Todays blog is a combination of anonymous contributions from some of my single friends. When I decided to write about my single life and what I’m looking for in a man and a relationship I thought it would be interesting to do some wider research and see how many of my preferences were the same as those of my friends.
For me, what I look for in a man and a relationship at 30 is very different from what I wanted in my teens and that is what the majority of my friends have said as well. When I was younger I definitely focused more on materialistic things and appearance – as one friend said; “Gone are the days when I was searching for a rugby star. The one who would pick me up in his flaw 4×4, pay for dinner at the expensive restaurant and then propose to me as we’re on our way to New York City where he’s bought be a penthouse apartment – obviously!” She says here how she cringes at how shallow she used to be but if we are all honest, in our teenage years I bet we all had thoughts about our favourite celeb crush whisking us away and treating us like a princess. Movies and magazines romanticise relationships and as you grow older you begin to have the realisation that real life is far from that and that’s okay but you have to adjust your expectations!
We’ve all noted how most of us have our parents to look up to, wanting a relationship like theirs BUT we have grown up in a totally different generation. “I don’t think my Dad was snap chatting other girls whilst seeing my mum! He was cultivating a life, working and providing for his family.” Trust was on every single one of our lists, social media and dating apps make the ‘numbers game’ very easy to play these days and many of us have been affected by this. We all want someone who we could meet and build a life with who we trust totally. Lots of things are easily disposable these days, helped by social media and dating apps “It makes it easy to connect and just easy to disconnect. You need to play the odds to even get a date and that’s before you negotiate the tactics of messaging! A fine balance between flirty and witty and not too desperate and aloof – it’s a minefield!” Seriously, trying to wade through single life can be readily hard!
We would like someone who has a good occupation, who can support themselves financially and support us if and when we have a family. Someone we can have interesting conversations with and who can challenge us, not letting us win every argument or allow us to make all the decisions. A partner who has knowledge of the world, has good manners and will agree that we should never go to sleep on an argument. Someone decisive but who can be swayed on occasions because he loves us! Someone whogets who we are and loves us for that, who doesn’t want us to contour our cheeks and filter our photos – who will love us with no make up, in our pyjamas having a cosy night in. Independence came up lots too- sharing a life together and having fun with our friends as a group but who enjoys time out doing what he loves and lets us have our girl time and isn’t possessive. That way you will always have things to talk about because you do things separately as well as together.
As we grow older life experiences have a major impact on our outlook on life and as a result change what we feel we need from a man and relationship. Feeling safe and supported is key because life isn’t always easy and to get through the peaks and troughs you need someone stable who will help you. Who will share cooking the dinner, doing the washing and changing the bedding! Someone who will help you look after your family when they need it and who genuinely gets on with your parents and would spend time with them just because. Simple things like a man who will carry your shopping bags and walk on the road side of the pavement to make sure you’re protected feature more highly than anything else, we want to be looked after.
We all listed that we were looking for someone who is totally committed to our partnership – best friend as well as partner. Then comes the fun part – it’s so important to be with someone who makes you laugh and equally finds you funny! Humour gets you through both the good and bad times so you need to have that together.
It seems we are all people who like to travel as most of us would like a partner who wants to travel and explore the world and explore different cultures. We have also apparently reached an age where we want to enjoy a night out dancing and drinking but more so going to the theatre, comedy shows and enjoying low key date nights at home with a take away and TV!
Then comes the romance. The difference I noticed in our lists here is that the romantic expectations are much more discrete than what they may have been years ago. Someone who looks at you in the way you know means he loves you in a crowded room, who takes your hand when you’re walking. Who knows you well enough to know that the smile you are wearing is fake and that you actually need a huge bear hug and some chocolate! You need that sexual compatibility too but someone who kisses your forehead or comes up and gives you a hug when you are cooking the dinner is needed as well. No one listed over the top gestures of romance, posting pictures online to share declarations of love. The romance list was simple, special and meaningful.
Now I will list down the bits that made me laugh out loud because all my friends have been so open and honest in their responses! Women are picky (if you couldn’t already tell) but we all vary in the finite details of what we are looking for:
- non smoker
- has tattoos
- DIY skills would be a bonus
- not too short
- not too large
- not too toned
- well dressed
- nice teeth
- not a billy big balls
- good forearms
- nice to old people
- dark hair
- not too needy
- good banta
- not a sulker
- not lazy
- not messy
However, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, it seems we are all aware of our age. Amongst my friends responses there was an underlying desire to be settled down, married, with a house, children and security. Most of us haven’t found the things that perhaps would make is feel more complete. Not that we need men to make us complete, I’ve got very good at being single and there’s even a part of me that worries about finding someone now because I’ve been single for so long! Having to share space, share my bed, my wardrobe – that will all be a huge shift but one I would happily make because that person will bring so much into my life therefore making it feel more complete. All of my friends are fiercely independent but that doesn’t mean we don’t all want someone to share our lives with.
As one friend commented, “the most important relationship is the one I have with myself.” We have to start here because if we don’t love the person we are, how can we expect someone else to? Dating these days is hard and you do have to get yourself out there and you have to brush yourself off when things don’t work. Try not to question every little things because if he doesn’t text back, if he is liking other girls posts and not yours and he doesn’t return your calls it probably means, quite simply, that he is just not that into you – go and watch that film too, it’s brilliant! Instead of doubting yourself, you have to turn it on its head and think – if this is how he is acting now, would you really want to be in a relationship with him? No!
I know if you’re a single man reading this blog you will be freaking out but when it comes down to it, really what we are saying is we want someone to give back to us what we can and would want offer to them in return. And I’m sure that if men are honest too, a lot of what we have said, they would be looking for too.
So here’s to single life, for now we will just have to keep kissing frogs until we meet our Prince Charming.
See you tomorrow,