by Aja Dorsey Jackson
Since the debut of TLC member Chilli’s dating reality show “What Chilli Wants” there has been a lot of conversation over her list of dating requirements. While it is not my place to tell another person what should or should not be important to them, in my opinion Chilli should change the name of her “perfect man” list to “the reason why Chilli will be 50-years-old still on a reality show looking for a man” list. The list has at least 15 necessities that range from “can’t smoke” to the seemingly meaningless “he can’t eat pork” or “he has to have a six pack”. Chilli says that she will not compromise on her list items and encourages every woman to have a list of her own.
I never had a list that I actually wrote down or even thought of as a list, but if I am to be honest with myself, there are certain requirements that I had in mind, even if I hadn’t given them much thought.
Had to believe in God: There was no compromising for me on this one. I believe in going to God for answers and if my husband can’t go there with me then there will be problems.
Had to earn a living: I don’t mean earning enough to buy me designer handbags on a regular basis, but enough so that he could support himself. That is not to say that there aren’t situations like layoffs that are outside of a person’s control, but I have always tried to work hard enough to provide and I expect the same in a partner.
Be taller than me: I know this sounds superficial and it probably is, but I admit that it is an attraction thing for me. Luckily I’m not that tall, 5’4″,(although at my last doctor’s visit they said I was shorter but I’m still claiming it!) so this has never actually been an issue.
No kids: This probably seems like the craziest one being that I was a single mother. My thoughts were that I didn’t want to multiply my own parenting issues by throwing in somebody else’s baby momma.
Be in good physical shape: I’m not talking about big biceps and washboard abs. This goes beyond the physical appearance to me. I enjoy moving, whether I’m running or dancing or flying on a trapeze. I want to be able to stay active and healthy with my husband into old age, and I know that a couch potato won’t be able to keep up.
Although I had my list of ideals, outside of believing in God and having financial stability, none of my preferences were automatic deal breakers. My husband is physically active and not in bad shape, however some of his health habits could be drastically improved. At the same time, I know that prior to meeting me he had been leery of dating a woman with kids. Had we shut one another down because of perceived shortcomings, we would never have been able to discover and build the relationship we have today.
I often hear that compromising on those list items is the same as just lowering your standards or settling for less. CNN’s Audrey Irvine has a great article where she compares using the “list” to baking a cake: There are essentials like eggs and flour that you need to include or the cake won’t work at all; everything else, frosting, sprinkles etc., is an accessory. Everyone has standards and there are some requirements that should be too important to compromise, but if you are looking for perfection you are bound to get exactly who you are looking for: someone that doesn’t exist.
What’s on your list? If you have a spouse, did you get what you were looking for? Do you think having a list helps or hurts you in the search for a mate?
Aja Dorsey Jackson is a freelance writer and public relations consultant in Baltimore, Maryland. Find out more about her at www.ajadorseyjackson.com/about.html or follow her on twitter @ajajackson.
like what you're reading?