When I wrote Pray While You’re Prey, one of the sections focused on knowing exactly what you are looking for in a potential suitor. A lot has changed since then, but the potential mate that I desire has not. We often hear that men are more visual and women are more emotional, but when people hear the traits I look for in a mate, they are sometimes critical of my list. I have even been called superficial. “But what if you miss out on your soul mate because of your list?” they ask. I truly appreciate the concern. Yet, it’s funny to me that when a man lists physical attributes he likes, no one bats an eye. Furthermore, this list is not random and most of it has nothing to do with physical attributes; it is a well-thought-out list from years of experience.
When I was 20, I had a list; it had 50 items on it. With my ex-husband, I settled on two of those things. Notice that I said ex-husband. It wasn’t the two things I compromised on that broke us up, but if I had stuck firmly to the list, perhaps, I would not have dated or married him. I was very proud of myself when at 25, the list was pared down to seven things. I like alliteration, in case you can’t tell, so they are called my Seven S’s for my Suitors (Note that 7 is the number of spiritual perfection, just saying):
So, the first two go together, and they are both necessary. A lot of people are saved and going to heaven. That is a good start, and for me, it is a necessity. You must be a Christian; not a spiritual person, but an "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ" Christian. I have a real relationship with Christ, I go to church regularly, and I understand my role in stewardship, so I need to be with someone who, in addition to being saved, understands that we have to be set apart for God. Sanctification is a process. The person that I am is changed daily, sometimes hourly, with each interaction with God; He is making me more holy. Any soulmate of mine would need to understand that as we grow in Christ, we may change, but it will only be for the better.
Number 3 is very important to me because I am intelligent; I am not bragging, I just am. I am not saying you have to be an astrophysicist, but it is nice to have someone with whom I can match wits. I also think that you have to be smart to be funny and I love a great sense of humor. Laughter is a huge part of my upbringing and I plan to raise my children in a world filled with laughter. I understand that intellect does not always come from education, so that is not what I mean. I know plenty of people who have professional degrees and are not the brightest bulbs in the box. And, I know some with no degree who are among the wisest people I know. However, I have had experiences where a person felt intimidated by my level of education and it often leads to the opposite of Number 4.
Security is very important for both parties in a relationship. Being confident in yourself can thwart many relationship issues. Trust me, I have been the jealous girl; it is not cute. And though, it is kind of hot, when your man notices someone else noticing you; it is super creepy when the guy becomes overly possessive. This leads to Number 5, when I say stable, I mean in every way possible, but specifically, mentally, emotionally and financially. I have dealt with the other side of all of these and it is not pretty. I had to learn the hard way that I cannot fix someone who is broken mentally and emotionally. There is no amount of care or nurturing I can give that will save that person. He has to rely on God to mend his brokenness. And, when it comes to finances, I am by no means a gold digger, but I also wouldn’t mind not having to work and being able to focus on my dreams. The truth of the matter is that I, with God’s help am able to support myself financially, and I am accustomed to a certain lifestyle that I do not think I should have to abandon. Jesus said life MORE abundantly. So, as I told my aunt, I have the cake, so when I am in a relationship, I want the icing, whether that comes in a two-income household or in my husband providing for the family while I pursue my other goals and dreams, which leads to Number 6.
I know that God has awesome assignments for all of His children. I love using my talents to worship Him. So, I desire a mate who understands my dreams and supports them. I come from literally the most supportive family on Earth. It is what I am used to and I cannot see myself giving that up for a relationship. I also am a very supportive person, sometimes to a fault, and I have been in relationships where support is not reciprocated; it leads to resentment and can destroy a relationship. Other than the first two, this list is not in an order or importance, I want it all. Number 7 is always the controversial one. First of all, take a deep breath and get over the fact that the church girl said the word “sexy.” It means different things to different people, but I am talking about looks. The only issue I have had with looks is that I admittedly have a “pretty boy” problem. Nonetheless, I know this about myself, so I have learned how not to let looks overshadow glaring red flags. That being said, I still believe that physical attraction is important. What I find attractive may not match others. I have no specifications on race, but in nearly every other category I have a type and one of my non-negotiables on looks is height because if you know me, you know that I am 70 inches tall. I get chastised for this requirement all the time, but it is my right to want to feel dainty and protected by my mate. Read that however you wish to read it.
My list is not anyone else’s list. Even dating websites tell me I am too particular. But, that’s okay, you see, I know Someone who can do the impossible, so I feel pretty secure in having a list. And, I encourage people, especially women, to know what they want whether it is three things or seventy things; if you don’t stand for something, you just might fall for anything. So, am I being superficial or just super-specific? I would love to know your thoughts. Do you have a list? Share it if you feel comfortable doing so; I would love to start a dialogue on this on my Facebook page. Whatever you do, and whomever you love, make sure you love God first and He will take care of the rest. Ms. EV