Dating Secrets: How to Shorten Your List & Get Better Results

Posted by in dating after divorce, single women over 40 | 0 comments

So, you’ve figured out what you need in a mate. You’ve made your list of things you can’t live without. Let me ask you, how long is your list? Most people don’t even have a list, but those who do, often have a verrrrry long list. Here’s an example of a list by the author of Marry Him: The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough, Lori Gottlieb: 1. Intelligent 2. Kind 3. Extremely funny 4. Curious 5. Loves kids 6. Financially stable 7. Emotionally stable 8. Sexy 9. Romantic 10. Passionate 11. Compassionate 12. Irreverent 13. Intuitive 14. Generous 15. Same religion but not too religious 16. Optimistic but not naive 17. Ambitious but not a workaholic 18. Talented but humble…

19. Warm but not clingy 20. Grounded but not boring 21. Soulful but not new-agey 22. Vulnerable but not weak 23. Quirky but not weird 24. Strong but sensitive 25. Athletic but not a sports nut 26. Open-minded but has conviction 27. Decisive but not bossy 28. Mature but not old 29. Creative but not an artist 30. Supportive of my dreams and goals 31. Has a sense of wonderment about the world. She goes on to list 59 things she must have in a relationship. Sheww, that’s one helluva long list!

While I agree that many of the things on her list would be wonderful to find in a mate, some of the desired character traits are micro-specific, such as, “cooks” and “over 5’10” but under 6′ “. One of my favorites was, “has full head of hair (wavy and dark would be nice – no blonds)”.

It’s easy to get carried away with the list. There are so many things you think you want in a mate. But you also need to be realistic. If your list is too long and specific, you run the risk of narrowing the field so much that you might miss ‘the one’.

For example, what if Lori’s ideal match is a ‘perfect’ guy, but he’s 5’9″ or 6’1″, and she doesn’t even meet him because he doesn’t meet her requirements. This kind of thing happens all the time. Your search is too narrow, so you miss meeting a great guy.

Today, I had lunch with a colleague who is dating again after the dissolution of her almost 40-year marriage. Dating is new again for her. And she is much different than the twenty-something young lady who got married decades ago. She is a grounded, self-assured, self-aware, smart, successful woman. Her needs have changed, and her list reflects this.

She told me about her list today. She has 38 items on the list. I asked her to narrow them down to three. “Why?” she asked. “Because it’s easier to filter your dates through three requirements than 38. Pick the most essential three.”

After only a few moments, she came up with her three: financially stable, emotionally mature, and intellectually curious. I would have to agree with her. Those are at the top of my list, too.

Do you have a list for your soul mate? If so, how long is it? I challenge you to narrow it down to the top three. And if you don’t have a list, you should make one. But limit it to the three key character traits or values that you can’t live without. That way, when you’re out on a date with a new guy, you can easily ask yourself, “is he x, y and z?” If one or more is missing, you will be crystal clear that he is not a good fit for you.

Remember, looks can fade, romance waxes and wanes. What qualities do you hope to have in your relationship as you pass the years together? Those are the qualities that you will want on your list.

Please share them with me here. I can’t wait to see what’s on your (short) list!


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