I used to think I had a type.
I was all about the tall, dark and handsome guys. Think William Darcy meets Enrique Iglesias meets Damon Salvatore.
Here’s the thing, though: none of the guys I’ve liked in the last two years fit this description.
Sure, if you ask me to pick a guy out of a lineup, I will go for the dark hair and brooding eyes. But in reality, where I don’t pick my romantic partners in lineups (I tried speed dating and let me tell you one thing: never again), I don’t actually have a type. Besides picking emotionally unavailable guys, of course, but that’s a whole different story.
The truth is, I can’t really be attracted to someone until I know if I like them as a person.
I wasn’t ready to make this list until recently, but I’ve learned a lot about what I want and don’t want from my life this year, and that includes boys. So here goes: what I’m looking for in a guy.
Mean what you say
John Green’s Hazel Grace said it best in The Fault in Our Stars: “Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them.” Look, I know we all say a lot of things we don’t entirely mean. Like, Let’s hang out soon, or I’ll stop by your party. But don’t tell me you’re there for me and then disappear when your ex-girlfriend waltzes back into your life. Don’t tell me you think I’m beautiful and then leave town without even saying goodbye. Don’t tell me you like me and never call me back after we spend the night together. Words are a powerful instrument and they should be used with care. If you’re not sure how you feel about me, or if you don’t know what I mean to you, don’t lie.
I understand that people are people and sometimes we change our minds (Thanks, Taylor), but if that’s the case, come clean. You like me or you don’t, and you can’t have it both ways. The truth hurts, but not nearly as much as being led on or kept in the dark. Let’s step into the light together, shall we?
People often say dating is like interviewing for a job. You decide what you share and how you present yourself to the other person. That’s fine to an extent – but I don’t want to date the idea of you. It’s almost funny that you can have sex with someone and be in this impossibly intimate situation with them, and still not know them. And if I like you, I want to get to know you. The tired-at-6pm-on-a-Friday you. The grumpy-and-hungover-on-a-Saturday-morning you. The adventurous-on-a-trip-around-the-world you. The messy bedroom, laundry-all-over-the-floor you. The generous, take-your-parents-to-dinner you. The real you.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s football, Game of Thrones, this sick new video game app you just downloaded, or your job in advertising. I want to see your face light up when you talk about what you love. I’m driven by my emotions and by the dreams I have for my future, and I need to know that you understand that part of myself. Rationality only takes you so far. You have to trust your gut and embrace the things that make you happy. That passion will make me fall for you, hook, line and sinker.
I don’t trust easily. So when I like you? I really like you. I will be there for you and support you and, in addition to always wanting to make out with you, I will be your friend. Be my friend, too. Ask me how my day was and listen to my answer. Check in me on when I’m having a hard time. Show me that you want me as much as I want you, and that you couldn’t walk away even if you tried.
Don’t play games
If I’m interested, I won’t lie about it or play it cool. I will text you when I want to talk. I will reply right away if I’m not busy. I will ask you out to dinner if I want to see you. I don’t want to play games. So please don’t play with my head or my heart, either.
Pick me up at the airport
This, my friends, is the ultimate test. A few months ago, a really good friend of mine mentioned that her sister’s boyfriend had gone to pick her up at the airport with flowers. I gasped and sighed simultaneously, convinced that this man was a specimen long extinct. Then she stopped me. This should be our thing, she decided. We won’t date a guy unless he would pick us up at the airport. Bonus points for flowers.
I have to admit, I thought it was crazy at first. I’ve never been with anyone who would have picked me up at the airport, let alone the freaking bus station around the corner from my house. And that’s when it hit me: I need to date someone who would pick me up at the airport. Someone who would get up at 6am on a Saturday and ride the Picadilly line all the way down to Heathrow, buy flowers at cornershop, wait for me at the terminal with a goofy smile on his face, and sweep me into his arms the minute he spots me in the crowd.
What, is that too much to ask for? Well, that’s too bad, because I’d rather be single than with someone who’s not willing to go the extra mile for me, no pun intended. I want to be with a guy who wants to see me so badly he’ll meet me where I am instead of waiting for me to come to him. Maybe it’s a weird metaphor for my ideal relationship. But that’s what I want. A guy who will pick me up at the freaking airport. And I will accept no less. Not anymore. And if he brings me flowers, too? I might just fall in love with him.