Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

How to Fill a Shopping Cart

Earlier today I was working on this article, and the premise of it was that it was important to know what you wanted in a guy.

Yeah, I realise that not everyone feels that way.  That a lot of people think that it’s good to be open to whoever happens to cross your path.  And that maybe the fact that I’ve been kind of focused on the kind of person I want to meet and the kind of relationship I’d like to have is a part of the problem.

Anyway, I was working with this metaphor:  When I go grocery shopping, I have to go with a list.  Otherwise, I wander aimlessly through the aisles putting everything that looks good in my cart.  By the time to get to the cashier I have an overflowing cart.  But when I get home I realize that I didn’t get any of the things I really needed. No staples, nothing nourishing.

It’s a cute little metaphor.  I totally do need to go shopping with a list, otherwise I end up charging hundreds of dollars of food that will only go bad in my fridge.  But I don’t feel comfortable saying that I know that this is the right way to find a guy.  Staying focused on what I want hasn’t worked for me yet.


10 to “How to Fill a Shopping Cart”

  1. TerrySimpson says:

    I would say that sometimes we don’t know what we want. What I wanted in a lady years ago is so much different than what I want today. So, my list has changed.
    Sometimes we run into someone who is totally different than we thought we wanted – and bang, wow. Well, I keep hoping, anyway – life changes, tastes change —
    I don’t think one should settle for anything – but I do think you have to be open to some things.
    For example: I never want to be with someone who is stupid, or materialistic, or docile, or exceedingly average. I cannot imagine that – unless I have a severe head injury, then life has changed.
    So, if you know qualities you want– great – but sometimes it changes

  2. pansophy says:

    I think staying focused on what you want is the way to go with a couple of caveats.

    First what you want and what that looks like aren’t the same thing – focus on what you want but be open to the idea that what you want may look different than you think.

    Second is that what we put out to the world is what we get back. Angry people don’t get love back, they get anger, and so on and so forth. The paradoxical irony is that our ways of protecting ourselves usually do a better job of buffering ourselves from what we want than what we are trying to avoid. So if you are finding yourself on dates with people who consistently turn out to be not what you want, take a look at yourself and see if you are actually being in the world what you want in return. For most people they aren’t. That’s been a big lesson for me in the last year.

    But I really think that knowing what you want and having intention around that is crucial in everything we do.

  3. starangel82 says:

    I think we all have basic staples that we know we want on our list. Things we know we need in a significant other and a relationship. Then we have things we can be open and flexible about. I think my recent experience is a good testament to the fact that sometimes that it’s okay to stick to your list. And to have a list, but sometimes it’s okay to grab that bag of cookies that isn’t on the list.

  4. AGirlNamedMe says:

    Using your same example . . . if you never try any new ingredients from the grocery, you’ll end up with limited tastes in food and lacking in new experiences.


  5. Momma Sunshine says:

    The thing about knowing what you want and looking for it is that sometimes we’re not able to recognize it if it’s not EXACTLY the same. Like always buying the same brand of a certain kind of food because you know you like it…but if you just tried out a different brand of the same thing you might find something even better…………..

  6. SpikeTheLobster says:

    I’ve always liked the “shopping cart” analogy, because it works. Yes, it’s good to have a list or you end up with a bunch of junk. But then again, when you make the list at home, away from the shelves, and you don’t remain flexible or keep your eyes open, you end up with a fridge full of root vegetables, mineral water and tofu. Very good for you, but BORING. :)

    IMHO, a list is good, but only if you can still grab a cream cake on your way past – just because it looks yummy and tastes nice.

  7. SerialSinner says:

    SG, what about growing all you need in your backyard and then hosting an open house?

  8. jamyb says:

    What about a new list?

  9. Veka says:

    I think I’ve been using the wrong list my entire life. Either that, or shopping at the wrong grocery stores!

  10. Simone Grant says:

    My apologies everyone. I didn’t mean to ignore these comments. I just got a little overwhelmed this week. As always, I appreciate your comments (and in jamyb’s case, I took some inspiration from them). Keep ’em coming.