A while ago, my flatmates and I sat down with pen and paper and hummed/hahed over a list of the attributes of the perfect man - or, more accurately, the sort of man we could see ourselves marrying. (Funnily enough, one of my flatmates got engaged the next week! This was not solely because of the list-making but we flatter ourselves it had something to do with it.)
After we'd laughed at ourselves a little, we took it quite seriously and each produced a list. I'll share mine with you now. I've actually blogged about this once before, on my old blog, but the list has changed a little (although in some ways it has stayed the same).
Each of us chose some qualities that were non-negotiable and some that were more negotiable. I suspect that some of our non-negotiables are actually less important than we think... but I will reproduce my list exactly as it was, for the sake of posterity.
(a) Christian, with a similar sense of mission, without making me feel too imperfect
As I said last time, this isn't always a black and white issue for everyone, but for me it is. I want someone who takes their faith seriously. However, I don't want to marry someone I look up to in awe of their faith in comparison to mine, as I would start feeling insecure.
(b) similar sense of humour
This is very important, I think.
(c) tallish; attraction; a sense of physical security
i.e. not too weedy
(d) someone I can respect, whose opinions I value
For a while, I could be with someone with whom I disagreed on any fundamental level or who seemed unwise. Eventually, I would inevitably end up looking down on him, and it would make for a very unhealthy relationship.
(e) someone I can trust and feel comfortable with
(f) someone who really really likes me!
This is something that really stands out in my flatmate's relationship with her fiancé. He just adores her. It's lovely. Everyone knows they won't always FEEL "in love" with each other's most annoying qualities, etc., but you have to know that there is that foundation. At least, I do.
(g) someone with a similar sense of empathy and social integrity
I'm not saying I overflow with charitable giving as much as I should, but I would like to be in a marriage in which we could challenge each other to think outward in this way. I don't want to marry someone who always wants a bigger house and more cars. I want to be self-conscious about what we need and what we think we need.
(h) not too moody
(i) likewise, mental and emotional toughness - calm under pressure
(j) someone who listens
Qualities that are preferable, but negotiable
(k) values children and family, and is liked by my family
(l) musical or likes music
I've always fantasised about going to awesome concerts, etc., of all kinds, with The Boy.
(m) not too sporty
This may seem a little silly, but I've noticed that sporty people seem to want their girlfriends to be just like them. Not going to happen.
(n) exotic or pleasant accent
Okay, so this is more than a little silly :)
(o) someone who is a good at being handy around the house, and will deal with gross things
This has become even more important after living in an all-girl flat, feeling foolish every time our landlord has to fix something that boys would have been able to fix by themselves in three seconds.
(p) social, hospitable and outward-looking
Yes, I'm an introvert at heart, but I like being with other people. I like strong friendships and I think it's important to keep these up after getting married. I also like the idea of having a welcoming and open home.
(q) someone who can appreciate personal space
OK, so as I just said, I like being with other people. But. There is a point when I just want some alone-time. I hope that if I get married my husband can appreciate that.
What are your negotiables and non-negotiables?