Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Decide What You Want

art source
If you have taken the time to consider these things and find that you are ready to venture into the world of dating, the natural question is where do I find the right kind of man?  Have you decided what you want? 

Many women have a list of "must haves" for the man with whom they want to partner, and I'm all for keeping up the standards.  I used to have a long list, focused on a lot of details.  Entering a season where I had the chance to do it all again, I realized there were a lot of things that I would like, and that would probably be helpful in creating a good relationship.  But I didn't want a long list that needed to be checked off and if it was, that I would automatically feel this was "the one." 

Instead, I decided to come up with some bottom line must-haves being in a relationship.  As I got to know I man and determine whether these qualitites existed, I would also be determining whether the lesser important issues made us compatible. 

Over the course of several months, I wrote down things I wanted.  Then I used those traits to create a list of character traits that I knew I would need.  Your list will be different from mine just like your likes and dislikes, your past is different, your needs are different.  I talked often to the Lord about what I would need and asked him to give me insight.  As He did, I formed a list of seven bottom-line traits that I would need in order to give my heart to a man.  Then I began to pray specifically for a man who -
  1. Has walked with the Lord for many years.
  2. Healthy Habits
  3. Financially stable, employed, tithes
  4. Marked by kindness
  5. Honest, honest, honest
  6. Energetic, Positive Outlook, Upbeat
  7. Emotionally available, open and desires to partner in relationship
I would encourage you to begin praying about what you like, want and need.  Then take those qualities and form must-have traits so that you can make wise choices.  For example, I desired a man who was a Christian believer.  But more than that, an active and involved one who attended church regularly and hadn't recently come to the Lord or back to Him.  I needed someone who had walked through trials with the Lord and experienced His faithfulness. 

I knew I didn't want to be with someone who smokes or recently quit (afraid to risk relapse).  I knew that because of my history, I would have a difficult time trusting someone who had been unfaithful in a previous relationship. 

I didn't want a legalized checklist like:

ü  Attends Church Weekly
ü  Christian for 10 years
ü  Tithes
ü  Never Lies
ü  Didn’t Cheat
ü  No Smoking

So I worked to get to the very core of my desires and make that list as bottom line as possible.  In this way, I felt like I kept myself open to possibility!  It felt very exciting yet I knew I would guard myself against traits that would bring me down in the long run.  I felt like I had realistic, healthy boundaries for me.

Have you thought I about what you want?  Do you think it is smart to be general or specific as you think about your needs?  Or do you think winging it is a better idea?  Do tell!

As I'm sharing, please take or toss - I'm not suggesting that what I did it what everyone should do, but it is the truth unfolding of my story.