My Checklist

When I first moved to the Bay Area, I decided to make a list of all the things that were important to me in deciding whether to date someone.

The list was simple:

  • He had to have been married
  • He had to be single for two years minimum
  • He had to have no children of age to be living at home
  • He had to have no usage of drugs
  • He had to be a smoker

I had dated a few men in my twenties who had never been married and they were one of two categories: 1) they were afraid of commitment 2) they were not good relationship mater because the were too independent. I was tired of training men how to be in a relationship only to have them move on to the next relationship and end up married.

If he had divorced less than two years, it was more likely he was still harboring ill will towards his ex-wife and I was not interested in listening to rantings about how poorly they faired in the divorce.

I had having my weekend plans canceled because of men’s children needing their attention. I agree the children should be their priority, just not mine.

I was exposed to my ex-husband’s abuse of marijuana and who knows what else, so I have no tolerance to drugs of any kind. They are a waste of time and energy and more than anything, the steal the life from those how use and all who are involved in their lives.

And as ridiculous as it was,  I smoked two packs a day and I didn’t not take kindly to someone nagging me about quitting.

I could run through my list in less than 60 seconds. I knew right away whether it would be worth my time to pursue a conversation any longer than that.

Although that might seem judgmental, but why should I waste his time or mine when I knew what would work for me.

The List

What happened was truly amazing. Those who began to use the list faithfully began to date people who they were more than just attracted to. The relationships had more depth than they had ever experienced. Several told me they found someone to date they believed they wanted to spend the rest of their lives.

The great point of the list is the focus one puts on what is important to them personally. Most of those who use the list had always focused on the physical attraction rather than the true compatibility and long term potential of the relationship.

I think that everyone has become involved with someone and they know from the very beginning it would never work out, but they are distracted by the desire to be in an exceptional physical relationship. But after a bit of time the physical interaction dwindles but they’re tied together and committed to events and plans months out, then years out. The next thing they know they have children and years later they realize they never should have spent that many years together.

I truly believe there are no mistakes but for people to spend years together when they don’t truly love each other is not a healthy way to spend their lives. Yet it happens more often than not.

When I was 15 I begged my father to leave my mother. They were always yelling at each other. There were very few times when there was peace and quiet and I can’t seem to remember any time when there was laughter. My dad insisted on staying with my mother regardless and did indeed until he passed away at 72.

More than anything, their lack of a quality relationship shaped my life. How you live your life affects everyone around you.