the relationship is unhealthy.
In the beginning of a relationship, the biggest sign of doom is how often the other person makes contact. Recently, I was talking to a guy that I’d had yet to go on a date with. He texted me all hours of the day, every day, sometimes even sending me multiple text messages in a row.
While some women may enjoy this kind of attention, to me it seemed like he had nothing to do; his life wasn’t full. Either that, or he was lying about having a day job.
We never went on that first date — see, I told you I was stirring the pot.
Call me picky, but it only has to work one time. And at this point in my life, I know that it’s not going to work with someone who works nights, or is purposefully unhealthy, or relies on me for validation.
There are things I’m not so sure about, such as dating someone with kids, or dating a smoker. I’ve done both, and neither ruined the relationships, nor did it enhance them.
And of course, every dating situation will be different. Rules of the dating game are always subject to change.
I am looking for someone with goals and aspirations, someone who likes to learn. In general, I just want someone who fits into my life and inspires me to do better.
Read more about Holly’s dream man on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com.