There is some great conversation going on in my "Lest ye be Judged" post down below. Seriously - check it out! I love people who have opinions and can back them up and people who can disagree with others while still being polite - and it looks like several of you guys fall into both categories. Thanks, guys! While we're on the topic of differing opinions...
I once dated a guy who agreed with everything I said. EVERYTHING. I remember one specific instance (although, it turns out that I don't remember it all that well), when we were on a date, and somehow he got started talking very passionately about his opinion on some subject... I think it was the army. (For the sake of making this post easier and less confusing, let's just say it WAS about the army, although in all fairness, it might have been about something completely different.) He went on and on about the army (or something else) for a good fifteen minutes. He felt strongly about it. He'd apparently spent a lot of time thinking about his specific opinion, and he explained it to me it great length. Whatever his particular opinion happened to be, I remember that I disagreed. It wasn't something that I'd ever given much thought to, and to be honest, I probably wasn't terribly well-informed on the topic in question. (What do I know about the army? Or something that may not have been the army?) I responded with an off-the-cuff response that began with something like "Hmm, I don't really think I agree with that," and then followed with perhaps a five-second explanation of why I disagreed. His response? "I think you're right." Wait, what? What happened to the opinion he'd apparently spent weeks forming? I disagree, and suddenly his whole argument is out the window?
Needless to say, the relationship didn't last very long. He was a sweet guy, and he was romantic (he once bought me 100 roses, for no particular reason, and spread them all over my college dorm room while I was in class, which caused much jealousy among the other girls in my dorm), but he didn't challenge me. I don't think that I ever said a single word that he disagreed with. I got bored after about a month, and told him quite honestly that I didn't have any romantic feelings for him. I crave intelligent discussion, witty banter, and someone who makes me think, and I couldn't get that from him. (I didn't tell him that I was breaking up with him because of a lack of intelligent conversation, obviously. I do have some tact.)
For Mr. Darling, on the other hand, romance doesn't always come naturally. Don't get me wrong, the two single most romantic moments of my life were planned and orchestrated by Mr. D (namely, when he proposed to me, and three hours before our wedding, when he had a vase of roses delivered to me with a card that said "I love you, and I can't wait to marry you! I'll see you at 3:00. Yours - Mr. Darling" - except that it said his actual name instead of "Mr. Darling." Obviously.), and he does put effort into romancing me, but saying and doing romantic things aren't necessarily his "thing." But he makes me laugh so hard that I cry just about every day, he challenges me, he's extremely intelligent, he makes me think, and when he does say things that are romantic and sweet, I know that they're from his heart and not something that he's saying because he knows it's the type of thing women like to hear.
It's different for different people, of course. I know plenty of girls for whom 100 roses guy would win out over stimulating conversation guy any day of the week. And I'm not saying that one is necessarily better than the other (ok, actually, yes, I am saying that, because I later found out that 100 roses guy cheated on every girl he ever dated [with the possible exception of me, but only because I didn't give him very much time to cheat before breaking up with him], so in this particular case, I am totally saying that Mr. D is way better than 100 roses guy, but I mean... in general, I'm not making a judgement call about romance versus intelligent conversation.)
There are times when I look at a couple, and I wonder what one sees in the other (do other people do this, or am I just a jerk?), because I just can't see the appeal - but it's obviously just a matter of differing priorities. What I was looking for in a relationship might be very different than what you were looking for. So I'm always curious to know what people's priorities are when they're dating. What's most important to you? Brains, looks, conversation, stability, romance, or something else?