She was on the verge of tears for the second time in one night. He'd done it again and she couldn't understand why he treated her as though she didn't matter.
"Why do you still want him?" I asked.
"I don't know," she answered between sobs. "He's a really good guy, and I know that I'm not going to find someone that has all his qualities."
"Ummm, what's so great about him?"
"Well, he's college educated, got a good job, his own place, no kids. Plus he's really good looking, goal oriented and all that stuff."
And there it was. Like so many women before her, including me, she had mistaken qualifications for qualities.
Everyone has standards. Whether they write it on stationary and tuck it under their pillow at night, or keep it stored in a corner of their mind, everyone has a list of everything they want in a mate. Honest, kind, loyal, smart, funny, musical, artistic, educated, driven, spiritual, logical, sane, and the list goes on and on. And as much as people are loathe to admit it, the packaging those qualities come in is pretty darn important as well. Personally, I prefer honest, kind, loyal, smart, funny, etc. to come in a very tall, very cute, gainfully employed package.
It seems the older and more accomplished my friends and I become, the more emphasis we put on the packaging rather than the contents. Whenever we brag about the men in our lives (they brag, I listen) it usually sounds like, "He's 2_, an engineer, has his own house, and is working on his masters degree." Then we all agree that our friend really has found a wonderful man. Fast forward two weeks when he's stood her up for the fourth time in five dates and won't return her calls and we're calling him the scum of the Earth. But the worst part of it all, is that no matter who this happens to, we still want to hang on to him, cause we're sure that he really is a great guy. I mean, he's an engineer with his own house whose working on his masters degree. That says it all.
In the last few months, I've learned a valuable lesson from Chesty LaRue. Since the turn of the century, Chesty has had the misfortune of dating several successful men (in addition to the Broke Ass Niggas she also attracts.) She's dated a Wall Street trader, an engineer, and something else that I can't remember right now. All of them were supposedly a good catch, except for the fact that they lied, cheated, and basically treated her like shit. After the last "great guy" acted a damn fool, Chesty decided she was taking a break from men. And the moment she stopped looking, someone found her. She met a man who is attentive, kind, funny, and best of all adores the ground she walks on. And she got all these things in an unemployed, ex-con, multiple babies' daddy who's an aspiring rapper. He's by no means a perfect man, as he does have a tendency to stupid shit on occassion. However, he makes her happy which is more than I can say for the others.
Dating is a lot like job searching. You present your qualifications, go on a few interviews, hope for a call back, go on some more interviews, and hope someone picks you for the job. I think a lot of women wind up falling for a guy's resume before he ever has an interview. But it's important to remember that just because a guy looks good on paper, it doesn't mean he's a good guy.