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Is The List You've Created Blocking You From Love? -Stephanie Bailey
While creating a list describing all of the qualities you want in your potential significant other is important, often times this list can get out of control. If you cannot be reasonable and logical with your personal "must haves," this can cause you to become too picky or possibly creating this “perfect” image of a guy that will most likely be impossible to find. Kind of like searching for a needle in a haystack...rarely will this feat be successful.
When this happens you need to ask yourself, “Could this list I have created, whether it be only in my mind, or written down on paper, be hurting, rather than helping my love life?” This is an important questions to ask yourself, before you start demanding your needs to the one who could end up being your true love. You could easily scare him away before you have the time to find out if he is truly "the one."
Knowing what you want is a big step. There are many women that don’t know what they want and continue to attract men that aren’t great matches—their “Picker” is Way off. Other women claim they know what they want, but aren’t fully clear (usually due to lack of self-love)—causing them to attract men who don’t value, respect or want the same things as they do. Then there are women who know exactly what they want, and will cycle through men like quick and impersonal job interviews until they find the right one. Yikes!
Spending time to really think about what you envision in a man who you would want to date or see the possibility of one day marrying, definitely can help to give you more clarity, especially if you have been attracting men who have left you will unfulfilling endings. Writing this list on paper or creating a vision board of what your “perfect” partner’s attributes should be like—i.e. how he would feel, look, dress, act, etc. in an “ideal” situation, can definitely create a stronger vision for you. But, the older you become and depending on when you first started creating your list, will most likely determine how ridiculously long this list can become. Your list that started out innocent can become the downfall of your relationships, both current and future.
Most often we create our "What we want in a Guy list" at a very young age and through time, it becomes increasingly bigger and much more defined.
The first list you created was probably in middle school—when you were figuring out that you were attracted to boys. If you kept a diary, you probably jotted down physical traits for your potential boyfriend. What his height, body type, hair color/length, eye color, shape of face, and fashion style would be. Looking back, you probably cared more about his looks than personality traits. Either way, the muse that inspired the start of your first list was probably someone you had a crush on. He ultimately set the bar for the type of guy you could see spending the rest of your life with. Such a simpler time. If only you realized then that looks only go so far, your list would probably have consisted less about looks and more about attributes.
As your high school years developed, so did your list. Since your priorities changed with time—altering the importance of physical vs. emotional qualities, you continued to add on to your list. You began to factor in how many kids you could see yourself one day having, what state/country you want to raise your family in, what your home would look like (white picket fence), and the precise age at which would get married. Aahh…to be young again and have everything figured out. But, rarely is it ever that simple, because if it were a perfect world, we would all be married and living happily ever after by now.
As you grew older (college/post-grad years) and started dating more seriously, you came to the realization that your all-inclusive list must include more than your partner’s physical appearance and what type of house you wanted. Superficial factors suddenly became less important—the entire essence of a man also mattered, so you tweak your list once again. Your list is modified with the important questions asked and answered with what you desire in a relationship (and hopefully husband). Can my significant other relate emotionally to my family and friends? Will my friends like his personality? What are his interests and hobbies and how do they connect and fit with me? Do we have things in common? Is he romantic, funny laid-back, and/or driven? Is there an option to have children? Is he loyal, trustworthy and dependable?
The older you are, the more you date, the more knowledgeable and well-rounded you become (in terms of solidifying what you want in your partner)—but—the less you find someone who comes close to fitting your perfect list of qualifications. In addition, the longer you stay single, the pickier you become, and the longer the list seems to grow. You realize that you also want a guy who you have chemistry with. A guy who is a great lover—not selfish or Quick Draw. You want a guy who is always supportive in your life and career. A guy who can share what’s going on in his life and also listens when you talk. A guy who is affectionate—has no problem holding hands or kissing in public. A Guy who’s chivalrous and remembers to do the little things to show you how much he cares about you and the relationship you two share. There are sooo many things you start to realize that you want…why stop now?
Think about it: you’ve waited THIS long to date someone, why would you settle now? So, this prompts you to enhance your list a fifth time (fifth times, the charm!).
Naturally, you delve deeper to narrow down what you truly want. You ask yourself the following questions:
“Is he an effective communicator? Has he ever cheated? How often does he drink or do drugs? What does he do for a living? How does he handle anger (my mom’s favorite question)? What’s his astrological sign—and is it compatible with mine? Has he ever been married? Does he have children—if so how old are they, does he have full custody and how open is he to me one day meeting them? Is he afraid of commitment? Is he financially stable? Do he like to travel—trips that include me or by himself?” “Is he willing to compromise or is all about him?” “Does he really listen when something bothers me and works to make changes, or does it go in one ear and out the other?” “Is he there when you need him? “Is he a can do guy or is he full of excuses why he can’t?”
These are only a few of the questions you begin to ask yourself that can be relevant in helping you with determining what a successful relationship is for you. Unfortunately, the list starts to become so incredibly long, that ultimately you can’t fully grasp it; what you thought would be helpful is actually hindering your progress. You finally have an epiphany: your so-called “love list” is actually guarding you from finding true love.
When you create lists like these that are incredibly precise and detailed, you end up missing out on meeting someone great because each check mark they don’t receive, gives you a reason to walk away. Your list automatically creates an imaginary shield; an excuse to protect your vulnerable heart. I get it, love is scary. Especially frightening if you have had many unsuccessfully relationships and heartbreaks. But, sometimes you have to get out of your own way for love to come into your life.
Do you want to remain single due to the confines of your list that has become detrimental to your relationship potential; you become stubborn—too independent and set in your ways; therefore, not allowing someone you could create a future with, come into your life. Once again, you’re forced to ask yourself, “Is this list really getting me closer to love?”
The best advice I can give you is to throw your list away! Replace your endless, complicated list with approximately five non-negotiable qualities—essentially, that you feel you need in order to have a healthy and successful relationship. Once you comprehend your five core relationship attributes, you can effectively open your heart to love. Not only will the right person find you, but you will be receptive to all that they have to offer as a whole person.
Bottom line, ask yourself what is truly important...and how you would feel if a guy you really liked and hoped to nurture into a lasting relationship...found little flaws with you. How would you feel if he decided to end things because your tummy was not quite flat enough...or your breasts aren’t perky enough...think about it...It does not matter how beautiful or sexy you are...shallowness is not attractive!
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