My Criteria

July 15, 2011 § 16 Comments

I suppose all us planktons have in our minds the kind of man we are looking for.  We know that’s almost certainly what we won’t get – that’s if we’re lucky enough to “get” anyone at all – but we certainly have a set of criteria, however vague, and we dream on.

I will admit to mine.

But, first, a bit of context so you don’t think I am a total monster.

I have never been a gold-digger.  I wouldn’t have been any good at it even if that had been my bag.  Not that kind of girl with demanding legs and a complexion smothered with entitlement.  The three great loves of my life have all been artists of different sorts, but none of the rich sort.  I have never gone out with a rich man, or sought one particularly.  I am not an expensive woman (This is why it is all the more vexing that no man is interested in me.  I’d have thought I was gold-dust – someone who isn’t remotely interested in fleecing the man in my life – but it seems men are so often turned on by spoilt bitches.  Perhaps I should be a spoilt bitch and I’d be in with a much better chance?  But that’s another story, for a blog another day).

I am genuinely indifferent to jewels and poncey clothes and exotic holidays and fuck-you cars.  Nor am I a space queen: the advantages of a small home seem to me to be joyful and endless.  I hope I am not mean but I am not much of a spender.  I hate shopping and never go in for pampering myself, which I think is hugely over-rated and, frankly, dull.  Having said that, I am not a total hair-shirt.  I love good food, comfortable houses, being able to buy lots of books, and I appreciate the numerous privileges that life has dealt me.

When I was younger, choosing a man was all about love.  Didn’t matter who they were, where they were from, or if I had to pay their bus fare.  It still is about love, of course, but the experience of the years has taught me to make a few tweaks.

I now want someone posh and rich.

Let me qualify that.  By rich, I don’t mean RICH, I just mean someone who is solvent and who doesn’t ask me if he can borrow 50 quid.  Perhaps someone who has a job, even, and a roof over his head, and enough money not to have to worry about fuel bills or taking off to a B&B for the weekend. To give a fiftieth birthday party with me – for me, or perhaps that’s too grabby? – which isn’t bring-a-bottle. Someone who can take me to the movies and not scrabble for loose change.  No, actually, if I am honest, a bit more than that.  Someone for whom the basics of a pleasing but not Rich List existence are not a struggle: warm and aesthetically positive housing, healthy (occasionally organic?) food, the odd bit of (modest) travel and culture, the means merrily to entertain friends, to pay his children’s university fees without going bankrupt and – what else, I don’t know, not going under when faced with a vet’s bill?   That is what I mean by rich.

As for posh, I hasten to say I am not dreaming of a duke.  What I mean by posh is someone who is not going to get at me for being middle-class. Someone who is not going to question my choice of supermarket or holiday or school for my children.  There are many, many things that are hard to live with: arrogance, selfishness, pomposity and so forth, but chippiness is right up there at the top.  Chippiness chips away at you till you despair.  I don’t want to have to feel a strain in my own environment about being who I am, to feel ashamed of my fortunate friends and my many advantages and my bourgeois choices.  That’s the only reason I want a bit of posh.

So posh and rich, and no less important: kind and grown-up.

Kind is obvious, and absolutely the opposite of what I sought when I was young, to my cost.  Then, good-looking and cool was more important.  Now, cool is what I actively do not want.  I did cool men in my twenties and cool was invariably synonymous with cruel.

Grown-up, meaning I don’t want another child in the house.  I love the ones I have got and am past the age when I am seeking to have more, least of all a middle-aged one with issues.

And if all these lottery numbers – posh, rich, kind and grown-up – were to come up, then I might as well flag up my bonus numbers which would surely be the small ad classics: SOH and healthy and nice-looking; NO FACIAL HAIR.  And preferably not too in love with someone else, be she alive or dead.

But now I am hurtling into the realms of fantasy here.  It’s not much to ask, a man such as this, but it must be too much to ask because he does not seem to exist.  I shall probably have to be bowled over by, if anyone, a man who is decidedly un-posh, completely broke, kind only when it suits him, juvenile in many, many ways and who, for all the world, has more than a passing resemblance to a wart-hog.

But as long as he makes me laugh… may be that could be OK?

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§ 16 Responses to My Criteria

  • I am absolutely loving this blog. Although also (as a single mother ten years behind you) finding it utterly terrifying. Your criteria are scarily close to mine, and I wrote a whole post on men who can make me laugh (they can make me do anything). I hope a decent bloke comes along and damn well behaves well enough to deserve you. Or at least is vaguely amusing.

  • asjbendall. says:

    Just finished the chickens only two eggs, however fresh peas, dwarf beans,new potatoes and courgettes off the allotment. Collected the newspaper and enjoyed a spectacular bike ride the weather is great.My treat of the day to read your Plankton has now been completed. I trust you are also enjoying putting your thoughts down.

  • Notawhale says:

    Pretty much did this and more but now I find I am divorcing my wife of 17 years because she wants to run off with someone who offers more emotional connection. So not sure you can compromise on the emotions (or a brain) and make it last for the fairy tale length of time that I would want.

  • Emac0 says:

    Like the criteria, but would settle for facial hair too. Basically someone who isn’t looking to fleece me, being someone who has worked for the NHS all her life and therefore is due one of those pensions so coveted by all and sundry now, and has a mortgage and house of her own.

  • Susan says:

    I think your list is admirable. We all have a list even if its just in our minds.
    My friend is from a family where she has arranged marriages. She decided to look for her husband herself and had a binder with 168 questions/criteria that he had to answer and then in her mind fulfil. She said any man who was put off by them wasn’t the man for her!
    When I next look for a partner, I shall be taking a leaf out of both of your books and shall be compiling my own list 🙂

  • Once you set criteria you are lost . I’m fat ,65, invalidid , ex has collared half my Meagre Civil Service Pension …but I fell in love with ,and married a wonderfull Widow . I wasn’t looking ,niether was she ,it just happened …over the net chatting ,then a meeting … Relax , stop searching ,concentrate on YOU not your projected needs or the sense of “It’s not FAIR!” that screams from the page . I can only say just meet people as People ,not future partners , and relax with them . If it happens it will . A desperate searcher of sex and marriage is an almighty turn off , trust me . If happiness can find me , I’m sure it can find you . One tip , ease off the foul language …rage against the weather , not the opposite sex ?

  • Fitzroyalty says:

    As well as having an idea about what kind of man you would like to have a relationship with, do you have an idea about what kind of relationship you want?

    Many of us have been married and divorced and spent time being single and seeing life from different perspectives, and this can reveal that there are many different relationship forms.

    For example, living together should not be taken for granted or assumed to be the only goal of a relationship. Being older, wiser and more independent, it is often better to maintain separate households and finances, and to pursue relationships for the intangible benefits rather than the material ones.

    Love, sex and companionship don’t require cohabitation and in many cases are undermined by it. The traditional marriage model is flawed and makes many people unhappy. I simply don’t understand why it remains so popular.

    How do you see a new romantic and sexual relationship fitting into and complementing your life?

    Just as you have described what you are looking for in a man (in other words what you hope he can give to you), what aspects of yourself do you want to give a potential partner?

    • Sarah Hague says:

      I agree, living with someone is vastly over-rated. My man and I have tacitly agreed to live separately until at least my kids have left home. He doesn’t want to be a dad to them and they don’t need a second one.

      I also appreciate my independence to the point that I’m not sure I’ll ever want to live with another person again, by choice. Next door or nearby seems a pretty good bet. Handy but not on hand. 🙂

  • leftatforty says:

    The ‘cool man’ bit stroke a cord. I married someone ‘cool’. I was twenty-one and being cool carried a lot of weight. He was so cool that having two children and living in a mid-terrace with a forty year old woman was ‘too conventional’… so he run away with another twenty-one year old. I still think he is cool, I just don’t give a shit about cool anymore.

  • Tim says:

    You can’t fight nature.

    In the cold light of day your rational side may say it wants to find a solvent, educated, kind, sensible man.

    In the moment your emotional side will continue to be attracted to your “type” – the more exciting, edgy/cool, womanising/unreliable man.

    If your rational side finds candidates in the former category, your emotional side will ensure they ultimately end up in the SFAR bin.

    • Buster says:

      Yes Tim,
      the phsychology of dating is little understood by most. The logical part of the brain only accounts for 10% of our decision making. The emotional part (what I call the ‘monkey brains’) accounts for 90% of it.
      So, a total bitch with the right hip to waist ratio scores, and the total bastard with a high social status likewise. Women find the nice guys boring, or whatever other description they find to describe what hasn’t tickled their basic instinct, whilst men find that woman without the looks are just not appealing.

      • Tim says:

        Like your take on this – the total bastard & the total bitch! I can recall more than a few matching those descriptions.

  • stormwind says:

    I’d love to find a man who makes me feel good about myself – and who I make feel good about himself. That’s enough for a start! 🙂

  • jax says:

    Single, straight and solvent are mine, wouldnt have thought it would be too hard. Sigh

  • sevda says:

    A sense of humor I get and vice versa
    Good enough for me in bed
    Independent but not to the degree that he thinks that means calling when it suits him

  • kidrock says:

    “I hate shopping and never go in for pampering myself, which I think is hugely over-rated and, frankly, dull.”

    I therefore concur you must be a man.

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