11/27/2012 10:39 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Making Your List and Checking It Twice

It's that time of year again. Everyone, including Jolly Old Saint Nick, is making their lists and checking them twice. Instead of asking whether you were naughty or nice, my question to you is this: How is your list working for you?

More and more lately, I have found that my clients who take their criteria lists and toss them out the window are the ones who have the most success in finding love. I am helping them take a step back and look at their last relationships and compare them with their lists. It is eye-opening when they realize that many of the people they have dated may have fit many of the criteria on their lists but still ended up failing miserably. They get tongue-tied when I simply ask them, "How is your list working for you?"

Everyone is always searching for their perfect prince or princess to gallop off into the sunset with. Let me explain something to you that may help you redefine your list. Perfection does not exist, and fairy tales are for books. And for those of you who are looking for that perfect Hollywood ending just like the ones that we see in all our favorite romantic comedies? News flash: Katherine Heigl and Channing Tatum are actors who get paid to say all those perfect things and fall hopelessly and madly in love.

If you insist on creating a list to find the perfect person, I am simply asking you to put some thought into what you are looking for. Be honest with yourself. Are you being too vain? Does your perfect match have to be tall, dark and handsome or a Victoria's Secret model? Do you see yourself with someone who makes six figures? Do they have to have six-pack abs or a perfect smile?

After you have honestly answered these questions comes the hard part. Once you have compiled a list of qualities that you are looking for in someone, sit down and put yourself under the microscope. For example:
  • Do you see yourself dating a knockout? If so, do you see a knockout dating you?
  • Do you require that your perfect match have a killer body? When was the last time you were in gym?
  • Are you attracted to a killer smile? When was the last time you got your teeth whitened?
  • Do they have to have money in the bank, an IRA and a 401(k)? What is your credit score?

Let me explain that I am not here to throw everyone into a state of deep despair and self-loathing. I am just asking whether criteria lists are really necessary. What would happen if you simply met someone and found out what they were all about instead of comparing them with a list?

This holiday season, take some time to check your list twice. If you cannot get up the nerve to toss it out, at least take the time to see how many of those "must-needs" are actually standing in your way of finding happiness. As always, I am here for you if you need any guidance!

Happy holidays,