single mom

Defining a man

Ictkapuss and I had some hang time this weekend, and  like teenage girls,  we chatted for hours about the obvious….BOYS.

Neither of us want to believe that we’re still attracted to bad boys. We are older, wiser and have goals/projects that require too much time and energy to throw away on someone who’s main priority in life is to get wasted. We concurred that our One Night Stand days were over, and that dating younger men (see Young Buck) wasn’t worth the babysitting & adolescent drama.

So what DOES turn us on? What type of man are we looking for? Obviously, I have a thing for Scorpios, but the more I thought about Chivman and HS Sweetheart, the more I realized I like a man with a story. A history. A past. You know, experience.

On my date a while back, I tried and tried to get the guy’s story out. I wanted to hear about his life, his interests. I wanted to see if he was comfortable telling me something he may have failed at, something he overcame, something that had made him a better, stronger person.

When HS Sweetheart (who interestingly got engaged to his girlfriend this past week)  and I updated each other on the last 10 years, I was transfixed by all he had been through. The pain he had endured, the places he had been, the relationships he had weathered, and the fact that he had come out of it as a better person.

Similarly, Chivman has a whole cache of dirty little secrets, half of which I still don’t know, and he will probably never reveal. What turns me on about this Scorpio is his unashamed ambition, his meticulous plan for greatness, as if life is only a series of stepping stones for him to traverse, gathering tools, wisdom and human connections along the way. His journey is fascinating to me.

I guess I need a little meat (tee hee hee) to my man’s personality. A story of survival is what (snort) whets my palate. Overcoming the odds, rising from the ashes, transformation, redefining one’s soul…yeah I like that.

But is this a good thing? Does this mean I’m still only attracted to a Bad Boy…but in recovery? A broken man trying to make himself into a good man? Some psycho killer who has unexplained stains on their shirt? It’s like a horror movie in the making.

I justify my attraction to this type of man because I’ve experienced transformation myself. I’ve gone from broke, barefoot and pregnant to I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T….do you know what that means, yeah… Maybe I want to feel that mutual “I’ve made mistakes and learned from them” feeling. I can connect to that. I can bond with that.

But I don’t want a man I have to fix. They need to have fixed themselves.  I want someone who’s got it together, who’s figured out what’s important and respects and admires me for doing the same. Likewise, I don’t want a fresh-as-the-morning-dew boy who thinks he’s doing me  favor by helping me carry my baggage.

As I’m redefining all this, I’m thinking a good relationship should be about mutual appreciation for each other’s individual talents and abilities, and never taking that for granted. Obviously, respect and compassion should be an element as well. I hear so many married moms who treat their husbands like an oversized couch cushion. Something that’s just…there. Something that they just have to live with.

I don’t want that.

Having gone through the last 3 years of my life as a single mother, I know what its like NOT to have a man. I know what I’ve gone without. I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of singlehood, but it’s also made the few tastes of coupledom that much sweeter, and that much harder when it disappears.

Single motherhood has taught me to value myself, that the alternative to being with someone isn’t a miserable, horrible experience. I don’t fear being alone the way some women (and men) do. I also think that when I do find the right person, I’m going to appreciate them more than someone who’s always had a man at their beck and call.

The question is…does this “perfect/imperfect” man exist, and is my philosophy a smart one?


9 thoughts on “Defining a man”

  1. Wow. I love this. And I SO get it.

    I think the whole idea is that you want someone with strong character. And its usually the crap we go through in life that builds that character.

    I say hells to the yeah, girl.


  2. I love this post, and I get what you mean. With people in general — not just men I’m interested in — the ones I get closest to and like the most are those who have life stories similar to mine (especially when it comes to sharing similar spiritual transformations).


  3. Yes your philosophy is a smart one!

    It is one of our crosses to bear :-p As single moms who have walked the road and realised we can be alone, we are independant etc etc – we then need a strong man to stand next to us. And few men can handle that or are up to it. But the ones who are – they are worth the wait!


  4. Oh my gosh, I get this. ALL OF THIS. And you expressed it SO well.

    I think it’s great that you can identify what tickles your fancy in a man and at the same time look at it in a practical light.

    Am I making sense?


  5. Great post. And I love what you said about not wanting to “fix” a man, but that he has to fix himself. I’ve always fallen for bad boys that seem to need fixing. And I don’t want that anymore. Not the bad boy part, or the fixing part. I want someone that has it together already. Maybe that’s why I’m so leary about dating. All I’ve known are guys with messed up lives.


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