Just as a bit of a disclaimer: I want to state in no uncertain terms, I am not a relationship expert. If you were to ask me about black cinema, music, even being a loud mouth debater, I may accept such a title graciously. However, being a relationship guru is a field from which I would have to gracefully retreat. Although I accept I am not an expert, at the risk of sounding a bit obnoxious, I will admit: I have never lacked for interested parties (did not say I was interested back though), I have dated just as much as a Sex in the City character (make sure you direct you attention to the word DATE and not SEX), and hell, I'm married. So, although not an authority, I may have a slight idea about how relationships work, at least between men and women.
Now with that being said, I recently had a thought, partially based on my own dating experiences, and a recent conversation or two. "How many of us know what type we are?" Although many hate to admit it, we all do fall, at least slightly, in some sort of general category. (Yep, being the "unique" guy is a category in itself) Furthermore, "How many of us know what type is attracted to our own?" I learned what type of woman I was deemed very early unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you view it) because I repeatedly was placed in situations where men told me why they were drooling over my friends and family members, but not me. By learning how men viewed me, I also learned which men would find me appealing. I used that information to lean in their direction (little extra flirting), so to speak. Whenever I noticed someone I found attractive, who I knew would like me, I would find a way to get a little closer to them. They would realize "hey, I like her" and ask me out, and think it was all their idea. Yeah, a little calculated but, hey, what idiot doesn't work from a plan? Needless to say I never dated too many men who I did not already know, at least just a smidge. Being honest, getting approached in a club, bar, beach with a bikini on (OK that might be a stretch, I have never even worn a damn bikini in my life), rarely happened. The point is, it saved me from wasting time with men with who things never would have worked. It does not mean of course everything did work with everybody with whom I spent my time, but I can at least say I have never parted ways with anyone who would tell you they hated me. I can not think of anyone I dated who does not have anything but well wishes for me. We may have chosen different paths, but the compatibility, in relation to personality, was always there.
A huge amount of people, who say they are looking for long term relationships and marriages, repeatedly find themselves dating people who everyone surrounding them knows is not going to end up being "the one"; no ones says anything. The reason no one says anything is because it requires having a discussion with someone about their imperfections; no one wants to tread into those waters. I think constantly picking the wrong partner is a symptom of not being aware of who it is you may be. Most people, or at least most men, in my experience, have simply wanted to be with someone with who they have the most fun. So think about it, when are you having the most fun? What makes you the most happy? Is it when you watch sports? Is it when you travel? Is it when you hear good music? The person who shares that with you, is probably going to be someone you enjoy being around more than most. No, you don't have to have everything in common because *NEWSFLASH* you won't. However, whatever it is at your core that makes you happy, has to be whatever it is at their core that makes them happy. Having the same intense love for something someone else does, typically doesn't happen everyday, and even less so between men and women. Men and women are socialized to have different interest and hobbies. The learned differences are why finding commonality with friends of the same sex is so much easier than with the opposite sex; we were taught to like different things. (No one is talking to you "girl with no women friends" please be seated) It may sound simple, but, oddly enough it is not. It is a deeper connection than simply having a few things in common.
Now, I do believe there are exceptions to every rule; hell, I don't even follow rules most of the time. I know you have those who are not looking for the company of someone they enjoy. Some people are looking for a trophy wife, or my all time favorite, the idiots who are looking for someone with who they can be the perfect "power couple". When I pursued a legal career and had a more conservative look, I had many a fool serve that idea up on a platter, as if being a part of his Bold, Black, and Bougie fantasy was on my "To Do" list. But, I digress. Take some time, think about who you are inside, and if you don't know ask a few bluntly honest friends (Yes, I am available); it may help. Stop pursuing the Prada clad "pretty girls" when you love nothing more than to workout and pursue outdoor activities. You will probably be happier with the girl with the ponytail at the end of the bar drinking whiskey, that of course is if you would simply take the time to speak to her. Stop saying you want an Alpha male when you can't even hear the word submissive without rolling your eyes. *NEWSFLASH (PART II)* THAT MAN is not going to let you control him. Be OK with the reality you like to be in control, even if society says it's wrong.
True commonality is a simple concept rarely pursued. No one ever wants to admit they don't fit the ideal, subsequently the false perception leads to a chase of the ideal partner. Admitting what one believes is their own flaw, and accepting they may have to change to get their ideal, or accept someone who they see flaws in as well is difficult. The eye opening fact however is going to be that we are all flawed. With changes you may get your ideal, only to find they are flawed in ways you did not originally see. Pursue those who love what you love in life and ignore the fact she isn't exactly a 10, or he doesn't have the most prestigious career; just be happy. And when you finally accept you and find love beyond the flaws, yours and theirs, to that I say "Welcome to Marriage".....and then, well that is a whole other discussion...