The 'What' and the 'Why' of The List
The List, to recap, is comprised of qualities a man must possess before I could entertain giving him a serious position in my life. Having been incredibly burned in a marriage, I planned to date eyes wide open, head on straight, and heart firmly guarded. My Mom (God rest her beautiful soul) always said "guard your heart" and it was about time I listened. When I mention my previous marriage and the possibility of a future elaboration, my intention is not to be cryptic and coy. What happened at the end of the union was severe, traumatic, and tragic, but it also has the potential to be burdensome to those who learn about it. For that reason, I'm careful who and when I tell someone about it. I want to make sure sharing my experience, "my story", is going to somehow encourage someone and be useful instead of being shocking.
Onward about the list...The very first item on the list was by far the most important. My potential beloved had to "Love the Lord and live like it." Simply put but very clear. That was something I couldn't waffle on. Because of my beliefs, it was imperative that "he" share my beliefs. They would be the foundation for every other aspect of our relationship. It certainly did not mean the relationship would be all hearts and rainbows, but it definitely meant that we'd be of like mind in regards to the major issues.
The second requirement was that Future Man would love and respect me and love my children and treat them as his own. My children are my breath. Any man I seriously considered being with on a long-term basis would have to love, protect, and cherish them like he loves, protects, and cherishes his biological children. It would be easy for me to do the same.
I kept my list as non-superficial as it gets. I used to be of the opinion that these lists were ridiculous, especially after seeing one of The Real Housewives of Orange County mention she had 150 items on her list. How?? I want to read this list. Then I want to know how many criteria her husband met.
My remaining items were more or less simple but things I wanted in a man and some things I needed. They were not listed in order of importance. Mr. Right had to be gainfully employed and able to take care of his responsibilities. (Read: I did not want a man who depended on me for money). I can take care of myself and what's mine. He needed to do the same.
Future Man had to be a good father. If he was not a good dad to his own children, he certainly would not be a good dad to mine. He had to make me laugh and have a great sense of humor. I have a quirky, goofy, punny sense of humor and he had to have one similar and be able to keep up. I did not want to have to explain every joke I made. He also had to be okay with me acting like a kid on occasion, but he also had to act the same. I wanted a man who took care of himself physically, hygienically; he had to be strong emotionally, mentally, spiritually. As a bonus, I wanted him to have a good health insurance plan. Being self-employed, this was vital. It's a need and since I was making a list, why not cover all my bases? :-)
At last, I wanted a man who didn't want to change me. I'd had enough of being told I should do 'this' or act like 'that' by a man. For the first time in perhaps forever, I was very firm in who I was (and am). I was a pretty decent catch, I reminded myself. Please don't mistake that for arrogance. I believe we have to remind ourselves of our worth! I'm a kind-hearted person, have a tremendous capacity for love and acceptance, I'm generous and giving, work hard, and have fun. I think that sounds like a worthy person to me, how about you? Love me like I am and like I'm going to become. ~MP