From a man who sings to a man who listens: The evolution of my “list”

maxwell I’ve been journaling since I was about 14. That’s why it was pretty easy for me to go back to those journals and look at all “the lists” I’ve created over the years. You know the list I’m referring to. It’s the list of desirable qualities in a mate, Mr. Right…“The One.”

Looking back over my numerous lists I can’t help but laugh at some of the qualities I thought were essential when I was younger. One particularly embarrassing desire I held was to have a man who could sing and play football. Not necessarily at the professional level (because that would be ridiculous) but I imagine I must have thought that the combination of singing and football would somehow get me out of a major life jam sometime in the future. I even found an entry about my dream man having long eyelashes – because you know, that’s the telltale sign of a good man.

When I was going through my Maxwell phase I needed a man with big, wild, out-of-this-world hair. And after a waiter sent shivers down my spine at a restaurant in New York, I was determined to find someone who made me feel the same way every single day of my life. I’ve yet to find either. Then there was the 6’2” or taller height requirement, the great dresser requirement and let’s not forget the “corporate type” requirement. That was until I realized that most men who were always in a suit and tie were always working and/or were not necessarily that handy around the house.

Thank God for growing up. As I grew up I also grew out of some of the things I once thought were so important. But what’s been as interesting as what’s dropped off my list is what’s remained. I’ve always wanted someone who shared the same core spiritual beliefs as I do and I’ve also always wanted someone who was kind and giving, gentle and understanding. But I also now understand that a man who listens, really listens, is essential to any strong relationship.

What matters today and what’s always mattered most is character. The body that character is housed in doesn’t have to be a 6’2”, singing football player with unbelievably long eyelashes. In fact, I’d be nervous if it was. What’s important is that we see eye to eye on the things that matter the most in life. Well, that and he’s got to have a neck. I’ve come a long way, and so has my list, but I’m not willing to compromise on the neck thing.

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Grace is a freelance writer and blogger living in Atlanta, Georgia.