I was recently listening to the Sex Nerd Sandra podcast, specifically the one with Joan Price. One of the things Joan mentioned was the idea of making a wish list for a partner, to help figure out what things are important when considering a relationship. In particular, she suggested thirty items, divided evenly into three categories:
- Mandatory, Must-Have, Can’t Live Without
- Pretty Darn Important, But I Have Some Flexibility
- As Long As I’m Asking, It’d Be Nice If…
I figured writing my own list along those lines couldn’t hurt, so here I go. These lists aren’t in a specific order, but they’re generally from most important to least important. Don’t hold me to that, though. Likewise, I’m not gonna force myself to get to ten in each category. Bla bla bla, disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer.
Mandatory, Must-Have, Can’t Live Without
- Overlapping political views. My partner(s) and I don’t need to share every single view, but there can’t be any major discrepancies on how we view politics/economics/gender/etc and have an interest in Doing The Work to enact change in the world around us.
- Familiarity with and interest in the trans community, and trans identity. I don’t think I need to be with someone who identifies as trans themselves, but I do need to be with someone who isn’t confused by trans identity. Ideally, this knowledge would already be there, but I think I’d be willing to do a little educating. (But not, say, total Trans 101 type stuff.)
- Familiarity with and interest in the queer community, and queer identity. Same as above.
- A passion. I don’t even care so much what it is – performance, gender, video games, biking, skydiving – as long as it’s there. I want to be with someone who has one (or more!) things that deeply excited them, and that are important to them outside and beyond themselves (or me).
- Some interest in kink. I’m still figuring out my identity as a kinkster, so don’t totally know what this means, yet. But I want someone who is able/willing to explore that with me, and not be freaked out by it or simply willing to “put up” with it.
- A sense of play. The more I’ve thought about what binds the different aspects of my life, the more I realize I’m drawn to people and activities that are able and willing to be silly and have fun. In theatre, in politics, in my love life, with family, with friends; I need someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
- Turns me on. I’m learning more and more that this isn’t a particularly narrow category, so I’m intentionally listing it subjectively (“turns me on”), rather than objectively about a specific body type or appearance.
- Good communication skils (late edition, hat tip to Gabe). We don’t need to process everything to death, but we do need to be able to honestly and clearly share our feelings.
- Open to having kids (another late edition, hat tip to Gabe). Not positive I want children, but I’m darn pretty sure. I’d want a partner who is similarly open.
Pretty Darn Important, But I Have Some Flexibility
- Flexible (or similar) schedule. I have a difficult enough time maintaining relationships and friendships with the people in my life who work 9-5, let alone trying to date someone new. I also had a lousy experience dating someone whose schedule was actually opposite mine (shocker). I want someone who I can see often enough – at least a few times a week – without feeling like either of us is totally fucking up our schedule to do so.
- Familiarity with (cultural) Judaism. This is perhaps the item on this list I’m most ambiguous about. I don’t identify as religiously Jewish, but do identify as culturally Jewish. I don’t need to be with someone who is Jewish, but I’d like to not have to explain the High Holidays or whatnot.
- (Ballpark) similar level of physical fitness. Doesn’t relate to much to body type as ability to be active. Specifically, I’d like to be able to go biking with a partner.
- (Ballpark) equal or lesser femme-ness than myself. This is kind of an embarrassing admission. I enjoy hooking up with people who are super-femme, but I could see feeling (through no fault of their own!) less feminine by comparison if there were a longer term relationship.
- Actually be queer. To me, this relates to #1-3 in my “Mandatory” list. I wouldn’t rule out a partner who doesn’t identify as queer, but I’m (generally) more attracted to people who do.
- Some type of interest in the arts. Doesn’t need to be an artist, but able to discuss books/movies/theatre with me, and enjoy doing so.
As Long As I’m Asking, It’d Be Nice If…
- Financial stability. I actually don’t know if I’d be comfortable dating someone who was much better off than me, but some amount of financial stability (and responsibility with money) would be nice.
- Enjoys sci fi/video games/board games. Lets be geeks together!
I may come back and edit this list later (in fact, I hope to!) but it’s a start. What’s on your list? (Or lists?)