The Man Checklist: Did You Make One?

When you imagined your future husband as a teenager and young adult, what did you think? Was he tall? Rich? Ambitious? Well-educated?

Or, were you the kind of person who didn't really imagine much at all? Were you the kind who learned as she went and narrowed the field by dating a lot of duds?

A piece in Self this month discusses the mate checklist and how much happier we can be when we throw those requirements out the window. Written by Valerie Frankel, the piece is beautiful and the sentiment true.

Even so, it's nice to at least have some sense of what kind of man you want to marry before you got to that point.

I asked a slew of women and got a mix of responses. Here are some:

  • College educated. Even if he made a ton of money -- if there was no degree, we didn't go any further.
  • Gentleman -- I wanted someone who would open the car door for me (I think I'd dated too many jerks prior).
  • He had to be "not at all like my father."
  • He had to be a lot like my dad (ambitious, smart, wealthy).
  • Loves animals.
  • Wants kids.
  • Has a job.
  • Loves his mama.
  • Doesn't do drugs.
  • Handyman.
  • Good with kids.
  • Cultured.
  • Romantic.
  • Must be taller than me in heels.

So what's so wrong with these things? This whole "settle for whatever you get" movement that has taken hold in recent years seems out to lunch.

Yes, it might seem presumptuous and silly to compile a list of physical characteristics that your spouse must have, but what's so wrong with wanting a man who respects his mom, loves animals and children, and values education?

Not a thing.

I didn't have a check list, per se. But I had dated my fair share of overly politically correct liberal men, so I knew enough to know I needed someone a little edgier than that. I needed a man who made me laugh and, yes, I needed a man who valued education and was passionate about his work.

I found all that in my husband and I'm glad I did. 

There is no problem with a person knowing themselves well enough to know what they want in a life partner. It is, after all, the biggest decision we ever make.

Did you have a man "checklist"?


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