#1–Must love others well.

So far, I’m at #18.

I started a running list of things I want in a lover. A relationship. A man. I’m afraid to say “a husband” since I’ve had two of those and that brand of relationship hasn’t gone too well for me in the past. I’m going to just go with, “things I want in the guy I spend time with.”

My sister made a list like this once. I sort of laughed at her for doing it because I think no one will ever live up to all of anyone else’s expectations. At the same time, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have preferences. And based on my history and experiences, I think it’s a good idea to set boundaries and preferences on the front end. Before a relationship ever happens. And to figure out what I want right now instead of afterwards.

So I’m not going to share my entire list, but it includes things like:

  • must enjoy reading, because I like to read. Reading is silent. If he doesn’t like to read, he’ll get on my nerves when I’m reading and he’s distracting me… plus we need to be able to talk about stuff we read.
  • must have a job. A real job. And I’m just going to be honest… I’d prefer it pay the freaking bills, and if I’m being real honest, I’d prefer he make more money than I do or at least the same amount I do because I’m kind of an ambitious woman. So get on my level. If not on my level of salary, at least on my level of ambition/passion.
  • needs to like the outdoors. If he is afraid to get dirty or is a girly man, it’s not going to work. He needs to be able to put up a tent and do all the hard stuff that I don’t like doing so that I can just enjoy being outside! I want to go hiking, and I want to have fires, and do all that… and preferably with somebody I like hanging out with.
  • no man purses allowed. Period. No metro sexual looking guys in my life whatsoever.
  • must share basic core beliefs.  It’s okay if we differ on some small things, but those core tenets of what we believe probably need to be the same so that if we ever someday have kids, we won’t argue about how to raise them constantly.

These are just a few of the things on my list. It’s growing. I think it’s just more for me than for anyone else. Especially the guys I will someday date. It’s just helping me figure out who I am and what I need or think I want out of relationships. Kind of an interesting process. I’d recommend it.

The one thing I’ve decided is a non-negotiable for me for the list is #1: Must love others well. I came across this one while getting a facial yesterday. I’m not sure why I thought of that one then or there, but I did. I think it has been on my mind the past week because recently, a man mentioned to me something about the fact that I am a very affectionate person and know how to make people feel good (which I considered a compliment). While I was getting a facial yesterday, I thought about that… and I thought, you know, if I died today, I’d feel like above anything else, I’d want people to remember me as someone who loved others well. And above all else, I want to be with someone who loves others well. I want to be with someone who loves ME well. I want to be with someone who’s compassionate, affectionate, a good listener, patient, generous, slow to anger, charitable …

At the end of the day, he could be the funniest, most charming, sexiest, most intelligent man in the world, but if he doesn’t have a big heart and doesn’t know how to love me well and love others well, I’m not going to be into him. Period.

So. There’s the beginnings of my ongoing list… we’ll see where it ends up….

7 thoughts on “#1–Must love others well.

  1. cyn says:

    I love this Bethany! I agree. I had a mental list of certain things, but it’s funny some of them don’t apply to my fiance; however, it’s the core necessities that have and some of those things that I thought didn’t matter that now matter the most.


  2. Tom Cox says:

    A list of what you want (or expect) is not at all a bad idea. After my last divorce (yes I have had two as well) I too made a list. As I sat and made out what I called my “grocery list,” I started to realize that I had never received the nourishment I was “shopping” for. I started to feel a little sad that I had spent all of my adult life with two women who never even came close to fulfilling what I finally began to realize I needed to be happy. I then started to wonder if I was being too picky. I wondered if “she” really existed. I have since been involved in two other relationships and neither of those have turned out to be as nourishing as I have hoped. Sadly enough, the relationship I am currently in doesn’t quite fit the bill either. I fight daily to convince myself that I have not settled. I continue to hope that maybe I did fulfill my grocery list and just need to put all those ingredients into the right recipe for a successful dish. I advise you to make sure you are making your list with a recipe in mind. Make sure you mix the proper ingredients and when it is ready, cook it at the right temperature. You are an intelligent, lovely, vibrant young woman and deserve the perfect recipe!


  3. Amanda says:

    I actually thought of doing the same thing! Also thought of things like making a list of “what NOT to do” in relationships since i have been contemplating on what i have done wrong before. That’s not to say I messed them all up or anything, just to better myself. And it is true, you do make others feel good about themselves, and you are a very loving and affectionate person. It’s a great quality to have 🙂 Anyway im going to start my own list as well lol and i will post a bit of it on here. It should prove interesting 😉


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