My Relationship Requirements
1. Know God
2. Love children
3. Feel it is his destiny to be with me
4. Financially stable, make more money that me
5. Can't mistake my desire to be "sweet" as weak.
6. Love his family
7. Willing to explore new things and places
8. Have a goal
9. Understand sex is a spiritual act with physical pleasure
10. Willing to lead me, even though I am a strong leader
This seems reasonable enough but let's break this list down using an additional 15 years of experience.
# 1 "Know God" is a silly thing to put on your list. Everybody knows of God in some form or fashion. "Love God" would have been a different requirement and anything about Jesus would have been a bit more discerning. It is likened to putting "be spiritual" on the list. No one actually admits that they aren't spiritual in some form so if you want to get to the bottom of a man's spirit life there is only one way. Observe and don't ignore what you you see.
The same goes for "love children". Since we were all once children, a person that doesn't love children is a special type of person. Children are everywhere. Unless the person walks around malls, street corners, and restaurants snarled up at the kids, they probably are okay with the presence of children on the earth. However, they may not want to create one of those little jokers. So "want children" is a better criteria for mate selection.
As for #3, that's just 26 year old drama. Though some people get married on a whim, most people put a little thought into whom they will marry. Knowing the 26 year old me, what I meant was that this man would feel so connected to me that he would never think of doing anything to jeopardize our relationship. Unfortunately, over the years I've found that when men are in the most compromising positions the one function that is shut down is the "thinking". The truth is that people make mistakes. Men nor women intend to hurt their mates. Hey! It happens.
Financially stable is a good one. Any man thinking of getting married needs to have his financial house in order. Any man that was going to marry me, really had to be financially savvy and credit worthy because I am a stickler about my financial fitness. Make more money than me? Yeah...damn near impossible at this stage of the game. If I had truly understood my own earning power, I would have never put that on the list. I'm going to say that this one was a direct result of dating millionaire rappers and athletes at the time. Next!
#5 I'm not really that sweet so we can skip that one. That was back when I was trying to dim my light and dampen my fire in order to coddle the insecurity of the guys I was dating. #6 Duh! #7 - Now this was and still is very important. I travel the world and embrace many cultures. I love all types of foods and customs. Yes, I love fried chicken, greens, yams, and mac & cheese. But I am a huge sushi fan and have taken a strong liking to baba ganoush. Can this detail be worked around? Certainly, but it puts limitations on what a couple can experience together and leaves room for me to have a passionate affair with a Lebanese sky diving instructor.
"Have a goal", #8, seems like a duh! But with the additional 15 years of experience I realize that this is quite important. I have so many things yet to do. There is no way I could have been with someone whose idea of life was getting a nice house, nice job, and chilling on the deck. I bet I really didn't even understand this at the time but somehow I lucked into it.
#9 "Sex is spiritual" is such a delightful perspective. Then you realize that despite our best efforts and intentions, sex slows down in a seasoned relationship and the hot fire is often relegated to drunken date night or vacation sex. Real talk! Though you definitely have times where you get it in, the day to day sex is less of a spiritual occurrence and more of a natural thing to do once the kids go to sleep- if you can stay up for it. No pun intended.
As for the last one, I'm going to say that even at the tender age of 26, this was obligatory. I was looking for a Prince, instead of a partner. Since then the years of toils and trials in relationships have allowed me to realize my own shortcomings and accept the shortcomings of my mate. "Happily ever after" takes work and sacrifice. It takes forgiveness and understanding. Making a list of what you want in a mate may guide you to a person but it will not make the relationship road any easier to navigate. People grow and change. If you are a "list person" and you must have a list to guide you then make a list of how YOU will behave in the relationship. At least then you can look back and be sufficiently entertained by your hopes. Happy Hunting!