Buzzfeed posted a great list from Tiny Cartridge of "Boyfriend Criteria," including the usual "smart," "cute," "funny," and the more unusual like "did not pick Charmander as first Pokémon." There's also a list of pluses ("glasses," "good shoes," "good tattoo") and minuses ("annoying," "too tight pants," "think you're sooo smart"). Since I'm getting married in three days (!!!), the list got me thinking about my "husband criteria" and how well my fiancé fits my list. After the jump, see how he does.
Beshert is a Yiddish term that expresses how soul mates are "meant to be together." Building on my family's unwavering faith in this beshert thingy—my parents met when they were 17 and my grandparents when they were 16—I assumed that I, too, would be welcomed into the warm, loving arms of this soul mate phenomenon. I vowed to keep my eyes peeled for my one and only perfect, dream lover—the man who would sweep me off my feet and love me as no one else ever had, my soul mate.
Gollum slithered around the picnic tables in a bald wig and a loincloth. Bilbo Baggins manned the barbecue. An elf with pointy ears asked if we had any veggie burgers. My boyfriend, David, and I had not come dressed for the "Lord Of The Rings" theme for his family's annual group vacation with their friends. But costumed or not, I knew I'd be under scrutiny: I'm the first woman he'd brought along to introduce to everybody in his 26 years of attending. As Gollum lumbered by towards the card table full of key lime pies and cookie burgers, I turned to David and grinned. "Real love," I said, "is spending the weekend with your parents and their friends when everyone is dressed like Hobbits." He grinned back and we kissed. Forty-eight hours later, David and I decided that we would move in together, waking up next to each other every morning and falling asleep together every night.
Since time immemorial (like the 1940s) guys have argued about the superiority of certain female archetypes; namely: are you a Betty man or a Veronica man. The question goes much deeper than blonde vs. brunette, rich girl vs. girl-next-door or even steadfast vs. capricious. But after seven decades of dithering, old Archie has finally made a decision, which is a step in the right direction.
There are thousands of love and relationship books on the market, each preaching their own brand of advice on how to meet, catch and keep your match. But with so many contradictory theories—from advocating subtle (and not so subtle) manipulation to encouraging total, unabashed honesty—it's tough to figure out which rule book to play by if you want to win the game of love. Having helped men and women find their soulmates in one of the toughest cities in the world, Elizabeth Webb, New York City's premier Love Coach, knows first-hand what it takes create a successful relationship, from meeting to marriage. Here, she dishes the dirt about the best books on relationships, letting you know which parts of each to take—and toss—when you're preparing to find the love of your life.
The 90 Days program is a four-pronged approach. The first thing you do is identify and break your "Deadly Dating" patterns. Then you go on what I call a "Dating Program of Three," where you date three guys—no sex with any of them. Number three—you do the inner work where you work on your self-sabotaging ideas, your beliefs, like "I'm too old," "I'm too fat" or "There are no good men out there." You also cultivate what I call your "Diamond Self," which really helps you bust through shyness. The last thing that you do is you get yourself a "Love Mentor." Now this is somebody who is like a fairy godmother, who gives you the most profound support and really helps you find "the one." And all of these things work together and help you succeed in creating the love you really want.
When it comes to dating, there are so many rules. Rules, rules, rules. You can't call someone the day after you get her number. You're not supposed to wear a T-shirt with holes in it to your new flame's swanky birthday dinner. When someone says, "call me back—if you want to," the day after you have a "talk" about not "calling enough," maybe you should just call her back, even if you don't want to. If I just had a motorcycle and a leather jacket, I think things would be a whole lot easier. Those are rebel tip-offs. With a leather jacket, people know what kind of bad mamma jamma they are dealing with. And if, in your leather jacket, you wrote a poem about a girl, gave it to her, and then rode off on your motorcycle, she would be like, "Wow, he's so sexy," instead of being like, "Wow, ew." That's why I'm going to start smoking Rebel brand cigarettes. Maybe I should just get a pet snake or an electric guitar, too. Then they'll understand that rules don't apply to me.
Right now, I'm in the most serious relationship I've ever been in; as in, even though I live in New York and he lives in San Francisco, we've talked about where and when we could live together—and how soon. He's met my uncle; I've gone to his family's cabin, and I'm joining them for Thanksgiving. His mom sends me emails, and my grandmother sends me clippings urging him to stop smoking. We talk almost every night and end most calls with "I love you." Does this make him the one? Rachel Kramer Bussel explores.
Do you believe you have a soul mate? There are lots of ideas out there about the person you marry: he should be the one, your true love, your soul mate. Unfortunately, life doesn't usually work out that way. It's romantic and beautiful to believe that there's someone out there who is meant for you, who is your other half, who fits you perfectly, but putting too much faith in those notions can lead to trouble.
To settle or not to settle -- it's the single girl question of the year. Over at The Frisky, blogger Natalie Krinsky ponders the question: "When does compromise and understanding turn into settling?" Earlier this year, a writer for The Atlantic Monthly made waves when she urged women to marry and procreate with 'Mr. Good-Enough' instead of holding out for something better. In a piece titled "Marry Him!," Lori Gottlieb argued in favor of settling from a practicality point-of-view: rather than delaying marriage and childbearing for a 'Mr. Perfect' (who may or may not arrive atop a white horse), marry someone who you can see being a good -- if not completely ideal -- marriage partner.
I've slept with my share of guys... I think it's around 20, and I'm almost 30. Every age group from 19 to 42...different races...but why am I still not ready to settle down and commit to one guy? I want to commit but I'll still feel like I'm missing out on something. Maybe because I was loyal in an unhappy marriage from 20 to 26? Or maybe because i just haven't found the right guy yet who makes me want to forsake all others?
In the post-Alex dating world, I seem to be much more focused on finding a serious partner than I was in my pre-Alex single adventures. Sure, the idea of finding a relationship has usually been in the back of my mind, but back then it was more about fun than it was about finding someone who’ll stick. But now, after getting used to having that serious partner, I feel like I should be looking for the next great romance rather than just enjoying myself. I have to wonder when I became so focused on the goal of finding one person to love forever. With every new man, every new number, every first date, the same question runs through my head: is this one it? I have no idea where this pressure came from (although my grandmother constantly asking “are you seeing anyone?” can’t help).
While he and his wife are a perfect match, Jay Rosenshields knows there's no such thing as a perfect marriage. The best you can hope for is that your complement each other's strengths and supplement each other's deficiencies. Oh, and following up any major fight with a little timely sex is probably not a bad idea either. Find out why marrying young and to his college sweetheart can be the smartest thing he's ever done, despite preconceived ideas.