There's always lots of discussion amongst the uncoupled about ''the list'' isn't there? There's two main lines of thought here - the first that a list is imperative, because as an older and wiser once-couple person it keeps one focused and less prone to make foolish decisions or unrealistic compromises. The other, that in fact a list is a waste of time because you can't choose who you fall in love with.
I reckon there's probably some truth in both - but what if rather than a list, you had something a bit more fluid - but no less focused? Like a manifesto?
man·i·fes·to[man-uh-fes-toh] Show IPA
a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives,as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.
noun, plural man·i·fes·toes.
Yes, it's usually used by political parties to let the world know what they stand for - but I think there's an opportunity to do this at a personal level too. And a manifesto includes the writers intentions rather than a tick list of what they are seeking in others.
So I might say, I offer financial stability, or unswerving loyalty, or a particular set of values/beliefs. It kind of defines who I am, but in a broader sense than a dating website profile might. And it can certainly include the stuff that I might want to give wide berth to in others.
Here's some examples: (An exhaustive list, taken from the exhaustive wish lists of those who say they actually don't have a list....)
"I'd just like to meet someone who makes me laugh''
''kindness, that's what matters''
''no police record, that's be a good start''
''i want to feel completely cherished''
''i never want to be second best again, next time I'll be the priority''
Maybe in a manifesto you might say, that kindness and humour are core values. That you keep away from people with criminal history, and that the ability to cherish and prioritise (and in return be cherished and prioritised) are paramount. That you stand for kindness, and expect it in return. That you are financial stable and would prefer to be connected with someone in a similar situation.
I don't think this is unrealistic. Sure you might end up meeting the perfect person who in fact has no money, is a reformed criminal and has no sense of humour. But I think by at least having a starting point you're minimising the risk of pain further down the track.
Do you have a list? Could it be molded into something broader - or something more specific?
Would you be brave enough to make this public, or could it be just an internal kind of checklist?