I'm 23 years old. 23. Twenty Three. Meaning I am reaching middle age in gay years. LOL
I haven't been in a relationship. I haven't kissed somebody and felt butterflies. I've never held someone's hand and felt that warmth and energy tinge between our hands. I try not to, but I often begrudge my friends for the lurid stories of relationships, breakups, makeups and romantic getaways they have. I can't relate to their experiences. Of the sustained "relationships" I have had in my life, all ended badly or on rocky terms. None lasted longer than 2 months.
In analyzing the why and how of my lackluster romantic life, I've talked to many close friends about the situation. They care and they've told me those platitides and polite answers that friends are supposed to say to spare your feelings " Your cute, your smart, your time will come, blah blah." The answers are appreciated and pique my confidence for a moment, but I know that I need more unbiased, biting critique into what I'm doing wrong. I am asking myself the questions about who I see myself as, and what qualities I want in my partner. I often have heard and seen the quote. That you can't wait for Mr. Right, you have to BE him first. So what qualities do I most want?
Lance Freeman, Associate Professor at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, leading expert on gentrification
My Mr. Right will be smart, hopefully smarter than me. I don't mean to say that in a way that suggests I figure myself a genius. I don't. I have been humbled more than enough times to realize that. But I want somebody who challenges themselves and the people around them on an intellectual level. I want him hungry to know more about the world around him, think critically and have a unique and thoughtful opinion.
Laz Alonzo, Actor (Jumping the Broom, Miracle at St. Anna)
Ok, I'll be real with you. Attraction is necessary. Having somebody who is somewhat easy on the eyes is important to me. I don't need a model or a Laz, but somebody with a striking face or a quality about him that makes him noticeable in a crowd is important. I want him to be somebody that I would be proud to walk into any room hand in hand, be it my parents living room, a gala function, or the neighborhood dive bar.
Donald Glover, Comedian and Music Artist
He has to have some quirk. I like weirdness, it makes things interesting and sets you apart from the crowd. I don't need anybody who is the kind of weird that would have them on a show on TLC or anything, but enough that you have a different taste in music, or you have a slightly different style of dress. Maybe you enjoy watching Indian films, or are an experienced tap dancer, anything that is an unusual interest/quality that is an indelible part of what makes you you. A quirky man that owns his weirdness in a way that makes him fresh and unique.
Van Jones, Founder of Green-4-All and former White House Advisor
There are so many issues and concerns in the world, and I can't imagine myself with somebody that does not care about something beyond themselves and their family. I think a man that has great concern for his community over issues that extend far beyond his personal view is a very appealing quality, and proves he has heart.
Michael Beckwith, Pastor and New Age Spiritual Leader
Like India.Arie sings in "Ready to Love," I want a man who respects the spirit world. He doesn't need to be a Christian, but he should have values and core beliefs in a power greater than himself to guide him through his daily life. If he is a member of an established religion, I want him to be able to critically consider his faith, and be able to discuss it openly and freely with those that may not agree or find fault with it.
Lenny Kravitz, Musician and all around sexy MF
You gotta' have that extra something. In your eyes, or your smile. Your walk, or your words. Something in you should reveal an underlying energy and zest for life. I use passion here in a less obvious way (no I don't mean 'swag') This passion might reveal itself through your daily activities, your social life, your extra-curricular, or just in conversation at home. Some part of your life should have a burning light that shows the world just how alive and awake you are to it.
This list is far from perfect, but just a few things that I would notice and find appealing in a man, my Mr. Right. Some of them overlap, and some are less tangible than others. But I'll be able to recognize them when I meet him, that proverbial him. But, as I mentioned before, if I want these things, I have to BE these things.