Whilst being single and looking for Mr Right, I had a synoptic checklist of what kind of person he must be, do and have. Sensible right? Well, that’s what I thought! How else was a girl to know when she meets Mr Right? I just wanted a practising, honest and trustworthy Muslim. So they would follow the basic Islamic rulings, fulfil my rights, treat me well, and not lie to me. That was amongst a long list of other things… Er hmm, let’s move on quickly…
Unsurprisingly there weren’t many men who met my checklist. I didn’t think I was asking for much! But clearly I was. So my on and off search for Mr Right continued. I got fed up and frustrated of being introduced to men who weren’t Mr Right and so I lowered my standards, finally I met someone – yippee! – got married (hooray!) … and then got divorced. Uh-oh!
So what went wrong? What happened to my checklist? After much introspection and many tears, I realised I used my checklist to meet Mr Right because I thought Mr Right would be the perfect husband and I’d have the perfect marriage. But in reality, the checklist was a way to protect myself from getting hurt, rather than meet someone compatible.
What are you using your checklist for? How does it protect you from having a catastrophic marriage? Ladies are you looking for a tall, dark and handsome man who will sweep you of your feet just like the Disney, Hollywood and Bollywood movies? Gents, are you looking for a tall, slim, fair-skinned supermodel who will laugh at all your jokes, get on with your mum and cook like a pro? So if you’re going to talk to any single they must tick off all the boxes first. Not only that, they just need to say one wrong thing and you’re quick to point out their mistake, and consequently they’re out of the running! Maybe, just maybe they were your soulmate and you rejected them. And not only that, you also came across as a total jerk! Oops!
Have you thought about why your ideal spouse would want to marry you? Are you the ideal spouse for your ideal spouse? Glup!
There are many ways to meet singles today: through dating apps, marriage events and introductions from families. You have access to singles from all types of backgrounds, professions and interests, and yet you still remain single. Why? Is there too much choice, especially on dating apps? You know full well there are thousands of singles out there and it won’t be long before you see someone you like. You hope and pray that they’re ‘The One’ but as usual they don’t tick all the boxes on your checklist and now you wait for the next one. The vicious cycle starts again.
Men, I can hear you from all the way over here! Yes, you’re vigorously nodding your head because ‘women are too picky’! Well guess what, men are just as picky! You may not have a long checklist, but that doesn’t mean you’re not busy looking over your date’s shoulder (literally and metaphorically) for someone better! Women know exactly what you’re up to!
I’m not picky…
I’m not picky I just have high standards…
Really? How much of your checklist consists of the way your spouse should look, the job they should have and the salary they should earn? Even when you do meet someone that ticks off your checklist and you go on dates, you’re left feeling disappointed. It’s because you’ve focused on physical and lifestyle attributes which doesn’t set the foundation for a happy marriage. Instead, a checklist should focus on the shared principles, values and interest; what you believe to be right, and the ethics and code of behaviour you live by.
Here are a few other ways to know when you’re being picky
You look at small flaws
You want the whole package or nothing at all
You judge people quickly
You see a single with potential and you look for reasons why they’re not the right person for you, rather than why they may be right for you
Your friends tell you you’re too picky
Why are singles picky?
We are bombarded with adverts in the media of the perfect people, in perfect relationships, experiencing amazingly perfect romantic dinners and holidays, like it’s the norm. It creates an illusion and expectation that regardless of how much (or little) effort you put into finding your ideal spouse, you will marry a flawless spouse and have the perfect, idyllic marriage without even breaking a sweat!
But you don’t have to look far to see what a real relationship looks like. It could be your parent’s dysfunctional marriage, that of a sibling, extended family or friends. You definitely don’t want to have a relationship like that and you will do everything to protect yourself from it, even if your actions keep you single!
Is there such thing as a real relationship?
Each relationship will have its own issues and you will experience your fair share too… Thump! Yes, that was reality hitting you right between the eyes! You will experience pain, disappointment heartbreak, annoyance and so on – that’s part of life. But what holds a relationship together is the shared principles and values.
Here are some key aspects to a healthy relationship:
Communication: especially during the difficult times. Being defensive, giving each other the silent treatment, blaming others for their mistakes or deflecting blame from yourself to your spouse will only make things worse. Having open and honest communication, even when it’s upsetting, will help you to work things out.
Have fun: It’s okay to have boring periods in a marriage but organising holidays, adventures and surprises are a great way to have quality time together, reconnect and rekindle the romance. Yes, you actually have to work on it; romance dies out if you let it!
Having a checklist when looking for a spouse is a good thing; it keeps you focused on the type person you want to marry. Just make sure you don’t use it to find Mr Right or Miss Perfect; rather use it to find Mr or Miss Compatible – a real person with all their flaws and imperfections.
While you search for your spouse, work on yourself to prepare yourself for a healthy relationship. It will help you both to cultivate a happy and wholesome relationship and be role models for the next generation.
Do you think singles’ checklists are realistic or they just protecting themselves from getting hurt? What advice would you give them? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Article featured on Muzmatch.