I'll tell you what to do with your lists soon, but before I do, let me share a story to keep you motivated. Lisa, my writing partner, was one of those people who used to be attracted to anything new or different with a penis. She was all over the map with the men she dated, hoping that she would one day stumble upon her "type." Only problem was, she didn't have a clue what her type was. When she finally decided it was time to settle down into a serious relationship, I advised her to make this list and analyze it. Now, I don't mean to sound like a miracle worker ... okay, maybe I do. But two months after Lisa made her list, she met the man of her dreams, to whom she is now blissfully married. She knew by the fifth date that he was the one for her, and he knew even sooner. I know, I know, it makes you a little sick at first, but if you saw her list of ex-boyfriends, you wouldn't envy her so much. It was right after the intolerant evangelical, whom Lisa refers to as the Last Bad Boyfriend, that she finally decided to take my advice and go into Dating Detox. After all, her relationship experience was not helping her make better choices; in fact, her choices were getting progressively worse. Lisa desperately needed to take some time off from men to decide what she was really looking for so that she would attract that. She was suffering from what I call Shiny Ball Syndrome—going after any shiny object that came along without even considering what it would take to make her truly happy in the long run.
But enough about Lisa. Let's take a look at your list. I'm most interested in the strengths category. Are there certain traits that appear more than once? Those are probably the attributes that mean the most to you. It's interesting to note that the younger you are, the more physical traits will be on you strengths list. The older you are, you'll probably be more attracted to character traits. The over-forty crowd can usually see a pattern and decide what they want in a man pretty quickly—after all, we've had a lot more experience with different types of men. But if you're under forty, it might take a little more time to really decide what's important to you. The next section will help you out.
Published on January 14, 2010