Why Do You Need a Dating and Marriage Checklist?
“If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find it. If you don’t know what you deserve, you’ll always settle for less.”
Rob Liano’s quote says it all.
Uncertainty about what you want in a partner results in you settling for less.
You’ll put up with a lot of crap that you shouldn’t.
There’ll probably even be a downward spiral where you start losing yourself.
Here’s the truth beautiful, no one should have the power over your self-worth, self-perception, and happiness.
You deserve better and the guy you want does exist.
But, you won’t find him unless you’re clear about what you want and uncompromising about what you deserve.
That’s why a dating and marriage checklist is important.
It’s a checklist that helps you clearly outline:
- Relationship deal-breakers
- Qualities of your ideal partner
- The values you and your ideal partner should share
- Your ideal partner’s physical attributes that give you the sexual healing you need
How I Approached My Checklist
I knew my approach to dating had to change when I became serious about finding a life partner after my divorce. So,I started by writing a list of all the relationships I had in the past. I wrote the pros and cons of those relationships.
That list helped me create a new list based on the things I liked and didn’t like about those relationships. I picked up on the patterns related to each man’s characteristics and personalities. This new list helped me clearly highlight the things about a man that are important to me. It also helped me identify things I wasn’t willing to negotiate.
I also created another list that was all about me. It outlined everything that I enjoy so that I could identify a life partner who had similar interests. Some of these things included attending Sunday church services, going to Jazz concerts, skating, and spending time with my family. The relationship wouldn’t work if we didn’t have similar interests but I needed to know what those interests were first before finding a partner who could match them.
My checklist led me to my COVID crush. But, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some less than ideal suitors along the way.
It also doesn’t mean that he’s perfect. No one is.
What matters is that I’m no longer losing myself in a relationship. Instead, I’m in a relationship where we give equally and are equally happy.
So, how can you create a checklist that gives you the same results?
Figure Out Your Core Values
Your core values are the beliefs that form the foundation of who you are and how you choose to live your life. They relate to things such as:
- Financial practices
- How you believe people should be treated
- Family life
- & so much more!
A comprehensive list of common core values can be found here. You can use it as a guide to create a list of core values that matter to you.
Any potential suitor should respect and share your core values. His core values should also align with yours. There shouldn’t be gaps and blurred lines.
Identify Your Deal Breakers
There are things you know you won’t tolerate. Stop accommodating men who violate any of these deal-breakers. They’re deal-breakers for a reason. Let them be your guide for holding true to what’s important to you.
Deal-breakers differ from one woman to the next. But, here’s my list of deal breakers. This can probably help you identify your core deal-breakers.
- Unstable income
- Poor father figure and role model
The Physical Qualities That Make You Go Mmmmm
Your happiness will be compromised if you don’t find your partner attractive. Sexual chemistry is an important part of a relationship! Think carefully about all the physical qualities you want your partner to have.
One of the physical characteristics I pay keen attention to is how he dresses. I love to dress with class and style no matter where I’m going. I put thought into how I present myself to the world. So, it’s important for me to have a man who matches my effort. We need to turn heads for all the right reasons when we step into the world together.
That doesn’t mean we can’t have our chill days where we dress down. But, I like a man who puts effort into how he puts himself together.
So, pay attention to the physical characteristics that matter to you.
Be Conscious of Red Flags
Be an active listener and observer when you’re dating someone. There’s a lot that you can learn about a man when you listen to how he:
- Responds to his friends and family
- Treats those he claims to care about
- Speaks about his goals and aspirations
- Perceives success and family life
- Describes his past relationships
Ask a lot of questions in inconspicuous ways. Ensure that you’re both comfortable and relaxed when you start asking him hard things. Also, rephrase your questions and ask them at another time to see whether he sticks to his answers.
I once dated a guy who told me that women were always leaving him. He couldn’t understand what he was doing wrong. He had probably been in about five short-term relationships before he met me. That was a red flag in my view. These women had clearly discovered something about him that made them want to leave.
Don’t push aside red flags or sweep them under the rug. Realize they are there, speak up about them, and get out of the relationship as a last resort before it’s too late. If you notice the red flags while you’re dating, don’t get into a relationship at all!
Don’t Stray From Your Checklist
I know this is easier said than done, especially if you’ve been searching for a partner for a long time. But, there is a man out there who can fit what you’re looking for. A man should add to your checklist, not take away from it.
Don’t Expect Anyone to Change For You
We often settle for less than we deserve hoping that he’ll change because he loves us. There are also instances where we hope that he’ll change if we love him enough or show him just how much we love him.
That doesn’t work! You shouldn’t enter a relationship expecting him to change for you. Instead, view him through the lens of what you see is what you get.
Redesign Your Checklist Periodically
You’re going to grow and change as you age. You’ll also have different experiences that affect who you are. So, your checklist will change too. Revisit your checklist periodically to determine whether changes are necessary. Finally, keep it in a place that’s directly in your line of sight each day so that you don’t lose focus.
A dating and marriage checklist will help you get clarity on what you’re really looking for in a partner. Don’t compromise on your list! You’ll attract the man you want if you consistently stick to the guidance your list provides.
Use my free downloadable dating and marriage checklist template to create your own checklist.
What are some things that are important to you for your dating and marriage checklist? Let me know in the comments below.