If I had to describe myself in three words, I’d choose intelligent, supportive and driven. I often know what I want, and I’m very specific. This applies to my career, my home, what I like to eat (just sit with me at a restaurant as I order) – and above all, my mate.
So when people ask me what I desire in a guy, I’m ready to tell them without hesitation. Why? Because I have a list. Yes, a list – and it has close to 45 qualities on it.
When I tell individuals (no matter their relationship status) I have a list, I receive one of three responses – shock, curiosity or “who do you think you are?!” I’ve always wondered why having a list for a companion evokes such responses.
Recently, one of my friends blatantly said, “I think you’re single because you’re too picky.” She continued, “If President Obama was single, he wouldn’t even be good enough for you.”
Baffled, I asked her what she thinks I’m looking for in a man. She rattled off, “A Christian, tall, employed…” then she stopped. She realized she really didn’t know.
So I ask you, when you read the words “I have a list,” what thoughts entered your mind? Did you assume that I have a lot of outlandish, superficial requests?
The qualities on my list complement what I can offer in a relationship and reflect what I think I can handle. It contains physical qualities – tall, attractive, facial hair, dresses at least decently and physically fit. There are also character traits such as Christian, intelligent, funny, confident, a good steward, desires kids, employed, loyal, genuinely cares about people, considerate, thoughtful, creative, no priors (kids or convictions), willing to pray with me, laid-back, a protector, no addictions, honest, non-smoker, etc.
When I share qualities on my list, I often hear, “okay, I understand you wanting that,” or “I don’t know about that one.” People immediately decide what is rational and what is totally unreasonable. I’ve gotten used to it because we all make assessments based on our values, perceptions and life experiences.
But it doesn’t mean I will alter my list.
I’ve also been told that having a list means I don’t trust God in the area of companionship.
In Habakkuk 2:2 God tells the people to “write the vision and make it plain.” Philippians 4:6 tells us to “make our requests known to God.” I have written explicit visions for my career, educational path, and personal goals. How is a vision for a husband and marriage any different?
Now, I am fully aware that having a list doesn’t mean God will fill it or that I need a man to possess every quality on it. My list is not about me trying to trump God’s plans; it simply states what I want, while trusting God to give me what I need. I acknowledge that God knows better than me (Isaiah 55: 8-9), and I trust that ultimately His will is best.
Many have told me I need to let go of the list – burn it, slice it up, flush it. But I refuse because I’m curious. Curious to see, in the end, how my list and God’s list compare.
What about you? Have you written a list and if so, what things are non-negotiable?
R. Johnson is a freelance writer who resides in St. Louis, Missouri. She has a B.A. in communications, an M.A. in journalism, and is currently working on a Ph.D. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering and spending time with family.
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