Isn’t it funny how we make checklists for things? We make checklists for items we need at the grocery store and checklists for what we have to get accomplished by the end day. We make checklists for things we want to do before we die and checklists for school grading systems. Most of these checklists come in handy for organization and efficiency. However, there is one checklist I still haven’t grasped: the boyfriend checklist.
Ever since we were young, we’ve been taught that a boy must be able to check all the things off our list in order to be adequate enough for us to date. Normally it’s a list society has programmed us to believe is “attractive” in the opposite sex. For example, our checklist probably assumes the guy is taller than us, will make more money than us, is athletic and fit, and so on—I know you’ve all heard it before. This checklist becomes so much a part of our search for the “perfect man”, that we start to forget we even have the list. Whenever we meet a new man, we mentally bring out our checklists and look for things to check off—we’re like an auto shop doing a full car inspection, but on a boy.
Maybe I’m the only one and if that’s the case, I’m shallow and I’ll admit it. But I feel like I wasn’t the sole person to make a checklist in their years.
I remember my teenage checklist including such criteria as, “he gets along with his family, he likes sports but is okay if he misses a game or two, he is a Christian, he has perfect teeth, etc.” I had this written idea of the guy I wanted and expected a 3D replica to be able to match it verbatim.
What I realize now is how silly it was to make that checklist. After All, I’ve never made a friend checklist. In fact, I can’t tell you a time I’ve had a friend and immediately decided they couldn’t be my friend anymore because they didn’t open the car door for me or didn’t buy my meal on our first hangout.
But I’ve known girls who do this for guys. They create a list a boy must meet and each time he fails, they cross something off the list and he gets further into the red zone of breaking up.
These checklists, they’re prohibiting us from actually getting to know someone. We meet a person and immediately start checking things off our list instead of just letting ourselves naturally get to know each other and seeing if there is chemistry between us. You see, the problem with a checklist is that you may think it’s what you want, but it may not be what you need.
Not only have we made these checklists, but technology has helped make these checklists more valuable. I can go on Tinder and see a guy in a cowboy hat or a pair of skinny jeans and decide to swipe left because I don’t like cowboy hats or skinny jeans. Do you see how limiting this is? We are eliminating all chances of really getting to know people based on a glance or first encounter. We’re not waiting to see all the good qualities people have to offer. We are only looking for the ones that are on our list. And so it goes, we continue to close doors and never open them because someone couldn’t meet the entire criteria of a list. My challenge to you is to put the list down, go to the store, and just see what it has to offer. You may find a new flavor you weren’t expecting that tastes so much better than the one you were looking for. Forget the checklist and just live life.