Thursday, October 09, 2008

To List or Not to List...

I have a question for you all.

Should single people make lists about qualities that they would like in a spouse as well as qualities or actions that are absolute deal breakers? Is this actually helpful or does it set people up to constantly fail us? As a natural listmaker I deeply enjoy the ability to cross something off my list, but is that how we should approach relationships? "Good relationship with his mother" -Check!

I am definitely not talking about the lists that consist of:
1). Must have dark hair and blue eyes
2). Must drive a truck
3). Must look like Brad Pitt (except with darker hair).
4). Must make at least 8 Million dollars a year

These are NOT helpful. However, I will admit that I can be kind of a car snob. I do pay attention to the kind of car that a guy drives, but hopefully I would never let it stop me from dating that guy (my father is partially responsible for the car snobbery. He's taken me to way to many car shows over the course of my life and talked about cars a lot as well... Thanks Dad! By the way, we haven't been to a car show in a while.)

I'm talking about character qualities. Should we need to make lists to know what kind of character qualities we should be attracted to or avoid? Shouldn't we be able to tell as thinking people that a guy who disrespects his mother is going to disrespect his girlfriend/wife, and a woman who bats her eyelashes and talks in a baby voice to her dad to get money is going to do the very same thing to her boyfriend/husband, without consulting our previously made list? "Hmm... is being a complete jerk on my list of deal breakers?" It might be a different story if she bats her eyes and talks in a baby voice and her dad simply looks at her and says, "Seriously?"

What do you think? Lists: necessary or unnecessary? Talk to me people! I'm trying to get dialogue going about these kind of things!


Ben said...

Before I started dating my wife (we were good friends), I had informally constructed a list in my head and she just kept coming up as having every one of the criteria.

Lydia said...

I have general characteristics in mind that are values I have and need to share with my husband, and I have written some down. For example, loves children, family-man, and hard-worker. I also have some general ideas about what I think might be compatible with my personality and weaknesses-like risk-taker because I am too often held back by fear. Overall though, these things I consider to be my desires or ideas about who this man might be I consider to be just that and I am confident that only God knows truly what I need and He will provide.

As far as evidence of his walk with Christ, I look for evidence of the fruits of the Spirit and a desire to grow closer to God and become more like Him in His holiness because no one is perfect, but as believers we are either on the narrow path of sanctification or we are on the broad path that leads to destruction. In the area of faith I also think it is very important for a man to have a group of close guy friends who are also believers on the same narrow path so that they can encourage one another and keep each other accountable.

So...I think that a list is fine because it makes you really think about what is important to you. With that, I also think that it is important to recognize God's Kingship over our lives as well as His sovereignty that only He knows what we truly need in a spouse and He will remain faithful to His promise to provide what we need.

Ellie said...

Ben! You commented! I'm so happy:-)

Lyd, I think you're absolutely right. I'm kind of wondering if we could possibly not have at least an informal list if we have thought at all about character qualities we think are important. Hmm...

Erin Wible said...

You asked me........

So here you go. List quite unnecessary in my opinion. Why do I love my wife? Because I do. Are there reasons? I suppose there are many, but I know I am happy when I am around her. End of discussion. She is my best friend. Do I need a list for all my other friends?? Not really. My best friends during my life are that because we enjoy each others company. I love being with Heather. I just think we as people at times "over think" things, especially matters of the heart. I know this sounds silly, but why do you love the Angels?(baseball team.) Because you do. Why do I love the Padres? Because I do. there is no explaining these things. They make us crazy sometime, but we still love em. well, relationships are just the same.

When you meet the one, you'll know.

That's my opinion anyway.

GO SOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

List or no list, you have to find someone that understands you must put God first in your relationship. Can you imagine how the divorce rate would decrease exponentially?

Ellie said...

Erin I think that's a fantastic analogy for relationships. Sometimes they make you cry but you love them and stick it through. :-)Thanks for your thoughts!

Heidi said...

I LOVE lists, so I make them about everything regardless. But especially before I was ever in a relationship, I thought about the character qualities that I would find attractive or that seemed really important to me, for example, someone who displays the fruit of the Spirit in their life, especially gentleness. I also thought a guy who had good relationships with people and was trustworthy to his friends would be someone my personality would be especially compatible with. I think we know are own personalities well enough, and what kind of friends you have can be some indicator what kind of person could be a good match. So I made lists of common personality traits from among my circle of friends.

Needless to say, I didn't carry my list around in case I met someone who matched up correctly, but in retrospect I think its funny that my lists basically describe my boyfriend. Not to mention his curly hair ;-)