"I know Nothing. Nothing".
I have friends who have had marriages last longer than some of my other friends have been alive. When these folks are asked what secret they have to relationship longevity, the overwhelming answer is "huh, I dunno".
I think that in a lot of cases, people stay together not so much because they really love each other, but because they're used to each other, and finding someone new is a pain in the ass. The feeling is that it's worse to be alone than it is to settle with someone who isn't exactly what you want.
There's something to be said for that, particularly when there are children involved.
But on the flipside, the idea of settling is... well, unsettling.
Intellectually, I'd rather be unattached than attached to the wrong person. That's easy to say. But something that I hadn't thought of was how do I know when it's the wrong person?
"I know Nothing. Nothing".
I suppose that much like everyone else, I have a list. Maybe mine is a bit more formal than some since I went to the trouble of actually identifying things that I liked/disliked as a part of the whole introspection and repair process, but I believe that we all have lists.
So in the interest of disclosure:
THE LIST1.) Must not be insane.
This of course comes from my rule of "never date the insane". I actually had to make this rule after meeting a woman in college and realizing that it would really be better for me to stay away from those who require adult supervision for most of their lives. Note that this does not exclude those with neuroses, depression, or those who have illnesses that are being treated, but if you come after me with a knife to cut out the alien that lives inside my brain you get put on my exclude list. Sorry.
2.) Must be intelligent.
It's a little hard to judge sometimes, but I think the thing that pulls me in is that spark of brilliance that is exposed when you actually talk to someone about things other than the weather, sports, and whether dirt tastes good.
Education-wise, I prefer someone who has their degree or is at least in the process of completing it. Tech schools are fine, but having been a product of both, I can say that there is a difference in getting a college degree, particularly one that is science oriented.
What I'm absolutely not saying is that you have to have a degree to be intelligent. However, if you send me an e-mail telling me that you're living in a trailer with your four kids and a couple of kinfolk who help you out while you study for your GED, you're going on the list too. It's just gonna be way too hard when I want to talk about the origins of consciousness and whether it can be modeled and you wanna take a break because book learnin' is hard.
3.) Must be able to communicate.
This is crucial. The ability to speak clearly, to take thoughts and turn them into words both written and spoken, that is a critical aspect of the person that I am attracted to. Bad spelling irritates the hell out of me. Mumbling or bad enunciation makes the baby Jebus cry. Having a decent (or bloody amazing) vocabulary gets you big points. A great voice gets you extra big points and some bonus prizes which shall be named later.
4.) Must be willing to communicate.
The best communication ability in the world don't mean pigsnot if you ain't willin' to use it. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I try to be open and talk about stuff in my life because it helps me figure out what the hell I should be doing. I want to be able to be open with you, and you with me. I don't want to feel that I have to hide things because you don't want to talk about them, or have you feel that you can't talk to me about things.
5.) Must understand personal hygiene.
Soap. Water. If I need to add more detail, just add yourself to the list.
6.) Must be creative.
There are all sorts of creativity, just as there are many forms of art. I don't think they're completely overlapped, because there are a lot of creative forms that aren't necessarily art, and there's a lot of art that isn't necessarily creative. I think it's more the spirit of the thing. I am all over performers: Actors, dancers, musicians. Primarily actors, because I speak the language much more than the others.
7.) Must be talented.
Um... I hate to say it, but yeah, you've got to have the talent to back it up. If you are a "serious" actor and you suck, I'm much more liable to make fun of you than actually enjoy your company. Ever been to karaoke?
8.) Must have passion about something.
It is impossible for someone who doesn't have passion to ever understand someone who does. It doesn't have to be a passion about the same things that I have a passion for, but something related would be cool. Generally, being passionate about your art or craft is the thing that I like the most. Being passionate about breeding garden snails isn't something I'm likely to latch onto, though I will appreciate it.
9.) Must be patient and understanding.
Okay, this is a big one. I'm not always the biggest cluefish in the skillet, and I'm not always the most perfect. I may be close, but no, I'm not there quite yet. At times, I do stupid things. I don't mean to, but sometimes I do. This is where the patience and understanding come in.
10.) Must have a sense of humor.
I'm funny. Really. And if you don't laugh when I'm funny, it makes the baby Jebus cry. Of course, if you laugh when I'm not trying to be funny, you make me cry.
11.) Must have a sense of personal integrity.
This is something that I usually find better developed as women get older. Men, too, but I generally don't date men. Which reminds me:
12.) Must not have a penis.
At least not one that's attached. Or one of her old boyfriend's that she keeps in a jar.
13.) Must enjoy movies
Since a lot of what I do revolves around movies, it behooves my 'tother to enjoy movies in general. A specific love of low-budget horror movies is a big bonus with the aforementioned prizes attached.
14.) Must have an open sexuality.
There's probably a better way of describing this, maybe in terms of being in touch with. Someone who enjoys sexplay, with the emphasis on play. Physical intimacy is an important part of my life, but it's something that's really too silly to be completely serious. When you're dressed up as Little Bo Peep Show and I'm wearing a sheep costume with assless chaps and a ball gag, you'd best not be taking it too seriously.
15.) Admiration and respect.
I know that these are the kind of things that are earned, but it's really important to have mutual respect and admiration. It doesn't have to be the on-a-pedestal pandering (and it's probably best if it isn't), but it's nice to know that you actually like me.
There's more, certainly. And probably some things that I should put on the list that I haven't thought of. But these are the ones that have kind of been floating in my mind lately.
What I don't know is what I'm willing to compromise. These are pretty much the ones that I don't want to compromise on, while most of the other stuff is a bit more flexible. Some more flexible than others.
So what kind of stuff is on your list?