List-Making Isn’t Just For Weekend Chores Anymore 1


I often wonder if the booming on- and off-line dating industries can attribute part of their success by the indecisiveness of the singles who use them. Although I did a lot of honest soul-searching before I began my quest for my forever-husband, I probably could have avoided two divorces had I done my due-diligence way back when.

I’m not saying that my relationship flops were because I wasn’t a good planner or researcher; I suffered from a total lack of self-worth in those days, so I think I can confidently point a large finger of blame at that attribute. Let’s pretend, for just a moment that I was a strong and confident woman ready to embark on the dating scene—would I have gone out with a definitive idea of what qualities my mate should have? Probably not. The core drive probably would have surrounded one or all of the following: loneliness, desire to procreate, or plain old horniness (sorry to be so crude). I might have abandoned my search the moment the first person came along who could make my tummy do flip-flops.

Even from as far back as first grade (when I planned to marry Brian and then leave him for Paul later on), I always looked at potential relationships with boys/guys/men in a very logical way (or so I thought), “would I want to spend the rest of my life with him?” If there was something that irked me right off the bat, they were no longer a consideration. It became clear to me though, that my rule became rather lax as I entered into two marriages that screamed failure from almost the very beginning.

I feel as though very few people take the time to make lists of what they are looking for in a relationship. One great thing about eHarmony is that it forces you to put some structure to your search—above and beyond the average checklist that other sites have; but it has no way of knowing if you are lying to it or not. The true list must come from an honest place within the individual.

My husband’s list was taught to him in a class: Write all the things you don’t want in a relationship in one column, and then write what your ideal would be in the column beside it. It is a concept called “Clarity Through Contrast,” from the principles of the book Law of Attraction by Michael J. Losier. I had never heard of something like that when I made my list fifteen years earlier, but it might have proven to be very helpful—I just made an old-fashioned list of my wants.

I stand by the belief that there is no be-all and end-all source for any topic in life; but each person needs to do what works for them. Clarity Through Contrast worked for my husband, but prayer or meditation might work for someone else. I still feel though, if you do not have a clear idea of what you want, you’ll never achieve it. This is not just on the subject of relationships; this also goes for general life goals. Some of the methods of achieving goals I have used or learned about are:

  • Speaking it into existence: Don’t keep the ideas in your head. Say them aloud—whether to yourself in the mirror every day, or talking about them to people who cross your path.
  • Dream boards: Cut out images or sayings or words, and post them somewhere you will constantly see them (the fridge is usually the most popular place).
  • Visualization: Close your eyes and picture vivid scenes of having the thing you want. If you do it right, you will feel an energy course through your veins, your palms will sweat, and you’ll be ready to jump out of your skin to take action.
  • Prayer: Yes, the “Big Guy.” Talk to Him. Pray to Him. Don’t just jump to asking Him for “stuff,” ask Him for guidance. Just because you pray for something doesn’t mean God is going to say, “Ye asked for it, so I shall drop it in thine lap without thee making any effort whatsoever.” (I think I just heard Shakespeare roll over in his grave for my butchery of the language.)

One thing all of these methods have in common is that, once you actively start them, you will begin to see the fruits of your labor. (It’s like the day that you bought your new car—all of a sudden you probably started seeing the same one everywhere.) The moment you bring something to the forefront of your mind, the opportunities will fall into place. Relationships, jobs, ideas. . . they will all make themselves known when you call out to them consistently.

Now put aside that “honey-do” list and get working on your “getting-what-I-want-out-of-life” list!

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