The Reason Your Checklist Doesn't Work
We all know at least one person whose real life success story backs up the claim that the person’s relationship and/or marriage started with meeting on an online dating site.
As mainstream as it’s become, online dating has led to a flaw in how people date. It’s not the medium itself, however, it’s what people do with online dating sites.
The flaw is that the characteristics that make a person compatible with you are not evident on an online dating profile.
Writing that you’re nice, kind, smart and like biking, traveling and journaling is a list of adjectives and interests. Interests don’t keep a couple together if they can’t get along.
What makes a good match is values, long term compatibility, personality and what you want out of life or, as I call it the vision you have for your life.
If you’re a university snob - like I was before I saw the light - and your checklist includes things like must have a degree, be taller than you, earn a certain salary and live in a particular part of town, dropping the credentials and must haves will get you to your match faster than you think.
This, because the match who is fundamentally a giver, compromiser and pleaser is key to your most aligned partner. Scientific studies such as the Big Five Personality Traits also back up this notion.
I know because I was that rigid person who wouldn’t go outside her comfort zone. A comfort zone that was based on fear. Once I did the inner work with a dating and relationship coach who helped me to remove the blocks that were holding me back, I experienced a mindset shift.
I got clear on my values and the values and qualities that I wanted and needed in a partner. What I thought I wanted turned out to be very different than what is good for me.
The evidence that supports this includes couples I've spoken with over the years who say their partner didn't come in the package they thought he or she would. You likely know couples who've said the same.
Does this mean you should settle? Absolutely not. You should never have to force something that’s not there.
Settling is when you make a trade off and end up being miserable. Compromising is when you make a trade off and end up being happy.
You need some modicum of chemistry (attraction). I’ve worked with many clients where the chemistry started with a “6” on a scale of 10 with 10 being the highest and, by the third date, it became an “8.”
Challenge yourself because they’ll be an exception to every made up rule you have when it comes to who you’ll date. We all want to be judged on individual merits rather than a checklist.
When you play on the margins and challenge yourself all sorts of possibilities open up. Consider that if you were to pivot twenty-five degrees to the left happiness could be staring you in the face.
Have you ever gone outside the lines and dated someone who didn't check all the boxes on your list? What happened? Post a comment below and I'll meet you there.