Love in the Right League

“You were way out of his league. You know that, don’t you?”

When a friend made this comment following a relationship breakup last fall, I didn’t know what to say. In many respects he was right. All of my friends were right actually; each person commenting expressed the sentiment differently, but there was a general consensus.

He was not worthy of my love.

While I let my heart heal, I spent time considering what I want in a relationship and what qualities I expect from a man. And I made a very important decision.

I will not compromise.

Looking back on this previous relationship, I can identify something valuable that I gained from the experience. I have been able to create a clearly-defined list of qualities I want in a partner as a result of my negative experiences. I gained such clarity. For that I will be forever grateful. This is what is most important to me right now:

  • Happy and fulfilled in his own life
  • Loyal & honest
  • Enjoys life fully & laughs often
  • Is kind, encouraging & thoughtful
  • Communicates differences respectfully and openly
  • Healthy/amicable relationship with ex wife
  • Confident & secure with himself
  • A great father
  • Smart & successful (not in the monetary sense, but has a life purpose and enjoys his career)
  • Has various interests
  • Maintains good relationships with friends & family

In December I wrote a piece about unconditional love. A friend commented to me that I needed to lower my expectations, that it was, for the most part, a fairy tale. I choose to believe it is not. I will continue to look for a person with the right qualities and for love on that level. It might not happen and I am at peace with that.

It is better to be alone than to be in a bad relationship.

I am happy and fulfilled in my life so I am comfortable waiting for the right person or just enjoying my life as it is right now. Actually, since the last relationship ended I feel more like a Naked Girl in a Dress. I am very comfortable with who I am, quirks and all, and won’t settle for someone who stifles my own happiness ever again.

There were three words I heard from friends and family for many months last year as I struggled in the relationship.

“You deserve better.”

Yes, I do.





27 responses to “Love in the Right League”

  1. Jules

    AMEN! Why would you “settle” for any relationship? I enjoy my own company. Any if that’s the case, why would I want just anyone? No. The guy has to be THE GUY. Otherwise, I’ll be by myself. And you should too.

    You deserve better.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      That’s the plan Jules. No settling and spend time alone, with kids, and friends over spending time and emotional energy in a bad relationship.

      And thank you; I agree that I deserve better.

  2. I think we all have to date some losers before we can really come to know our own needs, and then, perhaps, date someone who can meet most of them. Sort of like doing our time in the trenches. I think you have a great attitude about it. Even when we know, deep down, that someone wasn’t right for us, it is still hard.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      The last serious relationship, with all the heartache that came with it, helped me identify what I did want, so it was worth it.

  3. Rodney

    You most definitely do deserve better.

    This was a great post. The trick is always learning from past heartache without holding onto it and it sounds like you’ve been able to do that.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Thank you Rodney.

  4. you go girl!

  5. From a icky relationship you learned what you did want. Usually out of those relationships we discover what we DON’T want. But still struggle to define what we’re looking for.

    Kudos to you to be able to define what you ARE looking for! When I finally managed to do that, the guy kinda just walked into my life. It was cool. Hope it happens with you too!

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress


      It has made dating so easy! I know what I am looking for and won’t waste time I could spend doing other things with someone I know won’t work out for me. Knowing exactly what I want means a lot of first and second dates only, which is fine. And, even the guys I didn’t think would be a good match long-term were great guys and we have enjoyed getting to know each other.

      There is one guy who I have gone on three dates with who I think is wonderful, but time will tell. Three is my record so far so that makes this one special.

      Whatever happens, I look forward to sharing with my readers.

      Thanks for visiting!

  6. When looking at your list, you would think that most normal human beings would possess these basic qualities almost as instinct. But I, like you, have discovered through much much trial and many many errors that it is harder than it looks to find someone with the basics. You are correct that there is no better company than that of yourself when you have really firmly identified who you are and what your deal breakers are. It doesn’t mean you can’t find some interesting people to fulfill other needs on your search for the total package. It’s ok to have fun with the wrong ones on your way to the right one as long as you keep the two issues separate. At least it works for me! Have fun in your search!

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Random Girl~

      I know! Doesn’t it seem so simple and that is should be easy to identify someone with these qualities? One of the biggest issues is a decent relationship with the ex. I have turned down dates with probably 6 guys in the last 2 month at this point for that one reason.

      Thank you! I have had fun on the search. I have met some great guys and had some enjoyable dates. I know what I want, but I am enjoying the journey to finding it.

  7. I was reading an article on AlterNet about marriage and relationships (because I’m sick of watching Egypt boil on al Jazeera) and the basic hypothesis there is that most men tend to “settle” for marriages that they find unfulfilling, or sexually dull, whereas women tend to be quicker to pull the plug on a dull or unfulfilling marriage. Most divorces are filed by the wife.
    The author of this piece contends that 80% of women fantasize or dream about their wedding day, as opposed to 10% of men who will admit that they do. Maybe for women marriage is more of a promised land of fulfillment and security, and because they look at it in those terms they are quicker to recognize a marriage’s shortcomings. Men (some, not all, obviously) see marriage as the “end of freedom” and something you just accept as the cost of having the wife/home/family scenario, so their expectations are lower. They cheat more than women (statistically) to compensate for the unfulfilled sex life of their marriage, then act surprised when their spouse divorces them, whether their infidelity was found out or not.
    I really believe second marriages are often more committed and viable than most first marriages because we’ve gotten our priorities more in line with reality.
    It’s tough to find someone you can trust, but tougher still to find a trustworthy partner who isn’t ‘settling’ for less than he or she deserves.

    Great post, by the way! Lot to think about here.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress


      I love how multi-faceted you are; you can visit and be a complete smart-ass and then next visit leave an insightful comment. This is great information. Thanks for visiting today and sharing!

  8. yeah, sorry about today’s insightful thing… I’m off my game. I think it’s the light deprivation of winter making me a little less snarky. I’ll try to make up for it the next time I visit…

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      I like you both ways, so visit regardless of your particular mood.

  9. I’m curious why the amicable relationship with the ex is so important on your list. I’m new to post-marriage dating, and am trying to learn from those who’ve already spent some time in the trenches :)

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Hi Jana,

      I can only speak from experience, but I have found the men who are still battling with their exes and seem to hate them are still emotionally attached and, therefore are not able to focus on a new relationship. Hate is an emotion just like love and it can consume someone. Also, who wants to sit on a date and listen to someone rant about their ex? If someone is still looking back and reliving their divorce experience and what went wrong in their marriage, would you want to be in a relationship with that person? I can tell you from my own experience, that my answer is no.

      There are many angry, bitter men (and women too of course) and I learned the hard way that I don’t want someone like that in my life. When I started dating, I turned down many dating opportunities because I was able to recognize this quality in some of the men who asked me out. If a guy hasn’t made peace with the situation and moved on, I have no room in my life for him.

      From my experience again: this narrows the dating pool considerably.

      But it is worth the wait to find someone happy in his own life.

      Best of luck with dating! It’s quite an adventure.

  10. I love that you’ve been able to gain these insights. And I love your view on life.
    When I was younger I dated men who I knew weren’t right for me because I feared being alone so much. Getting to know myself better has led me to learn that wouldn’t have been such a bad thing.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Thank you Lydia! I am still learning along the way, but I try to take away the lesson learned from each life experience, including dating. I hope that it will make me a bit wiser as a result.

  11. […] (not to mention the pressures of simply finding a job!). On a related note, I’ve found Kelly’s list about what she’s looking for to be rather helpful in my considerations, but it doesn’t mention career paths […]

  12. Don’t ever compromise… unless you meet The One. And you know in your soul he’s The One. Then you both will compromise something to be together. Take it from someone who’s on her second time around: when you’re with The One, it won’t seem like compromise or sacrifice.
    Great post. :) Be strong.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Thank you Heidi. Yes, find The One and then work together to make something great. I am on that path and we will see who I meet and what I discover.

  13. You are wise. As with anything else in life – A home, a car, a microwave…whatever…if it (he) doesn’t suit you or live up to your expectations…it’s (he’s) not the right one for you.

    I believe that he is out there. Kudos to you for not compromising in the meanwhile.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress


      I completely agree. A man coming into my life is doing so because I want my life to be enriched. I don’t want for anything and don’t need a man so I am not going to settle for unhappiness because I just don’t have to. I am all about happiness the second time around.

      Thanks for visiting!

  14. You are so right. Before you can be in a successful relationship, you have to be at peace with and love yourself. After all, how else can you expect someone else to do those very same things?

    Good for you.

    1. Naked Girl in a Dress

      Thanks for visiting Miri. That well-defined (for me at least) list helps me tremendously.

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