Do you have a perfect partner checklist? Can you find love without a checklist? Could you ditch the checklist?
In this post, I’m going to share my story with you about my checklist and whether it worked for me or not. Hopefully I’ll be able to sway you, or perhaps provide you with a thought to ponder about checklists and love.
Where did my checklist come from?
In my early 30’s I went through a divorce from a cheating husband and whilst it was brutal I was determined not to date the same type of person again.
So, as many of us ladies do, I wrote a checklist. The purpose of this list was to ensure that I didn’t stray from what I truly wanted and that I really looked at the person before investing my emotional time and effort.
I thought this would for sure keep me on the straight and narrow. It would ensure that I had everything I truly wanted in a perfect partner and it was not dissimilar to the info-graphic below, but way, way more lengthy.
Actually, lengthy is being polite. My list was extensive. It covered emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, family beliefs and characteristics, plus more. It was my go to lad bible and I jokingly referred to it as my scroll when asked by my friends what were my deal breakers and what was I looking for in a future partner.
I would venture out on dates and mentally sit there checking things off whilst enjoying a coffee, walk or dinner with someone and as soon as something didn’t quite line-up, that was my cue to exit stage right or left or to just generally get the hell outta there by whatever means necessary.
Was the list working?
It wasn’t until I went through a breakup with a narcissistic person, which wasn’t on my list, as I had never actually dated one of these personality types before that I started to really look at this perfect partner checklist and figure out what I wanted, not only in a partner, but in life as well.
I recall I had just finished a yoga class and was sitting on my bed, pondering my thoughts and reflecting on my checklist, when my light bulb moment occurred and I realised that the only thing that this list was doing was keeping me from giving people a chance, that all I had actually achieved was to barricade myself and my heart in, ensuring that no one could ever measure up to what I had listed.
Why, you ask, would anyone do that?
For me, Well, this ensured that I kept everyone at arm’s length, that way I could never feel the pain of that first or any breakup again.
Does this sound familiar? Are you doing the same? If you are, it’s okay.
Heartbreak fuckin hurts and no one in their right mind steps into the dating world with a profile that says, “Heartbreak Wanted”.
But by keeping a list, this is exactly what we are I was doing. This document, either mental, written on paper or typed into the latest note app, will always be there for you to lean on. It will always be the reason not to get too close, not to give anyone a chance, not to invest, not to take a risk and to never be hurt.
But by doing this, aren’t you in effect hurting yourself? Aren’t you trying to control something that can’t be controlled?
Look, I’m not here to tell you want to do, and if the list works for you then stick with it, but for me, I wanted to get off the dating merry-go-round, and that meant ditching the list and trying something else.
However, this is scary as hell and for it to be truly successful, takes courage. Courage to be open to new people, to new experiences and to trust that the right one will eventually cross your path. It takes courage to throw away or burn the crutch that you no longer need.
So What Happened When I Ditched The List?
I started to really work out what was important and in my late 30’s early 40’s, I realised that the superficial looks that most people write in their lists, really, weren’t that important. Did it matter that they were shorter, carrying a couple of extra kg’s. Did it matter that their hair was thinning a little and was it a deal breaker if they already had kids?
Not really. What did matter is, was their personality compatible, were they fun to hang out with, how did they treat me, how did they speak about their friends, family, children etc and how did they want the rest of their life to pan out, goals, ambitions and the like. These plus a couple of other things, were what was really important.
So, what happened next?
Well, I started saying yes to more dates, and this in turn lead to meeting a more varied bunch of people, which led to me meeting my current partner. The rest they say is history.
Think you can ditch the list?
Actually, let’s go a step further, I dare you to ditch the list, to throw caution to the wind and to just see people for who they are. To give that less than perfect specimen a go.
So what, they aren’t packaged like Brad Pitt or George Clooney, who cares that their teeth aren’t 100% perfectly straight, or that they have black hair and not blonde. Blue-eyed, instead of brown, you get my drift.
In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? This is a date, not Married at First Sight, you can always say no to another date, and you’ll soon figure out if they are for you or not, but again,unless they are a total jerk, you really can’t tell much about a person in one date or one meeting.
It takes at least six (6) months in my opinion anyhow, to really get to know someone and even then they still surprise you.
It really is up to you though. Would you rather live your life by a checklist or just live life and make the most of every opportunity. I know what I chose and it has paid off for me.
In closing, I hope that you found this article and my life experiences helpful or if nothing else, it provided you with another perspective, something to think about. Would luv to hear your thoughts/experiences on the list or no list in the comments below.
Ps. read another success story @EvanMarkKatz dating coach website and how Laura D. ditched the list and found love.