It all starts with a list; an idea. These credentials paint a picture of our idea of the perfect person who we have convinced ourselves we are meant to be with. Typically, we are influenced by fictional movies and books from our childhood that have become deeply rooted in our minds.
Tall. Handsome. Funny. Successful. Dresses well. Employed. Independent. IDEALLY, a prince.
You get the idea.
The list is undoubtedly what we will spend the rest of our lives using as a checklist for the potential “love of our life,” and thou shall not deviate from The List. Settling is never an option.
But consider this: what if never deviating is, in fact, settling? What if having one specific idea of a person is just a one-way path to disappointment? Not because the idea of this person doesn’t exist, I’m sure they do (to an extent); but because you would be selling yourself short by adhering to The List. You could argue that The List was created for the sole purpose to ensure that you wouldn’t be settling; but, what if the result of your list ends up not being at all what you want and you’ve fooled yourself thinking this specific idea of a person could fulfill you? What if the result leaves you completely unhappy?
Well, you’ll undoubtedly keep looking for another somebody; but with the same requirements. Whether you realize it or want to admit it, you are once again running through that list in your mind weeding out the possible contenders. You may not be always thinking about it; but it has become so ingrained into who you are and your standards that it has become difficult to look for anything else. You have developed a “type” that is tough to walk away from. You might even consciously tell yourself that you need to “try something new,” but do you actually listen to that advice?
If your answer is no, then your result will always be the same.
Here’s your solution: make a new list.
Literally. Write it down. Not a list detailing the person you want; but a list detailing the l o v e you want.
The love of your life shouldn’t be a list of credentials describing what a person is, it should be a list detailing who a person is and the feeling that they give you.
Warmth. Security. Protection. Adventure. Excitement. Support. Commitment. Humility.
Whatever the feeling is that you’ve been searching for and longing to experience, those are the standards you should seek out in a relationship. Who cares if he drives a nice car if he doesn’t open the door for you? He may say “all the right things” but does he take the time to listen to you? Who cares if he buys you dinner if he holds it over you in the future? Does “quality time” really matter if you can’t be off of your phone for an hour to give your whole heart and mind to the person beside you?
This new list requires your partner to be kind without pride and expectations; to be protective and have your back without the risk of the anxiety brought on by jealousy; to commit without regret or the need for constant reassurance due to insecurity and doubt.
This new list also requires you to be the same kind of partner in return because rethinking your priorities and expectations forces you to look at who you are and what you bring to the relationship; and if you are lacking in an area that you are requiring from someone else, then maybe look inward and work on that aspect of yourself as well.
We need to start looking outside the cliche need for “tall, dark, and handsome” and begin prioritizing how we are being treated.
Your list may be different from mine, but we should all be looking for a love that satisfies the feelings that we crave.