The Pot Luck Relationship, or What Do You Bring to the Table?

Cute stuffed koala toy
Unlike a man, you can build one of these to order… Image via Wikipedia

Like most people, I was fantastic at picking out what I wanted in a mate. I knew how he had to look, how he had to act, what he needed to say, and how he had to smell. This would be perfect, if I were, say, building a stuffed animal at Build a Bear or ordering a meal. But I wasn’t; I was looking for a man. Men are human beings with their own expectations, preferences, personality traits, and interests.

One of the first things we did with the Singles’ Ministry was bring our “lists.” We were supposed to write a list of all the things we were looking for in a partner and discuss it. One girl had her list in her purse and at the ready; she didn’t have to go home and compile her list! I hadn’t gone that far, but I had a general idea in my head.

Of course, at the meeting we didn’t just go through the lists. We were asked, “and what do you bring to the table? Are you all the things that you are looking for?” This wasn’t the first time that I’d been asked the question, and I knew what my answer was immediately. No, sir, I am not everything I am looking for. Why aren’t I? Well, mostly because some of the qualities I seek will complement me and balance me out. I don’t want to be with another person just like me. So maybe that’s not quite the question to ask in my case. A better one would be “would you date you if you were the person you are looking for?”

In all of the examples I gave yesterday, the answer to that would be “no.” It doesn’t matter why the answer is “no,” whether or not it’s “fair”; it is what it is. People have expectations just like you. If you want a man who makes six figures (which is not the best criteria, but it’s your *imaginary* life), you have to ask yourself, “what does a man who wants six figures want in a wife? Do I possess those qualities?”

A lot of women think that it’s because of stereotypes that they are single, or because men can’t handle a STRONG, independent woman, or because men are immature, etc. Some men think they haven’t met their own versions of Halle Berry because they live in the wrong place, their hometown is full of “hoodrats” or “golddiggers.” Some men believe that they have it all going for them and can’t figure out how any woman can resist them. It all comes down to what you really bring to the table.

I try not to ask more of a man than I’m willing to do myself (unless it’s a masculine trait that I have no desire to possess myself). I want someone with a job; I have a job. I would prefer someone who didn’t have children; I don’t have children. I want a Christian man; I’m a Christian woman. I want someone smart; I’m smart, and etc.

To compliment the male attributes that I want in a male, I bring to the table my uniquely feminine ways: I’m nurturing, soft spoken (mostly ;-)), compassionate, kind, willing to serve, loving, supportive, and domesticated. I’m hardworking, a born communicator, (somewhat) patient, and a good listener (when I stop talking–hey, I’m working on it!). If I want a man to complement me in certain areas, I have to have something that is complementary to what he has.

All I’m saying is sometimes the problem lies with you. If you really want a specific type of person, then you have to make yourself attractive to that type of person (and this goes for males and females). If you want a corporate man, make sure you are corporate wife material. Corporate men usually like intelligent women, women who can look presentable at the company functions, women who can hold intelligent conversations with his business associates, women who can hold their own at a business dinner (see my Do You Look Like a Liability and AreYou a Good Investment Posts). They want women who can handle the long hours they have to put in.

If you aren’t that calculating about your love life, if you think you’re perfect and want someone to love you for you, then honestly evaluate who that person might be. Try to be on the other side of the situation. What’s attractive about you? What do you bring to the table? What type of men should you be attracting based on what you have to offer?

Food for thought…

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