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I've been single for quite some time now. 635 days to be exact, but I'm not counting. There may have been a guy or two that have been interested in me and I may have entertained the idea of a relationship once or twice. Yet here I am. Some people have suggested that I am too picky or that I'm chasing a unicorn. But 635 days is a long time to figure out exactly what it is that you're looking for. So what exactly is it that I'm waiting for? I'm just waiting for nine traits to be wrapped up in one guy, that's all. I'm just waiting for........

1. A guy who can make me laugh. He doesn't have to be a stand up comedian, but a sense of humor is mandatory. And a guy whom I can make laugh. We’re going to need a similar sense of humor if we’re going to entertain ourselves for the next fifty years.

2. A guy who accepts me just the way I am. For the right man, I will never be “too much” of anything: too dramatic, too loud, too emotional, too sarcastic. It’s taken a few decades to finally love me for me and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a man tell me I’m too much or not enough of something.

3. A guy I can respect. A guy with strong work ethics. A guy who works hard and takes pride in what he does, whatever that may be.

4. An honest guy. And when I say honest, I mean fucking honest. Honest with me. Honest with himself. Honest with small matters. Honest with important matters. Fucking honest.

5. A guy I'm physically attracted to. By no means am I implying that looks should be a determining factor on whether or not to date someone. I’m not looking for a Jason Momoa*, but I should at least have some sort of inappropriate thoughts when I look at him.

[*I certainly wouldn’t mind a Jason Momoa.]

6. A guy with similar life goals. Most things in life should be negotiable. However, there are a few things that should be clarified right from the start and be somewhat non-negotiable. If I want to get married one day, then I need to hold out for a man that wants the same thing, not a "Maybe one day." We also need to agree on children, residency location and roles we both have in our life together.

7. A guy who craves adventure as much as I do. Or at the very least, be open to new things. I have a wanderlust that runs deep into my soul and though I don't get to travel as much as I’d like to, the desire is always there. There will always be a disconnect with a homebody who never feels the need to breath in new air with me.

8. A guy who doesn't run at the first sign of conflict. It’s easy to love someone on happy days, on sunny days, on agreeable days. But the stressful days, the insecure days, the short-end-of-the-stick days…those are the days that make or break a relationship. I need someone who will weather the storm with me and resist the urge to jump ship when the water gets choppy.

9. A guy who can walk the line. A guy who actually wants to put in the effort it takes to make a relationship succeed. A guy who is happy to go out of his way to make me feel appreciated and wanted and loved. A guy that chooses me. Every day.

"You must learn her. You must know the reason why she is silent. You must trace her weakest spots. You must write to her. You must remind her that you are there. You must know how long it takes her to give up. You must be there to hold her when she is about to. You must love her because many have tried and failed.

And she wants to know that she is worthy to be loved, that she is worthy to be kept.

And, this is how you keep her."

~Junot Diaz



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