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.

Five Years Later

Transitions can be difficult and after being married for five years I can’t imagine how difficult it is for those who are married twenty years.

I sat down at Max’s in Walnut Creek and in three hours I took my list of five criteria and expanded it to 125. I broke it out into categories of what are absolutely necessary or definitely intolerable. I created the list with a rating system of 1 to 5 ratings system. I covered every area from education, family, friends, attire, appearance and even social habits.

I handed out my list to several of my single friends and they had a great time with it. They had never thought about making a list of what they wanted and all agreed, both male and female alike, the physical attraction was the main criteria they used in getting involved in a relationship.

The also agreed it was the last criteria they should have used to create a long term relationship. But they had never thought to question the habits of those they dated. It never occurred to them they might have choices rather than a mutual physical attraction.

They would report back to me and confirm their dating became more interesting and fun.