What do I look for in the perfect person? Absolutely nothing, because the perfect person doesn’t exist. I know what some of you are thinking. That’s a steaming pile of horse manure because my partner’s perfect. No she’s not, but she’s perfect to you. She may snore like a jackhammer but that’s okay because you’re the one she chooses to sleep next to. She may force feed you cereal that tastes suspiciously like hay but that’s okay because she loves you and she doesn’t want to lose you to a heart attack. I don’t want the perfect partner. I want the perfect partner for me.

I will admit that I do have a superficial streak when it comes to women, and I most certainly have a ‘type’. I would love to say that I can fall for someone based solely on their personality, but I can’t. That would be a big, fat lie. At the same time, I do recognize that looks aren’t all. I suppose the best way I can describe it is getting a present. Of course what’s on the inside matters most, but I do appreciate beautiful wrapping as well.

I think that, as I’ve aged, the things which used to fascinate me no longer have the same draw as they used to. Is that what maturity feels like? At one point, my requirements were simply hot, breathing, and great in bed. Who cares about a talented brain when you’ve got a talented tongue, right? Wrong, at least for me now that I’ve turned 40. It’s not that I’m averse to cheap thrills. They certainly have their place (and what a lovely place it is), but I’ve started wanted more. So what do I look for now that I have different priorities?

Similar Tastes: I know. Everyone’s different and you can’t expect someone to like all the things you do. I don’t expect that, but I don’t want to be with someone who’s so wildly different that we have nothing in common. I’ve done that before and it felt too much like losing myself for my liking. I love horror movies, and I hate romantic comedies. My idea of a fun day in involves lying in bed watching a Leslie Nielsen marathon (among other things people do in bed). I’m not particularly sociable, but I enjoy venturing out on occasion. I am set in my ways but I will bend for the right person.

Conversation: I’m not one for talking much, but when I do feel the need for communication, it has to be deeper than reality TV and Instagram. I’m not saying that I expect every conversation to resemble a dissertation, but someone who can stimulate my mind can definitely stimulate other things. Make me laugh with dirty jokes, wow me with your knowledge of quantum physics, debate world events with me…just don’t be one-dimensional.

Reliability: There it is, the old-fogey word, but I’ve come to realize just how valuable reliability really is. It’s the difference between making someone feel like they’re the most important person in the world and making them feel like they’re worth nothing. If I say I’m going to meet you at a particular time, I’m going to meet you at that time. If something comes up and I can’t make it, I’m not going to wait for you to ask. I’m going to let you know because your time is valuable too and I don’t know what plans you might have changed for my sake. I can’t be with someone who takes me for granted because I won’t take her for granted.

An Understanding of Solitude: I need to be alone sometimes. Everyone does on occasion, but the frequency of my occasions may be more than most can bear. I deal with people all day, and that drains me. Sometimes I come home and all I want to do is lie in bed playing video games (yes, I’m one of those) until I’ve had a chance to recharge. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to spend time with you. It means that, at that point in time, I’m physically incapable of spending time with you unless it’s in complete quiet. I don’t know why I’m that way. I just am.

Compassion: I have had to be strong all my life. It’s all I know, and I don’t let people in easily. I don’t turn to people as I should. I don’t ask for help as I should. Because I’ve always had to be the strong one and sometimes it’s all I know. But no-one can keep that up all the time, and sometimes I will break down, and I will feel guilty for having broken down. I need someone who will understand that, who will let me be strong when I have to be, and who will be there to hold me when I can’t. I need someone who will keep my secrets.

Love of Self: Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself. Of course it strokes my ego to have a beautiful woman on my arm, but I’m broken enough for both of us. I can’t be with someone who’s broken too and doesn’t value herself. Confidence is sexy and confidence looks good because it radiates from the inside. If you want to look pretty for me, that’s great, but I want you to want to look pretty for yourself (if that makes any sense).

I’m sure there are more, but if I can’t remember them right now then they must not be overly important. What are your priorities? What do you look for in a partner? God only knows what my partners have looked for in me. I am a difficult person to love. I have no illusions in that regard. I’m too set in my ways, too strong and yet too sensitive, too prone to offer resistance if I’m afraid of being hurt. Thankfully there are still women in the world who love broken things.