Do we women really know what we want from the men we’re dating?
If you’ve ever made a list or played out both sides of an argument in your head, you will know that knowing what you don’t want helps you arrive at what you do.
Somebody who’s single is often asked, “what are you looking for in a partner?”. And if you’re dating, the dreaded question does come up, “then what do you want?”
The truth is that we know what we want and what we don’t want as well.
But it takes a lot of self-realisation, validation and courage to put it out there.
For instance, the laundry list for a woman seeking a serious relationship could include:
1. He must be well-educated or at least hold a degree equivalent to mine
2. He must be working and earning enough to feel satisfied
3. I should find him attractive
4. He should have an exposure to the world
5. He should have a pleasant personality
6. We should be able to hold conversations of all kinds
7. He should respect my choice to have a career
8. I should be able to introduce him to my family and friends
And so on and so forth.
The list will be altered to every individual and modifications will be made depending on the seriousness of this relationship.
That’s when you question yourself, “have I found someone who checks off all the boxes?”
If a string of possibilities of relationships don’t work out, you have the opposite approach. This is the list of what we definitely don’t want.
1. He cannot disrespect my individuality
2. He shouldn’t be putting his career before me
3. How much more time will he spend on studying? How will he make up for not earning in that time?
4. We have a problem if his family doesn’t like me
5. We run out of conversation so easily. Is that a deal breaker?
6. I’ve seen way more of the world than he has. We’re not on the same page.
And when we’re ready to meet someone again, we put them through our mental scanner to perform a safety check.
Do you ever look back and wonder if things would have turned out differently, had you not gone in with a predetermined test? Would you have been more receptive to the kind of person he really is had you not expected him to be one way or another? Would you have not burdened yourself with expectation had you unloaded your emotional baggage before entering?
So many ifs and buts. I think the truth is that we’re all looking for someone to see us like we’ve never been seen before. But we’re very scared. To be vulnerable. To reveal ourselves. To be ourselves. Of getting hurt. And so we’re guarded every time we meet someone new, let them in our lives, constantly putting them through a test and bailing the instant they fail.
It doesn’t have to be like that though.
I think what we really want is to love and be loved in return.
And what we really don’t want is to feel or cause negative emotions.
So, let’s raise a toast to knowing the black from white and enjoying all the greys in between. What say?
*This is a post by Floh member Dhruvi Shah.