Make Your List Before You Go "Shopping" for a Partner
- Tuesday, October 01, 2002
Why Limit the Lists?
Since I believe that there are hundreds of qualities you might wish for in a lifetime mate, I put a limit of ten on your lists only for mathematical and practical reasons. Your "pool of candidates" is usually so limited that your chance of finding a person with every quality on a list of twenty-five or fifty items is very slim.
Here's what I mean: A woman's pool of possible spouses is comprised of single men she meets at work, church, the gym, her neighborhood, the softball team, and so on. So if a woman says she wants a partner with a college education, she immediately eliminates many of the men she knows. Likewise, if she wants a man free of all addictions and emotional hang-ups, she eliminates another sizable part of the population. Every criterion from her list shrinks her pool of eligible, qualified bachelors considerably. We would need a mathematician to calculate the total number of men required in the beginning pool for her to end up with a "Mr. Right" after applying ten rigorous must-haves and ten equally rigorous can't-stands.
Do You Really Need a "List?"
Some singles I work with absolutely refuse to build a shopping list. They say, "If I can't find a person who meets what I know to be necessary for me to be happy, then maybe I'll need to lower my standards." And here's what they never say, but what I'm convinced they mean: "I want to get married! I need to get married! Therefore, if I have to settle for less, so be it. After all, a less-than-ideal man (or woman) is better than no man at all."
I argue against this theme with everything I have. I encourage people to figure out the kind of person they need in order to be really happy, and then to hold to these criteria to the very end. Otherwise, they could easily end up being part of the marital failure epidemic plaguing our nation.
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