In an article in yesterday’s Times of London, reporter Shane Watson gives young single women a little dating advice so as to avoid the kind of predicament that has befallen Elin Nordegren, whose husband, as we all know, has cheated on her approximately a dozen times. Watson’s main argument is that women should stick to a rigid “shopping list” of qualities a man has to have in order to be considered for life partnership.
Her suggested checklist:
“1. Must genuinely like women (as in all women, not just fit under-thirties). You can test this. Your fat single best friend will help. Also, he should totally get Sue Perkins, Miranda Hart and scary Sue in Glee.2. Must have some men friends from way back (and, no, footballers do not count).3. Must be kind. Without exceptions. Mean cracks about SuBo or Patsy Kensit or Rebecca Adlington are a giveaway.4. Must not be gay. (Seriously. I know at least three people who married gay men thinking they were just artistic. It doesn’t end happily, ever). Can be almost gay and should genuinely enjoy Mamma Mia! and Alan Carr.5. Must be capable of equating love with responsibility. Owning a dog is a start.6. Must have a passion besides you (his work would be a good one).7. Must have the same attitude as you to sex, money and family. (How much of each is desirable. The best use of it, and so on.) Shopping together and agreeing on what the word “holiday” means is a bonus.8. Must have some pride. Note: infidelity is not a deal-breaker for everyone (see Jude and Sienna). But being willing to sell your last ounce of self-respect definitely is.”
Now, I think this is a decent checklist. With the exception of the man having to genuinely enjoy Glee and Mamma Mia! (we’d all be single forever), these qualities are all definitely necessary for a successful relationship. Problem is, these qualities are pretty broad and definitely wouldn’t guarantee against infidelity as the article suggests. It’s very possible that when Elin met Tiger, he genuinely liked women, had man-friends from way back, was kind (from what Elin could tell), was clearly not gay, owned a dog, was passionate about golf, had the same attitude as her about sex, money and family at the time, and had plenty of pride. Maybe there were some warning signs that she overlooked because he was a rich, famous golfer, but it’s also possible that he completely pulled the wool over her eyes.
I’m not sure that a universal “shopping list” can ever fully cover what we are supposed to look for in a life partner. Sure, you want a man that’s kind and not gay, but that still allows for any manner of psychological problems and relationship incompatibilities. So I would add to my personal checklist:
9. Makes a strong effort to bond with my friends and family, male and female.10. Deals with conflicts in a mature, rational, problem-solving sort of way.11. Doesn’t take himself too seriously (i.e. can both dish it and take it).12. Is adventurous and open to trying new things (food-wise, travel-wise, etc.).13. Is genuinely compassionate towards people who are less fortunate than him (this goes beyond simple kindness)14. Is emotionally available (i.e. can be affectionate and express his feelings towards me without difficulty)15. Takes pride in executing certain basic house maintenance issues, such as changing lightbulbs, opening that stubborn jar of pickles, plunging/trouble-shooting non-functional toilets and shoveling snow off the steps.And finally:16. Has great taste in music, because I’m just not sure I could respect someone who didn’t.
Tiger may have sailed through the first checklist, but you can bet your ass he didn’t make the cut on mine.
What’s on your list?