What I Like About You

I only occasionally include songs with a post. Other people do a much better job of matching mood and melody. For today’s post, this song by The Romantics inspired the title and is bouncy enough to listen to while reading this post.

The Fall season has arrived here in the Washington, D.C., area. The leaves are turning pretty colors and falling from the trees, drying and curling on the ground. A wafting breeze creates a rain-like effect of leaves fluttering down. Cars leave swirling eddies of leaves in their wake. The humidity is gone, the bugs gone, the weather often warm but not hot, sometimes cool but not cold. If the weather were like this all year, we’d all be kind to our reagion’s useless drivers, there would be no wars, and Congress would work efficiently. I’ll remember this Fall because it marks my first serious steps into that brave new world of whatever/whomever is out there for me.

I was originally planning to title this post: The Perfect Woman. For any guy that wants to comment that there is no such thing as a perfect woman: Be sure to leave a comment right here on this post. If you leave your real name and address, some of the other readers can stop by and ‘hammer’ home their point that you’re wrong. Do you prefer claw, ball-peen, or mallet?


(But, guess what guys, I’m with you, there is no such thing as a perfect woman. Even Barbie isn’t in proportion.)

What is important to me is that someone is compatible with me. Flaws that someone else might see in a woman I like aren’t necessarily flaws for me. For me, perhaps that woman perfect. And that’s all that counts when it counts to finding a mate.

I decided to list some things that appeal to me. I’ve taken the trouble to put them in alphabetical order because there is no realistic way of prioritizing things like this.


I’ve written this as if I’m writing to YOU, my future mate. I tried using the third-person, but it didn’t sound right.

Age. I don’t care how exactly old you are, except that it should be “reasonable”. Twenty years younger than me isn’t going to work because there’s going to be a generation gap we can’t bridge. Too much older and it’s the same problem in reverse.

Children. I have three girls and I’d willingly die for any of them. I don’t expect you to do that, but it would help our relationship if you didn’t want to murder them. (Although, from time to time, I’d definitely empathize if you did. Teens aren’t always easy to love!)

England, Europe and/or the Antipodes. I’ve lived in five countries in total and most of my relatives are in England. You probably need to have some understanding of life in England, Europe, or Australia/New Zealand to appreciate me and my background.

Humor. This one is really important. Life’s a bitch, they say. So let’s laugh about it rather than waste time pining for something better. Humor defuses tension, lubricates the enjoyment of life, and help to erase the dumb mistakes we make. A good sense of humor provides boundless and endless fun. (Note: Puns are still illegal. YOU think they’re funny; no-one else does; that’s why we never laugh.)

Intelligence. You need to be clever and quick. This one is really important. If I’m too much cleverer than you, you would feel uncomfortable and I would get bored. On the other hand, if you’re much cleverer than me, you can do all the book-keeping for the family, and I’ll try to keep up!

Language and Words. If you can’t express yourself clearly, the ongoing misunderstandings will doom us. If you like friendly verbal sparring, and the fun is in the banter not the victory, life will be a varied adventure with giggles as passengers.

Moments. A happy life doesn’t mean that everything goes right all the time. A happy relationship has happy “moments” … those day-to-day things that make you pleased you’re making the effort, those occasional things that make you glad you didn’t give up. “Moments” build fond memories and support a relationship through the inevitable mistakes and difficult times.

Nurturing. Sometimes men get ill. So do women, but women are much stronger and just carry on. Men are weak and feeble and need nurturing. I discovered that this closely-kept secret has been revealed to the world via this YouTube video from a BBC comedy called Man Stroke Woman (Thanks T!). (Note: If you don’t realize that I’m joking about this, we might have a problem.)

Pretty. I’m odd because I have a clear distinction between “beautiful” and “pretty” and I usually think very little of the Miss World entrants and other famous beauties. I have no way of putting it into words, but I find someone to be “pretty” because of other things about them that appeal to me. I don’t care what anyone else thinks about this.

Self-Awareness. I am often described as analytical. I think and reason my way through relationships and problems. If you simply *feel* your way through life, this can make things difficult. I’m not a robot and don’t mean feelings aren’t important, only that they work hand-in-hand with reason.

Sharing and Trust. It’s absolutely fine if you want to be a very private person…but you’re not for me. I’m more comfortable if we’re willing to share. The minutiae: our daily thoughts, worries and victories. The bigger things: hopes for the future, our past errors, plans for careers or the kids. With sharing comes trust, and trust between us is rewarded many times over by an intimacy and an understanding that other people outside the relationship can’t reach.

Sweetness. This doesn’t mean you can’t ride a motorbike or be prepared to do sweaty yardwork. It means there needs to a gentle side to your nature. It’s important to feel a personal connection; a relationship isn’t a professional partnership.


I’m sure I’ve missed some important points, but that’s what the Comments section is for — you can point out my extremely-obvious-in-retrospect omissions. πŸ™‚

I was listening to the song while tapping away. It occurred to me that you might pay attention to the lyrics and assume some synchronicity between my desires and those expressed in three poorly-structured verses. No! You can find the lyrics via this or other links. I am hopeful you know my tastes to be a little more sophisticated than these!

Did you watch the music video? I’ll bet you never noticed it; I didn’t the first time. The drummer is like me–he’s left-handed. He’s unusual in that he doesn’t cross his hands to play the high-hat cymbal. You were thinking the same thing? Sure…

Addendum 1: “T” doesn’t stand for Thomas (no offence), but someone else who sent me the YouTube link. After I complained about something. πŸ™‚

Addendum 2: For anyone who put an age range in a comment, I have removed the LOWER limit for age as otherwise anyone could determine your age and the age of your oldest child. Just in case you hadn’t realized this…

About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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17 Responses to What I Like About You

  1. mysterycoach says:

    Nicely done ! πŸ™‚

  2. Lost in France says:

    A well thought out list. You say you can not prioritise, but what sort of score do you expect and lady to achieve?
    I was trying to think of any major omission, I can only think of patient. Any woman who is ready to take on a man with three daughters, is going to have to be very patient as I think the realtionship may take time to develop.

    As for the age thing I have always thought that they have to be closer to my age than either my children or my parents. for me that works out to be [removed by SD] to 65, though to be honest not sure I am ready to date a pensioner.

  3. Caroline says:

    Love the Man Cold video – I have it on one of my other blogs! As to my age rule – probably anyone from [removed by SD] to 65 as – sorry men – but most of the ‘available’ ones I’ve come across who are over 65 appear to have ‘given up’ with fun, adventure and just want to settle down doing very little – sorry guys that’s not for me!

    Loved your list btw. an excellent way to start

    • That’s got me thinking. Men, in very general terms and not thinking of me specifically, tend to consider women who are a small number of years older but are ok (for good and bad reasons, depending on the man) with many years younger.

      I don’t know your age and I realized that this doesn’t guide me because I don’t know the typical ‘profile’ that women might apply. Maybe it’s an equal number of years either way.

      • I think it’s also a matter of your own age and place in life. When I was much younger, I might have considered a significantly older man bc my main criteria vis a vis age was whether he was young enough to be an active, involved father. (Turned out it didn’t matter; I was never interested in any of the older men interested in me, for other reasons.). Men much younger than me would have been eliminate based on “maturity” and readiness to “settle down.”

        Now, however, I am no longer looking for a mate to have children with, but rather someone to have fun with. So, it tends to work a bit in the reverse. I have friends who partnered with men 10 or more years older than them, and are now struggling with disparate energy levels and sex drives. So, my “upper limit” has shrunk somewhat. On the other end, my lower limit has increased as, I think, people gather so many of their experiences in their 20s and 30s. Of course, maturity still matters, though. At any age. πŸ™‚

        • That’s a very good point. As a young man, I dated someone 8 years older and it created some problems because she was more mature than me and much more experienced in relationships. Today, an 8-year age gap in that direction would not be the same problem.

          You also raise a good point with the ‘point’ of the relationship. For me, different ages in a woman would mean different things. Someone very young might want a child (or more children), someone broadly comparable could be looking for a mate to help with child-rearing…and someone much older would want Blue Plate specials.. πŸ™‚

  4. anne says:

    That was a sweet list to read. I appreciate the thought that went into it, and the honesty about what you like and want in a woman. The “be clever” one is tricky… I can be clever, but often, on a date, in person, or when nervous or harried, my clever moments don’t show up. It takes time and encouragement for me to share that side.

    • Hi Anne,

      If I applied something like this list to a date, I’d never find anyone! Under pressure, we’re all usually dummies, for example. I was definitely thinking more of the ‘package’ rather than any individual meeting.

      On a personal note, I’d hate to think you hide being clever from anyone. I hope you have the chance to let your mind out to play with everyone you meet!

      Cheers, SD.

  5. Lady E says:

    That’s an interesting list…And a slightly tall order too by the sounds of it πŸ™‚
    Good luck in finding her though.

    • A slightly tall order? You don’t think that most women fit most of the list anyway? πŸ™‚

      Maybe you’re right, maybe very few aren’t missing anything at all. It’s hard to tell because I have to know someone quite well to gauge this. Which implies right away that, for me, it’s a steady getting-to-know-you process…

  6. TikkTok says:

    The picture got me thinking of Tattoo Barbie or whatever her name is….(http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/style/tattooed-barbie-all-set-to-freak-out-parents) πŸ˜†

    I made my list of traits of my ideal man when I was 10……… I definitely think a list is the way to go- it can help us stay on track and remind us of the really important points we didn’t want to compromise on before pheromones got involved…….

    • Hi TT!

      I looked at the article. People get upset about the strangest things!! Parents are “freaking out”? *sigh*

      I’m super-impressed that you had the wherewithal to understand enough about yourself to start planning for the Perfect Guy at the age of 10. At that age, I think my understanding of relationships was more focused on which girls wanted to kiss on the playground. πŸ™‚

      I completely agree that, formal list or not, understanding your own needs is important before letting hormones and pheremones take over the decision-making process!

      • TikkTok says:

        Ya, well, I wasn’t smart enough to hang on to it and USE the darn thing for a long time! πŸ˜† Interestingly, I found the list a few years ago, and hunny hits all the points…. I should see if I still have it and see if I can remember what all was on the list besides brown eyes, curly hair, dimples, and being able to fix stuff. πŸ˜†

  7. Pingback: Do you want me? No? How about you? | Four is a Family

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