Like any framework, a list has no value, in and of itself. It’s what you put in there and what importance you assign it that gives it value.
For women who struggle with giving too much of themselves, compromising their values and generally letting men convince them to diverge from what they believe, in order to find some potential happiness, consider writing a list of what’s really important to you.
Include things like: Faith, Temperament, Wants/Doesn’t Want Kids … Whatever you hold most dear, put up top, and then list them in importance from “Absolute” to “Not sure Why I put this on the list.” If marrying a man with your faith is vital to you, don’t even consider dating a Muslim or Buddhist or Atheist!
“But what if he changes?”
The worst possible question any woman should consider asking. Of course he’ll change, but not likely because of you. Never enter a relationship hoping something you don’t like will change into something you do. That’s a long wait for a train don’t come.
It’s not about perfection, it’s about at least meeting a standard. If you need your husband to be a Catholic, don’t settle for anything less. If you’re Mormon and need them to be Mormon, and you meet a great Roman Catholic, guess what? You’ve met a great Roman Catholic, but save yourself the heartache of dating someone who won’t change for you. And if they change for you, of what merit was their belief system in the first place? Do you want to marry someone who will change the fiber of their beliefs because they like another human being enough?
No matter whether you’re single, dating or married, never change who you are for someone else. It speaks volumes about your quality when you are so willing to change or ignore what you believe in order to avoid loneliness.
We all get lonely and sometimes we’re driven to activities that make us feel less lonely. But those moments aren’t the problem; the systemic perpetuation of a relationship you know has no place in your life is the issue.
I said it recently that women should allow no man a place in their heart who hasn’t earned it. His attention for you in no way merits reciprocation! No man obligates you because he’s interested in you. He must pass muster. He must be worthy of your affections, attentions and compromises. Not compromises of values, or it is not really He who passed muster, but you who failed to live up to your own needs.
Your needs cannot be tossed aside because your heart wishes to chase after someone. If you need a man who can manage money, not sit behind a video game every day after work non-stop, and take you to church instead of the other way’ around, are you still shallow for being firm upon that foundation?
“But I might miss out on a really great guy!” WHO STILL WON’T FILL YOUR NEEDS! Sheesh! What does it take for you to realize that values are more important than feelings? What will it take for you to stand up and say: “Damnit! I’m not going to let my heart be swayed by every smile who comes along. I’m done giving every guy a chance on the mere possibility he could be the guy for me. If he doesn’t meet my most BASIC of needs, why should I entertain him any further? I already know what I’m willing to sacrifice on and, more importantly, what I won’t. So why waste either of our time? Thanks for your attention, but bye bye!”
Standards of faith, values, and often politics (as faith and politics usually stem from the same value) are worth saying no to a man! If you think a man might be more important than your faith or your politics, then how strong are your beliefs in the first place?
If you hold any man above your values, you will forever find your heart adrift on a sea of changing emotions, tossed in the headwinds of life’s chaotic streams, tangled by a lover with no respect for your foundation, namely because you have none for it, yourself.
You want a man’s respect? Choose your values, mark your standards, and hold fast to them. Make him EARN a place in your life. And make no mistake: “List Item 43) Italian black hair with no balding” is not a good standard. It’s a WANT, and WANTS come and go. But values? Like faith, temperament, raising children … these are what build a quality framework. Yes, you still must learn to compromise on other issues. Yes, you must still communicate through tough times, to build a healthy, living conversation ever day to move through twists and turns of our chaotic lives. But without a comparable shared framework, it will be MUCH more difficult, and far more likely to bring misery in the long run. Not only for you, but your children who come after you.