Date a Woman Who Knows Everything (& Nothing). ~ Renée Picard

Via on Oct 11, 2013

Villers_Young_Woman_Drawing

So I’ve read a lot of these in the past year:

Date a girl who practices hot yoga. 

Date a girl who can sew. 

How to date a girl who writes (my personal favorite).

What we do (hobbies, work, roles) matters. It says something about our souls. But I also think that we can get too caught up in what we do when how we are matters more. So here is my version.

Date a woman who knows the beauty of being alone.

Date a woman who is hard-headed, who is not afraid to speak her mind, who can be stubborn and passionate and wants to have the occasional debate because she wants to learn how you think and how you see the world. She questions assumptions (including her own), explores ideas, breaks molds. She is naturally curious. She wants to be stretched.

She wants to change your mind and she wants her own mind changed.

Date a woman who knows fear, sorrow, loss. Who isn’t scared to get naked. She knows that her own beauty lies in knowing her true value (but now and then she forgets, and then you can step in to remind her).

Date a woman who knows her way around her own heart and is not afraid to break it. She knows what it wants and she stands up for it with conviction.

Date a woman who knows how to make real eye contact, because she values intimacy. She thrives on her capacity to build authentic relationships and surrounds herself with only this kind.

Date a woman who knows that she loves at least one thing fiercely: her children, her work, her art, her trade, her garden, her animals.

Date a woman who knows that taking/offering space to grow can sometimes be the best kind of love that one person can offer another, even when this means saying goodbye.

Date a woman who you are unsure of at first, not because she doesn’t seem like enough but because she scares you a little bit in her realness. Yet she continues to surprise and challenge you in this very way every time you see her.

Date a woman who knows how to laugh at herself, who might sometimes just crack the corniest jokes but they make you smile anyway.

Date a woman who sees as much possibility in sitting in silence as she does exploring every nook: world, body, mind, soul. She holds a quiet confidence. She walks with purpose.

Date a woman who knows that her heart is fragile. When it becomes too melty and heavy she might tuck herself away to feel better: let her. Then drop her a note or stop by for tea to lighten her up (she will need this but might not be able to ask for it).

Date a woman who will drop everything in a millisecond to help a friend in need.

Date a woman who knows that love is something that comes from inside, not something that she can ‘get’ from someone else, because she knows that she is love(d).

Date a woman who accepts herself today but (gently) pushes herself to be better the next. You will want to do the same by just being around her.

Date a woman who understands the problems with being ‘too busy.’

Date a woman who is sure about this one thing: that we can never really be sure about anything.

Because life is fluid. And each day she realizes how beautiful and scary this is, and so she humbles herself to it. She starts each every day looking to learn, experience, create, teach something new, because she knows that this is what makes life (worth living).

Date a woman who knows art and music. She may not create it herself but she needs it to move through her because it makes her (and the world) better.

Date a woman who understands the value of taking a risk, who is not afraid of making a mistake because she knows how to pick herself back up after she falls.

She’s ready to accept your offer to help her up the next time she does.

Date a woman, not a girl. But when the little girl in her comes out now and then (and she will), you will still love her as the woman that she is.

Be with—no, know—a woman who wants to understand herself a little better each day. She wants to understand you too. You may not have met her yet, but in a way she already does.

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Ed: Sara Crolick

Image: Wiki Commons 

About Renee Picard

Renée Picard is an editor and columnist at elephant journal. A grounded creative, her words often spill out in cheap breakfast joints and via coffee shop thought streams. She prefers real conversation over small talk, red over pink, ocean over mountains. She likes roaming the oceanside in the morning, taking photos of beach things. She tries to lead life with intuition and a soft (but fierce) heart. A core mission in her life is to offer and hold safe spaces for others to express themselves authentically via writing or other creative means. For her, writing is an instinct, craft, a heart-thing. Find more of it at her blog, connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

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69 Responses to “Date a Woman Who Knows Everything (& Nothing). ~ Renée Picard”

  1. mahaayoga says:

    Pretty good criteria for choosing friends too :)

    • Renee Picard smallgrl says:

      Absolutely! 'Date' is a loose term, and it does not apply only to heterosexual standards either. I would apply this to all types of relationships and between all genders/preferences. Thank you for reading!

  2. just a typo "Date a woman ( who is left out here ) knows that love is something that comes from inside,not something that she can ‘get’ from someone else, because she knows that she is love(d "

    this is wonderful . Love thyself.

  3. Andi says:

    So beautifully put, thank you for this… It will become my #1 re-read list for days gone sideways… I can already tell.

  4. Isabelina says:

    Finally, a portrait of a woman I can relate to! I don’t write or practice yoga, but I can know myself and live deeply.

    • Renee Picard smallgrl says:

      Me too. I wrote it out of a response to the hot yoga one…in that the hot yoga doing girl is not me at all. :)

  5. myriamsofialluria says:

    YES!!

  6. Carol Wheeler says:

    Wonderfully done, and made me think about all the splendid men who have recognized all this in me, and doted on it, making for a slightly tearful morning, but way worthwhile. Thank you.

  7. christine says:

    i thought this article was so moving…

  8. Victor says:

    Extremely well written. These qualities are those which my partner has allowed me to see and share . Your writing serves as a reminder of how blessed we are to be in each other’s lives..

  9. Linylle says:

    I read this 'first thing' on a Monday morning at work while sipping my first cup of coffee. What a great way to start the work day & week! I really thought you must have been following me around (chuckle)… You've captured some of the most wonderful attributes I admire about other women, and humbly about myself.

    • Renee Picard smallgrl says:

      Yay! That's entirely the point…not about 'dating' per se but about acknowledging these kinds of real things in ourselves and others. I'm really glad I helped you have a better Monday!

    • Anthea says:

      I really admire you for acknowledging that the wondrous attributes mentioned apply to you, as I can say I see myself in quite a few too and am warmed by that.

  10. Dave says:

    You make things too complicated. Most men just want a woman who is attractive and easy to get along with. That's it. Just someone who is cute and has an easy going personality.

    • Kimberly Shea says:

      Cute and easy-going…
      Most men want a puppy? Talk about complicated.

    • Renee Picard smallgrl says:

      Sometimes I wish it were simpler for me; if it were I would never have written this. If it's simple for you and it works for you, that is awesome. Thanks for your comment!

  11. Dave says:

    Kimberly: My comment is only derogatory if you make it derogatory. Don't be so sensitive, most women (and men) would take it as a compliment if someone described them as being cute and easy going. I know it seems hard to believe but these are by far the most valued qualities that guys look for in a girlfriend. Everything else is icing on the cake. (feel free to run with that icing/cake metaphor).

    smallgrl: It's not just you.

  12. Alayna-Renee says:

    Dave: I'd be offended, because "cute and easy-going" implies one's best qualities lie in passivity and appeasement. It has hardly been my experience that this is what men look for. Actually, I've been told men are and have been attracted to me because I am challenging, intellectual, creative, and open up a world of possibilities and new experiences. I am extremely complex, not easy going, not cute. Yet, I have rarely been single in my life, and I must conclude that many men (and women) are attracted to a woman of substance.

    That is what I took away from this article…"Date someone of substance". Nothing worthwhile comes easy, and "easy-going", "cute" companions rarely help you grow as a person. :)

    To the author: I think this is a lovely article, and I don't think you should wish to be less complex or less insightful. The world needs more substance and intensity, not less. :)

    *Hugs*,
    *~ Alayna

    • Renee Picard smallgrl says:

      Hi Alayna! You summed it up so well: date someone of substance, with integrity, who will help you to grow.

      There is something to be said for keeping things simple and less intense, sometimes, which I have alluded to here as well. Because my mind is complex I often get carried away and forget that simplicity, calmness has it's place as well.

      Anyhow thanks so much for reading it and getting it! Keep in being your real and complex and interesting self.

      ~ Renee

      • Dave says:

        Alayna: Cute and easy-going does not mean that someone is passive. And it does not mean that someone is not complex. Easy going people are generally at peace with themselves and with the world. And as I said before, these are not the only qualities that make a woman desirable to a man, but they are the most sought after for relationships. No one wants to be with a complete bore. At the same time, no one wants to be with someone who is neurotic and high maintenance.

        Now, the article started every single sentence with "Date a woman who…", and then proceeded to list a bunch of qualities. The entire piece is framed by listing qualities that should appeal to a partner. In all of that, the author disregards the opinion of the potential partner that she is speaking to. All of the qualities she lists are important to her and yet she does not consider what would be important to her partner. The list is inherently selfish. You may as well have started every sentence with "I am…". It's one thing to feel empowered as a woman but it's another to write a manifesto of what a man "should" look for in a partner without considering "his" opinion. I'm speaking from the hetero man's perspective not the LGBT perspective.

        Personal qualities are different than relationship qualities. There are people of tremendous substance who have a hard time maintaining relationships because they lack the necessary "relationship" qualities and are too selfish. When you're dealing with a relationship, as a man, you want someone who you are attracted to and also find easy to get along with. And by "easy to get along with", I don't mean boring or passive. It's not sexist or shallow to want these things. Most guys don't want to feel challenged by their relationship. We are already challenged in so many other areas of life that we don't want to have to be challenged by our partners as well. And if things become too challenging, then it's no longer worth it and the relationship ends. Women tend to disregard all of the time, emotional energy and sometimes money (that's right I said it) that men have to put into a relationship. For us, it's always a question of "is she worth the trouble?" We may like our girlfriend's a lot but if she's constantly hard to get along with then the answer is usually no, she's not worth the trouble. That may be hard to hear but I'm sure you know couples out there who are constantly fighting and need to break up because they just don't get along even though on paper they should be perfect for each other. And the same goes for men. If you're with a guy who you're constantly fighting with then you should probably break up. Unless you're addicted to drama in which case go ahead and fight it out forever.

        • @Kokitsuneko says:

          And, if she challenges you to become a better person while fulfilling the "criteria" for making your heart flutter and warm, that woman is so worth keeping. She will know when you have done wrong and she will hurt. She will expect better out of you if she thinks of you as her possible marriage partner (or just partner) and if she is the keeper, she will calm her anger down but hurt so very deeply on the inside– maybe she will even forgive you but hope that you will never wrong her the same way again. She will make you realize that there is more to life than just hard-cold reality and working all the damn time– more than just working 8 to 5 everyday and more than dreading every new day being inside a cubicle and getting that morning coffee to wake you up and crap.

          P.S. if you complain about spending on a woman, (come on, really? = ____=) then obviously you have been dating or meeting the wrong women. There are some girls that will be so happy to spend time with a guy watching netflix at their homes (or her house) or other moneyless (or cheaper) activities that include the "little things" such as spending time with them and showing your appreciation to her by surprising her creatively and passionately (and effortless without having to spend a single dime). Could you even hold an hour long conversation with her once in a while? Girls love that and need that type of communication.

        • blahblah says:

          So Dave, are your dates always pennyless? Or do you leave in a country in which men must always invite women? I'm asking because in my case, and for many years now, the money I spend in dating women is more or less the same they spend on dating me. Sometimes I invite, sometimes they do. It all averages out in the long run. But I certainly don't date women that expect me to pay for everything.

          In any case, you are correct in that the list is self-centered and only reflects personal preferences of the author. More than start every sentence with "I am..", the author should have started every sentence with "I would date.." or "I would befriend…". I share the author's ideal partner and I would date such women as those described in this article. The important thing for me to decide whether to approach a woman is a positive answer to the question 'Can I learn something from her?'. For you the question is 'Is she worth the trouble?'. Well, I'd say it seems a negative kind of expectation to start with but you are entitled to your own list of key dateable features, which include 'easy-goingness' and 'not challenging', and I'm sure you can find plenty of women to fit those preferences.

        • JKeys says:

          A guy should not want to feel challenged in a relationship. But he should (as every person man or woman) want to be challenged to be a better person and be challenged (within reason of course) to question their own opinions and thoughts. I know that one of the biggest qualities I look for in a guy isn't looks (although they matter to some extent) or money (I think that it should even out-one person pays for one date, and the other pays for the next, or split the cost) but the things that matters most to me is intelligence-someone who can hold an intellectual conversation and challenge me on my views and vice versa. It does not mean you are trying to change the person or start an argument. It is for the purpose of trying to grow as a person and to learn more and question not only the opinions of others but your own personal opinions. I REALLY hate it when guys say that girlfriends are expensive. It is not the case if you find the right person. I have been told that I am "cute and easy-going" many times. It always seems to attract the wrong guys. Maybe it's because I'm not that I can laugh at myself and at life and don't take things too seriously all the time and am down to earth. While at the same time, I believe I have most of the qualities listed in this article. But you were right in that this article is focused on a certain personality type. Not everyone wants the same thing out of a relationship. However, if you really want someone who is worth your while and will expand your horizons, I do agree with this article. Many men want the brainless compliant women who have no opinion on anything. But hey, to each his own, right?

    • laureen says:

      Alayna, I went right over to your blogs and read a bit. Interesting to know that my birthday is dec 24th and I was on IRC in the late 90's in a philosophy chat too- fortunately no stalkers. You write so lovely :)

    • ADBomb71 says:

      Thank you Alayna … we are not cute puppy dogs, we are beautiful goddesses of depth. Shallow men without real courage seek women who are "less than".

  13. Hunter says:

    I enjoyed the writing and ideas. The qualities remind me of women I still adore even when we part ways.

    • Renee Picard Renee says:

      Great! My point with the article is really to suggest that we acknowledge the depth of character in everyone we care about, not just 'women' that one might 'date.'

  14. Tracy Taitoko says:

    All so, so valid comments and it seems a consistent statement from certain men, that they want 'light-hearted' & 'fun' & blah, blah something much less than something of substance. People have different ideas about what they want from relationships I guess and maybe it's a reflection of age/ stage of life too. But the best relationships Ive had by far are those where each is willing to engage one another because that's where the juice is…yet couples do need to have FUN too. All fun, or all intensity is rarely a successful formula. I know what I want: & it's JUICE! & Renee's writing reflected me & what I want to be seen for in an intimate relationship perfectly. Bring it ON!

  15. adventuress10 says:

    Hi Renee, great article. I felt I was staring into the looking glass when I read your article. It was literally what my life has been these past 18 months. Thank you for the real, honest & heartfelt writing.

    • Renee Picard Renee says:

      I'm so glad you enjoyed! Honestly I'm blown away at all the appreciation for it. I guess I struck a chord, and for that I am so very grateful!

  16. theartsyfartsychick says:

    Have I mentioned how much I love this? No? I love this… looooooooove it. :)

  17. Divine says:

    This is probably the BEST blog I've read in a while. You summed up everything I would have wanted many people in my life to understand in an almost incredible accuracy. For someone like me who has only done about a couple of comments in open blogs, this says a lot. It's one of those rare blogs you want to keep for as long as you can. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing.

    • Renee Picard Renee says:

      Really? When it all came out I knew it would be something kind of special but I didn't ever imagine people would be calling it the 'best' or one of the best. I'm pretty blown away by everyone's comments. Thank you!

  18. Ali Rifai says:

    I can't express how much I relate to this post. I am also writing something along these lines and your post gets us thinking as well. The way you put your words and stated how a woman should be is strikingly similar to the person I want to be with.

    Thanks Renee for such breathtaking words

  19. Deidre says:

    Hands down one of the best blogs I have read in awhile. Thank you for putting your thoughts into words and then sharing – they’re truly inspiring! I agreed that the words, “date a woman” is to be use loosely, interchangeable with; Marry a woman, Be friends with a woman…etc. Just completely touched by you!

    • Renee Picard Renee says:

      Thank you, Diedre! Yes, the point is not about dating or women in particular, but more people and relationships of all kinds. I'm so glad that you can see that.

  20. Dee says:

    Renee, I'd be really interested in your take on "Date a man who…"

  21. theorganicgangsta says:

    I think this is quite possibly the best blog I have read in a while on the subject of dating. You nailed it! Will be coming back for more of your writing. Have a most blessed day.

  22. Anne says:

    I've been listening to Carol Gilligan speak about her work on the Makers series and I want to add: if you want to date a woman like this then we have to be willing to train girls to remain in touch with their authentic voices. It's easier to love mouthy, self-possessed girls when they're part of our family but how much are we willing to change the institutions that have been charged with turning strangers' daughters into "cute, easy going" girls?

    • Renee Picard Renee says:

      That's a really interesting point, Anne. I'm glad that you have your own personal takeaway from it and I'm going to check out some of this series.

      This is exactly the kind of thinking that I want my writing to inspire (and also the kind of thinking that inspires it).

      All the best!

  23. Jennifer says:

    This is pure truth. Stunning. Something for me to aspire to daily. Thank you for this.

  24. eric says:

    It is refreshing to know that some out there assert the confidence to love without demand; to care without obsession; to feel without dependency. Nice thought!

  25. Ken R. says:

    Very nice article. I loved it and agree. My wife passed away very unexpectedly earlier this year and I think of her when reading every sentence. My quest to find another challenging woman to love and who loves me is hopefully on the horizon. Thanks for the inspiration!

  26. girlfromPH says:

    I LOVE this!!! This woman is me, you, my best friend, my neighbor, a random schoolmate, the one I saw at the supermarket this morning…the list goes on. This is so spot on. And this kind of woman deserves a man who will never leave her behind.

  27. Maria says:

    So amazing, so profound and thought provoking!

  28. I think I've read this at least a dozen or so times. I absolutely love this! I take something new away from it every single time I read it. I am striving to be the girl you have described so eloquently here. Thank you for writing and sharing this! Much love to you!

  29. Liza says:

    You have described me in most ways. I still have a bit too much fear but I have learned much recently from being with the wrong man. Thank you for this. Especially this Valentine's day. You have affirmed who I am and shown me that it is MORE than just OK.

  30. Lee says:

    I would love to date that woman for I am that man…..but she eludes me in every way…where do I search, how do I find her?

    I’ve read this so many times and I ache thinking about the love I wish I could share….but she eludes me in every way…

    Love this article and style of writing so much!

    Peace!

  31. Lee says:

    I want to date that woman for I am that man…but she eludes me in every way….

    I’ve read this so many times, and each time it moves me more than the last…I hope we find each other one day soon…

    Love your article and writing style – very moving.

    Peace!

  32. Leslie says:

    It's official…Not only are you my new girl crush, but this article is everything I have ever thought, felt and tried to convey for as long as I can remember. You nailed it Renee! You are on my list of must know people…

    • elephantjournal says:

      Really? Wow I'm not sure that anyone has said that to me, ever. In real life I'm pretty quiet lol! This just came out one day…I'm not sure where from. :) Thank you, though. Very flattering. xox ~ Renee

  33. Amy E says:

    Love this article! It's oh so true! I have been single longer than I have been married. There is a lot of peace and comfort in being alone. I'm a nerd, so I'm fascinated by everything. I have enough hobbies to last me two lifetimes. Not that I wouldn't enjoy having a partner. Fortunately, I have some great male friends.

  34. Gina says:

    I don’t mean to sound full of myself but oh my, I felt like you were describing me. I do yoga. I sew and I write and not only poetry.

    Unfortunately. I guess the men I meet don’t want to be challenged. I Am Very Old Fashioned AND They Get So Intimidated. I even printed this because I thought about even caging my expectations, but instead with this article, it just gives me more reasons to keep being the way I am and not settle for anyone. Thank you so much and many blessings. Xoxo

    • elephantjournal says:

      Hey Gina! Yes, the idea is that – to some degree – we recognize the quality traits like this in ourselves, our lovers, our friends. It's about seeing the fabulous traits in a person and acknowledging them publicly. Thanks for reading! ~ Renee

  35. fitzjameshorse says:

    I think its as much about Friendship as Dating.a
    It seems that the frontier days of the Internet…late 1990s….are long gone. It was easier to make friends (and possibly date) fifteen years ago and while I have retained some, some fall by the wayside.
    The point I am trying to make is that social media such as Facebook has actually made it harder to relate.
    And certainly the Blogging experiences of My Space, Live Journal and Word Press empower us as citizen journalists but do nothing for relationships.
    They have actually created barriers that were not there in the old chat room days of AOL and Yahoo.
    Of course all of us were burned in some way….financially and emotional by the old frontier friendships. But somehow we have lost a lot of…potential.

  36. xavibrenn says:

    Just wowowwww !!!

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