Why to Discard Your Dating Checklist

I can’t tell you how many times I meet with clients who come to me desperate to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, rattle off a checklist of physical, personality, lifestyle and financial traits their ideal mate has to meet, and then look at me bewildered and say, “I don’t know why I’m still single.”

Being a Virgo I can tell you right now, I get the importance of a laundry list. Always the methodical and organized perfectionist, I live my life by them; for my daily routine, my shopping needs, my social calendar, and even for events months down the road.  But the one area in my life where checklists are banned is in Love. And let me tell you, it has worked in my favor so far.

I threw out the bullet point necessity of my “perfect man” many years ago in my mid-late twenties, which is precisely where those superficial catalog of characteristics needs to remain if you really want to find true love. I will tell you, when that physical notion of exactness came into my life and I got the opportunity to actually be in a relationship with my “ideal” man, it definitely wasn’t as hot as his pretty face. That crash and burn made me realize that it was time to grow up; to stop looking past the loyal, loving nerd to the textbook handsome jock who will only break your heart; to give a chance to the man an inch shy of my preference who makes up for that in bigger, more important ways; and finding excitement in the man who is emotionally available and seeing the “mysterious” guy for what he really is: a “bad boy” in disguise.

Checklists have no place in a relationship, or in forging a meaningful, genuine, real connection. By the time you hit 30, if you are really serious about finding a life partner, you need to reprogram your brain to want a wish list of qualities that are more substantial rather than regress to coveting the type of person you wanted back in college. I can guarantee you, by being so selective, especially in the looks category; you will overlook a beautiful person inside, who, if given the chance, can grow to be the most stunning person you have ever seen on the outside.

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