People say, if you want something, make a list and it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think just writing things down makes concepts a lot more real, and suddenly the possibility of it happening shoots way up.
Hence, I’m going to write about what exactly attracts me to a man.
This is not a do-all, be-all list, but I do notice that I do veer towards a guy who possesses such qualities. I call them “brownie points” – a plus, but not a must. Check it out; maybe we have some brownie points in common:
1) Traveling is one passion of his – And when I say this, I don’t mean taking that trip to Japan, Bali, Singapore or Hong Kong. It doesn’t mean going to Florida, Los Angeles or some “commercial” city. I love a guy who thinks out of the box and does things out the ordinary. Of course, I have no qualms in visiting these places and I’ve had my share of “beach” holidays, but it immediately interests me when a guy shares a story of his trip to Mongolia, to Myanmar, to India to Sri Lanka or to Eastern Europe (Latvia, Slovenia, etc.). It interests me further if I knew he took a few weeks/months off to do a bit of back-packing.
Music to my ears: “I stayed at this down-and-out hut in the beach and it was cheap as hell.”
2) But then again, he has other passions/interests as well — Nothing is more interesting than a guy with interests. Playing video games, watching TV, KTV sleeping and clubbing are nice interests to have, but if that’s all you’ve got, that doesn’t particularly make you interesting to me. I love it when a guy tells me that he’s off for some Moy Thai (Thai Kickboxing) after work one Thanksgiving evening. Turns out, he’s into martial arts so he’s done karate, judo, capoeira on different phases of his life. Another friend was into wakeboarding. There was this other guy who was into arts, and you can see his eyes sparkle when he talks about artists I don’t even know. I also think another friend who bikes for fun is an interesting chap. Sure, I still fall off when I ride a bike, but it isn’t necessary that we have similar interests, so long as there’s something he’s really into.
I myself like to climb walls and to try out new restaurants. Fine dining a plus. If I can find someone who likes both, it’s a match made in heaven.
3) It’s even cooler if some of his interests are philanthropic by nature – Volunteer in an orphanage? Check. Working in a mission in a God-forsaken country? Check.
A person who gives a lot to the community is someone who has his head screwed in straight, and is self-sufficient enough to share his blessings to those around him. Plus, I love to do volunteer work, it would be terrific if your guy can also understand where you’re coming from and not chide you for being so “idealistic.”
4) He takes good care of himself – I’ve kissed a smoker before; it’s not like kissing an ashtray but it does come close. Every time I smell smoke, I remember him. I’ve had guys who drink themselves to death and make a total fool of themselves. Seeing you retch and puke are not sexy activities. Our body is our temple and I’d love my partner to live long beside me. There’s something attractive about those who take pleasure in life, and yet, take good care of their health. This means, being careful on what food you take in (no worries about eating pizza and fried chicken, so long as you’re not gorging yourself), putting in some hours at the gym and being safe in whatever you do.
5) Background-wise, great if he was raised in a Christian home – Now, I am not religious. I don’t frown upon those who don’t go to church, or who are into Buddhism, Islam or any organized religion. I am not agnostic or an atheist. Technically, I am Protestant-Christian, but the reason why I cite this is because I’ve noticed that those who grew up in Christian families are somehow humbler, and more fearful of a greater Being. They feel more remorse and more conscious with their actions because they feel that somebody is looking behind their shoulders and constantly checking up on them. Hence, accountability and taking personal responsibility for one’s actions are higher. They are also a lot more grateful for their successes because they acknowledge that these are blessings instead of something that they’ve worked for on their own.
Granted, they are none better or more capable than those who were raised in non-Christian families, but there is truly a distinct difference that you feel after interacting with them. They’re less jaded and a lot more like kids trapped in adult’s bodies, if that doesn’t sound so weird.
6) His has ambition and strives to be better than where he is right now – There’s guys who don’t know a lot of things and never bother to try. There are those who think they know a lot of things, but you know are perfect idiots. There are those who just don’t care and are just willing to go with the flow, happily joining the mediocre crowd.
Honey, don’t be these people – everybody’s been given 24 hours a day, a lifetime to either make a difference or to put it to waste. I know you’re satisfied with your paycheck, but wait, wouldn’t you want to earn more? I know a Bachelors is enough, but how about striving for a masters degree, or an MBA? Not that I think you’ll be smarter or better for it. Not at all. But I do believe that people have to be constantly better than who they were yesterday. Life is a journey of self-improvements, of moving towards perfectionism, even though you never totally reach it. I don’t really care what you reach for, so long as you’re reaching for something forward. And I’m just not talking about that remote control in front of you…
7) He is someone you’d love to hire for your firm – Meaning, he’s a workaholic. When you give him work, the dependable him gets it done. I have no problems with my guy being a workaholic; I don’t think work is something I need to be jealous of, and if you think that your guy is banging his secretary just because he’s spending more time in the office than you, then girlie, you have some serious trust issues. I’ve always believed that work is a blessing and someone who also shares this mindset is my blessing. I myself am a workaholic — I’ve had phases where I worked for over 190 hours of overtime in a span of a month. Now, that’s a LOT of overtime. Hence, I can appreciate a guy who takes his work and success seriously. It shows he’s a forward thinker who knows that success doesn’t smile on the lucky, it’s rewards those who have actually put in the long hours and come prepared to embrace it.
8) He works hard, plays harder – This doesn’t mean I appreciate a player. I don’t. I do appreciate someone who knows how to put on his game face at work, and knows how to relax when on vacation. When you’re still thumbing through your Blackberry during our date, that’s just rude and a total turn-off. It shows you don’t know where to draw a line between work and play. I like it when a guy can dress up in a suit, and likewise, has the ability to wear a loose comfortable t-shirt and rubber shoes on a down day for Sunday brunch. I like it when a guy knows how to party it up, groove to the music and down a few beers with the boys after off-work hours. I like it even more when a guy works on a deal hard and with much focus (an inspiration to a less focused me), but also knows how to take advantage of his annual block leaves and unwind. Anything less and you’re a slave to work, and that’s insane, even for me.
9) Cultured and well-dressed – I’m running out of bullet points so I’m putting these two together because one comes after the other.
There’s nothing more attractive than a guy who looks good in a suit. Now, if he’s an ass, that drops his brownie points down to zero, but I’m just saying, I like a guy who is comfortable in a social charity dinner with a bunch of pompous socialites as he is in a pub. If he also knows how to dress accordingly, that’s even better. The right ties, the right shoes, the right jacket – now, that’s the spirit!
Noted, they don’t need expensive suits. I don’t really care how much you pay for them. Now, a USD 3,000 suit may look good when you wear it, but its marginal benefit with a USD 250 one is not worth the hefty premium you pay for it. If you have style, you’d still look good in a NT$200 t-shirt.
Anyway, a person who looks good will only look great if he has manners. I myself squirm in embarrassment when a guy has the manners of a barbarian. So yes, do say “please” and “thank you” to the servers – that minimizes the choice of them putting the booger your soup. Always be nice to the little folk, but then again, don’t call them little folk ‘cause they’re just like you and I. Don’t discriminate between those who are VIPs and those who are not. Better yet, know how to act along VIPs. Act as if they’re normal folk because they totally are. So what if he’s the president of a USD30 billion company? So what if she’s a movie star? If they fall, they’ll bruise themselves. If they fail, they cry. Just like you and I. So act like yourself!
Oh, and read up. There’s nothing worse than a guy who just reads Maxim for fun. There are so many books on history, business, sociology, politics among others. Grab one and read up. Trust me, you’ll be a better conversationalist for it.
10) He loves you, and likes you just the way you are – I was going to continue on in listing down my brownie points, but I think this one is the most important of all. So you’ve found somebody who fits your every category. You’re writing down how your name looks next to his surname. You’re dreaming of the kids because finally, you’ve met the One.
But what if you’re not the One for him?
For both of our sanities, regardless on all the things listed above, if the guy is not interested in you, pray that you don’t continue to bang your head on that concrete cement wall. The results are never good if a guy cannot really appreciate what you bring to the table, and actually feel sorry for you for pining after him when he’s just uninterested. There’s nothing more pathetic than a girl who keeps chasing after a guy who keeps on running away. I’ve been that girl and yes, I’ve had my pathetic moments (oh, the fools we become after we fall in love!), but it doesn’t really work out in the end and your pride is now stomped and ragged that you just have to pull yourself out from the muck and tell yourself, “Hell, I deserve better.”
So choose someone who likes you and feels that you contain all of his brownie points the same way that he contains yours. Likewise, it goes without saying that I do believe that like attracts like. And what you ask for a man to possess, you yourself must also possess to a certain level. I had this epiphany yesterday while talking to someone I feel is a “very cool chap.” He was telling me that after work, he was going to go and do some kick boxing. He’s been doing it for 3 months now, but has been doing all sort of martial arts in the past depending on where he’s located. Upon learning this, I was just blown away. But then, I realize that I find this trait attractive because of my general bias towards people who have off-the-wall interests, because I myself am one of these people. Sure, I don’t really kick people’s asses and get a wild thrill out from it; but I do like to go climbing or try out new activities. Just being somebody out from the ordinary is enough to impress me. And I’m sure he’s like that as well.
So there you go — my top 10 brownie points. If you think I’m asking for too much, do note that these are merely a list of things I find attractive, but they are NOT strict requirements. I am an equal right opportunist so I am open to possibilities, regardless on whether they possess these traits or not.
And what about you? Do you have something similar? If so, looking forward to your list as well.