Three One-Thousand, Four One-Thousand

I’m picky.

There—I’ve said it.

After seven years of denial in the face of repeated accusation, I admit it: I have high standards. I don’t just want a nice guy with a job. I want a heckuva lot more for a lifelong commitment.

Once your 24 months of hormonal giddiness are over, you’re left with someone you’ve agreed to spend the rest of your life with, in union. Someone you’ve decided to partner with on this matter known as “life” til death do you part. Mortgages. Colicky babies. Influenza. Teenagers. Every Shabbos for the rest of your life. Who do you want to be there?

Examining my protests over the years, my reasons for ditching, dumping, and breaking up, I find the complaints fall into two major categories. “He’s boring” and “he’s a dead weight.” And I can readily invert those negatives to two positives that I think are the most important aspects of a marriage. That is, I think the spouse falls into two main roles:

The Companion.  Friends are people who you want to spend time with even when the mystery is gone. People whose opinions you trust, whose company you enjoy, whose views you want to hear even when you don’t agree with them. Someone whose company you seek out when the going is glum, because you know they can cheer you up or at least commiserate right. And it seems to me that this should describe someone you plan to hang out with for forever.

And The Partner.  A partner is someone you want at your side because you trust them to do their part and catch what you miss. Someone who makes you feel safe, knowing they have your back. Someone you don’t have to check on because you know they’ve got it covered. And this should describe someone with whom you plan to face the rest of your life.

The miracle of feminism tells me that I don’t have to compromise when I pick a mate. And, okay: that means I don’t get to a whole lot of seventh dates. But when I do, it means that it’s someone I like, respect, and trust.

Maybe I’m demanding. I’ve been told that I am. That I have unrealistic standards. Maybe I do. But somehow, I can’t help but think there may be someone out there who fits this description for me. That I can find someone to marry who doesn’t make me feel like I’m settling. To quote another Jewish girl from a less liberated time, “Why shouldn’t I want the best?” And why shouldn’t that guy I eventually choose know that I think he’s the best?

He should know that he’s someone whose views I respect, whose judgment I value, whose company I cherish, who abilities I respect, whose partnership I trust, and whose presence makes me feel safe. Not someone I settled for so I could call myself married, but someone I look forward to sharing the rest of my life with.

And if I’ve got to be picky to get that message across, well, so be it.


I’m Ready Now!

I was skimming some old posts when I found one about how I wouldn’t want to marry the first guy I dated because I don’t know enough about guys to make an important decision liked that without comparison. I was worried that maybe all guys were super-awesome, and if I took the first one, I’d be giving up the even-more-super-awesome guys waiting in line.

That was four years and 28 guys ago. At this point, I think I’ve seen what’s out there. I’m ready to go. So, where’s the super-awesome dude who is going to blow all the rest of them out of the water? Please ring my doorbell and invite me out for a bike ride.

Judging a Guy by His Face

I found this article fascinating. Not in the basic premise that living in a healthier country makes women less interested in macho men. Whatever to that. But rather, that you can tell how kid-friendly a guy is by his face.

In a small study led by psychologist James Roney at the University of Santa Barbara, 29 women were asked to look at photos of men and rate their masculinity and fondness for infants. (The men had already been tested for child-friendliness and testosterone levels.) The men who were rated as the most masculine generally had higher testosterone levels; the women also were generally accurate in assessing child-friendliness.

So, women, you ought to be asking for photos of your dates before you go out. It’s not about their good looks or lack thereof – just their masculinity.

Because, apparently, you can tell a guy’s testosterone level from his face (“testosterone [is] the hormone behind manly muscles, strong jaws, prominent eyebrow ridges, facial hair and deep voices”), and thereby how good a husband he’ll be.

In another study of 2,100 Air Force veterans, men with testosterone levels one standard deviation above the mean were 43% more likely to get divorced than men with normal levels, 31% more likely to leave home because of marital problems, 38% more likely to cheat on their wives, and 13% more likely to admit that they hit or hurled things at them.

Shades of Grey wrote a short story about not bringing your genes on a date.

Who needs genes? We just want your hormone levels.

I think that is going to become my weird shidduch question from now on.

“What’s his name? Where’s he from? What’s he doing? How do his testosterone levels compare to the  average?”