H-E-L-L-O! Are you still with me? I know this is a bit instructional and maybe not all that fun. But trust me: This exercise is an absolute must! You have to be clear on the man and the relationship you want before you can actually have it in your life. If you don’t do this:
- How will you attract him?
- How will you know him when you see him?
- How will you avoid the man you don’t want?
Step 3: Back to Reality; Who Is He, Really?
Now…let’s get to the real work: Which of these attributes are truly essential and fundamental to your happiness? What must he have, know, think, or be able to do? What would be nice but not essential to your ability to love this man?
Must Haves vs. Nice to Haves
Must haves are the fundamental qualities you need in order to create and maintain a lasting and fulfilling relationship. If the man doesn’t have this quality or make you feel this way when you’re with him, a relationship with him will absolutely never work. These are non-negotiable and mandatory.
Nice to haves are negotiable. These are not required, and you can be flexible on these. These are often personal preferences having to do with looks, hobbies, occupation, background, etc. If your man has this, it’s fantastic. If not, the “must have” qualities will surely overwhelm these.
Here is your Step 3 to-do:
Create a list of the attributes you want him to have and the feelings you want to feel when you’re with him. (Some of these may overlap.) Use the journal, list, or story you created in Step 1 and the Things I Want list as your reference.
- Be as specific and descriptive as you can. You’re not limited to a single word; use a sentence if it helps you clearly describe your need.
- Draw two columns, labeled “Must Have” and “Nice to Have.”
- Make check marks next to the “Must Have” items and the “Nice to Have” items in the appropriate columns. Use pencil, as these may likely change as time goes on.
Some tips to help you through this exercise:
- Remember that this is about the man you’re going to spend your life with, not the guy you’re going to date. (Sometimes this helps move must-haves over to the nice-to-have column.)
- Repeat my mantra: “I am Not 18 Anymore.” Be aware of beliefs that have stuck with you over time, but may no longer hold truth for you. What is true NOW?
- Be realistic. You must make room for the reality that when you date grown-up men, you meet real men who have life experiences and maturity that impacts their ability to be that “perfect” guy you dreamed of when you were 30. (I’m sure you hope he’ll view you with the same humanity and maturity.)
Do you know your life partner better than you did before? Were they any surprises or lessons learned? I want to hear your thoughts and experiences. I also want to hear your plan for meeting him. We want to meet your man! Please share your comments with our community .