But I’m perfectly capable of stepping outside my comfort zone in the hopes of learning something new. So, last week, when I was at that workshop, and it came time for us to work on our Must Have/Can’t Stand lists, I was willing to go with it.
I’d been pretty familiar with the concept of Must Have/Can’t Stand lists, having read about them a few times: in Andrea’s book (and in excerpts) and also in KB in NYC’s blog post about the same topic. Coincidentally, KB was at the workshop with me, so she had the opportunity to rethink her lists.
Honestly, I’d never seriously tried to write my Must Have/Can’t Stand lists before. It seemed SO like something I’d never do. I’m more of a muddle-through kind of gal.
The key to the process, is that each list should have 5 things on it. No more. So they should be boiled down to the really important stuff. Theoretically.
I started with
2) Good communication skills
And then stopped. I couldn’t think of what else I NEEDED in a guy. Sure, intelligence and sense of humor are important. But I’d never be attracted to a guy without those things. Whereas I’ve been attracted to lots of guys without any sense of empathy or decent communication skills and it’s always been a disaster. So it seemed important to list those things. To remind myself, if nothing else.
After talking with KB for a while, I was able to add:
Yeah, you don’t see honesty on the list. Or any physical attributes. Or a lot of other things: Success, ambition, healthy lifestyle, family-oriented, spiritual – those were the kinds of things the other women put on their lists. I felt like such a freak when we were sharing.
As for my Can’t Stands… I started with
1) Don’t be a douchebag
And then I realized that that was probably not helpful. Nor was saying, “Nothing like ___ ” and then putting a person’s name.
Here was the list I eventually came up with:
5) Compulsively dishonest
Sadly, my last serious relationship was with a man who would NOT have made this cut. Not even close. He’s about half-way there on each list. Same goes for most of the guys I’ve had less serious relationships with, in recent years.
Not even close.
And so, maybe this list thing will be helpful to me. Because I honestly believe I deserve someone who can live up to these (rather meager) standards. All the way.
Maybe writing it all down is a step towards making it happen. Or, at the very least, preventing me from wasting any more time with men don’t make the cut.
Tags: communication, douchebag, needs