From the time most girls hit puberty or hight school society starts the subtle and sometimes not so subtle message that it is time to start the process of finding your soul mate with the end goal of settling down and popping out a couple of offspring. Flirtatious behaviour and casual dating are encourage and rewarded (mostly) and over time young ladies learn what their preferred TYPE is.
By their mid-20s they will have been on enough good or bad dates to give you a list (occasionally a very detailed list) of what they find attractive or unattractive in their prospective soul mate. They could also probably produce a detailed description of what they find desirable or undesirable in their soul mate including physical appearance, cultural background, hobbies, belief systems and so on ad-nauseam.
I was always considered a little odd because I didn’t date in my teens, early 20s or even mid 20s. I’ve had more than one person quietly ask if I’m gay and just kept my dating on the down low. I’ve had others who do not know my family assume I came from a home with strict rules or religious beliefs that meant I was not allowed to date. In actual fact I didn’t date because I’m autistic so I don’t read body language, facial expressions, tonal voice changes so flirting was and still is a total mystery to me. If I did go out with any guy or girl I just assumed it was friendship and had no clue if they were flirting with me so date things like snogging never happened it was just a fun night out. As a consequence I was often baffled as to why one week someone was really nice to me and the next week wouldn’t talk to me – apparently it was because I didn’t follow the date behaviour script that eventually leads to snogging and they got upset and thought I didn’t like them.
My first offical date happened when I was 27 (nope not kidding) and he defiantly didn’t follow the standard flirt, date, snog, sex rules. I’d only just transferred to a military base on the out skirts of Melbourne in Victoria Australia when I met C (I’ve deliberately not written his name he’ll just be C). Anyway every morning I caught the train from where I lived to just outside the base and entered the base at exactly 08:00. To get from the base gates to the building I worked in I walked right past the Base Shop and like clockwork at 08:15 I ordered a large soy latte to go and took it with me to my desk.
There was always in the Base Shop guys in uniforms getting coffee or food and if they said hi I would absent mindedly say hi and smiled in their general direction. Someone always seem to open the door as I approached and I’d smile in their general direction and say thanks. I had no idea who they were and at that time in the morning I couldn’t have cared less I was 100% focused on getting my caffeine fix. Every now and again someone would ask me questions and I’d answer them politely but still not paying much attention to who I was talking to (by the time I got to my desk I couldn’t even tell you what gender they were let alone anything else about them).
Then one Thursday morning I as per normal got in line to order my coffee and before I could open my mouth the girl behind the counter handed me my coffee and a note. This was defiantly a WTF moment and very much out of my routine. The note said “Hi training started early today, I’ve already paid for your coffee see you tomorrow morning. C” . I was actually a little cranky as this totally fucked up my daily routine and I had no idea who this C was. Then it turned into one of those days where shit didn’t just hit the fan it exploded like a volcanic eruption and I totally forgot all about the coffee incident.
The next morning (Friday) as per normal I’m in line at 08:15 behind some tall guy in army camouflage gear waiting to order my coffee. I mentally catalogued that he was very well built and then switched my mental capacity to trying hard not to yawn my head off or fall asleep in line and face plant into his muscly back. Next thing I know sexy uniform turns around and hands me a coffee, which I took while doing the look from coffee to sexy uniforms face with total confusion. He holds out his now free hand and say “Hi I’m C sorry I couldn’t stay yesterday”, I’m 99% sure there was a one of those everyone goes dead quiet longer than socially polite pause as I mentally went WHO but then my manners kicked in and I smiled and said “Hi I’m Dominique and thanks for the coffee”.
By now I had realised two things:
- This was the guy who paid for my coffee yesterday
- Everyone in the shop was now watching what would happen
I put a smile on my rapidly reddening face and said “um I don’t mean to be rude but I need to get moving I have to be in a Staff Meeting at 08:45”. I was expecting him to do the open door and let me out thing while making pleasant small talk routine but nope yet again he didn’t follow normal behaviour rules. He did open the door but he followed me out and walked me all the way to my desk, which turned a few heads. In the short time period between exiting shop and arriving at desk I relaxed so when he asked me if he could take me on a dinner date that night I said yes.
I found out after we’d been together for a bit that he’d been trying to flirt with me every morning for 2 weeks, which I missed totally I don’t even remember talking to him till he handed me a coffee. Then one afternoon while taking his frustration at my lack of response and possible disappointment that I was attached out on the punching bag in the gym he’d got talking to one of the guys I worked with who told him that no I wasn’t attached I was just a little odd and to try a more direct approach. This lead him to think up the buying my coffee idea, which worked and for a short time made us both happy.
After C and I broke up I dated, well kind of more like got involved with two other military guys neither of which lasted very long but they were fun. Then I started the epic Husband Hunt, which the entire Surviving Cookie Cutter Dating blog is about.
You would assume after having filled out what feels like a gazillion “preferred partner” forms & questionaries and gone on enough bad dates that I’d have a rock solid idea of my TYPE! Oddly I do not. If anything the be more specific, narrow it down to a specific type, give more specific details, pick the top 10 must have attributes or whatever I constantly get asked for from everything from websites to love spell casters has made me less picky. I mean isn’t the whole point of a SOUL MATE that your souls energy recognises and connects to their souls energy, which is an unseen force not dictated by their eye colour or job?
I have 5 very simple criteria for my soul mate:
- He is single
- I find him mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually attractive
- He finds me mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually attractive
- We’re there for each other through good and bad
- Mutual respect – neither of us is better or worse than the other we are fully formed adults with past lives that we might or might not want to discus but moving forward we are equal in the relationship
Not exactly a huge long list is it!
I don’t need him to complete me, to be my protector, to save me from fire breathing dragons or be by my side 24/7. I don’t care if he wears designer suits or combat boots so long as he likes what he’s doing. I don’t need to know where he is 24/7 so if travels for work or get’s deployed for months at a time it’s not going to bug me. I’d worry about him and if he’s deployed I’d send regular care packages but I’m not going to expect constant text or phone contact. I’m secure enough as a fully formed adult to not feel threatened if he shows another human being affection and I expect him to respect and trust me the same way.
So why am I still single?