what does your dating résumé say?

First dates sometimes feel an awful lot like interviews. I’ve recounted the inevitable sharing of divorce stories amongst those of us who find ourselves back on the market, and even single girlfriends in their twenties talk about the pressure to have a good answer to, “why is a great woman like you still available?” (For the record, I have not had to answer that one…yet.) One begins to wonder if the answers to such questions and other details offered are catalogued by our dates as some sort of dating résumé.

The dating résumé is about far more than the length and / or quality of past romantic relationships; it’s also likely to include (in no particular order):

  • success indicators:  career, title, earnings and assets;
  • maturity markers:  children, home ownership and other activities often associated with becoming an adult;
  • domestication:  pet ownership, household skills or hobbies (gardening, cooking, etc.);
  • relationships:  long-term friendships, close and stable family, parental marital status;
  • virility:  physical health and likelihood of longevity — i.e. does he take care of himself?; and
  • miscellaneous:  does he snore? and other such seemingly small but nonetheless grating characteristics that appear innocuous or forgivable through the rose-colored glasses of romance but not after a decade of marriage, i.e. spousal-induced insomnia.

I like to think that my dating résumé looks fairly respectable:  I was in a long-term stable relationship, during which I birthed two amazing children (who no longer require such intolerably high maintenance as might scare a decent fellow away); I earn all right; I own a home (except for the bit the bank owns, which is most of it); I’m usually fiscally responsible (I mean, aside from these past several months)… But, in truth, all this is because I am generally unwilling to casually disclose the real dirt, the skeletons hiding in my closet, that might make me look less than glowing. Best foot forward, as they say…right?

So…I’ve been out with aggravated assault a few times (a moniker that belies his maturity and gentle nature and could, in fact, be described as ironic). He’s forthrightly poured out probably every fault, failing and foible. Even some of his selling points — never married, no children, successful in a job that kept him moving every few years — are of dubious distinction. While I won’t dish about the ungodly long list of damning details, I finally remarked a few days ago, “You don’t look so good on paper.”

To his credit (or perhaps the credit is due his meds), he laughed and agreed. Then, in a move of cunning emotional jujitsu, he came up with even more reasons why I might find him un-datable. And all I can say is “Man, that reverse psychology shit works!” My brain immediately went to, “Oh, well if that’s all, it can’t be so bad, can it?”

Not knowing the details, you might be thinking, “Lord, woman, how desperate are you?!”

Or, like my mother, you may advise, “Well, don’t rule him out…yet.”

What does your dating résumé say?

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