21 Things I Want in a Lover

21 may seem an arbitrary number, but I really like this Alanis Morissette song by the same name.

Recently, I tweeted that there were only 2 things I was looking for in a man: 1) is in therapy, 2) is on Twitter.

I was 90% sure that I meant this when I tweeted it. I’ve since fleshed out the list, and realized that those two characteristics were just synecdoche. In full, I’d like an emotionally healthy partner who also makes me laugh, and there are in fact better signifiers than these. For instance, my ideal lover:

  1. Is hot.
    lol this is a dream list guys come on
  2. Has male friends.
    OK in all honesty, this is number 1. I think men are often discouraged from an early age to share their genuine feelings with others and make meaningful platonic connections. Dudes, listen up. I WANT you to talk about our problems to other people. Tell em all about my most annoying qualities all the time until you work that shit out! (Pictured, the beautiful bros of Empty Promises improv)
  3. Likes bits.
    If you can’t wake up next to me and roll with my prolonged act out of a distressed conversation between Batman and Alfred, I’m going to kick you out of bed.
  4. Plans a dope party.
    I like doing shit. Being in a happy relationship can put a damper on doing shit, because it’s really easy to realize you like all of the same TV shows and also each others’ nude bodies, which are more easily explored in bed. It would be super hella tight to be with someone who prioritized seeing various people and having new experiences.
  5. Has not boned my friends. Or, like, not seriously?
    We’ve addressed this.
  6. Likes my best friend Ella Gale. (Again, preferably not in a sex way.)
    Maintaining friendships while dating is, frankly, hard for me. Often, making a date a triad or double date is my go-to to make sure I see enough of everybody. I’ll even play Agricola if you really like it, because Ella does, and even though the idea bores me I’d really like to facilitate your building an old timey farm together.
  7. Likes my every social media post. Every. Single. One.
    Idk guys I need a lot of attention. Have you not caught on?
  8. Fucks good.
    Sorry, mom. Really, I just mean my partner meets me where I am in terms of sexual confidence and communication. In general, I work out a ton and eat really healthy and am extremely emotionally open. It’s important to me that my partner either go blow for blow with me, or just be comfortable explaining to me in a real way why he doesn’t feel like he can, so that I can take care of myself in peace.
  9. Thinks I am the funniest person on the planet.
    AT LEAST that he has ever met in real life, come on.
  10. Is in therapy, or will go to couples therapy with me down the road.
    I don’t think every person needs therapy, but often the people who need it the most are also the ones who think it’s shameful to go. A dude should be in therapy if he feels trouble feeling joy, or communicating, and I’d like him to be willing to go to therapy with me because sometimes I’m awful at talking about the things I do that aggravate my partners and I really like to work through problems with a facilitator. Also, idk, I just really enjoy throwing away $40-$160 a month depending on my insurance plan!!!
  11. Has hot friends for Ella to date.
    We would like to marry brothers or, like, conjoined twins, but good friends will do in a pinch.
  12. Shares my passions but doesn’t really want to talk about the politics of them.
    If at 2 in the morning you try to talk to me about what shows you didn’t get, I will murder you (or, more likely, start thinking at 2 in the morning about all the shows I didn’t get and then not sleep well and then get cranky the next day and thus think about all the shows I didn’t get AGAIN and then spiral into a cycle of depression!!!!)
  13. Owns The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005) on DVD.
    If the power goes out and we have one charged laptop and no wifi this is what I would like to do with our time. I refuse to read by candlelight. Thanks in advance.
  14. Does improv.
    There are other things that provide men with the same structure I associate with improv – some social or non-profit work, a really great family structure, etc. The reason I include this is that improv has provided me with a language to discuss my feelings, in a way that even therapy hasn’t. I can discuss presence, having authentic emotional reactions, and behaving in accordance with the values of my character (self) better than I could in the past, and I’d like my partner to understand that as well.
  15. Is willing to debate which character on Happy Endings is the best.
    I thought it was Max (Adam Pally) for a long time but also I really like Jane (Eliza Coupe) and I’d like someone to help me really work this out. I’d also like everyone on earth to agree Dave is the worst and should not even be allowed on TV.
  16. Is aware of his privilege, and can check me on my own.
    If I tell you a friend of mine would prefer to go by “they” than “he,” at least fucking try. If I tell you a friend felt that your words were racist or sexist, think about it in a serious way, and also, apologize. If you feel that I am being thoughtless or inconsiderate of yours or another person’s experience, tell me.
  17. Has watched all of Buffy and at least one other Whedon series.
    I’d like it to be Dollhouse but it can also be Firefly or Angel. SHIELD doesn’t count, and the Avengers are garbage. Fight me.
  18. Maybe he is a she?
    I don’t think I’ll end up with a woman but I guess I’ve said he a lot and I’m not, like, closed to it. Especially if she has a penis! Is that ok to say? Please see #16.
  19. Eats healthy but likes Wendy’s nuggets at 2 am.
    Let’s eat fruit and yogurt for breakfast, a salmon cesar for lunch, and a pint of ice cream for dinner.
  20. Can stop me from spiraling when I am sad.
    Tell me when to shut the fuck up, but, like, do it in a loving way.
  21. Did I mention he should fuck good?

No shade to any previous lovers in this post, as I feel I have indeed been very lucky in that regard!

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