Just recently I read something on Huffpost called “28 Reasons It Pays to Have a Feminist Marriage.”  You know how some people make lists of what they are looking for in the ideal partner?  I have never really had one.  I have been more of a “I’ll know it when I feel it” kind of girl.  That all changed when I read this post.  It’s my list.  It actually dawned on me that I might be able to answer the never-ending question of “why are you still single?”  Because I haven’t found anyone with qualities from this list yet.

The idea of relationship parity, ditching traditional gender expectations, no mansplaining, no “boys will be boys” excuses, intellectual conversations, great sex – really great sex for both of us – no jackhammers, no taking care of him and not her, re-defining monogamy….so many concepts that are incredibly sexy to me.  Had I settled down 20 years ago, it’s highly likely I wouldn’t have much of this because I wouldn’t have known I wanted it.

20 years ago, I was trying to figure out how to make a man like me because that was the goal.  That’s how girls were brought up.  I wanted someone strong, someone who could manage finances better than me, someone who could protect me and defend me.  Those things haven’t changed at all but how I define them certainly has.  Back in the day, strong was something I looked at physically.  I loved big tall, beefy guys – bouncers and bartenders.  Now, strong is far more of a mental and emotional parity – with grit and loyalty.  And if he cries, that’s actually beautiful and precious and intimate.  I can handle it.  Protecting me has gone from being able to keep me from being stepped on at a concert to someone who defends women’s rights and considers my opinions & feelings as important to how he responds to his “bros.”

The discovery that my sexiest guy would be heavy on the feminism lights me up with intense optimism that being single all these years just means I had to wait for this type of guy to become part of mainstream society. I know now I just wouldn’t have been able to make it work with anyone else.

Yet, he is still remarkably hard to find.  I think there were probably many women way ahead of me on this and a lot of these guys have been snagged.  To find a single one in my age range is very rare – except for these poly-amorous and ethically non-monogamous types which isn’t my thing.  Dating websites are rife with Trump supporters, gun supporters, “old school” guys (their words, not mine.)  Not to be mean, but no wonder why there are so many available – not exactly the most desirable & a dying breed if you are a New England, progressive girl like me.

This week, I edited my dating profile to say “feminist leaning guys are sexy AF (stealing a little game from the A-Rod/JLo first date text convo.)  I find it’s more specific than where the profile previously said “no Trump voters.”  I have found that many men can not have voted for Trump and still be less than desirable.  Regardless, making this edit is scary.  It dries up the well of opportunity considerably.  Being 43 and wanting to be married eventually is hard enough…adding feminist to the order may make it something I can never have.  Sad…isn’t it?  The thought that because I might want my husband to do some laundry too is reason enough for no one to ever want me.  And yet I hope….

Yesterday I had 2 ridiculous online interactions.  One was with what seemed to be a cool enough guy – musician; which my friends all seem to believe is the ideal man for me.  I am less specific – creative & cerebral are good enough and cover a greater swath of options.  He asked me to go to a show with him last night at the last minute & it fit into my schedule so I said I would.  An hour later, he deleted our conversation and disappeared.  Wimp.  I almost went to the show anyway just to make a point.

Then there was the married guy who messaged me & even said he hoped I wasn’t judgmental…that at least he was being honest about the fact he was married and not getting what he needs from his wife.  I would normally have just deleted it without response but I unleashed.  I told him he has no business on a dating website while married just because he isn’t feeling desired enough at home.  I told him I am sure his wife feels the same way and that he should either fix it, go to therapy or get a divorce.  I further explained that women don’t exist solely to please him so that he can just assume a single woman would be delighted to get involved with him.  He hasn’t responded.  Not a surprise.  Shame on him and every other married guy who is out looking for another option rather than addressing the one option he chose until death.  Confront the problem or leave the problem.  Those are the adult choices.  If you are adult enough to get married, you are adult enough for couples therapy or divorce.  End of story.

Every time I think I have discovered what my next journey will be, I am pleasantly surprised when it forks.  At an age where I should probably consider “easing up” my expectations to reduce the risk of dying alone, I am upping the ante by looking for the ultimate feminist male because that adventure is the one that will work for me.  I guess I am saying that dying alone would be better than dying doing a man’s laundry.