Once you know you’re ready to date and you know the type of relationship you’re looking for, it’s time to get an idea of what you’re looking for in a partner. While some might say that this limits you too much, it’s possible to both know what you’re looking for and be open to something else.
The secret is in how you put together the list of characteristics and how you think about that list once you have it. If you see every characteristic on it as absolutely necessary, you might miss out on meeting a great person who doesn’t have everything you’ve ever wanted in a partner. If, on the other hand, you see your list as a set of guidelines, having it can help you choose the relationships you do and do not want to pursue.
Necessary and Unnecessary Characteristics a.k.a. Must Haves and ‘Hell Naws’!
To get started on your lists, think back over past relationships, whether they were romantic in nature or not. Are there any characteristics that other people have that make life incredibly difficult for you? In contrast, are there any that you find absolutely necessary in anyone you’re going to be close to? Now think about some attributes and aspects you would appreciate or admire in a potential new partner.
Use these to get you started, both in making a list of things you must have/want in a partner and in making another one of things that you consider deal-breakers/hell naws. Anything that comes up in these thought exercises is probably pretty important to you, and might even make or break a future relationship.
Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics a.k.a. Things You Can Compromise On
After you have your lists of must have and ‘hell naw’ characteristics, think about other aspects of people you’ve known that you have enjoyed or that have been hard for you. These may not be quite as important as the things you just listed, but they are aspects of another person that it would be nice to have or to completely avoid all together.
You may want to make these into a separate category on your list. That way, you can separate them in your mind from the must haves and hell naws.
Picky vs. Preference
Now that you have your 3-lists in front of you, it’s up to you to decide how closely you want to stick with them. You can easily become labeled as being too picky. There is a difference between being picky and having a preference albeit a fine line. Here is what I mean…
- Refuses to date people with children, they don’t want anything to do with someone else’s child, they don’t want the drama they think they will encounter in a relationship with them and they often make all types of assumptions…not based on experience.
- They may only want to date individuals with Masters or Above.
- They are involved with a group of people who function on “Group Think;” in essence, they are following the crowd vs. making decisions for themselves.
- They have envisioned their future with a certain type of person; height, weight, skin complexion, grade of hair, type of car, number of teeth (just kidding); you see where I’m going with this.
- Person A is the type of person I consider to be picky.
- Has experienced what it’s like either having grown up in a single parent home or in having dated people with children and has decided that while they are open to it, they would prefer not to do so. They have reasons for this based on their own experiences. If asked, they can provide a reason for the preference.
- They recognize that there is a difference in how people communicate at different levels of education. While they do not require their potentials to have completed a degree (a thing that they Can Compromise On), they may prefer someone that has actually attended some classes in college. This would allow them to have first hand knowledge of the stresses of midterms, finals and can relate to that once this type of situation appears in the work environment.
- While they may have the same ideas of what they want and what they do not want, theirs are based in experience, having given themselves the opportunity to create preferences due to real life examples as well as following the desires of their own hearts vs. following the crowd.
Know that you are free to make whatever choice you want to in this area. After all, this is your relationship you’re considering, so the choices need to be suited to your own preferences…not those of people around you, or what you’ve seen on TV, or choosing the woman that all of your boys are drooling over…just to be king of the hill.
Remember, creating these three lists are your way of getting clear on what it is you TRULY WANT. Here is a link to the 3-Lists Worksheet I use with my clients and that I hand out at workshops to help get you started. Keep in mind that these lists will change based on where you are in your life at any moment so, I would suggest saving them in their blank form so that you can return to them quarterly throughout the year. And if you’re already in a relationship/marriage and you can’t quite put your finger on what’s wrong, use these 3-lists to help you identify what you feel is “missing” between you and your mate and then use your findings to open the lines of communication.
When you get to be my age (oh my gosh, I sound like my mother) you will learn that a pretty face, a fast car and a Greek God or Magazine model-type body are all nice to have in the moment but are not enough to attract and maintain an authentic relationship. Beauty fades, fast cars are not made to accommodate children and their equipment, beer guts appear sooner rather than later and gravity is a cruel cruel b* with no regard for women’s feelings.
Get clear on what a day in the life of your “Purrfectly Authentic Relationship” not only looks like but also FEELS like and then open your mind and your heart to date different types of people until you find the one for you.
Dating should be FUN! It is the time to “try on those new shoes” to see which ones fit, if you like straps, lace ups or slip ons, how high you ‘prefer’ the heels to be, what color (personality) suits your life/style best, etc. Don’t just settle for the first pair of shoes that “look and/or feel good” and don’t expect every pair to be comfortable. With growth, comes pain…get used to the idea of becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.
In addition, don’t let your friends persuade you, either. Who you date and how you choose them is your choice, not anyone else’s. No one knows the depths of your desires but you and trying to get someone else to understand why you are ok with dating a person that they wouldn’t give the time of day to simply won’t work. You need to acknowledge then trust your own needs and preferences when figuring out how to attract the partner that is ‘perfectly imperfect’ for you. If you determine that you need help…I’ll be right here.
Don’t forget to get your 3-Lists worksheets, they can be used for everything from dating and relationships to determining the right career choice, company or ideal position. These lists are the Part 1 of a 3-Part client exercise. Parts 2 and 3 take what you’ve identified in these lists to a “whole-nutha” level.
Once you’ve created your 3-list, come back here and tell me how the experience was for you.
Your Dating and Relationship Coach ~ Anita Charlot
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With over 25 years of study in Relationship Patterns, Metaphysics, and Spiritual Connections, to the practical application and research, Anita has uncovered, tested and created a proven system that allowed her to attract and maintain the relationship of her dreams. She teaches this proprietary system and other courses focused on personal growth and attracting and maintaining healthy authentic relationships through The Relationship Architect Academy.
Interested in learning more about Anita M. Charlot, her customized coaching packages, bookings, professional speaking and keynotes as well as how to purchase books and products; visit her website www.anitacharlot.com.