I want to continue the theme of “Five Men” that I started here, in hopes of broadening your minds about your potential dating pool.
Full Disclosure: I’ve been one of the pickiest daters you could ever know. Most of my requirements were related to things over which men had no control. I was so dead set on men having these qualities, that I would rather have been single than “settle” for men without them. Then, I married a man who had almost every quality I wanted in a man… I mean everything except for ONE! And we ended up getting divorced. The lesson I learned: Just because a partner meets the requirements you have set, there is no guarantee that you will have a happy ending.
So… in light of that, after taking a while to cool off, I decided that I would be more open and flexible about my requirements. Again, for full disclosure, my requirements were:
- 6’2 + in height
- At least a bachelor’s degree
- Skin darker than mine
- Bald-headed or locs only
- At least 2 years older than me
- Income at least on par with mine, preferred more
- No more than one child
- Complete filthy nasty freak in bed, open to “swinging”, accepting of my bisexuality
- A writer, musician, or visual artist of some sort
- Must love hip-hop music at least as much as I do
- Must be Black (country of origin didnt matter)
- Fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
As you can see, my list was STRINGENT. There was a reason though– I kept finding men who fit most of the bill. Crazy huh? The problem kept being that despite the men matching all if not most of these things (80% +), they just weren’t working out for me. It is one thing to have preferences. It’s another to be a complete hard-ass about things, leaving no room for compromise.
I’ve grown and I want to share some lessons I’ve learned with you. *NOTE* These are generalizations and not true for every attribute, for every man. Relax.
1. The Younger Man
I’ve read in a number of places that the average age difference in married couples over the last century has been 3.5 years. I’ve also read that the maturity of level of men and women vary so that a woman marrying a man 2-3 years older than her is really marrying a man her “age”. Makes sense to me. Women generally marry older men for various reasons including: wanting to feel protected, guided, subscribing to social norms, wanting a man with certain career/income achievements, wanting a more “experienced” man, etc. However, we’ve definitely seen a shift in that over the last decade or so. We now see more older women publicly dating/marrying younger men. They are jokingly called “Cougars”, which I have a deeper issue with because it makes it seem like we”re prowling for prey, but whatever. Let’s roll with it. I’m declaring this the “Season of the Cub” because everywhere I turn, younger men are doing their best to get with older women. I can’t blame them either 😉
The pros: energetic, lowered risk of previous heart break, increased sexual energy/appetite, eager to impress an older woman, can be a blank canvas
The cons: might not have a job or livable income, might be sexually under-experienced, might not live alone, immaturity can peak out, might not want a committed relationship
2. The Overweight Man
Sometimes, we disregard the big men. It’s a damn shame because many of us bigger women get disregarded too. Image is everything it seems. We make assumptions about bigger men/women’s personalities, intellectual capacity, self-esteem, hygiene, etc all because they weigh more than everyone else. Bananas. Good things come in all kinds of packages and while you’re waiting for some Boris Kfufhfkjoe looking dude to notice you (and he never will), you are missing out on that soft teddy bear loving from a man with extraordinary swag. Most of the men I’ve dated have been bigger men and let me tell you… there is little finer than a big ole man decked out in the meanest style, smelling like heaven, walking into a room drawing in all of the attention, flashing a pretty ass smile… mmmmmmm!!!
The pros: Huggable, often sweet natured, won’t make you feel bad for finishing your plate of wings, commanding/irresistible presence
The cons: Some tend to have small(er) penises, “Fat Boy” insecurity that leads to asshole behavior, decreased energy, increased health risks
3. The Involved Father of Multiple Children
This is a tricky one. I read a lot of women, especially childless women, talk about how they can’t date men with kids. I was one of those women… when I was like 21. Then I got older and realized that the older I get, the older men get. The older men get, the more likely they are to have at least ONE child. More than likely, if a man was in a long-term relationship or marriage, he will have more than one. Being a parent doesn’t negate a person’s value as a potential partner. If anything, it gives you a better sense of who the person is by the way the person interacts with him/her children. Now that I am a mother, I *prefer* dating men with children. Why? I don’t want to feel pressure to have more kids. I’m not against it. In fact, I’m open to it. It’s helpful if you have your own.
The pros: More likely to be settled down/grounded, more family-minded, understands obligation and commitment, more mature, fertile
The cons: Might have several baby mamas, financial obligations might have him strapped, might be limited in his “free” time
4. The Garbage Man (Or Any Similar Profession)
In NYC, sanitation workers earn $67K after 5 1/2 years. Read that again. Why? Because the first assumption we make about men in these jobs is that they don’t bring home a good enough income. Men working for Con Edison (our electric company) make from $56-110K a year. Firefighters make $50-88K a year. Construction workers average $59K a year. You see where I’m going with this?
You want the corporate dude, the IT dude, the banker, the brother wearing the sharp suit to work every day, but guess what? He might not even be making this kind of money and might be working longer hours. There is nothing wrong with the men who work in the field, getting their hands dirty if they are coming home with steady, honest income. And benefits.
The pros: nice income, steady work, physically strong/fit, can fix shit around the house, probably lays AMAZING pipe
The cons: comes home stinking to high heaven,* might* be under-educated (according to your personal standard)
5. The Shorter Man
Oooooh this is a big one. It’s hard for me, at 6’0, to even type this one. I have struggled with this for SO long… so very long. I am still struggling with it.
Wooosah. Ok. I’m ok. Just needed a moment.
I think the biggest struggle men today have is related to dick size. The second one is related to height. For whatever reasons, biological or social, height = manhood. Tall women are often referred to in masculine ways even. Men are supposed to be taller than women, to appear dominant over them. Men are supposed to be bigger than women to better protect them. We ALL pretty much buy into that. We’re doing ourselves a disservice though. I’m not saying at 6’0 I’m about to get me a 5’6 man. No. I’m saying that I’m willing to consider men shorter than me who don’t make me feel shitty for being taller. Listen… I’m a work in progress, ok? You don’t know my life!!!
But seriously. Reconsider them. By taking even 2 inches off of you height requirements, you’re opening your dating pool by a great deal. Remember only 15% of men are over 6’0 anyway.
The pros: more men available (average height of men is 5’9), their faces are closer to your vagina
The cons: Napoleonic complexes, people staring, your children coming out as midgets
So there you have it… a few more men to consider when dating. Branch out a little bit. You never know who or what you might find in different packaging.
Who else would you add to this list?