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The Checklist

Posted: Updated:
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Arizona Diet Iced Tea-Peach flavor
  • Sunchips Original
  • Organic baby spinach

Oh sorry -- that's my grocery list. And it's so easy to just go across the street and get it all. If only finding a mate could be so easy. Some people have a grocery list for what they look for in a partner. But is that a wise way to go about it? I've seen a lot of people seeking love in my years in the dating business and I have to say that the ones who are successful do not usually have a checklist the size of a dictionary. The people that I see using a spreadsheet to track their dates are generally too removed from their emotions to find love.

Matchmaker Café and other online dating sites are a kind of grocery store for dates. It seems like it should be so easy to plug in our criteria and have the Internet machine spit out the answer. So why can't we just order up the person we want like Chinese take-out? I would tip the delivery guy so well for that. But the conversation around the "checklist" always leads to one conclusion -- that the chemistry and the checklist are at odds. How to have both is the big question.

It can be done. So here's the checklist for the resolution of the checklist question:

  • Do not have 73 things on your checklist
  • Have three dealbreakers -- that's reasonable
  • Have a picture of what you want that has details -- that's OK
  • Let your picture morph if you meet someone you like
  • Don't be anal or rigid about your checklist
  • Go with your gut -- if you have passion about someone -- listen to it
  • If more than five friends have told you you're too picky -- you probably are
  • If your checklist is too long, you need to look inward
  • Recognize that the checklist is about being in control; Love is an out of control experience
  • People are not objects, so you can't order them up like groceries
  • If you are a checklist person, you may be a narcissist
  • If you are a narcissist, there is hope for you (other than being a reality TV star). But you have to want to change.
  • You can't outsource love, because of #10.

At Matchmaker Café, we try to help people facilitate the hardest part -- the first meeting. But we do not call ourselves matchmakers. Anyone who tells you that they can find you the perfect person (especially for $10,000 or more) is oversimplifying the issue at best and may be taking advantage of you.

You have to sit with a person to see how you feel. You have to have a first kiss and see if there are fireworks. The checklist pales in comparison. That's why it's good to date often. You have to have the date and then you can tell. Having a few things from the checklist too doesn't hurt. But it's better to meet first and then look at the checklist afterwards.

And lucky #14 -- go with the flow. Are you the type that gets all bent out of shape if you get Lemon iced tea instead of Peach? I know I can get to that place on a bad day. But lemon's not so bad. When life gives you lemon iced tea, make an Arnold Palmer. Maybe you never realized that a golf pro could be a possibility because it wasn't on your checklist. But the universe gives you some wonderful surprises if you are open to them and you have your Cablight on. If you are too busy making a grocery list, you might just miss one. And speaking of groceries, I gotta run. Gristedes has a special on Arizona iced tea and they might sell out!