02/15/2013 01:01 pm ET Updated Apr 17, 2013

The List

After twenty-six years, my marriage had derailed. The relationship hadn't been right for many years and even monumental efforts couldn't save it. I was now officially on the single track, ready to move on and meet someone new.

I decided to be courageous and try online dating. I selected and was soon amazed at the whole process -- the "winking", the emails, the honest and not-so-honest profiles. Finally, I thought I had it all figured out and was enthusiastically on the dating path.

I met a few men through After agreeing to a a date, the first thing that happens is the meet and greet. You meet each other for coffee, drinks or dinner. If you like each other, then another date is scheduled. One of my dates was a preacher who hummed when he hugged me. Another man was so bitter and vocal about his ex-wife that he only got one date. Another one was so shy, we could only talk on the phone. One date stuck his tongue down my throat as we said goodbye after a nice dinner. And finally, the deal breaker was a twitchy little man who was a bit different on the first date. Thinking maybe it was nerves, I agreed to meet him for dinner on a second date. When the bill came, he very awkwardly -- and rudely -- asked me to pay for half of the dinner and couldn't figure out why he wasn't getting a third date.

The dates kept on going like this. And, for some reason, I just couldn't get past the second date, the second meeting, the second drink, the second try. My friends nicknamed me Two-Date Teri. I was complaining to a friend about my Two-Date Teri dilemma and she suggested I make a very detailed and specific list of what I wanted in a man. The first step, she said, is to have a positive and precise vision of exactly what you want, then list it out in detail. Do you want someone who likes going to movies, someone who is passionate, likes to hug and cuddle, maybe someone who wants to travel? If so, then put it on the list. Do you want someone financially stable? Put it on the list. Do you want someone who is family man? Then list that too. When the list is finally done, send the vision out into the universe and forget about it -- let the universe do its thing to make it happen.

It sounded reasonable and I decided to take her advice. I did some serious soul searching and spent time thinking about my life, where my marriage had been successful and where it had failed. I was as honest with myself as I could be. I wanted someone loving, respectful and fun, so I added it to the list. Both my children and son-in-law are in the military so I thought it would be great to date someone who was a veteran. I added it to the list. I love riding motorcycles so I added that to the list. I wanted someone who was comfortable in social settings and like sports so I added those traits as well.

I worked on my list over and over, trying to be as positive and specific as possible. I asked two trusted friends to review it. They suggested a few attributes, which I added. I saw a psychic during this time and she told me to believe and trust, so I added that to the list!

The list contained things I could see right away and traits I would know only over time. Finally, the list had everything I wanted so I sent it out into the universe on a hope and a prayer. Then, I forgot about it and went back trying to move past the Two-Date Teri dilemma.

One day, I saw a picture of a handsome guy holding a big glass beer. How could I not be attracted to that? He had a great profile -- well-written and funny -- plus he was a retired army veteran who had a motorcycle. So far, so good! I sent him an email and he quickly replied. We talked a few times on the phone and decided to meet. We met the day my divorce was finalized. I saw immediately that he fit many items on the list. He had a great smile, a quick sense of humor, was intelligent, fun and comfortable to be with. We met for a second date and then, yes, a third date. And, we've been together ever since!

As time goes by and I get to know him on a deeper level, I realize that he has fulfilled every item on the list plus so many more. The list worked!

I don't know what the future holds for us, but that's another list for the universe.

My List

· I believe and trust

· I want a male partner between the ages of 50-61

· Single

· A great sense of humor and great smile

· I am incredibly comfortable with him and don't feel any anxiety in his company

· Outgoing with good social skills

· Finds me and treats me as if I'm the best thing that ever happened to him


· Laughs with me a lot

· Taller than me (around 6'0-6'3 would be great but not a deal breaker)

· Stocky is Ok

· Easy going and relaxed

· Moderately good looking

· Intelligent

· Loving family man

· Financially secure & sound

· Loves to go out and socialize

· Loves to go to sporting events (MSU a plus), sports fanatic

· Supports my goals and events

· Mentally, physically and spiritually healthy

· Faithful and loyal

· Passionate and can reintroduce me to a loving intimate relationship

· Empathetic

· Manly-Man

· Fits in great with my children and family

· Fits in great with my friends

· Gets me and gets who I am

· A great listener

· Treats me respectfully

· Served in the military

· Has a motorcycle

· Great sex