The List

After my divorce, I knew I wanted to be in a healthy, adult relationship. This may sound nuts, but I did my share of soul-searching during my ex’s affair, and that was one thing I decided. I want to grow old with someone who truly loves me, and although I was very sad that it wouldn’t be the father of my children, I knew there would be someone out there for me.

One of the things I did during that soul-searching time was write a list of things I was looking for in a partner. I’d been coupled up with my ex for 23 years, so I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to be looking for – and what I wasn’t! A friend of mine suggested this list, and I figured it couldn’t hurt, and who knew? Have you seen Practical Magic? Maybe I could conjure him!

My list didn’t include any sort of physical characteristics because I knew I would need to find this person attractive, and while I do have a “type,” I didn’t want to limit myself to it. My list included things like being honorable and faithful, telling the truth, being willing to apologize if needed, having compassion, holding my hand, wanting to spend time with me, and loving to laugh. Honestly, there were about 100 things on TWO lists because why not?! It was my list, and I was going to be thorough as hell.

So I wrote those lists and put them away in a drawer until one night, on the way home from a very good date under the light of a full moon, I remembered them. I came home and dug them out, and to my great surprise and pleasure, the man I was dating literally had 95% of the traits I’d listed. Was this magic? I honestly couldn’t believe it.

I can say that after four years with this man, he has remained consistent, honors our promises to one another, apologizes when he needs to, and seems to enjoy spending time with me. Is he perfect? Nope. Am I? Nope. Is this a perfect relationship? Nope.

You wanna know why? Because THERE IS NO SUCH THING.

What you get to decide – day in and day out – is whether or not you want to CHOOSE to love a person. You have to speak up when things are bothering you. You have to not let everything bother you. You have to be mature about things and understand that there will be ups and downs. If you aren’t happy, you get to speak up. You get to ask for what you want. And the other person? They get to decide if they can give you what you’re asking for.

Right now, the person I’m choosing is choosing me back. I’m pretty sure that was #1 on my list. And that feels like magic to me.

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