Move Over, Carrie: The List

November 9, 2013

Move Over, Carrie is a witty, whenever-I-feel-like-it series of The Unreal Life
where I talk about the sociology behind relationships. 
No pictures, no GIFs--just writing. 
If you're new, you can check out the first Move Over, Carrie here

Your comments last week were all so sweet and engaging, that I wanted to do a follow up. I hope you know that's why I love this series the most of anything I write on this little blog--your comments. They're always insanely interesting and personal, so thank you. 

Last week, I was concerned with how opposite is too opposite. But in reality, there was really only one opposite that kept standing out to me. Kept picking at my brain. Education. I couldn't get over it. And when I couldn't get over it, the Catholic guilt was all-consuming. Who doesn't like someone because they're less educated than you? Who says they want to do nonprofit work, but literally can't get past someone's education status? Waves and waves and waves of guilt, people. 

I talked to him about it. Awkwardly and pointedly and slightly tipsy. And again, was shocked by his answer. His answer was everything I wanted to hear, but didn't think I would. The next day we went to see his family, and his niece begged to do puzzles and flashcards and read books with me. His nieces and nephews were smart as a whip, and he told me all the things his brother makes them do so they'll continue on this good academic path. I asked if he planned to do these same things when his own daughter was old enough, and he replied of course, without a doubt. He was already saving for her college. And that dear friends, erased any doubt from my mind. It was a sweet, sweet exhale of worry. 

Because I realized the thing is, I don't care how much education he received. I care that now, as an adult man with a child, he realizes the value of education. He can't help the choice he made when he was 12 and in a country with completely different educational standards and resources, but he can help the choices he makes now.

And now to the real Move Over, Carrie part (because it's not just an update of my love life). The whole situation reminded me of those times as a little teenage girl when your friends or your mother or Cosmo asks you "What's on your List?" The List. The "I will only date a man who..." And I think what I realized is that you never know what you won't budge on until you're actually standing there (unfortunately). You can make a few sweeping generalizations, but new things are also uncovered as you grow. And I think I was surprised by how much I wouldn't budge. Because you're also told when you make strong statements about what you want from a relationship, "just wait until you meet the right one...things you want might change." And so the unwillingness to budge on this issue of the value of education shook me. I literally wouldn't budge. And now that I've seen it and identified it, it seems so obvious. Of course I need a man who values education. How blazingly obvious. 

It makes me wonder what else I won't budge on. What other things will get added to "The List." And not the list I made up in a sleepover about a joyful Christian who makes me laugh. But The List that life and time make. The Real List. 

What's on your List, real or sleepover?
Did you make one as a little girl, and how has it changed?
Have you ever been surprised by finding something 
you absolutely refuse to budge on in relationships?

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  1. I'm thinking, but I'm stumped. There have been plenty of things I thought I wouldn't matter, but ended up being deal breakers. A guy who smoked too much weed, and a guy who was of a different religion are the two biggest ones that come to mind. Things I didn't initially think would end up being make or break in our relationship, that were in the end. Funny how that happens.

  2. I want to be cared for. Like really, honestly cared for. I want someone to consider how their actions might affect me and then share how can move forward with them, not against them. Hmmm, as I write this, it seems too needy. Huh.

  3. One of the biggest things on my List was that I needed someone who loved books as much as I did and who enjoyed reading. Was shocked at how few men read, much less owned books. One of the things I swear made me fall in love with my husband was seeing his bookcase for the first time! *L*

  4. I can't think of anything that would be "deal breakers" but there are many things that I thought WOULD BE but surprisingly are not, for example I thought I would end up with someone with similar interest as me, ie reading, however Derek's interests and mine could not be more opposite, but it works. I think two things that I will stand firm on is someone who has the same religious background as me and who roots for the same football team. I know that sounds pretty trivial but I dated a hardcore fan of my team's rival and it just did not work at all haha.

  5. Hey Autumn! I've been reading for a while but I've always been too shy to comment, sorry about that. But this post got me because I had a moment like this a few years ago. It's going to sound completely trivial, but I sat down to watch Step Brothers with a guy I was seeing and he didn't find it funny! I was floored and I just couldn't let it go. Obviously I didn't end things just based on this, but a shared sense of humor is huge for me and it definitely contributed to our break up. Who knew Will Ferrell could have such an impact!

  6. Oh goodness the list. I used to live by mine. I'd read when I was dating a guy, realized he didn't have something on the list and I'd break up with him. How heartless, although it probably was for the best. I am realizing that my list is somewhat important but really the only thing important to me is to find a man who will love me for me, be honest with me at all times, and ask me to be a better version of myself each day. And I want the same for him. Oh the things we learn as young ones from church, parents, and magazines.

  7. I think people judge others for having a list, but it's so important. You need to have your line and what you know that you won't cross.

  8. i definitely had an unofficial list when i was younger but i can't remember what was on it and it has definitely changed. i've met men who checked off all of the things on the list but that didn't mean they were the right person. it really is about the whole package even if some of the things on the list are missing.
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

  9. I had a list, then I married someone completely off list, now we're divorced and I think I have a list again. I'm not sure...which is why I'm not dating yet lol. No clue what I'm looking for.

  10. I used to think that I needed* someone that would exercise (run, bike, go to the gym). I realized, though, that running is very personal to me and if I had someone who always wanted to run with me, I might feel suffocated.

    :) Amber


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