Throw Away Your Dating Checklist!

The “List” we all have one and we use it to measure up a new potential mate we meet. I can distinctly recall my first semester at Los Angeles College and one day in Psychology class the Professor asked for volunteers for an experiment. He called us out of the room one by one and then asked us to return to ask us a series of questions: 
Professor, “What do you look for in a mate?” Me, “Ummmm….he has to be nice, and tall, and thin, and have no kids, and have no ex-wife, and have a good job, and be smart.” That was the 22 year old me that adhered to that specific list (which had more must haves on there then I listed in class that day) for many more dating years…until now.

I realized that making a list and checking off all the qualities your perfect mate is supposed to have to make you happy is more Santa Claus like then real-life like. And since I do not live on the North Pole or roll out with Reindeer and a sleigh I have given up on making lists.
The thing about the list is that it is made up of a bunch of qualities and/or must-haves that you think you need in another person to make yourself happy, or make them deserving of your love. But what if you made up a list of all the qualities you possess? Would your list add up to all the must-haves you look for in your potential mate?
 A good friend recently said to me that finding a man that has no baggage is prime. Meaning no ex-wives, and no kids equals no baggage and no drama. The problem with this is the myth that just because you have an ex-wife, baby-momma, kid or kids automatically means you carry drama and unwanted baggage.
Granted there are crazy exes out there and they can bring in unwanted drama and baggage, and I am not suggesting that you do not have standards. But what I am suggesting is that you stop looking at what you don’t want and open up your mind, heart and body to what you never knew you wanted.
When the 22 year-old me answered that question in Psychology class I did not truly understand the message I was really putting out there. And by message I mean universal message, the feeling and ideas you put out into the universe by saying what you want has to fit into a certain box, or you don’t want it anymore.
So I dated inside the box…I dated men who were older, and had no kids, no ex-wives, great paying jobs, were tall, and fit every other requirement I had. Every single one of those relationships fizzled. Living my life by a list was not working and I knew it but I thought that if I deviated from that list I’d never truly find who I wanted because that list was made by me and of course I am ALWAYS right!
Now, the very soon to be 31 year old me has thrown out the list and soon realized that by putting others into a box, and categories limited my life by cutting out people who were amazing, but I never gave them a chance and did not get to see just how special they really were.
Keep your standards and throw out the list and allow whoever that person is to come into your life based on who they are as a person, and not by what baggage they may carry. In reality we all have baggage it just manifests itself in different ways. I let go of my list which in actuality was my baggage and have been happier ever since.

Twitter: @AwkwardGirlLA

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