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State Of The Love Address - 2006 Edition

My Fellow Lovers...

I can't believe I've been doing one of these, every year, for the past three years. I never intended it to be this. It just happened the first year and then I got the brilliant idea to continue doing it each year. I accept whatever blame or praise you have for me because of it.

As I look back on last year's address, I realize I made a promise to myself that I didn't keep. I didn't make "The List."®

"The List"®, in case you never knew, or in case you forgot, is a specific rundown of the traits and attributes you want to find in your potential mate.

The concept is very simple indeed. You make a list of the important elements to you, in as much detail as you dare. Here, being meticulous counts for a lot. You have to go through the physical, the mental, the emotional, the psychological, the geographical, the sexual and list off all of the things that you would find amazing in the person you want to meet.

According to legend, within a very short time after you complete "The List"®, a person crosses your path that not only matches your requests, but quite often exceeds what you asked, in many, if not all, areas!

Really, though, "The List"® is there to allow you to clarify what you want to find for yourself. As Joe Jackson sang: "You Can't Get What You Want, Til You Know What You Want." And that is the issue at stake. There's no element that's too minute to mention, no detail to small to overlook.

Let me give you an example. The one and only time I did "The List"®, I finished and literally just more than two weeks after I completed it, a woman showed up, completely at random! It was unbelievable! Attractive, intelligent, funny... I thought she was The One! Unfortunately, I forgot to list "stable" as one of the attributes I sought. Obviously, that was a no go.

It does seem that Cupid likes to have a laugh at humanity's expense when it comes to this game called love. I must be in the Best Comedy category with all of the missteps, the quirks, the bizarre elements and other such stuff that have gone into my life.

Another element that perhaps prevented me from making "The List"® was in thinking that I needed to be the person I thought I should be, before wrapping myself up with someone else. And that's very real. I'm a believer that one needs to be fully realized to have a good relationship with someone else. I think it takes people of my generation a longer time to get that concept, and an even longer time to do it. Our competitive nature has made living our lives really difficult for each other, rather than having people help one another.

As I noted in a previous State Of The Love Address, we aren't people who expect to meet someone and have that person shape or mold us into the people we should be, or worse, to have to help our partner through their own problems. We expect to share our time with a person who fits with us, a fully fitting jigsaw piece that doesn't have to be carved by that other person or that need some extra elements added on to connect properly.

There's a lot more to this. Allowing someone to be intimate with you is a tricky business. Will they be sensitive to your needs or more caring about their own? Are they emotional vampires, trying to get what they want? Or are they cloying cling-ons desperate to latch on to whomever they can get?

What is wrong with us? Why are we so intent on having more for ourselves when others have nothing? Are we all beggars of love?

Well, no. Some of us have an extreme amount of love. And what's that from? Appearance, wealth, fame, ability.

There are people who are beautiful to look at but not easy to get along with, and we know this. There are any number of attractive celebrities who have been through any number of relationships. We all can name at least a few. What is their story? They are learning about life while an audience of millions looks on and comments. Why do they simply repeat the same mistakes and bad choices over and over?

It seems like the learning is the important element in all of this. Love is about learning. Learning how to behave in a relationship, learning what is important to a partner, learning is a crucial point. If you aren't learning, then you are bound to make mistakes. But it's also about forgiving. If you are dealing with mistakes, how do you handle it. Will you make it work or need to take the remedial class?

But back to "The List"®. Making "The List"® doesn't necessarily guarantee you will find your perfect lover, but it does allow you to clarify, in your own head, what it is you want to find. That way, when someone interesting crosses your path, you have a template to use to see how that person matches up compared to your ideal.

Now, most of us know that an "ideal" is exactly that, and are capable of modifying our choices. Conversely, the perfect person could actually come along and unless you've bothered to list the traits, you might not even know it!

So, here we are. Some of us have found love, others have not yet, and still others may never. Let's be realistic. Not everyone can and will find love. Some people have stumbling blocks, either put in their way by fate or by themselves.

How you love yourself is perhaps more important than any love anyone else can give you. That's because how you love yourself is ultimately how everyone else CAN love you. Staying positive about your self-opinion is the crucial element.

I want all of you lovers out there, all of the people who want to find someone special by this time next year to make a pact with me.

I will be certain to be as true to myself as I can.
I will be certain to not be unreasonbly critical of myself.
I will attempt "The List"®.
If things don't work, I won't give up.
I will learn from all my experiences.

See you next year to compare notes.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
sputnik
Feb. 15th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
OK
penpusher
Feb. 15th, 2006 12:03 pm (UTC)
Cool.
sybilhawthorne
Feb. 15th, 2006 05:52 am (UTC)
i made a list, but i don't know where i put it. i should track it down and reupdate it. i know i had it linked in my old myspace, but then i deleted that account. now i'm back on there, but i don't remember where that entry is. i'm sure it's there ... it's probably just private. thanks for reminding me, and maybe you'll see an updated list show up in my journal. :)
penpusher
Feb. 15th, 2006 12:03 pm (UTC)
Good, DGirl. I wish you well on your journey!!
sugarplumkitty
Feb. 15th, 2006 06:26 am (UTC)
I simply asked the universe to send me someone I could love who could love me and who liked cats. Within three weeks I met Eric. Well, I forgot to ask for someone who wanted kids, but that worked out OK after all. I have other people's kids.
penpusher
Feb. 15th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
Your list was simple and effective!
sugarplumkitty
Feb. 16th, 2006 08:01 am (UTC)
I didn't want to be too specific in case what I thought I wanted wasn't what was best for me.

Yes, it worked out better than I ever dreamed! :)
annamaryse
Feb. 15th, 2006 08:11 am (UTC)
In my life, I've never found anyone when I was looking. I remember being single, and every time I met someone there was that little drumbeat on the back burner whispering "Are you the one?"

But then when you really do meet someone, there is no asking of questions... it just becomes a shared imperative to be together, to eat meals, wake up together, shop, do laundry, sleep, watch TV, go out... it happens and suddenly one is not asking any questions, it just *is*.

Norman Thelwell wrote an illustrated children's book called "Thelwell's Complete Guide to Equitation"... he was famous for his cartoonish scribbly pen and ink work of stubby little English children astride impossibly barrel-chested ponies.

I always think of one of the pages from that book whenever the subject of looking for love comes up. While addressing the important task of shopping for one's new pony, he said something along the lines of "You may believe you're never going to find the perfect pony.. but sooner or later, he'll find you."

The illustration was of the child and the pony embracing like two lost lovers.

One time I met someone and the intensity was in all the right places, but although he was clearly captivated by it and phoning me all the time and we were spending all our time together, there was some sense in him that was terribly hard for him to enunciate, that since it didn't meet whatever agenda he'd already planned for himself, he was afraid to give to the experience totally - thinking that if he let himself become totally wrapped up in the amazing immediacy that being with me represented, he might miss his chance to meet the mythic girl he believed he was looking for.

I stood on my head to beat the deal, and we became horribly enmeshed in one another's lives, but at the end of the day there was a part of him that worried that I was getting too comfortable.. and that one day he was gonna meet Miss Right and ride off into the sunset with her.

I broke it off with him after a couple of years, because it was trashing my self-esteem bigtime. (How else was I gonna read that except to feel like *I* wasn't good enough somehow/)

He was devastated. I've been lucky, and today I'm with a wonderful BF I've been with for more than 5 years. The lost boy? He's STILL alone. Don't get me wrong, lightening does strike more than once, and I'm utterly happy with my life today. That said, in that earlier time, the lost boy and I were absolutely right for one another like hand and glove. We fit together, we had such a deep psychic bond it was amazing the way we were so sensitive to one another - with a blink I could tell if he was getting ready to leave, I always knew when to stand up.

We were into the same scene, same music, same goals, had same business ideas... we liked the same foods. And we balanced each other, he helped ground me, I helped lighten his load. But it was 'you can lead a horse to water but ye canna make him drink' for that relationship.

Something inside him was out of kilter. IN fact: as much time as we spent together, it's amazing but I found out recently (from another mutual friend) that he was cited and convicted of stalking another woman during the exact time that we were dating! I didn't have a clue! And this happened even while he and I spent time together 5-6 days a week.

He totally kept the whole stinking incident from me! So there it goes to show, he was my golden boy then, and look what was simmering beneath the surface.

The bottom line is that he is the one who lost out, never accepting the relationship - because we had the relationship anyways, even though he tried to resist/minimalize it.

I thing relationships can be kind of like car accidents, you can even see the other vehicle approach, but do not always have any idea there's going to be an impact... and then sometimes all the damage is on one side and the other walks away without a scratch.

Anyhow, don't overthink it too much. I agree with sugarplumkitty - just ask the universe to send you someone. Don't focus on what they have to be... let the person just be themselves... let them be a surprise.

I wrote a poem about it once. Passion - the name and the word. I posted it on my lj a year ago or so, maybe I'll post it again soon.



penpusher
Feb. 15th, 2006 12:00 pm (UTC)
The point of Listing isn't that you are actively looking for someone. In fact, it actually works a lot better if you aren't looking!

What this does is allow you to focus on the elements that you find attractive, important, worthwhile in the person who happens to cross your path. Think of it like a spotlight on a stage. You set the parameters, the width of light, the focal point, all of the things you need to illuminate that person. When someone steps into the light, you just have a better view of who that is and if they fit there.

I think there are any number of ways to meet people. There's no one way to do it. Any of them could potentially be right. However, if there hasn't been any success with the random car accident method, here's another way. That's the beauty of it all. This is just another approach, and there's no harm in that.

Really, even if no new relationships are started using this method I suggest, it's fine. It's just a matter of defining what you would like and that's a positive anyway. So many people simply don't even know what's important to them or are vague about it all, they can miss out. This method isn't the be all or end all; it's just a tool that can help.

It's good to know what you want, to know what issues don't matter, and to know which ones you can be flexible about and that's what this is.
annamaryse
Feb. 15th, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC)
I hear you. I'm just saying, beware of creating a list that no earthly mortal can live up to. I think the danger then, is that no one can manifest because no one could fit the bill.

The danger to me - what it feels like from outside (and remember please, this is just how it feels to me), is that one may fall accidently into the mindset that one is casting for a part, rather than being open to a genuine human interaction.

I've been on dates like that. All night you feel like the guy is waiting for the next thing he'd anticipated.

When you first meet there's this sense that they've got a list in their mind and every time they figure something out that fits their list you can almost palpably feel them go 'check, good good, that's what I want'; and at first it just feels like awkwardness, can take a few hour or a few dates to realize this guy is all about a list of attributes.

It comes clear if you go 'left' when he expected 'right', there's this strange sense of him feeling like 'no no this is the part where you're supposed to...' and then there's an awkward silence and the person you're with makes in intellectual decision of 'no, don't think this girl is "it"' -- and after that you might as well stand up and shake their hand and say "OK sir, thanks for your time and consideration. May you find what the hell you're looking for..." turn tail, and split.

I was most aware of this when I was blonde when still in my 20s, the first time I went blonde. I'd be walking down the street and men would lock on to me like "There's one!" because for a lot of men, being blonde was a number one part of the list.

But the ones who got nowhere fast with me were the ones with a prepackaged supplemental list, because the moment I had this sense they were reaching for criteria rather than experiencing me as a human being, I was put off, because I didn't want to be a woman trying to fit someone's bill, I wanted to be a human who clicked in a natural way with another human because of kismet and destiny.

I offered my first story about Lost Boy, because as I found out along my journey - sometimes even that ultimate click, that love-at-first-sight shared by both (what the french refer to as 'folie a deux' - a folly shared by two) -- was not enough... because if the guy was dead set on his own intellectually devised criteria too heartily, he wouldn't know what love was when it hit him between the eyes. Believe me, I was there.

Knowing what works is common sense. If your list goes like "I want someone without an addictive personality who is not a neurotic, and is basically a generous soul who is intellectually my equal and fairly independent. She has to have a great sense of humor and doesn't/or does want kids" then I'd say the list process is fair. Those are basic logical parameters.

If it gets way too much more detailed, then I'm a little concerned.

Here's a question: have you ever taken eHarmony.com's free personality test?
penpusher
Feb. 15th, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
I do note that being flexible with it is helpful.

You're coming at this concept with the thought that it's negative, based on your personal experiences. I get that. But really, the truth is that everyone already sort of has a "list," somewhere. They may not know it, or fully understand it or even be able to say it, but it's up there, wedged in the cranium. This is just a method to clarify the elements that are crucial.

You can certainly be as detailed as you want. Not kidding: My former partner nearly wrote a novella on what she was looking for (I believe it was at least 60 pages) and it got into the minutae of every aspect of the guy. She is now engaged, though I have no idea how it played into her list, directly.

I did fill out the eHarmony one and even got some replies from the pool, which I didn't pursue since I would have had to pay whatever their fee was.

The eHarmony method was a little freaky, in that they make everyone answer the same sets of elaborate questions. That really isn't the same thing as what I'm proposing (pardon that verb)!

Someone's list could fit on a post-it note or might need a ream of paper... it's whatever that person feels important enough to name. That makes sense to me, because everyone is an individual and everyone needs to make sense of what is important for them to find in a partner.

Can people become obsessed with it? Of course they can. People can be obsessed by ANYTHING, especially those that are prone to obsession. This is a tool... like fire or a knife. It can be used expertly or could create your demise if dealt with in an haphazard manner.

Maybe I should have issued some sort of restrictive warning, like they do on TV if the show gets violent?
__shesaid__
Feb. 15th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
I think the last time I made a list of traits I wanted in a significant other was back in the late 90's after I had my heart shattered for the umpteenth time. It did help though, to put onto paper what I really wanted in a man, and what I didn't.

Very cool how you've been doing the state of the union love post for three years now:)
penpusher
Feb. 15th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you Ms. C... I think that a list is a way of greasing the wheels a little bit. Maybe once you make one, and you see someone who looks like they might fit, you would talk to that person, where you might not have had you not considered what you wanted.

The whole Love post thing really was an accident, though, which is why the first one isn't even titled!
__shesaid__
Feb. 15th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
exactly!!! I kept picking the same types of men over and over and over, and then finally was so fed of that in a joking manner I made up my wish list of what I wanted my next lover to have and it was crazy how I ended up following it almost to a T when it comes to how my fiance is, so interesting how it turned out.

Well it has turned into a really cool annual thing that I like to read so keep posting away each year:)
mightypen
Feb. 15th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
Funny thing: I've always had a list in my head but never committed one to paper.

Now, The Dude on the other hand had a fairly detailed list as well as a dating "system" based on that list. He's actually blogged about it in the past and kept track of who he was dating and where she placed on "the list." Then somehow it got all muddled and I think he got in trouble once or twice.

Well, now we've both tossed our lists and we're still amazed and feeling very lucky blessed that we've both essentially found the person we always dreamed up in our heads.
penpusher
Feb. 15th, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
That is one organized Dude! I had no idea he had a whole "system!"

Now I should look through his blog and see what he had said about it and how it works.

Ultimately, the idea is to get away from listing. It's sort of like training wheels for your bicycle, if you think about it. It's there to get your dating equilbrium arranged. In that sense, it's helpful but not something you want to rely on forever!
tygerx
Feb. 15th, 2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
Asking a virgo to make a list?? Where's my pen? ;)
penpusher
Feb. 22nd, 2006 11:17 pm (UTC)
How's your list coming along?? Steel Claws, mutant powers... etc.
tygerx
Feb. 23rd, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
Ha! Wouldn't that make an interesting personals ad huh? I'd probably end up with some hairy/roughneck/cigar smokin biker with muttonchops.. hell I could go to any dive bar and get me one of those easy, lol. Think i'll keep my 'actual' list a bit more in the real world, heh. ;)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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