Confession: I don’t like Valentine’s Day, I think it’s stupid. And this is coming from someone who has a chocolate addiction, loves flowers and is in a relationship.
Exactly one year ago, in honor of Valentine’s Day and my disdain towards the holiday, I wrote about my opinion on relationship/dating checklists and today I feel the same way about them so I will share it again (with a few edits and additions).
Even Hugh Grant doesn’t want you to watch romcoms on Valentine’s Day.
Hugh says that romantic comedies create a “perfect paradigm of love” that isn’t comparable with real life. “My experience with my relationships, at least, is they’re never remotely like that — I’m not remotely like that,” Grant told Time. “So, I think it’s a dangerous thing to do.”
I feel the same way about dating checklists.
I saw someone on tumblr advising a girl to write down a list of the qualities she wants in a partner. That is terrible advice, seriously, don’t do that, not even in your head. I have heard this many times before, girls and women talking about their checklists and classifying their possible partners or their dates into these lists, and even worst telling them they have a list! What where they thinking?
If you really must make a list, don’t tell your date about it.
“Tall, funny, smart, loves his family, loves dogs, athletic, good listener…” It’s endless.
It can get really ridiculous. I looked up some real lists online and there are points that include:
“smells like campfire” Think that through, do you really?
“apologizes after a fight, even if I’m wrong” Come on, I don’t even know what to say to this one.
“uses when not if when talking about his future and how you fit in.” Wow, you’ve really thought this through.
Finding a partner shouldn’t be about what you want, it should simply be about love and having someone to share life with you with support and friendship and love. Relationships are not business transactions, I have seen they are treated as such a lot here in the US and why there are a lot less divorces in India than in the US, because in arranged marriages in India they learn to love their partner, accepting who they are. In the US, once someone stops getting what they wanted from their partner, they either demand it or end it.
Obviously there are exceptions. Not all relationships are like that, but there are enough to make it worth noting.
Love should be about giving without expecting anything in return, it should be about selflessness even if it means sacrificing one’s happiness for the sake of someone else’s.
Note: I don’t want to be a hypocrite so I must admit that I am not like that 100% in my relationship, but I strive to be and definitely would like to be 100% this way.
I have never even thought of making such a list and I had two long-term relationships before I found my current partner, whom I found at an unexpected time and place. My first and shortest relationship ever lasted 11 months. Also, all of the partners I’ve had were so drastically different to each other because I was never looking for a specific person, in fact, I was never actually looking for love, all of my relationships just happened. I was simultaneously content with being single and open for love.
I truly believe that God set up my partner and I together when we were both ready for each other. If we had met sooner or later, it might have not worked. God’s timing is perfect. Neither of us ever imagined we would end up with someone like the other one, but it works!
The act of having a “perfect partner checklist” will only set you up for multiple failures:
- The list makes you close-minded and picky and because of this you may overlook potential partners that if you had given a chance, you may have found they were the perfect partner for you.
- The list drives you to change the person you are with. Don’t look for the “potential” of a man instead of accepting them for who they are. These relationships are unhealthy and mostly don’t end well.
- The list creates false expectations. If these expectations aren’t met, it only leads to disappointment and rupture.
In conclusion: don’t have expectations, don’t look for a specific partner, don’t even look for a partner (it will come to you when the time is right), and don’t make the stupid checklists. It sounds like a lot of things, but it is a lot easier than you think. Chances are the perfect person for you is not who you imagine it and will come at an unexpected time and place, if you let it be.
If you are sad today on Valentine’s Day because you don’t have a boyfriend, I suggest you write yourself a “10 ways you are awesome” letter and eat some fair trade dark chocolate, embrace your singleness, and get excited about what the unexpected future will bring.
Starting today, you are going to burn your checklist and kill the one in your brain with a glass of wine because alcohol kills brain cells, and you will also stop actively looking for a relationship. He/she will come when you are both ready for each other and it will be great.
Finally, if you believe in God, do what I just said in the previous paragraph plus let Him choose your partner for you; let Him play cupid for you. How? By going with the flow, letting Him worry about it, and having faith in Him. If you worry about it, God doesn’t. If you truly let Him worry for you, He will take care of it.
What do you think?