Executive Brief: <>


My Characteristics

I am going to describe myself: the good, the bad, and the other… things that a potential partner might want to know.

I love my family. I have three adult children who are out on their own. I have a small group of very close friends. My mom is 84, and we live in the same house.

I am very well educated (PhD+), and I work hard. I’ve documented a lot of that elsewhere.

I’m open-minded and liberal.

I don’t force my spiritual beliefs on others. I have faith in the Spirit. My closest conventional religious match is with Quakerism.

I am heterosexual and cisgender. When I am in a relationship, I neither flirt with nor scope out other women.

I am smart and tall.

I am older (which has been creeping up on me for 61 years). My parents and grandparents aged into their 80s and 90s.

My health is pretty good, but I am out of shape, which I have been working on improving (for my health, not for my appearance… although I do prefer it when my clothes fit comfortably). Despite my best efforts, there’s a good chance that I will always be overweight.

I’m other-centered: nice, kind, considerate, and affectionate. I’m good to animals, but I don’t want a pet right now.

I don’t gamble, cheat, abuse, or lie.

I am not (and never have been) a substance abuser… other than food in the last couple of decades.

I have something of a sense of humor. I tend to be irreverent, and have a fond appreciation for silliness.

My teeth are a natural color.

I am Autistic, which can be irritating to some people, but I am all done with masking.

I am an empath who is highly sensitive and creatively schizotypic.

I am an introvert, but I do occasionally engage in some extraverted activities. I do need a nontrivial amount of independent space and time in my home life, in the sense of wanting my own bedroom that I can design as I like (and retreat as needed), where I can set my own sleep and wake times, and not have to worry about bothering my wife with my noises and so on (like with the CPAP).

When asked to say ‘Ahhh’, I notice myself pitch matching (at the very least). If I were a patient of Dr. Pirate, I’d growl out “Arrr.”

My first wife and I were married for 19 years, and beyond that divorce we have had no contact. She lives 1,000 miles away.

Sara and I were together for 12 years, and we are good at being friends and colleagues. The good things between us were just right, but the bad things were just too wrong. She is planning a move out of the area.

I like to read, write, work on my projects, watch movies, hike/walk, and snack. I make and repair a lot of things. I drink on occasion (such as in social contexts at a pub), but I do not get drunk. I don’t use recreational drugs myself, but don’t care if other people do… just so long as I can choose whether or not to subject myself to the odor of the smoke.

I really don’t like to be late. I give myself plenty of time to get places just in case of traffic and the like.

I don’t mind dressing up on occasion, but not very often.

I have a good job as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Assistive Technology Specialist. I am improving my financial security. I have a retirement plan in place, but it is not yet as robust as I would like. I own a chunk of my home. I can’t afford to put any more kids through college (no matter how much I would otherwise be happy to do so).

I would not be a comfortable partner for someone who ate with their mouth open, made a lot of eating noises, or engaged in self-grooming behaviors while engaged in conversation. It’s not that I am judgmental from a cultural standpoint, but rather that I experience a strongly unpleasant mirror neuron sort of reaction to that kind of event.

I am no longer a good partner for someone who is battling depression. I used to be good at it, but I am just plain worn out; that is to say, I am good at side-by-side support, but I am no longer fit to be a draft animal (except at urgent need).

My sense of self worth is erratic. While I can still improve there, I suspect that there will always be trauma residue. There is some part of me that craves partnership for the validation that can come along with it, but I don’t actually want a relationship for validation; that is to say, I am aware enough of that influence to avoid it. I won’t get involved if my partner would still be at risk of having to shoulder that burden.

I think out loud and at length during discussions. Sometimes it is better for me to go off and write stuff down, and then talk about it afterward in a more concise way… and if that discussion starts to get too involved, then I tend to go off and write some more. I am not a good match for someone who wants to operate on the surface, or make quick, under-informed decisions.

Sometimes I change my mind, often as the result of something that a partner tells me. Sometimes that happens during discussions, and sometimes it happens at more disparate moments (such as separate conversations long apart). Sometimes it happens as I talk myself through something, as part of my trying to listen and meet in the middle. If someone experiences that pattern as if it were abuse (e.g., gaslighting, lying, or destabilization), then we shouldn’t be together.

My memory is very detailed and accurate in some ways, but there are others in which it is imperfect. Sometimes I won’t remember the exact wording that I have used, especially if it occurred during a highly escalated exchange during which I was being abused. There are occasions where my words are quoted back to me and I will insist, “That’s not what I said.” In some of those cases, I should say instead, “That’s not the meaning that I intended to convey when I used those exact words” (i.e., it’s not what I meant). 

For more info, there is a book that contains a number of autobiographical short stories (and other stuff).

Her Characteristics

Open-mindedness is crucial.

I’d like to be with someone who is as nice to me as I am to her… a balanced giver/taker. (She must be good to animals.)

I want someone who prioritizes our staying together over the winning of an argument. I certainly don’t mean that she should pursue compromises with me at all costs to herself, but rather that we should both be helping each other to love well together.

I do not have preferences around race. It’s not that I am color avoidant. It’s just that I would like her to feel that I could sufficiently empathize with whatever happened to her, and I know that can be difficult for someone to believe when there is a lack of shared context; for example, I have not been victimized by systemic racism, so try as I might, I cannot fully internalize that experience, so I would understand if that empathy were not enough, but if it weren’t an obstacle for her, then it wouldn’t be for me.

I do not have phenotypic preferences, and I do not torment women with cultural brainwashing.

It’d be nice if she were equally blithe about how I look… because there’s not a lot that I want to do about it.

To be clear: it’s not like I have the same flat reaction no matter what, but more a matter that I truly, positively enjoy however a woman looks (without confusing that with who she is). That said, I am affected by some sense of a person striking me as feminine. That seems to be hardwired. I’m not talking about the likes of frilly skirts, makeup, prominent secondary sexual characteristics, and that sort of thing. I am not sexist or prescriptive in that sense. But there is something about a person’s face that will register with me as residing more or less in a feminine domain, and I am somehow geared to feel comfortable in deeply, emotionally intimate relationships only with women. I just don’t develop those same sorts of feelings for people who (to me) are less female-ish.

I have no preferences around culture, except as it might be reflected in other features that I describe here (e.g., if she happened to be closed-minded due to her culture, then we wouldn’t be a good match).

I have no spiritual preference, as long as the approach is neither xenophobic nor proselytizing. I suspect that we would fit together better if we each found spiritual faith to be important, even if we did not share a faith in what.

I have no age preference, other than within a range to match my own.

I have no preferences around her manner of dress; however, as that can overlap with some aspects of intimacy for me, I should also say…

I would expect that we would talk about what each of us would freely choose to treat as intimate and special between the two of us. And if she were to change her mind, and decide to share something (that we had agreed would be) private with other people, then I should be allowed without being punished to no longer treat those things as if they were private and special anymore.

I don’t absolutely need physical intimacy. I enjoy it, and am told that I am very good at it. I also like giving that to my partner. But as long as its lack wasn’t a matter of my being punished with rejection, then it would not be a deal breaker if she didn’t feel like it. I do, however, like holding someone… helping them to feel safe and cared for.

I don’t want to be just a pet or service animal, or to have someone fill that role for me. I want each of us to exist .

I want someone with whom I match when it comes to our beliefs around an interpersonal relationship balance. I want to get to know someone, and I want someone who wants me to get to know me.

Red Flags and Deal Breakers

No abuse. That includes any intent to hurt me (and my loved ones) with the likes of physical violence or harmful communication. No yelling and shouting. No throwing things. No slamming doors and so on. No trying to create fights for entertainment. No demanding that I just shut up (for hours on end) and listen (to endless pontification). No nailing my feet to the floor when I request a break to calm down in the face of overwhelm.

No drinking to excess. I have strong traumatic reactions around a drunk partner, and I don’t see any way clear to changing those reflexes. I suspect that rules out abusive intoxication in general.

No strong odors of perfume or smoke, which includes too many candles and so forth.

No xenophobic crap such as racism, sexism, ableism, or other bad -isms.

No right-wing rabidness, conspiracy theorizing, anti-vaxxing, snake oiling, and all that sort of poison.

No cruelty to animals.

No manipulation. No dominance games. No drama for entertainment. No obsessive need to keep me under the thumb, in the doghouse, and so forth.

No weaponized abandonment, such as storming out of the house (while withholding any information around a return), the switching off of love (for unpredictable lengths of time wielded as punishment), or other intentional rejections and erasures of care.

No casual disregard for our shared intimacies (i.e., no flip-flopping for selfish convenience).


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