princecharmingMy list is in a vault. And when I say “vault”, I mean it’s in an unassuming post-it sized notebook inside a magnetic container on the side of my refrigerator. I recently thought about moving it somewhere or tearing it out of the notebook so that I can use this notebook for other things like groceries or errands. But something about it feels magical. So it needs to stay. Exactly. Right. There.

The list is THE LIST- the comprehensive must-have qualities for my partner. It seems simple but it’s the product of decades of crushes, relationships, successes and failures. When I hear singles talking about how they can’t find anyone they really like, I ask, “Have you made THE LIST?”

It can be done in 30 seconds. Or much longer. For me, this version has been a work in progress for quite some time. I started with some basics and added/subtracted as I went. With each encounter, I zero in on the items I need to pack in my bag of forever. I don’t share this list. It’s personal. And I fear it will be criticized- “Why would you pack a HAIR DRYER?”

But maybe sharing my words will inspire someone to write their own list, in a notebook or some other secret place of their choice. With that hope, out of hiding, here it is:

  • Nurturing
  • Loves learning
  • Crafted written word
  • Athletic
  • Inspired
  • Great sense of humor
  • Wildly attracted to

My list could have included many more traits, though not less. The items may seem vague but they are each attached to memories from when I encountered these traits and also from when these traits were sorely missed. In fact, it’s much easier to write a list when you think of the things you would be upset NOT to have.

When I was in my twenties, I tried to write this list. I started with things I knew, like, “non-smoker” and “lives in city” but these are just check boxes in an online dating profile. They don’t get to the heart of it. It took me a long time to understand this. Do I want a smoker in the suburbs? No. But the purpose of the list is to build a foundation. The rest will follow.

Dear one person out there who this might help,
Good luck. It works.