Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Holding Out For A Hero

Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need.

I need a hero.
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night.
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight.
I need a hero.
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light.
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life.

Somewhere after midnight in my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach there's someone reaching back for me.
Racing on the thunder end, rising with the heat
It's gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet.

I need a hero.

Bonnie Tyler originally sang this song on the Footloose soundtrack, but I recently restumbled upon the song while listening to the Shrek 2 soundtrack. And loved it. A lot.

As I listened to it (over and over again), I thought about the kind of guy I'm holding out for. He doesn't necessarily have to be "fresh from the fight", but I like the idea of him being strong and sure. A few years ago, I made a list about the qualities I want in a man. I think it's time to update it, since the last year or so has given me new experiences and interactions that have added clarity to my thoughts about men. A little.

My Hero:

1. Intelligent. I love to hear a smart guy talk about interesting things. I especially love debating with a smart man, as long as we can both stay fairly civil. I don't really care if he has had a lot of education (I have a friend who won't date someone unless they have her degree or higher - she has a Masters), because I think a person can be extremely intelligent without a degree. Also, one can have a college degree and be as dumb as a post. No, what I care about is if his mind works. Does he like to learn? Is he interested in things outside of his personal area? If not, I can be friends with him, but I don't see how I could be with him forever.

2. Positive. Have you ever been around a person who never seems to have anything positive to say? It's tiresome! I understand that people have bad days/weeks/months/etc., so a little negativity is acceptable. Sometimes, it's even a little funny. However, when it seems to be an inherent part of the guy's personality, I can only handle it on a limited basis. I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with someone who can't seem to have a good day to save his life.

3. Helpful. I love to go camping with my dad. The first time I went with him, I was struck by how helpful he was. He never sat around watching other people work. If he saw something that needed doing, he did it. If he saw someone working, he helped. I began to notice that he is like this at home and other places, too. I really admire this quality, I hope to emulate it, and I certainly want a man who has it, to some degree or other.

4. Likes My Company. This seems like an obvious thing, but I've noticed that it isn't always. I've had boyfriends who seem to only want to be around me when they don't have anything else to do. They'd rather be with friends, play video games, or sit at home watching tv than hang out with me, their girlfriend. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect, or want, my guy to be with me every second of the day, not even every other second of the day. I don't have to come first all the time, but every once in awhile, yes. My grandpa once told me why he thinks his marriage was so successful; they both would rather be with each other than anyone else. Not that they couldn't be happy in the company of others, they just preferred each other's. That's what I want.

5. Libido. Forgive me, but this has really become an important quality to me. Mostly due to the lack of it I've found in some men. I don't even think it made my last list - I took for granted it was a given in a relationship - but now I'd rank it pretty high on the list of deal breakers if it's not there. (This current list is not in order of importance, by the way.) I want a man who wants to kiss me! Why is that so difficult? I want someone who likes to make-out (sorry, grandma!), to cuddle, to hug, to hold hands, etc. I don't want to feel like the only one who wants the physical side of the relationship. When I'm with a guy who won't kiss me, etc., I don't feel attractive. It's hard enough for me to feel attractive without having to feel like that because of the man I'm with.

6. Strong. Yes, physically strong would be nice. I noticed when I moved how much easier it was for men to move my stuff up the flight of stairs than it was for me to do so. Muscles are an amazing thing. However, I also mean strong in other senses. I want a man who is spiritually and emotionally strong as well. Not that he can't have weaknesses, but when I need a shoulder to lean on, he's strong enough to help support me. Someone I can look up to, someone I can count on, someone who has integrity. Strong. Hmmm. I once had a micro-second crush on an Elder Strong on my mission, but that's a story for another day. Maybe.

7. Interested In Me. Another supposed given, but again, I've experienced the lack of this with a guy who was my boyfriend! I guess it's because I have a healthy interest in other people, so I tend to want to get to know more about the men I date. It starts to irritate me when they don't show any interest back, when they don't ask a single question about me that goes beyond "how was your day" or "how was work". If you've heard the Rascal Flats song, "Take Me There", that's what I'm talking about. I want someone to be interested in what makes me tick, who I am, who I was, who I want to be, etc. Not that I want them to grill me on every date or during every conversation, but to occassionally step out of themselves and ask, "So, Julie, tell me about the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you." Or something like that.

8. Brave. Frankly, yes, I would rather have a guy who isn't too scared to squash a bug or check what went bump in the night, but that's not exactly what I mean. By brave, I mean a guy who has the courage to ask me out if he likes me, to make the move when he wants to kiss me (see #5), to continue to progess the relationship even though we're both scared to death. Someone who doesn't run at the first sign of trouble or difficulty.

I'm sure this list will evolve, as it has since the last time I blogged about it. In fact, I hope it does, because every fairly significant encounter I have with men affects my list, and I want more encounters!

Then, someday, a guy will come along who will just...fit. My hero.


tearese said...

I think this is a good list. Even though they say your list might change when you meet the right guy (I think mine maybe did) its good to have a starting point.
(I don't know if this is relevant) but whenever I start to get annoyed at some quality my husband has, all I have to do is look around at the husbands some of my friends and neighbors have and I realize how much happier I am with mine than I would be with someone like their partner.
I don't want to offend anyone..but something I would put on a list if I was doing it now would be that they have to be a 'grown up'. By this I mean they are not obsessed with video games 24/7, they don't have a room full of collectors edition Starwars figurines, they have a sense of familial responsibility. Yes, I know married guys with all of those issues, and their relationships really suffer because of it!
Just my two cents.

Cardine said...

We are great minds. I was totally in the mood to make a similar entry as this earlier today, and I even thought to myself that it seemed like something that Julie would write.

I agree with many of these items.

I'm not the person who would only date someone with the same degree or higher, am I? I don't remember thinking or saying that, but I suppose it's possible. If it were me, then it's not anymore.

One of my former roommates used to sing that song all the time. It's a great screamer of a song.

James and Melissa's Family said...

I think that is a great list, they all seem like very resonable qualities to look for in a man. I tool have to agree with Tearse and restate that when things that my husband does annoy me, all I have to do is look around and see how lucky I am to have the great man that I do. It could be way worse.

I think that is it important that you have seen your "list" evolve and change over time. Life makes us see things differently as we go along and it is important to realize that.

Best of Luck in your crazy whirlwind of a month. Keep in touch.

Mellissa Hunt said...

I, too, thought your list was very good. It's funny how some of the basic things we want in a relationship are often overlooked.

I have to say the one thing on my list, (and boy, did I get luck to find someone who had it) that is most important is that my spouse/boyfriend/whatever is my best friend. Like your grandpa said, their company is the best company. Whether it's passion or laughter or comfort or arguments, their company outshines anyone else's. That is how Ben and I get through all the bumps in the road. Good luck to you in all you do. You are amazing and deserve the best, maybe that's why it's so hard for you to find.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... maybe I ought to make a list. I have hesitated for fear of excluding possibilities... but I don't think it's that kind of list.

julie said...

Tearese, I've heard that before about the list changing. It could be true, and if it is, I'm ok with that. Really, I just want a man who fits. I guess a list like this is just trying to help me figure out what may fit. I agree with you...I want a MAN, not a boy in a grownup body. I don't mind the occassional video game or toys, but I do think a lot of guys go overboard, and it is a big turnoff.

Cardine, great minds think alike, I guess! I'd be really interested to see what qualities make your list. No, you aren't the friend. I've never heard anything like that from you. You know her, though, she used to visit teach you.

Melissa, I think you and Tearese have a great point. Someone once said that every pot has a cover. I tend to believe that every pot may have several possible covers, but I digress. What really bothers one person may not bother another. It's good to be able to look at your "cover" and be happy with what you've chosen. I'm glad you have such a great guy - you deserve it!

Missy, thanks. I hope I find what you and Ben have. You really are best friends and I want that with the guy I end up with.

Sarah, I'd be interested to see what makes your list, too! And you're right, a list like this doesn't really cover all the bases, nor is it exclusionary. It's a "rough draft" so to speak. Just something to ponder. I guess I'll use it to evaluate the next guy in my life (knock on wood that there IS a next guy!). And, the next guy will help me evaluate my list! Funny how that works, eh? :)

Booklogged said...

Good list, Julie. When Candleman and I had been married a year or two we each made a list of things we liked about the other. Your list makes me think it's time to do that again.

My best friend said she would never date or marry someone unless he was a returned missionary. I tried to tell her that some returned missionaries were creeps and some men who didn't go on missions were wonderful, but she wouldn't listen. She wanted a rich returned missionary and that's what she got. I think he's also a very nice guy. Unfortunately, they moved to Canada and I really never got to know him.