After dating for a while, you refine what you want and don’t want in your next relationship. Your criteria get clearer and you get more certain about what will make you happy. Often these criteria include a person’s physical characteristics like height, or location or age range. I have clarified my criteria over the years and now rarely deviate from them.
But every once in a while a man enters the scene who doesn’t meet one of my must-haves. Perhaps he’s an inch shorter than me so I relax my “must be at least my height” rule. Or perhaps he lives beyond an hour’s drive. Or he’s out of my 7 year+/- age range. He has other unique alluring characteristics that entice me to make an exception.
However I’ve never bent the rules for more than one must-have.
A few months ago a man contacted me who is 19 years my junior, lives a plane ride away, and is 5 inches shorter. I responded to his initial email with “thanks but no thanks.” His follow up email was alluring. We began emailing, then messaging, then calling as we developed a connection long distance. Then last week I was in his city so we met.
When he got out of his car to greet me I saw how short he was. When we hugged hello I had to bend down. How would this ever work?
But he was unfazed. He was comfortable in his own skin and height. He was confident in who he was and it showed repeatedly from his ever-present wide grin, to his healthy eye contact, to his immediately holding my hand. Despite my reservations about his lack of my must-haves he was adorable. It was alluring.
I tried not to look in the windows when we walked down the street so I didn’t have to see that I was half a head taller. I could easily kiss the top of his bald pate. Since he was so much younger and shorter I was concerned people would think he was my son.
But those thoughts quickly dissipated as we talked about topics of interest to both of us and his humor made me frequently laugh. And it didn’t hurt that he told me often how he adored me.
He was respectful and assertive. He was more emotionally mature than men I’ve dated 25 years his senior. I liked how he treated me and how I felt around him. In between our seeing each other on this trip, he texted to see what I was up to and remembered small details about my day and life.
So I’ve begun to ponder how life would be with this man. I reassured myself that Nicole Kidman wasn’t bothered to be taller than Tom Cruise. Stacy Keibler doesn’t seem to mind that she towers over George Clooney (I’d overlook that one, too, for him!). There are many examples of it not being a big deal. Could I learn to live with this? Was I being shallow by even thinking it is an issue?
Since I’m tall, light skinned, voluptuous and have tons of hair, I’ve joked that in a previous life I was a short, bald, thin, dark-skinned man so I wanted to come back the opposite. Guess what — he looks like that previous life guy! So maybe we have some soul connection.
Whether there is or not, it’s been fun to get to know an accomplished, interesting, fun man who’s forcing me to reexamine my must-have criteria. Maybe Mr. Right is in the right package and I just need to accept whatever that package is.
Have you fallen for someone who didn’t meet your basic must-haves? How did it work out?
Want to know if he’s the One? Get your copy of Real Deal or Faux Beau: Should You Keep Seeing Him?