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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Through two divorces, the lessons I have learned about what I want.

Submitted: May 27, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 27, 2012






I think the phrase “opposites attract” is another way of saying ”enjoy your breakup”. On paper, this is almost imbecilic. Why would I be attracted to someone who is drastically, 180 degrees even, different from me? I have wrestled with this destructive cliché over the years, and finally, I realized the very simple answer to this conundrum:


Anyone attracted to their opposite does not like themselves.


Psychology 101.


There is no other legitimate explanation for it. That mindset is simply a rejection of ones self.


With my next soul mate, most of the important conclusions, issues and subjects I would like to agree on, but that in and of itself does not make those subjects suddenly boring and not worthy of analysis…we can toast our similarities. There can be diversity in agreement.


What are the odds we TOOK THE SAME PATH to those conclusions? Very unlikely, and discussing that could be both fascinating AND revealing…very revealing, potentially.


Do I have non-negotiable aspects that a woman must have for me to make a serious commitment?


Grudgingly, I admit that I do, and also wish I had a similar mindset before each previous marriage, which I did not.


Naysayers or shallow people will want to pin labels on this mindset:





Hoops to jump through


And there are more, most of them with negative connotations.


I am only semi-comfortable with the term “requirements”, but it seems less judgmental than most others when applied to what I need and want in a woman.


I've built a list over the years through trial and error, more error than trial.


I sincerely believe most if not all people carry within them this interior list…but it rarely sees the light of day.


When I shine a spotlight on mine, I’m ok with it…all of it. You see, I’ve tasted the bitterness of failed marriage, and through many sleepless nights, many reflective sessions on multiple continents with a couple of astute friends, I’ve traced it back to a rather simple reason:


We did not have enough in common to sustain a long-term relationship.


A woman and good friend, now deceased, once posed this question to me, strictly as a rhetorical query.


“What are you going to do with your time?” The ‘you’ being the collective, husband and wife, you.


That question is nicely worded, for it can include physical activity, as well as “what the hell will you talk about for the rest of your life”?


Narcissism: overly concerned with one's own desires, needs, or interests….self infatuated…self obsessed….SOLIPSISTIC….self centered….self absorbed…….


The people who can be defined by ANY ONE of those words or phrases far outnumber those who can’t.


Is wanting someone who thinks like me narcissistic?


What I am looking for in a woman.


I will try to do this in order of importance, but that is VERY difficult, because like a list of favorite movies, books or songs, it can change with the weather.




(** = Non-negotiable)


Intellectual curiosity. **


Intellectual acuity; the ability to not only recognize nuance, but use it. **


The instinct to be analytical and the willingness to exercise that instinct. **


The ability to not take oneself too seriously.


Reflective and thoughtful (results often in kindness, so I won’t list that word elsewhere). **


Not afraid to think or make decisions that go against “the tide”.


The ability, intellectually AND emotionally, to trust someone who has earned it.


An ass that stops noon hour Times Square traffic. (Go ahead, say it: pig).


Sense of humor, quick witted. (see previous entry) **


The ability to listen and focus, when necessary. **


Be able to hold your liquor.


The love of food (and enjoy cooking, as well). **


The maturity to admit when someone may be smarter than you

(I love this one, because it is so difficult to find in people, but when I do, I melt if it’s a woman; a guy? Next round’s on me) Those with healthy egos can do it. There is no accident that I chose as my best friend in 1981 a man who was, and still is, my intellectual superior. **


To NOT be pissed that I get better looking as I grow older. ;=}


To have within you the ability and empathy to accept the flaws in both me, and you. Battle scars are signs of character. (You want an unmarked cherub; pry Zuckerberg away from his new bride).


A passion for books, music and movies (will negotiate for 2 out of 3, just not sure which one I could do without). **


Passion for sports/competition (in the past I made this totally negotiable. Never again). **


More positive than negative, but just barely (no Pollyanna…if it’s genuinely half full, I’ll be the first to raise my glass and toast it…if it’s not, it gets equal gravity, in my book).


A pragmatic understanding of “meritocracy” and “elitism”.


Sunday afternoon, a half hour before your folks arrive for cocktails and dinner, a sudden urge to f**k…on the couch. Requited.


Rejection of all aspects of racism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia. **


Have I mentioned a shapely rear end? Just checking.




Only behave like a Type A when needed.


Loves most if not all aspects about men. (If she’s a sports fan, this one is already taken care of)


Love your mother, but don’t want to BE LIKE your mother.


Can segue from ballpark to ballroom in an hour, and look equally delicious at both.


On the night when we both know we will sleep together for the first time, when I play Mellencamp’s “Dance Naked”, your only response is to do it. (But you don’t.)


Jimmy Buffett…Frank Sinatra…Van Morrison…Motown and Blues. **


Enjoys simple, quiet, alone time in a hammock, with no need for anyone else.


Must love dogs. **


Live life one day at a time. I’m too old for long term planning.


Thinks I’m cute. **


Is at the very least agnostic, if not atheist. Leave the ‘believing’ to others. Imagine how peaceful a secular world would be.






Scrolling this out on the table like the Ten Commandments on a first date would probably be a bad career move. Not to mention, in a couple of hours of conversation over drinks and dinner, I will be able to ascertain almost all of these.


This must prompt some thoughts.


Do any of you single folks harbor such a list?


And you (poor) married people, did you ever?


And finally, is it offensive to hold firm to such ‘requirements’?



© Copyright 2017 Bill Rayburn. All rights reserved.

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