Be Careful What You Wish For…What’s On Your List??


candle wish

Quick Addendum: I would like to thank “Kim” for her early comment.  I am personally not a fan of using lists today.  However, I do believe that its a big part of many people’s approach to moving forward with a relationship that I would address some aspects of designing how to look for your ideal match.  Regardless of a “physical” list or not, everybody has basic qualities that they are looking for and that overall is what is being addressed.  Thanks and enjoy…VA

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since the last blog and believe it or not, it takes a lot of thought and consideration to decide what I would like to share with people related to whatever subject I’m writing about. It has really been interesting sharing my thoughts and ideas regarding life, but it seems that the topic of relationships is definitely one that people are interested in getting more information about.  So, as the old saying goes – ask and you shall receive.

I mentioned in the last blog that I was going to come out with a two-part blog series addressing “The Art of Dating” and “The Art of The Breakup.”  I have given that idea a lot of thought and I’ve determined that there is a step that is missing with regard to moving into a relationship or even being open to a relationship and that is the proverbial “wish list of wants” that people have when deciding who they would like to date.  The list, the damn list – LOL.  Why do I call it “the damn list?”  I think that my list has gotten me in trouble in the past and if you think about your past list(s) you may say that yours has lead you down the wrong path a time or three as well.

I can say that in all of my unsuccessful relationships that I have for the most part (if not completely) gotten what it is that I asked for in the person that I was dating.  The problems/issues in the relationships weren’t necessarily in the items that were “checked off” as completed or attained on the proverbial list.  The problem was in the items that I did not specify that I really should have paid more attention to.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, I am moving more to the position that the list can be a recipe for disaster when it is not developed in the proper way.  Let’s look at the attributes that you may find on a woman’s list.  Now, before we go into the women vs. men thing, I am speaking to each sex equally here – there is no fault, no bearer of ill-doing, etc.  I think it could be said that although men have their “virtual list” of what they want in a woman that it is probably more likely that a woman would have the list committed to writing.  With that being the case, let’s look at 10 qualities that a woman may have on her list for the sake of discussion:

  1. Believes in God
  2. Educated (at least a college degree)
  3. Earns a good-living (at least $XX,000)
  4. Doesn’t have kids
  5. Loves me unconditionally
  6. Is at least 5” taller than me
  7. Has a good relationship with his mother (however, isn’t a Mama’s Boy)
  8. Loves to travel
  9. Will respect me and my family
  10. Will be honest and communicate openly with me

Now, this list was drawn up randomly, but it does encompass many of the things that we “hear” that women would like in a man if not many, many more.  Although this list has 10 qualities it is possible for these physical and virtual lists to have more than 25 items on it and can actually be upwards of 50 items.  Some people may be reading this and presuming that it is absolutely impossible to get all of the qualities on the list or that you have to “settle” for only 80% of your needs being met and 20% of the qualities are things you’ll just have to live without because you can’t have it all, right?  More importantly, some people make “80%” lists and leave off very important qualities with the thought that you can’t have it all.  We’ve all heard about the 80/20 rule and I’m not going to talk about that either.

So what exactly am I talking about?  Let’s presume that you can attain 100% of what you wanted on your list.  I personally believe in the “ask and you shall receive” law of the universe that allows you to attract what it is you say/think that you want.  Although it’s a challenge, let’s again presume that you attained your goal of having your ideal list of qualities in a potential boyfriend/girlfriend.  Does that really, really make you happy? Let me ask this in a different way – have you ever really wanted a job, vacation, car or anything that was a goal and found that you were very underwhelmed, maybe even very discontent once you received it.  If you’re over the age of 18 I am willing to guess that you’ve experienced this at least 3 times in life, if not many more.

So, if I believe in lists, believe that you can essentially get what you want on the list and believe that the attainment can be unfufilling – what’s the catch?  The catch is actually a two-parter:

  1. As I’ve stated in other blogs, but it definitely needs to be addressed within this topic – another person cannot make you happy.  If you are not happy with yourself and by yourself the chances of something/someone making you happy are close to slim and/or none.
  2. The missing piece of the puzzle is this – you have to begin your “Wish List” with the end in mind. You have to ask yourself what feeling is it that you want to have once your have attained your mate and what qualities/items on your list should be connected to that end position.

Let me offer some examples.  Let’s say that you are a man who on the surface feels that you want a woman who is respectable, classy and handles herself “well” in public.  Along with those qualities you feel that it’s important that due to your “status” that your ideal mate should have a college degree. It’s possible that you can date a woman who has these qualities along with other qualities that are important to you.  However, there is a possibility that there is a woman with a college degree that you find very classy in public and you find her to be very “unadventurous” away from formal settings in a way that could be a turn-off.  On the other hand there could be a woman that doesn’t have a college degree, who is very classy in the situations that you find class is needed, however she’s adventurous and the life of the party when the time is right.  The question is, is that guy not going to pursue a relationship with the woman because she doesn’t have a college degree?

The answer to that question should lie in what is his ultimate desire (or end result) for starting a relationship.  If the ultimate desire is to be in a fun, progressive and fulfilling relationship then what place does the college degree have on the list.  This may sound like very elementary thinking, but ask yourself how many relationships you know of or have been a part of that “looked good on paper”, but were unfulfilling for the people in it or even miserable on one or both people’s parts.  That’s the importance of crafting your list from the right place.  This is also akin to the point I’ve made in previous blogs that it’s important to ask the right questions more so than focus on the answers. The end result of what you want from the relationship is the question, the items on the list are the answers.  If you don’t focus on the end result, you’ll come up with a bogus list of unsatisfactory qualities.

Another example is that there may be a “successful” woman whose end result is that she would like to be in a progressive, fulfilling and exciting relationship.  It may show up on her list that she wants a partner who makes as much, if not more money than her because men in the past have been “intimidated” by her earnings/success.  It’s possible that by focusing on the earnings of the guy that she’s missing a bigger picture.  Wouldn’t it be a better approach to want a guy who was taking care of himself financially and was secure with his earnings, as well as hers versus specifying what his earning power was?  Now, if her end desire is to build a “power couple” dynasty that will buy up the world, then her mate’s earnings make a difference.  If she wants to simply be in fulfilling relationship then maybe the focus should shift to his security rather than his earning power.  Isn’t it true that there are men who are insecure regardless of how much money they make??

There are two big caveats for this train of thought though.  It is always possible that there are multiple “end results” that you would want to achieve in your relationship.  Whatever the reasons are a person should just make sure that the items on the list are related to the end desired result for the relationship.  The second caveat is that there are always “deal breakers” for everybody.  I won’t go into what “deal breakers” are because they vary from person to person.  Its just possible that regardless of how the individual list items add up that there can be a factor that makes the situation something that you would choose not to pursue.

Another aspect of developing your wish list is that the list is a “living document.”  There are many times that people set their list in stone from relationship to relationship and they become so committed to their “ideal” of what they want in a person that they don’t allow for modification or adjustments to their list.  Different situations/relationships should call for some amount of human “factoring” that may re-sort the order of importance or weight of qualities from relationship to relationship.  Also, as we achieve some of these qualities in a partner in a relationship, the list should be reevaluated to insure that those attained qualities (or at least how they were presented in that relationship) held the level of importance they initially seemed to have.

The bottom line for all of these considerations is that we really shouldn’t “block our blessings” by “majoring in minors.”  Don’t get caught up on individual “nice to have” items that could prevent you from finding a close alignment with someone more suited for you.  Additionally, don’t focus on items that ultimately may lead to you being in an unsatisfied, unfulfilling relationship by paying more attention to fringe “list items” rather than your core needs.

As with all of my blogs (especially on relationships) the focus here is on you internally and not what other people do to you or for you.  If you properly align your “Wish List” with your needs, the chances of you achieving your true end result grow exponentially as opposed to throwing a bunch of non-tangential qualities on a sheet of paper and thinking the attainment of this collection of “things” will lead to your happiness.  You and your God are the source of your happiness, craft the life and associations that compliment your self-happiness and the rest will work itself out.

How many movies have we seen where the girl leaves the “perfect guy” (the list guy) for the guy that captured the essence of what she REALLY wanted in a man?  I would strongly suggest that you give some serious thought to your core values/desires to create a collection of qualities that speaks to what matters to you in the essence of a mate and not just superficial “nice to have” qualities.  Again, those qualities should ultimately be essential to the desired result.  Before you make a wish and blow out the candle, be careful what you wish for – you just may get it.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA


21 Responses to “Be Careful What You Wish For…What’s On Your List??”

  1. […] This post was Twitted by ShayyyG […]

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  3. I suggest each person work on becoming a person of quality themselves and do way with a list..It’ just very ironic a lot of people, men and women have listed “love me unconditionally” in a list of conditions.

    • Hey Kim – I don’t usually get a chance to jump in on replies because it gets hectic. I saw your post and had a second and just wanted to say that I agree with your perspective. I do see it as an alternative to coming up with a list. I think that can be such a far effort for many people because they are tethered to their lists that I would share a “healthier” way of constructing a list. I’ve personally thrown my list out the window to a great extent based on what you’ve said. Thanks for sharing your view and just wanted to say that I feel what you’re saying…VA

  4. Another great article as usual. I love this.

  5. I am a list person – doing a list gave me time to think out what I really wanted, what things I could stand, and what things were non negotiable. I had a list when I wanted to buy a house because it was a big step to not be taken lightly – I think if more people took the time to really think about what they wanted in a mate, we would have better relationships (just ask your friend who has the attractive but crazy girlfriend/boyfriend; I’m sure they agree with me!) @Kim – the working on yourself part for me goes without saying – I once had a discussion w/two friends, one of which scoffed when my other friend and I said that we would go to a restaurant and eat alone. My friend’s reply was “I like to date myself – if I can’t be good company to me, then I can’t be good company to anybody!”

  6. I believe this is a very good topic to blog about. I believe that people are very immature and unrealistic when it comes to relationships. Like you said you should be happy with who you are first. I think that some people get into relationships because its something to do or they are lonely and unhappy and think that a relationship will some how make life better. they dont fully know themselves and when they get into a relationship they end up disaapointed because they are in my opinion an incomplete person. then they end up going in a vicious circle of bad and unfulfilling relationships. I think that people should gain insight from their elders and those that are in sucessful relationships

  7. I am definitely familiar with the “be-careful-what-you-wish-for” syndrome. I have wished for a certain man to be in my life and when he was, it was not to either of our satisfaction. My focus at this point in my life is to enjoy myself, be productive, continue to work on improving myself and allow whoever I meet to suit me and all that I come with. I’ve switched the focus from the man to me. I have to have someone who “gets” me, will love and respect me without criticism or control, being supportive and caring. So, that I, in turn, can love and respect him. My so-called list would include more of the things that are intangible. The other typical list items will fall into place. We will either be suited for one another or we won’t be. I know I’m not perfect, so I don’t expect my mate to be. I don’t think it is fair to ask for anything that I cannot provide myself. If I get more than the minimum, than that is a bonus for me. I really have to leave it in God’s hands. I believe if I trust in Him, the right man will come.

  8. I can add that it takes a lot of patience to stick with waiting for the right one. Being impatient can mess up a situation or block a blessing. I’m not the most patient person in the world, so that is something I’m also working on. Being patient.

  9. […] This post was Twitted by sharilachelle […]

  10. Warning: This is a long reply.

    The last time I wrote a list, what struck me was the question, “who do I- emphasis on I- have to be to have this person show up?” I wound up writing another column next to what I’d written with the answers- i.e. if I wanted a “generous” man, I needed to be a “gracious receiver.” Once I started focusing on who I needed to be to attract who I wanted, I noticed some areas for growth. The list of wants was no longer the focus. I got excited about developing into the person I would become having taken on those areas! I think that’s what Vince and all the comments elude to here.

    The list only came back to mind when I got something on it that I wasn’t expecting- a man who sang around the house whether out loud or under his breath. (I’d also learned to be “specific” smile!) This hummingbird smoked however- major deal breaker for me. I learned, painfully, the only list that mattered, to me, was the deal breaker list.

    I choose daily to be happy and loving and generous and receptive and the people who show up in that space are wonderful human beings. Now as a woman, I thought when you find a man with character that you respect and no “deal-breakers,” you can then co-create what “the relationship” will look like.

    What I’ve come up against instead are men’s “damned lists!” LOL. I didn’t believe I’d ever fit into a box and wasn’t inclined to try. I was frustrated being constantly compared to and judged by some illusory ideal woman that only existed in the minds of the men I was dating and whose qualities they never shared so that I could get a clue!

    I haven’t created a new list. I’ve just recently written off a potential suitor when I discovered early on that he had one. I had no interest in trying to measure up to someone else’s list!

    By mere virtue of the meaning of the word, when you love someone unconditionally, the list automatically becomes obsolete.

    My view has been that BEING loving and BEING loved are distinct from creating a life plan.

    In reading this blog and writing this response, it would seem that “the list” could be a universal one consisting of QUESTIONS not characteristics that allow you to ascertain whether this person is someone that can align with your goals for your life- i.e. children/no children/how many want/have? Income- current & potential? locale? And that, again, all starts with self.

    When you’re clear you don’t want/aren’t good with children, you don’t date people looking to recreate the 12 tribes! If you want to live a baller lifestyle, and you’re CLEAR about that, and you’re not the baller, you can’t date someone who isn’t or doesn’t have the potential to generate a baller’s salary. If you were raised in the city and can’t stand the stench of cows, you’re not going to date a farmer.

    If you know where you’re going and you discover that the two of you align on that, then comes the getting to know you on a deeper level (again, why spend time getting to know and love this generous, loving, gentle spirit when you will NEVER under ANY circumstances re-locate to Minnesota’s winters to be with them?) By the way, this can be uncovered in a phone call or two.

    In a few more phone calls and perhaps a series of dates, you can begin to ascertain whether or not the person you’re interested in has the characteristics you’re looking for by engaging in conversation and ACTIVELY LISTENING. You don’t need a mental checklist to know that someone holding a grudge against 80% of their family members and their 3rd grade teacher is not for you by virtue of them not measuring up to #1 & 5 on the checklist “Loving & Kind.” LOL.

    If by chance their representative (smile) makes it through your super-sonic radar and you haven’t sold out on any of your deal breakers, the person you’ve been dating should resemble the person you are now in a relationship with. Relationships are dynamic and have their own nuances that will test and challenge the characters of both parties. You will be growing individually together and when the forward motion stops you communicate with your partner and resist the urge to pull out the list to justify why your partner is “wrong.” (smile)

    When you need clarity, write a list to clear your head. Write a list to re-presence you to where you need to grow to generate the other half in the relationship showing up. I am of the opinion that when you break it out to compare your intended or beloved to it, you are engaged in the act of judging not loving. This is when the list becomes detrimental and counter-productive.

  11. Vince, since you’re moderating 🙂 this is the edit to my previous submission. Feel free to post as you see fit or with your own edits so as not to be redundant…..

    If by chance their representative (smile) makes it through your super-sonic radar (because you’ve been ACTIVELY LISTENING) and you haven’t sold out on any of your deal breakers, the person you’ve been dating should resemble the person you are now in a relationship with. And should have the fundamental character traits you want in a significant other. Relationships are dynamic and have their own nuances that will test and challenge the characters of both parties. You will be growing individually together and when the forward motion stops you communicate with your partner and resist the urge to pull out the list to justify why your partner is “wrong” thereby letting you off the hook for having to put in the work to resolve the situation together. (smile)

    When you need clarity, write a list to clear your head. Write a list to re-presence you to where you need to grow to generate the other half in the relationship showing up. I am of the opinion that when you break it out to compare your intended or beloved to it, you are engaged in the act of judging not loving. This is when the list becomes detrimental and counter-productive. By mere virtue of the meaning of the word, when you love someone unconditionally, the list automatically becomes obsolete.

    When you toss out the lists, each person has the opportunity to “discover” the person standing before them. If after each encounter you are enriched by their presence, by natural selection, they will remain. You’ll discover things you never thought to put on a list as Vince discovered and some things you’ll wish you had put on a list to buffer yourself from having to find out first hand. But hind site is always 20/20. Don’t hide behind a list, LIVE life full out and out loud and enjoy the adventure. You never know what you may find.

    I’m looking forward to the blog on “The Art of Breaking Up” for when it becomes clear that the two of you no longer align on common life goals having discovered things about yourself during the course of the relationship that could ONLY be learned in a relationship.

  12. I think having a list is good if it’s the right kind of list. I agree with those who ask how can you expect someone to bring something to the table that you don’t bring yourself. The bottom line is if you are bringing it the man of your “list dreams” will most likely not find YOU desirous as you don’t meet his criteria. Working on oneself is critical. First be the person you want to attract. We all are works in progress, but we all must be as willing to work as we are willing to receive.

  13. I meant to say “if you are not bringing it.”

  14. Another Great Blog VA!!! I love the statement you made “Majoring in minors” that the biggest issue i hear sometime from folks whom depend on “the list” too much when they have some of the things on their list fulfilled they start looking a those lil thing on the list that having been met yet and start nik picking on that and it destroys what good about what they have IMO!! Keep up the good work my turntable brother and future next big thing on the new york’s best sellers list!!

  15. Milo Edwards Says:

    Majoring in Minors says a lot! Put it out there Vince and hopefully something will click and folks will make that behavioral change that’ll change their lives and how they interact with others. Maybe they’ll stop pointing at others and look within where the truth resides.

    People should sit and have a good honest talk with themselves! They’ll learn a lot if they’ll just listen!

  16. Chontei Driver Says:

    2 words = GREAT JOB!! CYD

  17. Vince you keep this up……..gonna have to put you in my quote collection shelf for Deep Thinkers!!!!

    Will U fit on my shelf??? LOL

    “Most true happiness comes from one’s inner life, from the disposition of the mind and soul. Admittedly, a good inner life is difficult to achieve, especially in these trying times. It takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline.”… Read More
    William L. Shirer

    “One of the greatest moments in anybody’s developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is.”
    Norman Vincent Peale

  18. Wooooooooow {she says, having a Flavor Flave moment}

  19. I’ve never made a list. I think I’m actually scared to list and wish. I would be the one to “block my blessings” by “Majoring in Minors”!

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