I have a spreadsheet in my purse that I’ve had since 2008. It’s my Dealmakers/Dealbreakers List. Its alphabetized words are faded, scratched out, reassigned, modified and 60 points long, which is reduced from the 100 long that it used to be. The 100-long list is detailed in my memoir. (Preview/buy here.) I’ll include the updated top 20 herein as I suspect that should scare most eligible men away.
Assuming there’s attraction, which for this woman, is based on the visual physical and chemistry/pheromones/hormones/parfum-de-soul, these are the requisite add-ons:
Honourable: This covers a lot. You do the right thing because you want to—not because anyone will find out and not in any way with which you need to (self-) justify. You are considered by others as a man of integrity.
Honest: Not the brutal kind, but the confident “I’ve got my own opinion” kind.
Kind: Your words, thoughts and actions reflect this. Okay, at least your words and actions. Despite #2, you wouldn’t even notice if I gained five pounds, and you’d be hesitant to mention if I gained 10. After that, I give you full permission to tread carefully through the landmine fields of “Honey, your fanny got fatty.” In fact, it would be unkind not to. (I did mention carefully, though.)
Confident: This doesn’t mean arrogant. Example: Confident, “I can help you with that.” Arrogant, “I’ll do it because I won an award for doing it/was the best at it/do you want to see the photos? Here go to Facebook, etc. *wink*” Also, you don’t shave your chest (or elsewhere on your body) even if there’s a snippet of hair, though minor manscaping of the nether regions is fine, as long as not obvious.
Genuine: You know who you are and you like who you are. You aim to be who you are. In fact, you don’t even aim; you simply are who you are.
Humble: Opposite of arrogant. You do not need attention or validation. From anyone.
Affectionate: Yes, this includes cuddling, hand holding and casual non-sexual grazing, though sexual grazing is also permitted—and encouraged.
Stimulating: Again, mind out of gutter, this is about intellectualism and interests, which means you have independent thought and activities that don’t include me.
Compatible sense of humour: I make you laugh, you make me laugh, you laugh at yourself, you laugh at me, we laugh at the world (but without malice, pas de tout.)
Genuinely happy, or rather joyful, even if quietly so: If you’re an angry driver, keep driving, I’m in the wrong lane for you. If other people make you mad, I’ve got news for you, you’re not a happy camper. If that made you mad, see?!
Supportive: Like a good brassiere, but you’ll help hold up the rest of me when my lip quivers from fear of failure/moving forward/career change/rejection—and, yes, even PMS.
Strong. In character and in physique. Don’t be a pussy, which is all powerful for a woman but so not for a man. Though, I will toss you like a kettle bell if you’re too vain. Yes, this is hypocritical, though my editor just informed me that there’s a definite (perhaps fine) line between “strong in character” and “vain” (which indicates weak in character in some minds). (Sorry, guys, she’s off the market—but available for editing!)
Monogamous: God, how’d this get all the way down here on the list?? Oh, right refer to #1. Though, an honourable man can also be non-monogamous if he’s honest about it, and it’s agreed to in the relationship. This is not for me, though. I’m also not into porn or ‘monogamous sharing.’ Refer to kettle bell buh-bye!
Health-conscious: Not obsessed. You want to live a long, active life, and you eat ‘junk’ food once in a while. You’re not the inconvenient vegan when it comes to where we dine. You do not smoke cigarettes or pot, do drugs or drink too much or slouch. (Hey, it’s my list.)
Environmentally—and animal ethically—inclined. Notwithstanding #14, you are aware of what we are doing to our planet, and you are (or will for me) doing your part. I appreciate it and will rub your smelly feet.
Good Hi! Jean: You do not have smelly feet.
Respectful: This sort of goes with #1 (honourable) again, and #3 (kind), but in case there’s any discrepancy, here it is. This includes accepting me for who I am. (Nuts.)
Responsible: You’re not anally retentive, but you’re not in debt up to your not-too-well-defined abs. You can support yourself.
Generous: Not withstanding #18, you’re also not a Stingy-Pants Man. (Note: I’m low maintenance and prefer gifts like bacon or chocolate – but only the really good shit.)
Chivalrous: Yes! It did make the top 20. Open my door, walk on the outside of the sidewalk, protect me from thugs, and always insist on picking up the tab the first two times. The third time, make an attempt, but let me pay—even if all I can afford is dessert. Or let me cook for you (if you dare).
Bonus quality: Marriage-minded! (Though no look-at-me bling TYVM.)
Double bonus but not necessary: Edit!: God believing but so not bible thumping. (Though, really, I’d take any kind of love-based spiritualism!)
Top of Mind Pet Peeves: rap, hip/hop style esp. skater shoes, any spandex on men.
Well, that ought to weed out a few. Thank you for taking the time to read this list.
Gentlemen: Keep in mind, it’s my list and every woman will have her own list. My suggestion for single (and seeking) men is to be the very best version of you, all the time, whether you’re seeking your Sheila or staying Hans Solo, and if you are looking for your ideal soulmate, if there is such a thing, which I hazard to believe there is, then hold out and don’t settle. Be honest with yourself and others about who you are and what you’re looking for, and instead of getting all pissy when she hands you a list such as the one above, appreciate it and take it as a time saver—you’re not getting any younger, Sir. If you love yourself that much, she will respect and love you that much, too, if she’s ‘the one.’ (Plus you’ll probably get laid more.)
Ladies: Make a list, check it twice. (Don’t put up with a Loser Larry; do put out with someone you genuinely respect and who respects you back.)
What have I (re)learned? I know exactly what I want, and I’m okay with waiting it out for him or staying solo—better single than sorry, I say.
Homework: Print this list. Replace tattered, outdated one in purse.