On Being "Too Picky:" I Know What I Want
I'VE ALWAYS BEEN EXTREMELY PICKY.
i'm picky about everything: the food I eat and gym I go to; my outfits each day; my brand and clothing line (coming soon); the freakin' coffee shops i go to before posting my blogs; who I keep around;
and god knows i'm picky about the person i'm choosing to spend the rest of my life with.
why shouldn't i be?
EVEN AT 16 YEARS OLD, I had a VIVID IDEA OF what I wanted in a significant other. STILL, I found myself tempted to get involved with people who SIMPLY weren't for me. thankfully, I resisted those TEMPORARY temptations and traded them in for a deeper conviction in MY RELATIONSHIP NON-NEGOTIABLES. I decided that I loved myself enough to be extremely particular about this decision, that I would stay single until I found him. so yes, I WAS PICKY AT 16 AND I'm EVEN PICKIER TODAY. I KNOW WHAT I WANT, AND YOU SHOULD TOO. there is nothing wrong with loving ourselves enough to be particularly particular about who or what we allow in.
especially if we intend to keep them.
a couple years BACK, my aunts, cousins and I went on a road trip to Chicago for my cousin's bachelorette weekend. on the ride back, I somehow got caught in an intervention of some sorts. my aunts were interrogating me, trying to understand why I didn't have anyone in my life (god forbid). I KNEW THEY HAD GOOD INTENTIONS, BUT I ALSO KNEW THAT I WASN'T WORRIED ABOUT MYSELF. how could I assure them that they need not be worried either? well, I TRIED hitting them with: "I know what I want, I'm just not ready for him," and they didn't really like that one, so I tried another one: "I'm happy being single, and I'm prepared to stay happily single until I meet someone who has the qualities I want in a man." but LET ME TELL YOU, THE army of amtos was not having it. they proceeded to lecture me for 30 minutes about how I was "too picky." that my "dream man" only existed in my dreams. the funniest was when they started listing off guys they knew: "what about so and so? why not him?"
as frustrated as I was at the time, I don't think I did a great job explaining what I meant by "I know what I want." in retrospect, they probably thought I was like many other people my age who are picky about all the wrong things. in my aunts' defense, they were trying to prevent me from blocking my own blessing, from creating a list of criteria that would not lead to contentment.
because honestly, for many of us who claim to know what we want, this is what our lists look like:
"he has to be 6'2 or taller but definitely shorter than 6'7 because that's just too tall; must have facial hair but by facial hair I mean scruff, not like a get-stopped-at-the-airport-every-time-we-travel kind of beard; has to have a sparkling smile but he can't be prettier than me; drives an s-class Mercedes or a BMW or honestly whatever as long as its foreign and expensive; has to be a family man but not a big mama's boy because that would just be annoying; has to be built but not like a body builder, he just has to have nice arms, shoulders, abs, chest, etc.; I don't really care what he does but he has to make 6-figures or 7 or 8 honestly the sky is the limit but he definitely still needs to make time for his family."
"she needs to be shorter than me but not too short - definitely taller than 5'0; she needs to have a flat stomach with some meat on her thighs but not where she starts getting cellulite; her hair needs to be long and brown or maybe even blonde but she can't look fake; I need to see what her mom looks like so I can make sure she won't gain too much weight or age too quickly; I would prefer it if her eyes were colored but if they aren't, then her smile needs to be out of this world, well actually either way her smile needs to be out of this world because messed up teeth are a turn off; she needs to workout but she can't be too built because that's disgusting; she can't be too needy but I still need to feel needed."
if you've talked to me for 30 seconds or if you've read anything I've ever written, you would know that I will never be on either end of such pretentious pickiness, and I really hope you aren't either. don't get me wrong - we all have so-called "types," AND WE'RE ENTITLED TO this SO LONG AS WE'VE TAKEN THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND WHERE THESE "PREFERENCES" ARE COMING FROM. MANY OF our preferences ARE rooteD IN "ISMS" THAT WE NEED TO UNLEARN - BUT THAT'S A TOPIC FOR ANOTHER POST. MY POINT IS, I don't think there's anything wrong with having preferences, but there is something wrong with characteristics trumping character. many of us are picky about all the wrong things, and QUITE FRANKLY, many of us need to be pickier about all the right things. AND WHILE THOSE "THINGS" ARE DIFFERENT FROM PERSON TO PERSON, it REALLY all comes down to this:
what qualities in a significant other are going to make you a better, happier person with a better, happier family (or union) X YEARS DOWN THE LINE?
🗣 THOSE ARE THE RIGHT THINGS - BE PICKY ABOUT THEM.
because guess what? everything else is temporary - here today and gone tomorrow.
as I mentioned earlier, I have known for a while what character traits will make me happy in the long run. i was blessed with a beautiful example of this in my father, and I was raised with the kind of moral compass and softness that I want my husband to raise my children with. in this way, we all deserve to be picky, to have high standards for ourselves and the people whom we allow into our lives. and honestly, as good as it sounds, we all need reminders. I found myself in desperate need of a reminder a few years back, so I wrote I journal entry called "I know what I want."
I'm sharing it with you today in hopes that you can be encouraged to be picky in all the right ways, too:
I Know What I want
8.16.15 5:31 PM
I want someone first and foremost who isn't afraid of loving me.
I want someone who doesn't have to wait to see how I move to figure out what his next step will be;
I don't want reactionary; when necessary, I want someone ready to execute regardless of my moves.
I want someone who expresses his thoughts and heart to me because he sees me as a partner navigating and facilitating our relationship together.
I want someone who isn't afraid to touch me; who isn't scared to be vulnerable in my presence.
I want someone who can protect and comfort me but will also let me protect and comfort him.
I want someone who knows he's human.
I want someone who just knows where it hurts and how to make it better.
I want someone who doesn't mind being predictable (for the right reasons).
I want someone who shares my interests in social justice, education, mental/physical/spiritual health, fashion, culture, language.
I want someone who is available.
I want someone who wants me like I want him.
I want someone who recognizes the strength and power in how intensely I am able to love those in my life, including and especially him.
I want someone who will wait for me but also sees urgency in our bond.
I want someone who can make my mom laugh and who can cry with my father.
I want someone who can walk the fine line between his pride and his ego without losing himself in the process.
I want someone who keeps me grounded in my roots.
I want someone who will do anything for his children.
I want someone who will tear up when our son cries and beam uncontrollably at the strength of our daughter.
I want someone who empowers me, someone who reassures me, even when I think I'm being crazy.
I want someone gentle in the face of tenderness but menacing in the face of danger.
I want someone who recognizes my individuality, regardless what other roles I assume.
I want someone who knows that some days, I'll just need to be "me."
I want someone who doesn't settle.
I want an independent thinker.
I want someone who isn't afraid to hold me accountable, to check me when I'm wrong.
I want a man who knows when to be soft and when to be hard. but mostly a man who knows when to be soft.
I want someone who comes prepared.
I want someone man enough to say sorry, even if he doesn't really know how he's hurt me.
I want someone who sees nobody but me - who knows that I'm enough and so much more than enough.
I want someone who keeps our love vibrant and passionate.
I want someone who knows when to stay in all day and when to try something new.
I want someone who believes wholeheartedly in body language - in showing me how much he loves me through our intimacy.
I want someone who is honest. I want someone with excellent judgment - who knows when to share and when to exercise discretion.
I want someone who believes in me.
I want someone who believes me when I say
"I know what I want."
as you can see, BEING PICKY DOESN'T mean I'm an "independent women who don't need no man." being picky means that I'm an independent woman who wants a very specific type of man.
BEING PICKY MEANS THAT WE LOVE OURSELVES ENOUGH TO WAIT FOR IT, BECAUSE well, WE ARE SO worth THE WAIT.
AND MOSTLY, LOVE, BEING PICKY MEANS THAT HE/SHE IS WORTH THE WAIT, TOO.