Do You Have A List?

23 Aug
Shopping list
Image by Ex-Smithvia Flickr

I have never been a big proponent of The List.  For those who don’t know, some women compile a list of characteristics that they hope to find in a mate, e.g., must have a college degree, must have a good relationship with his mother, must love dogs, etc. , and regard their list as sacrosanct.   I eschewed any kind of list and preferred to believe that I would “just know” the right man when I met him. 

Lately, though, I’ve been challenged to re-think my position.  What if my compass is off and a man that I really like is actually very wrong for me?  What if a man who I am just-not-that-into is actually very right for me?  Maybe, I’ve been thinking lately, I need to make a list of qualities in a man that are important to me.  Maybe an objective standard would help me to evaluate whether or not a particular man and I have potential as a couple. 

Here’s what the list I decided to make looks like so far:

  • He has a relationship with God and is actively involved in a church.
  • He wants to be married and is seeking a wife, not just a relationship.
  • He is willing and able to be the sole provider for our family, if necessary.
  • He is emotionally connected to other people in his life;  he shares his thoughts and feelings with someone, inconveniences himself for someone, he totally accepts someone, just as they are, flaws and all.
  • He is intelligent; but still eager to learn, and is aware of the limits of his knowledge.
  • He is funny; able to laugh at himself.  His humor doesn’t run towards sarcasm.
  • He is available to me.  He doesn’t go away for days and weeks when he’s affected by something.  He doesn’t have work, or projects, or obligations that prevent him from being with me or talking with me.
  • He tells me how he feels about me.  I don’t have to wonder or surmise.
  • He talks to me about his feelings, hopes, dreams.
  • He genuinely likes and appreciates the wonder that is woman. 
  • He respects and appreciates his parents.
  • He has steady employment and makes reasonable financial decisions. 
  • He has a sincere curiosity about me, my life, my interests, hopes and disappointments.
  • He has some experience dealing with emotional women, and is not condescending towards us.
  • He is attractive.
  • He is a good kisser.

As for traits like honesty, caring, thoughtfulness, etc., I thought of what caring, for example, means to me and added that to the list.  There was no need to add that he’s not an addict, abuser, or liar.

My list is not a marriage application, it is not a final arbiter, it is not an offensive weapon (“stay away, Mister, if you don’t possess all these qualities”).  My list is not really about my husband at all.   It is about me clarifying my needs and expectations. 

Like:  we all want to date and marry Christian men, but what about (extremely attractive) prospectives who identify themselves as Christian by way of family tradition?  What about men who have had a born-again experience but who have not been church members for many years?  What about men who have had a born again experience, and who go to church routinely, but who have zero connections or relationships with other church members?   My response under each of these circumstances would depend on the individual man’s story.   But my list is here to remind me that active involvement in a church is a sign of spiritual health and of a certain level of spiritual maturity; to remind me to assess these factors in a man’s life when I am getting to know him.

All lists are not created equal, but a good list is a good thing. 

What’s on your list?

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