April 14, 2005

What to look for in a man

So what do you look for in a man? This topic came from a late night discussion over at Pilgrim's Bar and Grill. It's a little funny for me to be thinking about this since I've been in a monogamous relationship more than 25 years, but I would argue that the same things I used to look for in a date are the things I look for in a friend. And the fact that I've been with the same man since 1978 could be considered proof that I am quite good at picking out men.

Besides, I just love to give dating advice. I would love to run an advice column blog. (Oooh, maybe I should make that a feature of my blog. I suppose I'd have to get an e-mail address.) One of my favorite things to do with my sisters is read advice columns and rip apart the advice. Always, we know we could do better than Abby or Ann.


Today's advice for anyone (CoughProfgrrrrlCough) looking for a man. Here are the three things to look for:

1) Hands. So much you can tell about a man by watching his hands. That's why women so often fall for musicians. Watch the way those hands move across the piano keys or strum the guitar. Is he gentle? Confident? Sit next to a man who is reading a book, underlining as he goes and you can judge his intellectual and emotional engagement with the text. Does he use a pencil, making neat faint marks? Or does he scribble in the margin in pen? Watch the way his hands move on a computer keyboard. Do his fingers show passion for what he does? Even when it looks like a man is sitting still, often his hands are doing something. Perhaps he's rubbing his thumb against his forefinger or making his two thumbs dance. Restless energy often seeps from the fingers. The first time I met Artist Friend, he reached over to brush my hair off my shoulder. He was simply moving the hair off my nametag to see where I was from, but that simple gesture, made completely unconsciously, let me know that he was someone I could trust.

2)Voice.Voices can be incredibly revealing, all kinds of rhythms and undercurrents that wash over you. His accent will reveal his roots, his background, the landscape that nurtured his childhood years. Southern accents, British accents, French accents .... don't they just make you shiver? Creative writing types almost always have great voices, especially on a night when they are reading their work and have got all kinds of adrenaline going through their veins.

I should put a warning note on this one. My husband is very good at impersonations, can do just about any kind of accent. Before we were married, I thought that this talent had all kinds of romantic possibilities. What I didn't realize is that someone who loves to be sarcastic would spend most of his time imitating evil politicians. And once he gets on a roll with a voice, he has a hard time stopping the voice. You try to get into bed with someone who is talking like dubya. Not romantic. At all.

3)Eyes. Yep, this one is a cliche, but damn it, cliches become cliches for a reason. And you can tell an awful lot by someone's eyes. Too much eye contact can be intimidating. I myself like the shy guy, who glances away when he feels embarrassed. The man who makes quick eye contact when something is funny? Yes, he's a keeper. Expressive eyes, the ones that get all shiny when he's feeling emotional, well, those mean a sensitive guy, someone with whom you will want to stay up all night talking. The best eyes are usually on the guy who claims he was a geek in high school, who is a bit awkward, who blushes, who looks away at first because he is unsure what to do. But then when he warms up, gets talking about something he cares about, and suddenly he looks you directly in the eyes. And you get pulled into the blueness or grey green or the dark brown depths. Like jumping into a lake of icy cold water. Yes. Exactly like that.

16 comments:

reverendmother said...

As one who is married to the high school geek, who also played the piano, I would have to agree with you.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

I don't like these criteria at all: do you know how hard some of this stuff is to fake? I mean, if all you want are washboard abs, a guy can figure out how to get those. But how do you make your eyes more soulful? Eye socket dilation? Soul implants?

Musey_Me said...

profgrrrrrrl and musey totally endorse the advice column blog. I think pg will even partner with you to provide the sex advice.

Songbird said...

Great list, jo(e). The night I met my husband, he captivated me with all three. (The kissing was good, too.)

~profgrrrrl~ said...

hands are *so* important.

I don't really need help in terms of what to look for. My issue is where to find it.

Dr.K said...

I play classical guitar with graceful long fingers, I have a deep baritone voice supporting a shivery Kentucky accent, and I read poetry with the quiet passion of Percy Shelley beneath a Tuscan sunrise, but my eyes are dim blue toenails. So, I come up short. Oh, well....sigh.

reverendmother said...

jo(e), in the interest of full disclosure, I blogged about you today.

Just wanted to let you know, as I don't think you read mine...

Intrigued?

Worried?

Don't be,.

PPB said...

Will you also give fashion advice in your column. I could really use some of that.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

I love the advice column idea. Do it! Do it!

grandma blue said...

AAAAAAAH!!! I can't believe I met another Hands Freak! Hands have always been so important to me! One of the many things I love about Papa Go Blue is his strong, capable-looking hands. You're the first person (other than me) that I've ever heard mention hands as a criteria.

Friday Mom said...

Yeah...an advice column. That's a great idea.

Lucy Tartan said...

just a quick question about the underlining in a book thing: does it make any difference if the book is one borrowed from the public library? on my library card?

jo(e) said...

PPB: Me give fashion advice? That is even funnier than Rob's comment. Profgrrrrrl will have to help with that part.

Scrivener said...

jo(e) came back to say it before I could. ;)

I'm with Rob on this one--these are just so unfair. What kind of advice column are you gonna write here if you're gonna tell me to have more soulful eyes? How do I make my hands look more stong and capable? What if I'm small-boned? Are you saying that the nervous, active hands are a good thing? Ok, see that I might be able to pull off.

jo(e) said...

Know what's really funny, David? I left you birthday messages on a bunch of different blogs and forgot to leave one here on my own blog.

So anyhow, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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