Picking Your Dysfunction (Finding my MIP)

As teenagers, we all dream of our ideal partner. Mine would be sensitive , intelligent, witty, great sense of humor, poetic, beautiful in a scholarly sort of way and worship the ground I walk on (of course). After being married , divorced, and thrust back into the dating world, my perceptions of ideal have changed quite a bit. I’ve been with some incredibly sensitive men; so sensitive that I feel like I have to walk on eggshells to protect their delicate feelings and spend more time nursing their bruised feelings than doing anything else. Intelligence can also equate to listening to them pontificate on their knowledge for so long and with such smug superiority, I want to punch them in their face. After having a couple of poems written for me, I’ve discovered it’s actually quite an awkward experience, like trying to watch a scene in a sitcom that makes you squirm with embarassment. Listening to someone wax poetic tickles my gag reflex, although the occasional glimpse of an inner poet is lovely. I’ve dated men that were hysterically funny, for the first hour. After the first hour they’re still cracking jokes and waiting for me to get the punchline, while I’m wondering if my facial muscles are going to stick in a rictus of forced hilarity. Beautiful becomes less important, as long as there is attraction. Oddly enough, that whole “worship the ground I walk on” concept is also not something I want anymore. Do I want to be loved, admired, desired and respected? Absolutely? Worshipped? No way. It gets very tiresome, which may sound like I have some experience with being worshipped. Believe it or not, although it isn’t the norm, it has happened. It turned me into a perverse monster, who began to push buttons and do outrageous things simply to see how far they were willing to go. The further they went with putting me on an alter, the lower my respect for them plummeted. Not one of the shinier aspects of my personality, yet still it exists.

I no longer believe that anyone gets their ideal partner. At any age, but certainly in your mid-thirties, you begin to learn what you can live with and what you can’t. The simple truth is, everyone is dysfunctional. So I’d like to introduce the concept of the Mostly Ideal Partner (or MIP, if you prefer). The MIP has flaws, sometimes even big ones, yet you still believe the total package is a pretty great deal. Because really, isn’t finding a partner as much about finding someone with dysfunctions you can live with? I certainly have mine and I know there are men who would find them impossible to live with. I’ve met men that I know are great partners…for someone else. It’s not even that there’s anything wrong with them. I simply can’t live with certain traits they have.

So, I propose a different sort of social networking/dating site: The MIP page. Much like Facebook or a dating site, you’d have the opportunity to define yourself for the world with interests, descriptions, facts, cute quotations and pictures. However, (and this is the part I really love!) former dating partners or friends should be able to go and leave reviews! You could answer questions that would give the person an overall rating in various categories. You could even use the star system, using 1 Star for a low rating and 5 Stars for an excellent rating. For instance, let’s take “Arnold”. I’ve just recently gone on a date with Arnold and found that he wasn’t for me, but he’s a nice enough fellow. Let’s rate him!

Arnold Nice Guy

  • Intelligence: 3 Stars
  • Humor: 2 Stars
  • Dependability: 4 Stars
  • Manners: 4 Stars
  • Conversation: 2 Stars
  • Financial Stability: 4 Stars
  • Education: 3 Stars
  • Physical Attractiveness: 3 Stars
  • Grooming and Style: 3 Stars
  • Goodnight Kiss: 2 Stars

Quickly reading over the rating system, I would deduce that Arnold is of average looks, has a good job/assets, good manners, presents himself well and is a fairly average guy. However, he seems to be a bit underwhelming in the personality/sex appeal category, as he received lower ratings on humor, conversation and the goodnight kiss. I could even add a brief “review” that had to be 30 words or less:

Pleasant dinner companion with excellent manners. Not much to talk about. Date was a nice evening, but not enough spark for a second date.”

Now, Arnold isn’t for me, because I want good conversation and a guy who can make me laugh (not every minute!), not to mention a really hot kisser. However, there may very well be a woman out there who thinks that Arnold’s good manners, attractiveness and grooming, great job, and dependability more than makes up for what he lacks. Maybe she doesn’t require much conversation in a partner and welcomes the silence. Or maybe she never shuts up and doesn’t need much feedback. Maybe she’s very serious and likes a man who isn’t always trying to be witty or amusing. Arnold sounds like a keeper! I can think of a couple of men I’ve dated who I could give great ratings to, yet for one reason or another, they haven’t suited me.

I’m currently dating someone (3 months and counting!) who could very well turn out to be my MIP. Still, it sure would be nice if I could read some reviews. It would be like reading reviews on a CD before you purchase. “Some formulaic lyrics that frequently rise to original and thought-provoking, catchy tunes that stay in your head, moments of sheer beauty that rise above a primarily solid musical choice.” I would buy that CD! It might even be that after buying it, I think the reviewer was crazy and this is the best CD I’ve ever heard. Or maybe I’ll nod knowingly after I listen and continue to keep it in constant rotation. Really, couldn’t it work the same way with men and women???

Now, someone just needs to work on my MIP site…


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