When I met my “Unexpected Bonus” last week—let’s call him Nixon—I was just hours into adopting a new mindset of being truly open to whomever comes my way, rather than making snap judgements about if they “fit” into my criteria of who’s right for me or not.

Apparently my friends were more aware that I do this than I was. Over the weekend, I went out to brunch with an ex-boyfriend (we’re still close friends) and he had some interesting feedback. He told me that he’d read about my dating rampage and when he got to the section about my visit to the intuitive—where she called me out for being close-minded about men and too strict about my so-called “criteria”—he thought “bingo!” Apparently he picked up on that right away in the short time we were together over three years ago. Talk about a humbling moment.

(not my actual list)

Reflecting on the men I met in the previous week, most all of them fit this previously-important “criteria” of who I thought I wanted. At the top of that list was “successful entrepreneur”. Unfortunately, what makes a man a successful entrepreneur is not necessarily what makes him a successful partner. While this is not meant to be an over-generalization of successful entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed a lot of narcissism and a lack of focus on family and friends.

What would dating be like without mentally checking off a list of pre-determined criteria? In my experience, it’s so much better.

Here’s why:

I’m a big believer in serendipity. Mere hours had passed between my session with the intuitive and the moment that I connected with Nixon for the first time. We’d talked a total of 15 minutes before he asked if I was dating anyone. It didn’t even matter what I said—there was major chemistry between us and I knew we’d end up seeing each other again.

Sure enough, I saw Nixon five days in the week that followed. The best part is that none of these times was a typical “date”. He met me at yoga. He stopped by my house for some tea and a chat. When I got sick the day we’d planned to hang out, he came over with spicy Thai soup, gave me an amazing massage and tucked me into bed. (PS: that is a sure-fire way to nurse a girl back to health!) By the time we went up to the mountains on Saturday night, I knew something good was brewing.

So what is it that draws me to a single father who‘s working 9 to 5?

  1. He calls me—like real phone calls—regularly
  2. He loves and respects women—I picked up on this almost immediately
  3. The way he talks about his daughter is beautiful and pure
  4. He’s thoughtful and is quick to help people out
  5. Our conversations flow organically—we both contribute actively and equally
  6. He’s interested in life and big conversations—how we can evolve and grow as human beings
  7. He’s fun and social—I know he can keep up with me
  8. He’s Latino—I have a particular weakness for Spanish-speaking men
  9. He’s hot—we have ridiculous chemistry
  10. He holds my hand effortlessly—his touch says “I’m with you

After waking up slow in the mountains, driving through the golden Aspen trees, walking along the shore of a mountain lake and soaking in hot springs, we had the “what I like about you” conversation over dinner and I listed all these things. (For the record, his own list was quite flattering.)

But as we walked down the street enjoying a comfortable moment of silence hand-in-hand, I said “You know what? It’s not about any of those things I just mentioned. It comes down to this: I love being with you. When I’m with you we have fun, we talk non-stop and I feel really, really good. That’s a bigger indicator than any criteria I could ever come up with.”

One Comment

  1. 10-8-2013

    Your nicest post ever. Lists are for list-makers. Look how great it worked out when you dropped that limiting perspective!

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