"Have you made a list?" she asked me.
I had not. It had never even occurred to me. I mean - I knew what I wanted in a boyfriend - in my head. Basically. That was good enough, right?
"I made a list," she said. "I wrote down exactly what I wanted in a guy, and anytime I met someone who didn't fit into what I wanted, I didn't date him. Then I met John, and I forgot all about the list. A few years later, I found it, crumpled up in a desk drawer. I read it - and realized John was everything on the list."
At first, it sounded like creating a "type" for yourself - which I've always felt was a bad idea. If you lock yourself into needing a guy with a certain look, or a certain job, or specific beliefs - you tend to overlook wonderful people. I think having a type tends to make us focus on the less-important qualities in people.
Is it important to you that a guy be ready to commit, or be stable. Or maybe you would like a free-spirit who will join in your adventures. Maybe it really want children of your own, and someone who shares that dream is important to you. Or maybe you want to raise your family in a particular place, or with a particular faith, and finding a like-minded someone is important.
The point is, the list is about figuring out what you want, and then keeping yourself open to finding a person who lines up with those goals and dreams. He might be tall or blonde or rich or smart - or none of the above. But he can make your most important dreams come to life - and that's what's important.
I'll admit, I've never written a list myself. But after that conversation, I started to really take inventory of myself, and what I wanted in a relationship.
I guess it really doesn't matter if the list is on a piece of paper, or on a file on your laptop - or just in your head. The point is, you better know what you want before you go looking - or you'll keep finding the wrong guys.