"when looking for a life-mate, do you look for more substance than looks?"
I look for both. However if she doesn't have substance, her looks mean nothing to me.
"Is it important that she be able to discuss Taoism vs. Christianity, of know where Gaughin painted, or can recite a Shakespearean monlogue?"
"Is it attractive if she is successful in her own right (say, hypothetically, a real estate investor) or simply that she throws a good dinner party?"
In terms of successful, I assume you mean money,,, money means nothing to me. I will not and never have judged a person by their pocket book.
"I am wondering not to disparage ANYONES view of happiness...only to figure out where I belong! Poor guys dont like that I have a bit more, rich guys dont see me as glamorous enough...older men want to take care of me (not needed) and younger, well, they seem to like when I pay"
Clearly you have been dating the wrong type of men. But I do find it interesting your choice of words to describe men with less money than you,
"if someone out there is looking for a bright, educated successful girl next door (who happens to laugh ALOT and be a bit of fun), let me know"
Theres a ton of guys out there looking for a woman like you describe.
IMO, its just like the fishing expedition you were on, BE Patient...
Hmmmm... How about there are no answers and we might be merely frustrating ourselves by searching for them? Or perhaps like most 1 in a million odds, the numbers just haven't come up yet. I hate when I wax philosophic and sound depressing...
I guess this is a rhetorical question that somehow seeks an answer? :o) I guess we need about 2000 calories a day, some air and some water and that should be enough to survive, if perhaps we propagate the species, that would be bonus for mankind(or in theory anyway)... Due to our complex system of nerve endings, neurons and such, species of the human kind finds a way to convolute it up into a calamity.
I feel your pain sister, and have struggled with this for many years.
Searching for 1 in a million, means you have to kiss a lot of frogs. On an average day, one can but hope not to get any warts, while dreaming of our destiny.
BTW, I think finding a balance of Taoism and Christianity or more generally between philosophy and religion is something everyone must face, whether they realize it or not. I find great amusement in the implementation of other artist's interpretation of their vision/dreams. While I can't recite Shakespeare, I often ponder what relationships were like in his day, and if the man might have taken the commonality of no women in the theater just a little too seriously, but as Seinfeld would say "Not that there is anything wrong with that"...
In the end there must be balance between reaching for the stars and keeping ones feet planted firmly in the reality of the ground. They tell us we must never settle, but what if our expectations are truly unrealistic?
As to the choices offered by this thread title, I just wish the choices were better than a plastic doll and a convict, but I guess in the end, relationships are composed of communication, negotiation, and sadly, some compromise. LOL
i think a person can be both if you have a good heart and are a master of love...(i love seista key, lived and go there often)...
beauty and love in a heart, is a good person... they are everywhere, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and only skin deep....so if you can find beauty in what ever form it comes in smile,body, eyes,face, smarts and a sense of humor, then i think people can settle with a combo of these things.. settle for that...