My dream man.

by mssinglemama on March 15, 2009

Does he even exist?

Well if I want him to… the first step is believing he does.

This week I was interviewed for an article for a local magazine – apparently I’m one of the Top 10 Singles in my city. She asked me a series of questions you might fill out for an online dating profile like, “Where is your ideal first date?”

Easy.

“My living room,” I said laughing,  “I hate paying for a sitter.”

“Okay and what’s the hardest thing about being a dating single parent.”

Easy again.

“Not having the time to date.”

Then she stumped me.

“What are you looking for in an ideal mate?”

I didn’t know what to say. I spend so much time telling myself why I don’t need a man – honestly, those thoughts helped me survive that first year of single motherhood and still do – that I couldn’t come up with one reason to want one. And that did not feel right.

Surely I must have one reason, I thought, or is my heart really that iced over?

Being on the spot I let my heart take over for my head (a rarity) and this is what came out, “I want to be with someone I respect – a lot. And he has to be awake… to life.”

The words were simple but in my mind I had a vision of this stellar guy who would just blow my socks off (and Benjamin’s) and just thinking about him gave me butterlies. He wouldn’t be a bad boy but he’d have other things in his life – aside from us. He’d have passions like I do. And he’d make me laugh – a lot.

This is progress. My mind is opening up a bit… to the possibility. I just have to work on that list of what I want in a man.

What are you looking for in an ideal mate? Leave a comment as a little exercise.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Angel March 15, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Honest, respectful, child-loving, honest, caring, trust-worthy, honest, in love with both me and my daughter, financially and emotionally stable (not in any order, except HONESTY is number 1).

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Lex March 15, 2009 at 7:12 pm

A man with integrity who will love me for who I am. And will love my girls as well.

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Stephanie March 16, 2009 at 10:37 am

My thoughts exactly.

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syd March 15, 2009 at 11:59 pm

When this topic comes up in single parent blogs, sometimes it seems like we make lists that are made up of all the characteristics that are polar opposites of our ex'es. (I want someone who won't be such a jerk like *he* was…). And maybe that's how my own wish list has worked, and why I've failed so miserably at dating thus far. I wonder if I'll be REALLY ready for the right person when I can make a list of my most important characteristics based on a man that actually would be a great fit for my girls and me – not necessarily related to what my ex'es were or weren't able to provide. Just thinking out loud, I guess – it's a topic I've been pondering a lot lately myself. 🙂

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movin down the road March 16, 2009 at 12:06 am

for me, it was "respect, kindness, fun, and ease". (for the ideal date, that is, the list is longer for "mate")

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NewSingleMama March 16, 2009 at 12:10 am

I think you've hit the nail right on the head MSM. I want someone who found his place in the world, someone who knows what he wants, someone who is very happy with his life and just wants someone to share it with. Someone that I can respect, like you said, and more importantly, someone who doesn't need fixing.

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Dawn March 16, 2009 at 1:04 am

Mutual respect is everything. I secretly believe that women will be the majority of those seeking prenuptual agreements regarding children and finances in the marriage department.

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TsQuest March 16, 2009 at 2:10 am

Girl I wrote an entire blog post about it: http://tsquest.blogspot.com/2008/11/monogamous-bu

Good stuff, Alaina. So happy to hear your thoughts about this. He IS out there. Looking for YOU.

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Sheila March 16, 2009 at 3:48 am

What I need in a man is someone who is equally present and committed to our relationship, through the good times and the bad, who is aware of what needs to be worked on and is willing to actually do that work. Kindness, love, good sex … all those things matter, too, but when I find the man who really wants to be in a relationship with me, my coal black heart might actually start turning pink.

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Andrea Glenn March 16, 2009 at 4:31 am

I always say I am looking for "pee-in-pants" laughter! LOL I mean if you can't laugh at yourself, then whats the point right? I am looking for the man who has his ideals and morals in tact and active…who's got goals for himself and knows how to acheive them. (I think I actually have just those words in my "looking for section of my yahoo personals profile…haha!) A guys who knows himself and isn't looking for me to complete him….but wants a woman who will "compliment" (meaning mesh well) his life. 🙂

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Andrea Glenn March 16, 2009 at 4:33 am

PS….I am normally one of your "lurkers". But just wanted to tell you I visit your blog at least a few times a week…..great writing! I stumbled upon your blog about 6 months ago as I was wondering how to tell my 5 yr old that mommy and her boyfriend had broken up.

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janey March 16, 2009 at 4:37 am

I have a great guy and have been married 17 years, 3 kids later…

If I were to go back and have never met him though I would search for someone with a super positive attitude, common goals, a sense of adventure!

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Bear March 16, 2009 at 7:25 am

I like your answer. It's simple and it has your biggest priorities, and those seem like great ones to have. And it's nicely open-ended, which I think is kind of important.

Why does it have to be a work in progress? You said you let your heart speak, and it spoke. Lengthening the list might just produce a superhuman paragon of virtue that no person could ever become. Many of us are surprised — happily, wonderfully surprised — that those we end up loving are so different from the person we'd imagined being with… and I think it's important to remain open to that possibility.

If you think about it, being limited to only what you can already imagine would be deeply sad.

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PhenomenalMama March 16, 2009 at 11:24 am

Hm. Good question. One that I've been thinking about a lot.

My ideal mate has to make me laugh. Hard and often. He needs to be emotionally "awake" – know who he is and what he's feeling. He needs to possess a certain inner strength that's hard to define – a strength that can fill in the gaps when mine's decided to take a bit of a holiday. He needs to be great with kids – mine most of all. He needs to be creative and funloving and passionate about the things in his life.

Oh – and being great in bed certainly wouldn't hurt, either. 😉

Hm. I think I might be looking at singlehood for a while to come. Good thing I'm totally okay with that at this point….. 🙂

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NewSingleMama March 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

A man with integrity says it all for me. Well, a lot of it. And I think a man who has found his place and is open to life says the other part. If he has those two things going for him and he is someone I can have mutual respect for, then I feel everything will fall into its place.

Also, I would add that I want a guy who is open to love and will allow me to love him. No more of these "I'm scared of falling" games.

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Laura March 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

One that has true interest in me.
One that encourages and supports my passions.
One that believes in me.
One that can and wants to be a friends to my children and leaves the parenting to me.
One that gives me the "warm and fuzzy's" and I feel damn lucky to have in my life.
One that loves to laugh and can laugh at themselves.

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mssinglemama March 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm

So true.

Sent from my iPhone

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Nakia March 16, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Someone who loves and respects me completely would be my ideal mate. He would also *truly* love my son and think of him as his own.

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mssinglemama March 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm

There's a good one. Goes without saying – Must Love MY Kid. ; )

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PhenomenalMama March 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Absolutely. I never realized what an important thing it was – that he's gotta love my kids as much as he loves me. SUCH an important thing.

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abrookshire March 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Oh, my list can go on and on! Above all he has to be a kind man, a truly kind man because kindness flows into everything, the way he treats me and my son, the way he treats others, the way he handles situations…

I want a man that I can commit myself to 100% and that I can spend my life with, that will make a good husband for me, a wonderful, caring, and loving father for my son.

Because of past relationship failures, I need a man that's willing to go at a snail's pace until I can feel comfortable and until I can trust him like I've not been able to trust for years. I'm not broken, but I have been hurt and I have been bruised and I need a guy who can let me work past my fears and my worries….a guy that will find me to be worth the wait.

I absolutely do not do drama, so I need him to behave less like a Drama King and more like a honest to goodness man.

I need a man that I can respect and that's admirable, because I want to be able to be his biggest fan, I think that every man deserves to have a woman that absolutely adores him, and I think that every woman deserves a man that she's crazy about, but that also thinks that she's the most precious and amazing thing in his world.

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Cyndi March 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm

First of all, we don't "need" a man. While sometimes we do use it as a defense mechanism, it's actually true. If we feel we "need" a man, we need to reevaluate our motivations for searching for one, because most likely, we aren't in a healthy enough space to actually accept the right one when he appears. Being happy on your own and not messing with that doesn't mean your heart has iced over at all. That said, the right man would complement my life, not complete it. He'll be able to slide right in to things, as is, without complaining about my on going "relationship" with X, the amount of time I spend with my horse, or my independence. He'll appreciate a strong woman. He'll accept me, my life, the N-Man, and my values and work around that with a positive attitude, respect, and integrety.

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Katherine SOLOdotMOM March 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Excellent as always Alaina. You make us think and I love that about your blog. My ideal mate: I have had a list for some time of what I wanted in my future S.O. The main thing is that we would be on the same page in most things in life, our faith, our children's well being, our passion for life, our morals. What I am finding as I now approach my latest new relationship is that finding someone on the same page… but not necessarily exactly like me on all those pages… is doable; and even more interesting than I could have imagined. Giving this new guy a chance to blow my socks off, has been amazing for me and I know it will happen for you as well…. and very soon… as you open up to it.

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meg March 16, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I'm a newly single mama so I think I'm still on the "I don't need a man" kick. I can't even think of one thing because of my anger towards my ex.

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christine March 17, 2009 at 12:03 am

you are so not alone there.

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rhonda March 17, 2009 at 5:02 am

Someone who continually surprises me with how great they are. I mean, really…just makes me look up and go, wow. The wowing would also include him embracing my already made family. And the wowing be real, of course, not some phony disguise, but his real genuine heart, just making me say wow.

I do believe that "wow" men really do exist.

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lisette March 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I am a lurker usually too. great response about being "awake to life". On another note, please be careful about living room dates with someone you don't know that well–I know it isave money and is just a lot easier when you are a single mom but there is a huge risk involved unless you have known someone for quite awhile. I'd also advise that if you are having someone to your home for the first time, make a plan with a friend before hand that they will call you later in the evening (say around the time you expect the guy to be gone or leaving) and check in, even set up a code "question" they can ask you to make sure all is ok. Believe me I understand the complicated issues involved in dating when you are a single parent but safety is first–most especially since your precious little one is also home with you. As you might be able to tell–I am inn the law enforcement field ao I can't help but think this way based on the things I have witnessed on my job. Totally love your blog though!

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online dating March 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Great question there..i would need a man i can respect. We must share the same beliefs and priorities in life. Someone i can care for.

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Tishia_Lee March 17, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Honesty is huge right along with communication. I have to have a man that doesn't pull away when something is going on his life (or mine) but will instead be able to communicate with me about how he's feeling. Of course I need a man that will love my son like he was his own. Someone that supports me in my desires and dreams. Someone that I respect and he respects me back. My list goes on and on.

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michelle March 18, 2009 at 5:18 am

I'm at a loss here because I found my ideal mate- he had every quality I ever wanted on paper, right down to slow danced w/ my mom at a bar/concert. But it still didn't work out. To have your picture of a perfect mate rocked like that is big. It's been over a year and I'm still wondering what I actually want. I could take everything that he was and add in what he wasn't but it's still not perfect. I hope to discover what ideal is for me as I go along because from experience, I know, what you dream of isn't always perfect.

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Carissa March 19, 2009 at 2:01 am

What's amazing to me is you desire exactly what a man desires for his partner to see in him. I have spoken to many men and they all care more about respect and admiration than love and affection. It just speaks to the core of who they are the way the latter speaks to women.

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gat14 May 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm

a man who treats me right, and never dating a dog.
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