15 Days, Day 5

This is part of a writing exercise dictated by this list. It may benefit you to read it if you seek to know me (or merely someone) better; it may benefit me in the selfsame way. And if knowledge of others is your goal, seek out Anna, whose list prompted mine, and Kimi, whom Anna credits for said list.

Day 5
What sort of person attracts you?

An odd way to put it. I’d have asked “what sort of person are you attracted to;” then my English major compadres would have scolded me for the preposition, and we’d be needlessly off-topic already. Oh wait.

There are two ways for me to answer this. The first, more obvious, is tinged with romance, and though it stretches beyond “what’s your type?” it can’t help being bogged down with the awkwardness of answering that question. Nevertheless this is an exercise in honesty, not in cowardice, so I’ll do my best.

But first there is the other way, an inquiry of sheer magnetism: when I look around me, is there a common thread uniting my inner circles? For the most part, there are two threads, circles in a Venn Diagram which so overlap that one might not notice the exclusions: intelligence and faith.

Doubtless this is what led me to a Christian college, for there (glaring exceptions notwithstanding) the majority of people possess both qualities; they are smart waxing wise, inquisitive, open to pondering “big questions,” and all of these things under an umbrella assumption that the God of the Bible is real and that He became incarnate in Jesus as the conduit of redemption for the human race.

I have had some decently close friends who are atheists and agnostics. I have also been close with, not idiots, but people for whom good grades come hard (if at all) and the fields of philosophy and theology are prohibitively complex. But all of my “true” friends — that is, the ones who know my deepest secrets and fears and hopes — are bright believers.

One interesting point: as much of a role as gaming has had in my life (and though many of my close friends love gaming) I am not, precisely, drawn to gamers. The gamers in my life who do not fit into either of the other categories (particularly those who are not Christian) possess various other qualities which have drawn me towards them, but never has the shared experience of loving games actually proven enough to form the basis of true friendship with me.

Ahem.

I have never had a girlfriend. I’ve been on exactly “one date” and that didn’t really count since it was a date based on company rather than mutual attraction, had neither anticipation nor promise of a sequel, and was a mostly unmitigated disaster insofar as my “good date” gestures go (I still shiver a bit at the thought of all the things I did wrong).

I have been “in love,” or as close as one can get without reciprocity, three times, with two close-but-not-quite-there runner-ups. And when I survey those five, I see no particularly obvious similarities beyond the professing of faith. So let’s start there: for attraction beyond the basic and animalistic, a girl needs to love Jesus.

I firmly believe in the principle of “equal yoking,” but a lot of people seem to misinterpret what that actually means. Really, it’s no more complicated than the image of a yoke suggests: two creatures united under one burden. If one is dramatically weaker, or pulling in a different direction, or covered in fleas, it will inevitably hinder the progress of both. If every single girl is a prospective partner, then I’m looking for one who is headed the same way, doesn’t conflict with who I am, and balances out my shortcomings while benefiting from my strengths.

Granted, who I am is malleable, and some parts of my life can (should?) and will go as I become a better person. But anyone who requires me to change major parts of my life right off the bat isn’t going to be wringing any heavy-hearted poetry from me. Assuming we agree on the Christ thing (same direction and all that), she’s got to also love stories. Now that could be books, movies, plays, games (all of the above? JACKPOT!), I don’t really care which; the key is imagination. I’ve spent my life wrapped up in creativity and I don’t plan to stop just because “the missus” wants me to pull my head out of the clouds and concentrate on things that “actually matter.”

I don’t claim to deserve immaturity, but being young at heart? That’s a birthright. A girl who doesn’t read or game or watch movies that don’t suck is a girl I’ll never get; more importantly, she’ll never get me.

Personality-wise, I’m a bit of a Janus. I’m either loud and outgoing (and extremely opinionated) or quiet, introspective, and brooding. The latter tends to come out around my closest friends and, inevitably, would be seen by a wife. I’m thus attracted to a girl who makes me quieter when I’d otherwise make a fool of myself but keeps me optimistic when the raven starts croaking “nevermore.” Typically this means free-spirited; strong-willed.

Quite bluntly, if she can’t keep up with me and put me in my place, it’s not going to go well for either of us. I’ll come off the bully, she subservient, and we’ll both grow to despise one another before long. She doesn’t need to be as smart as I am but what she lacks in intelligence she’ll make up for with wisdom and clarity, an example of the humility I so desperately lack.

Really, it comes back to the yoke. Each time I’m drawn in it’s by a girl who I’m trying to picture as a partner: not one to dominate and drag or be dragged and dominated by, but equals; not mirrors of one another, but fitting puzzle pieces.

I could rattle off a list of specs, hair colors and body types, nationalities and ages, but I won’t. Because I recognize that all the typecasting in the world won’t matter when I find the North to my South and, like magnets, we are pulled irresistibly and inseparably together.

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