Making a List and Checking it Twice

Everyone has an idea of what their perfect partner will be like…this person will love dogs, be attractive, and have a stable job. Whether intentional or not, this list helps us decide who is worth our time and weed out unlikely candidates. But sticking to this list may contribute to missing out on a really good match simply because he or she doesn’t check ALL the boxes. This might sound harsh, but having a dating checklist may be why you’re still single. Tough love time!

There are various reasons why you’ll never have a person that meets all of your ideas of perfection. Simply put, every person is unique and complex. No one person represents a strict set of characteristics, as their actions will change to fit their circumstances. For example, you may think the guy you’re dating is a horrible listener. But ongoing troubles at work or family issues may cause him to unintentionally tune you out over a long period of time. He could actually be a great listener when he doesn’t have a lot of stress going on in his life.

Instead of making a list based on superficial attributes, think about the qualities that you appreciate in a person. Does the person really have to be tall or be light-skinned? Physical attraction is important, but you can’t really believe all darker toned, shorter folks out there are ugly. Be open-minded. Look for a person that’s honest, enjoys life, and not afraid to listen and express themselves. The real surprise is how much you might grow to appreciate their physical appearance because of their positive qualities.

Is it a bad thing to have a dating must-have list? No. But make it realistic and tangible, not a list that describes more of what your partner should look like versus what he or she IS like.

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