The List


I’ve made the lists. You know the ones I’m talking about. You’ve all made them, either on paper or in your head. They were entitled “Qualities I’m Looking For in a Husband”. I know I certainly never wrote one out, but I had one. You have one as soon as a friend asks you what you look for in a guy, and you started listing things. Smart. Diligent. Understanding. Loves God. Loves the Bible. Loves the church. Wouldn’t hurt if he could sing. Making lists is fun.

But when it comes to relationships, eventually the list has got to go.

Let me explain. I’m all for making lists. I think it’s a bad idea to go into anything, no matter what, without kind of knowing what you want (if it’s possible in whatever situation you’re in to know). But a list can only take you so far, because you just don’t know yourself that well. I was in a relationship (albeit short) with a guy who was perfect on paper. Still is. I knew this because I spent more than a year making sure he was everything that I thought I wanted. He still is everything I thought I wanted, but I realized that I wanted and needed more in a relationship. It was actually pretty hard to admit, because a lot of the things I realized I needed weren’t list-worthy. They were things like: funny in a more complex way, good at realizing when people thought he was acting weird, and better at reading my emotional state.

Those are all fairly shallow things (or so they seemed), but they were things I quickly found are important for me. They had nothing to do with values and everything to do with personality. We shared a lot of similar values, which is what drew us to each other in the first place. But I knew pretty quickly that he wasn’t the kind of guy I felt like I could fall in love with, even though I also felt like I should be able to.

Don’t lead a guy on in the hope that feelings might develop, just because he’s everything Christian society has told you that you should be looking for in a guy. Don’t lead a guy on just because he’s everything you’ve told yourself that you should be looking for in a guy. Don’t discount the shallow stuff. Just because it’s not as important doesn’t mean it’s not important at all.

You can’t fall in love with a list.