Wednesday, September 9, 2009

the criteria

not to get all carrie-on-her-laptop-pondering-love/sex-lives-and-whatnot, but...it's september and we're now at the end of wedding season around these parts. and all the festivities have naturally given rise to conversations about relationships, marriage and finding the ever-elusive 'one' people keep going on about. the other day, we had a pre-wedding gathering for my cousin, in which everyone was asked to give their list of the ideal mate.


it reminded me of the time that my girlfriends and i all sat around during happy hour a few years ago and made the same lists. we wrote them down, in detail, and they were hilariously long and incredibly specific. and a little ridiculous. (aside: idris elba was sitting at the next table, but none of us knew who he was. so busy making lists, we MISSED THE IDRIS!). after writing down our lists, and reviewing them, we tore them up. we decided that in all the list-making, we could easily miss someone standing right in front of us, and we could get so hung-up on criteria that we'll lose out on something real. i've tried to hang on this idea, since then. it's incredibly tempting to have criteria and--realistically--everyone has their own criteria even if they've never taken the time to compose a laundry list of expectations. it just doesn't make sense to have a detailed checklist because so few--if any--are going to manage to meet every single requirement on that list. today, however, i came across a quote that essentially sums up not what i want, but what i need.

I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.

Anais Nin


i think this encompasses whatever i would have on my [non-existent(kinda)] list. now...that's not too much to ask...is it?...er...IS IT?

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9 comments:

Dee said...

good heavens! anais nin's quote is like a hammer on the nail for what i've long been trying to define as the 'criteria' for what i hope will be a life partner/best friend/companion. can't agree with you more, anna!

Joan said...

damn. that'll do it.

IYADEDE said...

Who does not doubt my courage or my toughness that is so true for me...
Hard to really know what you want in a partner until you meet that person!
You never know when or where love will come knocking !

Rama Isibo said...

well done, it is sometimes either moulding or sculpture, creation by either addition or reduction. Yeah, like you I am fed up with criteria, but i blame my mum for that. It is like Chris Rock said "find someone as fucked up as you and settle down" like you said about Idris, it is aesthetics + values, not in a judgemental way but just knowing what you want. I convince myself that coz am older i will be more settleable, lets see

Nassra said...

i can't believe you were compiling your list while IDRIS ELBA was sitting at the next table. so, thanks for that darling! i have totally chucked my list or even hint of a list now. Anais' quote is amazingly precise in describing what i'm looking for too, and NO i don't think its much to ask.

nyanja said...

Beautiful and true.

Abbi said...

aah...so true indeed!

Gloria said...

wow.. that quote does say it all.. i guess - in addition we should all try always remember - the power of praying!

Amin said...

true but what happened to just finding a person who you can simply love and who can love you in his/her own way...why make it so complicated ? - words like 'enormous demands' 'doubts' 'toughness' 'does not' 'naive' or 'innocent' 'courage to' 'like a woman' do not speak to me at all ...i think love Just IS. and we spend too much time trying to define it or making a list of complicated words instead of feeling it...or at least opening ourselves to accept it, and giving it... without expectations! a wise person once said once you label something you stop seeing it for what IT IS but what it's called...

AG