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The List Keeping Track of Potential Partners

The concept of The List isn't unusual. It seems to be a rather subconscious thing and the list members can change frequently. I know lots of people who do it. As soon as they meet someone new, they have to know: Is he/she married? Involved? Kids? How many? Car? House? It also tends to be something single people do, although, anyone can find themselves single again - by choice, through separation, divorce or even death.

If you are single and not looking, then you probably won’t have a large inventory of potential mates. After a relationship that doesn’t work out, you may be content to just chill out, heal if required, pick up fly-fishing or crocheting or something. Hooking up with someone new may be the furthest thing from your mind. But if you ARE looking, every one you meet could become a Potential, who may or may not make The List.

So here’s the deal. If you date or have had boyfriends/girlfriends over the past, say, ten years, and still are not involved, you could potentially have a List. The List consists of decent brothers (or sisters) you’ve met that you’ve had some kind of friendship with. You may optionally go back and explore the relationship — seeing if there’s enough passion or friendship to sustain a long-term relationship. You may also desire to have children and as the years tick by, you start doing the math. If I have a child at age __, I’ll be in Depends when she/he graduates high school!

So as time passes, you keep tabs on your List members. So and so got married? X him out. And I think I can safely assume that sometimes YOUR List member will have YOU as a member on their list. I’d say that can be a good thing.

•••

This entry comes as a result of a recent birthday for me (34) and a conversation with a family member who is single like me. While I don’t feel any older and still believe that if it is meant to be, I will get involved, have children, etc. I think I have resigned myself to the fact that it may not happen. I watched a movie the other day where a successful 40-something woman placed a personal ad to find a sperm donor so she could have a child. I ain’t that woman, but I wouldn’t look down on someone for doing it.

One Man’s Perspective

In a conversation with a male friend, he explained that women in their late thirties/early forties are husband shopping. I don’t divulge people’s personal information here — only talk about my own experiences — but I have to quote him. I don’t think he’ll mind. He said that dating a woman, whose [unspoken] intentions you are well aware of, can lead to potential drama. As he so eloquently put it, “They’re like boogers. Just.. won’t.. go away.” I still laugh at that, but I understand completely. Clinging to someone or something that you know isn’t right for you. If a woman is looking for a relationship, or a husband, and the man has no intention of being “that guy”, he should keep on stepping. Leave her to find someone who is looking for the same thing she is. Unfortunately, I think we fool ourselves sometimes saying things like, “Oh, it’s just a casual thing. We’re just hanging out…” etc. Bullsh_t. If you know what you want, you won’t settle for someone offering what you don’t.

My List

But getting back to The List. Of the ex-boyfriends I’ve had, I would say none are on the list. While I am grateful for the beautiful men I’ve been fortunate enough to know, whatever experiences we had were enough for me to see that they were not who I could see myself with for…. however long we could be together. I say that because though I am an optimist, there are no guarantees you’ll be with someone forever and ever, Amen.

My own List has changed several times over the years. I get involved, un-involved… the Potentials fall in love, get married, have children, get divorced… those events dictate if a member stays on The List. Other factors affect it as well — moving, personal tragedy or success and maturity can change the overall credentials required of Potentials. If things I felt were important before become obsolete, a Potential could be eliminated. Or maybe he just gets a big question mark.

So what are my List Member requirements?

  • Single (NO entanglements)
  • Stability (Emotional/Financial)
  • Healthy Libido (Fire & Desire)
  • Takes Care of His Children/No Children

I generally don’t concern myself with whether a man has children, just how he interacts with them or unless the number of children is like 5+. I look at ages, typically preferring older men, but I have to revisit my thoughts around dating younger. My mother made a startling point. She said that my sister and I should consider younger men because women tend to outlive men. Hmmm. Mommy very wise woman.

All that said, I know many of my writings of the past have been lamentations of being single and what’s wrong with these Negroes and why can’t I find that one cool brother, but at present, my list is REAL short and I honestly don’t mind. I’d like to do away with it all together – except for that subconscious thing I mentioned. Can’t help but size up a brother who fits the bill.

I wonder if I’m on anyone’s list.

Originally Written: May 3, 2005

OneHipSista

Hi. I'm Valerie. Glad you're here – come on in and sit a spell. I've never put so much of my writing online but I share my personal experiences in hopes that I help someone in some way. I hope you find something you read thought-provoking, amusing or encouraging. Reach out or comment if you like. Please forgive the typos, grammar and cussing. Thanks for stopping by.

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