Hey Ladies, do you have a vision board? Or more specifically, do you have that infamous “LIST” I hear all these relationship gurus talk about? You know, the one where you write down the list of things you desire in your mate. Let's call this list the"Non-Negotiables of Dating". Now, I’m sure as you have embarked on this dating journey, you’ve encountered people who have instructed you to write down what you're looking for in a mate and those things will manifest. That’s even spoken of in the Bible, "...write it down and make it plain...it will come to pass". I'm actually paraphrasing but it's in there. Have you ever taken the time to evaluate what your dating list says about you and your singleness?
When I started this DateYourselfGirl journey I wrote down the pros and cons of my last relationship and decided to create a list of things that were absolute non-negotiables for my next mate. Here are just a few things I required:
Must be 6 foot or taller.
Body of a Mandingo Warrior and works out consistently.
Straight and white teeth, with a pretty smile.
Communicates his wants needs desires likes and dislikes effectively.
Prays with me and for me.
Attends church on a consistent basis and not just for holidays. Enjoys traveling.
Makes $75,000 or more.
Has his own car & lives alone...No Roommates and No Mama's basement! Spontaneous...not afraid to try new things or foods.
Great in bed...did I say great in bed? MUST be great in bed!
And that about covers it. Hey, nine non-negotiables is modest. I know some women who have whole journals so don’t judge me.lol But now that I’m older and have been single for close to a decade, I had to take a look at my list and do some reevaluating. First, I had to reevaluate myself. Like, am I the kind of woman that a man would want to make his forever companion? And what do I really bring to the table? Now ladies I know you’re thinking, “ I am the table!“ And it’s true you are the table… But what kind? Are you the five-star dining room table or are you the side table next to the couch? One can provide a little more value than the other, I'm just sayin'.
Can I keep it real with you for a passage or two? I wanted all these things from a mate but in actuality I wasn't measuring up to the standards I was requiring. Nine years ago I was unemployed, struggling in my acting career, living with my Aunt, had no savings, in counseling, and was not attending church consistently. I was a bit lost and broken. Okay, okay I was a lot broken. So how was I expecting this long list from a mate but I left little to be desired. On the outside looking in, I had it all together but on the inside of me I was a mess. And moving to Atlanta didn't help the cause either. I was in a hotbed of beautiful and successful women, of all ages. Doctors, lawyers, real estate mavens, teachers...you name it...the best of the best are in this city. On top of that, I was dealing with a deep, dark depression that had me believing all the negative things about myself. So I had to do some real self-reflecting and self-evaluation and it started with my mindset. What I thought about myself had to change in order for me to begin to manifest the good in a man that I so desired. I had to get vulnerable with myself and come clean with the naked truth about myself. Once I began to peel back my layers, I was able to heal the things within me that needed to be fixed. After that happened I was able to rewrite my list without hesitation.
Here are three things that helped me change the trajectory of my “LIST”:
Changed Mindset: I already said that it had to start with my mindset but what do I mean by that? Well, I was often pessimistic about everything. I would tell myself, "You can't book this acting job because you don't have experience." "You are 30/40 something years old and have never taught a full year in a school, what makes you think you can do it now?" "You don't make enough money to be considered a viable candidate for a mate." Oh, and here's the kicker, "You don't look like (insert celebrity name here), so no one will find you attractive." I spoke so ill of myself that I began to truly believe what I was telling myself. This is when I knew I needed to seek professional help to get on the right track.
Counseling: My mindset took a change for the better once I started going to counseling. In counseling I learned how to celebrate the little wins in my life. Whether I had lost 10 pounds or subbed consistently for 30 days straight or booked a one liner on a tv show, that was to be celebrated. My counselor also taught me to set goals for myself. Monthly, quarterly, and annual goals became a huge part of my growth and development. It helped me to keep track of my progress and celebrate what I had accomplished. That gave me so much pride and drive to continue manifesting what I truly wanted out of life.
Self Check-Ins: I started doing self check-ins in order to better evaluate my mood. That has truly helped me better gauge my true feelings. It also helped me to be a better communicator as well as set boundaries with others. In relationships, we experience a myriad of emotions and that's okay but knowing how to properly articulate them is key for a healthy, sustainable bond.
So now my list looks more realistic. It's more aligned with my needs and not just my wants. I'm not focused so much on the superficial desires as I am the character of the man. Besides, the character of a person is what brings longevity because let's face it, looks fade. And I want whomever I settle down with to be a person with a good moral compass, who has compassion and empathy, who has strong, loving relationships with their parents and friends, who's unconditional, who isn’t afraid to laugh at themselves, and who understands that relationships take work, patience, and love. So ladies, take a long look at your list and make some changes where you see fit and watch you manifest all the good you desire in your mate. But until then, remember to DateYourselfGirl!