Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

L'homme idéal

So, here I am, 3 months post break-up. I think I'm doing pretty damn good, all things considered. Course a lot of that is due to the wonderful friends I've made here, without whom I probably wouldn't be in such a good place.

One of the things I've been pondering though lately is what sort of man I would like to date. I've come up with a list of criteria, and I've gotten mixed feed-back on it. Some people have been critical, saying I shouldn't be so exclusive, while others have been encouraging, saying I deserve it. I sort of feel like at my age - yes, I do realize I'm not old, but still -after everything I put up with for Fab, I'm just not up for dealing with time-wasters or guys who don't know what they want. Nor am I desperate (yet anyways, lol), so future candidates are going to get passed through the following list:

1. Must have a stable job, and a good job at that. I did the whole "poor and struggling couple" for five years. Moving to France was a big step back for me financially and I have no desire to be in that situation again. This means you Mr. RATP bus driver who keeps hitting on me.
2. Education - minimum of a 4yr degree (or Bac+3 in France). I broke my education rule with Fab and all's that got me is a life surrounded by uneducated people who'd never left their village. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it made things a million times more difficult for me as a foreigner in France.
3. Height is often a deal-breaker for me, so preferably 5'10" (178cm) or taller. Yes, I realize that rules out 80% of the French male population.
4. Likes to travel and experience new things.
5. Good sense of humor - that's what attracted me to Fab in the first place. He always could make me laugh. Laughter is good.
6. Wants a fairly equal partnership, and not the typical French one where the woman does all the cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids, etc.

Bonus points for:
-not having a herd of cows that ties him to the farm
-not being from Bretagne (I'm so over Brittany)
-being a non-smoker (broke that rule for Fab too - yuck!)
-being French, if only so that I could finally have someone to speak French with!
-not being a nail-biter (what is it with the Frenchies and their oral fixations??)
-living in Paris
-being between age 28-33
-being at least moderately romantic (though after Fab, pretty much any guy would probably be an improvement, lol)

That's not too much to ask for, is it? Wait, don't answer, maybe I don't want to know. But I do know that I don't want to lower my standards this time around. Being single actually isn't that bad (minus the lack of sex of course *S*), so I'm willing to wait until I meet someone who fulfills a good chunk of that criteria. And I'm fairly confident that it will happen when it's meant to happen. Right, universe?

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Blogger Syd said...

I don't think that's all that much to ask for. I suppose a lot of ppl are reacting to the 'good job' criteria, since you're 'supposed' to love the man regardless - but there's a lot of truth to the 'as easy to love a rich an as a poor man' saying. I know you're not saying 'wealthy' but you know what I mean.

July 2, 2008 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger L said...

I'd suggest a friend of B's, but he's 26 (too young), and really short. I think he's the same size as me, to give you an idea. Other than that, he fits all your criteria, so I don't think it should be too difficult to find someone in Paris.

July 2, 2008 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Le Tigre in France said...

Agreed, it'll happen when it's meant to. I don't think your criteria is too much particular either, it makes a lot of sense. Once you meet the right guy though, criteria won't be so important BUT there are certain fundamentals I guess, like I hear you on not wanting to get involved with someone working on the farm all day! That's less about the person and more a lifestyle choice I think..hopefully in Paris you will be safe from that at any rate! I don't think you are being unrealistic at all so I wouldn't be surprised if you very well met someone, or several someones who fit the package.

July 2, 2008 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Global Librarian said...

When I was younger I also had a list of criteria. It was a pretty long list. Not surprisingly, I never met anyone who lived up to the criteria.

Deciding I was perhaps being too picky, I threw the list away. After all, dating was supposed to be fun and about meeting new people, not interviewing for the person with whom I would spend the rest of my life. My new rule was as long as they didn't set off an alarm of some kind in my head, I would accept a date with any man who asked. (Within reason and following the rules of safety, of course.)

After two years of a lot of dating, and a lot of very funny stories, I met someone who I previously would never have thought was "my type." By the second date I knew I would likely spend the rest of my life with him. Within a year we were married. We couldn't be happier.

Be open minded, but sensible. And have fun!

July 2, 2008 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I think you missed the most important thing - un coup de foudre!

July 2, 2008 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Brno girl said...

just tall are you? I think Dutch guys are the hottest and they are sooo tall...Just a thought:))))

July 2, 2008 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I agree with you 100% about being somewhat picky... I am the same way now. 29 yrs old and I just do not have the time to waste in High School relationships. I know what I want, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Everyone has the right to be picky... it is your life, why shouldn't you be 100% happy with it.

And if I may submit my application for review... hehe ;-)
1. I have worked for the same company for four years, heck it is what brought me to France.
2. I have three degrees, Associates (yes some people still get those), bachelor's and master's
3. 5'11"
4. Travel! Have you read my blog? hehe
5. I think I am funny, and others have told me that too... although an ex did say I never laugh at anyone else's jokes, but I say she was just not funny.
6. Please, equal is key! I cook, I clean, etc... and I grew in a house where responsibilities are shared, never a woman only!

As for bonus point:
(+) I think I visited a farm once, and it smelled bad... so no chance in owning a herd.
(+) definitely not from bretagne
(+) non-smoker
(-) Not French
(-) Not living in Paris (but not a long train ride)
(+) 29 yrs old
(+) I will buy you flowers all the time and always plan special nights out ;-)

Oh that was fun, I love taking surveys... especially ones that are about me! hehe :-)

July 2, 2008 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I don't really like when people say their partner must have a good job. What about you? Do you have a stable and 'good job'? Same could be said for education.

Find a guy you like as a person, not who he is on paper.

July 2, 2008 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Brno girl said...

It cannot be true that French women do everything at home...To me they seem quite emancipated...?

July 2, 2008 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Oh and it is worth noting that your list is not that picky... case in point, if I can take it and pass... then it is fine. I think you hit on some rather important things that just help to take care of the rif-raf. It is general and will establish at least some starters... then you can negate any worries and move on to focusing if your personalities then click. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders so be patient and in time (when you aren't looking) you will find the right person.

July 2, 2008 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I don't know guys, the job thing is sort of a big issue for me. There were times in Bretagne where I didn't even have enough money to go have a coffee with my friends - not cool. I'm not saying the guy needs to be rich or anything, but a decent salary, when combined with my own of course, would be nice. Enough for us to live comfortably on, to be able to travel, etc. I don't want to spend the rest of my life struggling to make ends meet like my parents did. Money is after all the number one thing couples fight about.

Andrea - un coup de foudre is what got me into this whole mess in the first place!!! *S*

Brno girl - personally, I don't think French women are emanicipated at all, at least not in Bretagne. I'm sure it's different in Paris, but I often had the impression there that those women were straight out of the 50's!!

Justin - sorry, I think the "not living in Paris" part disqualifies you. If I crossed the cute professor from the bar & Doc's Dr. V off the list for not living in Paris, you gotta go too. :-) Though the same thing can be said for you - be patient, and the right girl will come along!! (Bummer that your quasi-date didn't take place in France though...)

July 2, 2008 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger kylie said...

let's clarify here and say that "good" job can mean different things to different people. i don't think sam's saying he's got to be bill gates! (or are you... did i miss that somewhere?) my big thing isn't so much making tons of money, but rather being responsible with one does make...

on my list of the ideal guy, i think i would add "left-handed". i mean, if we are all making lists. :)

July 2, 2008 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger au soleil levant said...

I think all of us have certain things we look for in a person, and we all deserve to have those "lists" to find someone who will make us happy. Of course, that doesn't mean that you'll always check off every item on "the list" when you meet someone you like, but it gives a basic map for finding a good guy. I don't think you're off base with the job criteria - I think a stable, well-enough paying job tends to go hand in hand with another item on your list, education (except for Americans living in France teaching English for peanuts!).

I feel like Paris must a fantastic place to meet people because it's so diverse and there is so much to do there. I'm sure that before you know it you'll find someone special.

July 2, 2008 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger parisiannewyorker said...

I don't know - I see the positive and negative parts of having a list.
The good part is that it is nice to have a little bit of a guideline, but the bad part is that I think it makes it that much harder to meet people and live out interesting experiences (be they good or bad - I think they are all there for a reason)
So I guess that while it's nice to have some guidelines, I don't think it should be the end all, be all to relationships. I mean, I love making lists and rules and sticking to them, but if I had stuck with it, I probably would not have married my husband.

Though if I may make a suggestion, if you're going to stick with the list, I would write the list down but without the negatives; i.e. instead of "I don't want a smoker", it should be "I want a non-smoker", or instead of "No short people", it should be, "I want a tall person".

PS: re: Justin - I also have an Associates degree as well as a Bachelor's. So yes, people DO still get the AAS degrees!

July 2, 2008 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger purejuice said...

add, has a landline a woman doesn't answer and owns his own furniture. (also check his medicine cabinet for evidence of a livein woman).

July 2, 2008 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Mal said...

I don't think you're too picky at all! These are all reasonable qualities. You deserve an upgrade!

And in the meantime... funfactory and lelo toys are the best in my opinion ;P

July 2, 2008 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Hey Sam....

I think it's a GREAT list and definitely not too much to ask for in decent and normal kind of guy!! I think it's good to have certain things in mind.. That was funny about he height thing.. about French men not being very tall.. Yeh... it's true!! You know.. back in the States.. the joke about meeting your perfect mate... in the produce section of the supermarket.. is not so far fetched over there.. but, I just can't picture that over here... hehehehe... Anyhow have fun meeting guys, when you do... fw

July 2, 2008 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

i think your list is perfect. i love the way you write too! you're so honest.

i know what you mean about not wanting to waste your time.

July 2, 2008 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

OHHHHH-- Good idea, Linda... Okay, Sam... a HOT Dutch guy who speaks French fluently and will live in France forever!! Sounds good.. I think they have good builds, non?

July 2, 2008 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Well, let's see, according to your list, here's how my husband ranks (but you can't have him! :)
1. job- well his future was pretty uncertain for the first six months of our relationship, but since then it has been stable
2. Education - definitely- he has a PhD in Physics
3. Height- well, he is only a few inches taller than I am, so about 5'7"? That's okay though.
4. Likes to travel and experience new things- definitely- we met while he was living in the US and he has lived in Sweden
5. Good sense of humor - hmm, yeah he is pretty funny, though sometimes he has to tell me "that was a joke! I was kidding!"
6. partnership- pretty even. Though I think his living in the US (ie away from his french mother) helped with this. Why is it that French mothers just perpetuate the cycle?

Bonus points for:
-not having a herd of cows that ties him to the farm- yep
-not being from Bretagne (I'm so over Brittany)- well, his mother is Bretonne, so he is half Breton
-non-smoker- yep, he hates smoking
-being French- very!
-nail-biter- doesn't bite his nails
-living in Paris- nope
-being between age 28-33- yep
-being at least moderately romantic- his is improving at least, mostly due to my telling him stuff like "get down on your knee to ask me to marry you!"

July 2, 2008 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger shannon said...

I don't think it's too much to ask for. I think everything in the list is very realistic and not too exclusive. I really hope you do find Mr. Right.

July 2, 2008 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

DR VINCENT! He's 5 out of 6 with SIX bonus points.

July 2, 2008 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Dommage... I think I found a guy for you (he missed your bonus point for living in Paris, though) -- except I don't plan on giving him up myself.

In short, no. I think your list is reasonable and rational. Not only do you deserve nothing else, but I'd hope that any man would aspire to meet your criteria on jobs and education. That said, a capable, intelligent man who has had and is working to return to a stable job might be more appealing than one who's about to lose his stable job. I'm not criticizing your criteria, only suggesting that insisting you want someone who can and does support himself might avoid some of the criticisms on the job point.

For me the issue isn't money so much. Being poor (but above the struggling point) isn't so bad. But not having the social responsibility and context that steady employment gives is a turn-off for me, sexually, emotionally, and socially. I also don't want to have to support my partner when I'm struggling along myself. I completely think your job requirement is--well, necessary.

July 2, 2008 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

It IS possible to find that guy...if I can find him in the North of France, you sure as hell can find him in the bustling metropolis of Paris :) Enjoy the search!

Oh and your list made me think that you are looking for a french speaking american, lol. Almost all of those qualities make a "typical mid-20s American or Canadian guy". Those were exactly the same things I wanted in a bf/husband and I was lucky to find them all in Max (minus the 6 figure salary, but we're not poor by any means). So keep your chin up and when Mr. Right comes along, you'll just know!

July 2, 2008 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

I completely agree about the job. I understand poor men are not bad men but I do not want to wonder how I could buy a new washer or have to wait for a bonus to be able to go out to a movie. I know I would be miserable. I need to spend 100 euro on a pair of shoes or a coat or a sherry set if I want and not worry that the lights will be turned off because of it.

July 2, 2008 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger The Late Bloomer said...

Hmmmm... I don't know how I feel about this; mixed feelings, I guess, mainly because I feel so much like these things happen when we least expect them, when we're least looking for them, and oftentimes we "fall" for guys who aren't at ALL the ones we would expect to fall for or who fall under a certain criteria... I understand the "job" issue, but I believe as long as a man has a work ethic and believes in working hard and striving for something, that no matter what he will work to find a good balance for both of us. I guess I say this because I realize that my boyfriend and I have lots of questions about our own identities and futures, but I try to have confidence in the fact that we will always do our best to make it work, even when it's hard. Sure, life is always a bit easier with more money, but I guess deep down I want to feel happy with the person I'm with, more than anything else. And I hate having my (or his) identity defined by what kind of job either one of us has...

Of course, then again, I know we've all heard the whole "never settle for less" jazz, and how you deserve it -- because of course you do! -- but at the same time, I can't help but think, just LIVE and let life bring it to you when you're least expecting it... And try not to think too much about the criteria. I think what Global Librarian had to say makes a lot of sense! When you let go and think about it less, and just enjoy meeting people that's when I think you'll end up meeting the person who will be "the one"! :-)

Just my 2 cents, bien sûr !

Oh, and P.S. ~ Sounds like Justin considers himself a pretty strong candidate! You never know, right?! ;-)

July 3, 2008 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger jenever said...

honestly, i think the right guy will automatically meet all of your qualifications without you having to put him through some kind of list test. i've found that little by little, the guys i've dated have gotten closer and closer to what "the perfect guy" is to me - and this time i think i really found him!

July 3, 2008 at 12:43 AM  
Blogger Our Juicy Life said...

I think you list is great...why settle, you deserve someone that will make you happy. Congratulations on 3 months of happiness.

July 3, 2008 at 3:28 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Don't cross short men off your list. Even though I married a
6'3". I had A LOT of fun with
5'6" back in the day. I agree with all of the other ideals. My Mom always said money isn't everything but it bleepin helps. And I know because Im old enough.

July 3, 2008 at 4:38 AM  
Blogger MISS YURI said...

nice list. i hope you have a second, shorter one for passionate flings.

July 3, 2008 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Misplaced said...

I always heard that the best thing to do was make a list of attributes you want in a person and then try to live up to those attributes. I don't think that will work with your list.

July 3, 2008 at 4:08 PM  
OpenID okpeery said...

Lists are good to have as long as they only serve as a guideline, not a definitive barrier. You met JJ and obviously we have some differences but we've been together for 11 years this October so you never know.

What's funny to me about being here in France now is that everyone assumes as an American I have been a Francophone my whole life, I studied French for years, I did a year abroad in France as an undergrad and fell in love, have spent the better portion of my life dreaming of moving ot France, etc. None of this is true. If I had had my "list" he might not have made it for certain practical reasons not emotional ones and yet here we are 11 years later. But I imagine, as a midwesterner, yes my prejudices are showing, you are very practical, and already know all of this.

July 4, 2008 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger katiez said...

Good list - not too much to ask...
But I (personally) would add the he have an appreciation of good food and wine ( a no-brainer for most French, but one can't be too careful)

July 4, 2008 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Holy Cow - I love reading all of the comments. I think you can stretch the age a bit more, don't totally limit yourself to the age thing.

Besides that I was pickier for the criteria and ended up having what you have now..

Very realistic, but have fun with it and see where it goes... :)

July 5, 2008 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

I'm glad my husband lives in England otherwise I'd be worried: he fits nearly all of the criteria - he bites his nails though (and I hate it)!

Good luck in your quest. I don't think you are being too picky. When the right man comes along you might adjust your list that's all!

July 7, 2008 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Betty C. said...

I think your list sounds good except the age criteria is pretty limited -- it sounds like one of those old French job ads "cherche jeune homme 28-33 ans" that they used to run before they learned a little more about sexism and ageism.

I agree totally with your principle - -don't get in another big mess like the one you got in

July 23, 2008 at 2:23 AM  

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