It’s almost a guarantee that if you ask a man or woman what characteristics they desire in a mate, you will NOT hear an abbreviated list of one to five items. In fact, many lists will require you to pull up a chair and snuggle up as you listen to a description that's lengthy and, let's face it, pretty lengthy. 

It’s true that we ALL have grandiose ideas of what we want in a life partner. However, if your current dating pool has been as dry as a humpless camel's tongue in the Sahara, it could indeed be time to recalculate some things — beginning with you.

Instead of losing hope, consider the following before leaping into your next bout of bad and unrealistic dating.

WHAT ARE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES?

  1. If you are well aware that you will not seriously date a person with children, why are you dating a person with children? While having a biblical scroll of wants is not efficient, having one to five non-negotiable boundaries that are not flexible is a must. Consider these your NEEDS. Stand firm on these and don’t waste other people’s time or your own. No one else has to agree with your choices as to what's non-negotiable; you are the only one who has to live with them.

BE FLEXIBLE

  1. While it is a good thing to stand up for your non-negotiables, be flexible to the things you WANT. If you WANT a guy who is 6’2,” consider the fella that’s 5’10” and happens to be a really great man. If you WANT a college educated man, but a gentleman approaches you who hasn’t been to college, yet is an entrepreneur successful in his own right, what’s wrong with that? Don’t allow all of the things you WANT to block you from a man who may truly be a blessing.

  1. HAVE YOU HEARD OF EQUALLY YOKED? 

  2. OK, so I may get some lip about this one. I don’t believe being equally yoked means you each have a Maserati (necessarily) or you both make 6 to 7 figure salaries (necessarily). However, I DO believe it means the two of you provide balance for one another. So if you are an introvert, think about dating an extrovert. If you are a shy person, perhaps date the adventurous type. In relationships, it’s always amazing to meet someone who helps you to discover and unlock parts of yourself you were either fearful about or never even knew existed. Of course this can be done alone, but it’s always fun with a friend!

FOR GOODNESS SAKE, FIGURE OUT WHO YOU ARE 

  1. If you don’t know this, you should not be dating at all. Period. So often people get lost in the sauce of another person. They have no idea who they are and totally dissolve into the person they are with. This will typically lead to an incredible boredom on one side and, inevitably, separation. Learn your likes and stand firm in the man/woman you are. People enjoy dating other FULL people.

WORK ON YOURSELF

  1. If you find yourself in a tailspin of one dating disaster after the next, it’s time to do some self-evaluation. What do you want? Why do you want it? What are YOUR goals? How are you actively achieving them? Once you have become sturdier and more grounded, you will be ready to do just about whatever you set your eyes on.

YOU HOLD THE PRECIOUS 

I am a firm believer that you pull into your life the energy you expel into the world. If you are a monger of misery, you will receive it also. If you exude light and warmth, the same will come to you. Don’t fret over your list. Instead pray on it, make your peace, and continue to thrust light out into the world. Goodness will surely return to you!

  1. ACTUALLY TAKE THE TIME TO KNOW THEM 

  2. Say you find yourself mentally checking a person’s characteristics before you have even considered who they are — you are doing it wrong. If they have gotten passed the initial non-negotiable factors and you are giving them a chance, PUT THE LIST AWAY and find out about their character a bit. You’d think a full list of yes would be a perfect match. On paper it might be, but if there are no warm fuzzies, throw that fish BACK!

So toss away those list.  And even if you do not toss them, think about downsizing them and really looking at what’s important. Think about those things you couldn’t live without in a mate, and otherwise snip, snip, and snip away your "must-haves" and focus on the person inside instead.


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