I've been thinking lately about love.
Matt Groening says, "Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come."
A very wise friend told me a long time ago that many (if not most) women look for the wrong things in potential boyfriends/husbands. She said that her husband was a wonderful guy and that many women had told her that they envied her, but she knew that those same women would never have gone out with him in the first place. When he was single, they would have seen a guy who didn't have much money, or a nice car, or a job in an office, or a college degree. But once he was married, they saw a guy who supported his wife emotionally and financially and was a loving, loyal husband.
I started thinking about what traits in a guy were most important to me. I decided that having a lot of money wasn't a requirement -- I didn't have any money, so it seemed a bit hypocritical to insist upon a rich guy. I have a college degree, but that's not important to me.
I had dated guys who were not especially affectionate or cuddly, and that is a deal-breaker. My parents were very touchy and hand-holdy with each other and with me while I was growing up, and it's a very important part of a relationship for me. (I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone... To each her own.)
I also had to have someone who had my same sense of humor (a winning combination of stupid humor and dark sarcasm). I wanted someone who liked to read (WHAT they read, I didn't care about, I just can't relate to those people who never read books).
I didn't care about a guy knowing how to fix a car or an air conditioner or a septic tank. That'd be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker.
The guy would have to want monogamy. Some men and women don't, and again, that's fine for them if it works, but it doesn't work for me. I knew I wanted to be with a person who would put our relationship first, and make me his first priority.
I would prefer a guy who was creative, because I think it's hot, and because I think a creative person might be more likely to appreciate my weird creativity.
My future boyfriend/husband would have to be intelligent. At least as smart as I am, if not smarter. I want someone with whom I can have interesting, challenging conversations, who can teach me things and be open to learning from me.
So: I was looking for a guy who was
* Physically affectionate
* Stupid/dark sense of humor
* A reader
That's basically it. So a few years later, when I met a kind, cheerful, smart, creative, funny guy, I was interested. When he told me he had been laid off and was having trouble finding another job (this was a couple of months after 9/11), I said that was a shame, but it wasn't a deal-breaker for me. When he said that he was still living with his ex-girlfriend (due to the whole not having a job thing) as a roommate and not sharing a bedroom, I said that's cool.
We went out on a few dates, and right away I felt something for him that I had never felt before, a combination of passion and... comfort. I was excited by him, but also relaxed around him (I am not relaxed around anyone, so this was unprecedented). Our first date was 12/6/01, and we moved in together at the end of January '02. He got a job, and we moved to a bigger place. On 12/6/02, the anniversary of our first date, he proposed. We got married on 10/01/03.
Now he has a great job that he loves (and he makes more money than I do), we own a home and a Siamese cat together, and he is the most wonderful husband I can imagine having. Whenever I call him during the day, he answers the phone saying "Hello, gorgeous!". When I get home from work, he meets me at the door with a hug and a bunch of kisses. He sends me text messages almost every day telling me how much he loves me. He supports me enthusiastically in whatever I am excited about, even if he's afraid it might be a bad idea. He thinks my artwork is wonderful; he thinks I'm beautiful; our marriage is his biggest priority.
I know that an awful lot of women would not have gone out with an unemployed guy who lived with an ex, but I had my list, so I was focused on what kind of guy he was, not what he had. I could see that he was an honest hard-working guy, so I believed in him.
Ultimately, I am thankful for those misguided women who were missing out by not dating him, leaving him available for me. :) That probably leaves the ice weasels for them, though. :(