Does THE LIST work?

One of the tools some people use when looking for a relationship is to write a list of all the things they want in a partner. Do they really work? How do you write a list that reflects what you’d really like to experience? 

Writing a list can help you to get clear on some things, and focus on the way you want to feel with a partner. It’s important to decide what’s truly important to you, and where you’re willing to compromise. 

As always, the bottom line is you: are you the person your ideal partner (or you) would want to be with? Are you demonstrating all the qualities you’d like to find in another? If not, how can you shift your own reflection to match that of the one you’re looking for? It’s important to get clear and honest with yourself. 

There really is no right and wrong when it comes to lists, because each of us learns and grows through relationships. However, there are some things worth focussing on if you’re looking for a long-term, healthy connection that will differ from attracting a partner who simply fills a void or meets an immediate need. 

For example, is it important for someone to have a cool car, knowing that cars come and go? Is it important that they have a specific eye colour, or are a certain height? All of these things are minor details that might get in the way of your being open to beautiful potentials that don’t fit those exact criteria. 

You could make a list of things you love, and imagine enjoying them with someone else. Think about how it feels to share these adventures with a loving, joyful partner. Paint colourful mental pictures of the afternoons you spend together in bed or stargazing on a mountaintop. Think about doing the things you love individually and then regaling one another with tales of your escapades. How does it feel to be with this person? Write that down. 

Try making a list of your deepest emotional needs and how you want to feel supported in them by your partner. Do you need to feel seen, heard and safe? How will your partner help you to feel these things in yourself? Do you offer the same opportunities for him/her? Do you know how to meet your own needs first? Supporting each other in filling your needs is different from expecting one another to fill them. 

Make lists of ways that past relationships have taught you more about what you want (sometimes by offering you what you didn’t want). If your last partner was emotionally immature, what did it teach you? What has it given you in terms of fodder for a new experience? Keep checking in with how you meet the criteria you’re seeking. All of your past relationships have led you to this moment of self-awareness. It’s okay to want something different, and to use past experiences to change the way you relate to others. Be your own best friend, and meet others from a place of wholeness. 

Get specific about the feelings you want to experience, and not the physical characteristics of your potential mate. Look around at relationships among your friends and family, and what traits you admire or would prefer not to have. There are no wrong answers. This isn’t about judging someone as wrong or bad if they don’t do the dishes, it’s more about your desire to feel supported in daily household work.

Focus on resonance, which is about feelings. Have you had any interactions with people lately that left you feeling particularly uplifted? Think about what it was that you really enjoyed. Add it to your list and start giving it to others. Likewise, if you’ve had interactions that caused you stress or dismay, figure out what needs may not have been met. There are always energetic messages underneath the surface of the physical dealings you have. It may be that you have a piece of a matching pattern with that person, and the idea is simply to demonstrate to you what that pattern is. This awareness is the first step to attracting healthier relationships. 

Ultimately, the list can be seen as a way to gauge your readiness. If you have on your list that you want a partner who is self-sufficient, gentle, motivated, passionate, fun to be around and loves animals, how do you measure up? Do you have space in your life for this person? This is not about changing who you are to be ‘better’ in order to attract a mate, but about honouring where you are now. If you can focus on embodying the traits of the person you want to be with, you’ll find you have a whole lot in common with them when you meet.