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Let's Talk Partners, Part I. . .

One example of an interesting woman is Jane Goodall, shown here with one the many chimpanzees she has devoted her life to researching.  Feminist Gloria Steinem, author Martha Grimes, and literary and cultural scholar Cecilia Sjoholm are three additional examples of interesting women, but the list is endless.

You knew we'd eventually have this discussion, didn't you?  Sooner, or later, the average guy in his quest for greater style and even quality -- of life as well as attire -- will realize that he must reexamine what he needs and wants in a partner or companion of longstanding.  I'll talk specifically about women in this post, but much, if not all, of what I mention here is applicable regardless of one's specific interests.

When it comes to women -- notice I do not use the word 'girls' since we are talking about adults here -- consider the following points before you get too involved (and I mean hopping into the sack):

1) The woman in whom you are interested -- really, seriously interested -- should have deep interests and aspirations of her own in something tangible. . .  but not to such a degree that there is no room for you.  If she is that busy and focused on herself, move on.

2) She is well-educated and has at least a bachelor's degree (preferably NOT in something like Retail or Telejournalism).  A graduate degree of some kind is even better.

3) She can hold down her end of a conversation for longer than five minutes and beyond initial pleasantries.

4) She has her own informed opinions and will not necessarily always agree with those you hold.  Maybe, she might even occasionally call you out to reevaluate and explain your own thoughts on an issue?

5) She reads.  And I'm not talking about the latest historical and/or vampire romance or the Harry Potter series as great as those are.  Something more cerebral and mature in its subject matter and perspective is ideal.

6) She has done interesting things with, and within, her life already BEFORE meeting you.

7) She has possibly lived in another country for a while and speaks another language besides English pretty well. . .  more than three or four carefully memorized phrases in Spanish, please.

8) She speaks and can converse like an adult. . .  both where the tone of her voice and her choice of subject matter are concerned. 

9) She has a clever sense of humor, generally avoiding easy laughs centered around bathroom humor and ethnic slurs.  We're adults after all.  What's her laughter like?

10) She is uniquely attractive, and even a bit quirky in her personality and appearance, although you can't quite put your finger on it.  But it's that certain something that makes her beautiful even without make-up or fancy clothes.  Don't discount freckles, fuller eyebrows, or some curves.

11) She has sophisticated tastes in her food, drink, and decor.  In other words, not every shirt, wall, or table surface in her apartment is covered with tiny figures or pictures of cows/moose/panda bears/Hello Kitty.  Hopefully we've gotten over that by our 25th birthdays.

12) She practices pleasant manners both at the table and in other areas of her life. . .  always.

Bonus Point -- When you broach the subject -- don't do it too soon, or you'll seem desperate -- she is able to perceive and acknowledge that there is somehow, some way room for a future that includes both of you as a couple.  She's flexible in other words.

There you have it.  At least a dozen positive attributes that a potential partner should possess before you pursue or become emotionally invested.  While not the whole picture, of course, these features help make a person interesting, attractive, and even beautiful to us, although that might not be in the way that too many people understand the term "beautiful" thanks to modern media's pervasive and narrow parameters.  Remember guys.  We're adults now, so it's time to stop thinking with the little general.  Let's be a bit more rational in our approach to people and how we view them. . .  especially when it comes to matters of the heart and mind.  


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