(If only I could take this list to the grocery store and get exactly what I want)

I’m really good at making lists and not following them at all. I create a Target list consisting only Charmin and Dove body wash, and end up spending $89.63 on clearance sunscreen and random decorative boxes. Grocery lists are never followed, as I swear to stick to the produce section, and end up with 3 cartons of Haagen Dazs and Hawaiian rolls. And don’t let me go into Trader Joe’s. A quick trip for watermelon and blueberries turns into my need to buy 3 logs of honey-infused goat cheese and beer. Evidently, I always have a general idea of what I want, but never follow through whatsoever because my eyes are always roaming around and not following the plan-which usually ends up in disaster (i.e. less money and eating too many carbs).

This ideal can also be applied to our love lives, when we want certain things from a mate, but can’t seem to follow the “list” of things we want/require in a partner. A few years ago, a single me was discussing finding the right guy with my newly taken BFF and she introduced me to her “NON-NEGOTIABLES” list. She had read somewhere that in order to keep yourself on track in the dating world, you should create a list of “non-negotiables”-traits you want in a partner, and if someone did not possess any one of these traits, it would be considered a deal-breaker. The list can be as long or short as you want, but in order to be reasonable, she created one with 5 characteristics that a man must have to date her ( if you have 27 things on your list, you’re not really looking for a man, you’re going to Walmart). For example, if her list consisted of 1) Athletic, 2) College Graduate, 3) Musician, 4) Family oriented, and 5) Vegetarian, she would only serious consider dating someone who matched every “non-negotiable” on her list. Therefore, if she met a man who was out of shape and ate red meat on a daily basis, then she would not date him. It may sound a bit harsh, but how many times have any of us allowed someone to creep into our hearts when we knew there were things about them we didn’t like? But you went out with them anyway because you were bored or felt like you were being too picky?


adjective; not open to discussion or modification.

Well, you have a right to be picky when it comes to love! If you don’t like smokers, don’t go out with a woman who smokes just because she’s hot and has a nice butt. Ladies, don’t settle for a guy who likes to go out clubbing 4 times a week, if you’re looking for a low-key man who prefers to stay in. If we do these things, we’re just setting ourselves up for failure. So stick to your lists! If you haven’t thought of one, now’s the time to do it. At the time the BFF showed me her list, she forced me to create one of my own, because she knew both my miserable shopping and dating habits. So I created my own list, and have tried to follow it ever since. It’s hard to follow a list like this, but this is your life we’re talking about, good people! Sticking to the list left me nice and single for a while ( downside to following the list), but I think my catch now fits my list, and so I tell you it’s worth it. My MARRIED BFF would say the same thing. Basically, I’m saying if you follow the list, you’ll get married. Check my list of NON-NEGOTIABLES:

1. NON-SMOKER: I’ve met many a hot and nice man who just so happens to smoke cigarettes. I also know what it’s like to kiss said man and it’s disgusting. Plus, he coughs a lot. Sounds harsh, but it’s my dating life, so I have never given a smoker a real chance.

2. SOCIABLE: If you have one friend, you’re not for me. I like people who people like. A man that’s completely comfortable with speaking to random people we may meet at a football game, party, or bar is extremely attractive. This will also indicate his comfort level should you introduce him to your family or Peanut Gallery ( aka your homegirls).

3. INTELLIGENT: I’m not saying he needs to be Albert Einstein, but you should have graduated from high school and went to college. I’m in no way putting down anyone that didn’t do these things, but you are attracted to those who share the same experiences with you, and education is a huge part of my life. I like the fact that I can talk to my man about what we both did in college and football games. I like a man who can have a conversation outside the topics of beer and Young Jeezy. The only exception is Eminem. I would date and love Eminem so hard, you don’t understand, and I know he didn’t finish school. I hope my boyfriend knows I would leave him in a second if Eminem called me. Okay, let me stop talking about Eminem…

4. SENSE OF HUMOR: I’m very sarcastic. It’s almost to a point where it can be considered mean, to people who lack a sense of humor. I also make really corny jokes and do bad impersonations, and I like a man who can laugh at all of that and is not afraid to laugh at me as well.

5. PROMPT: This is probably the biggest thing for me on my list, even though some can see it as trivial. I am a stickler for being on time, and all that know me understand just how true this is. I have gone off the deep end when someone has made me late for a movie ( because I cannot miss previews and I need to sit in the back), and I’m early to everything. If you are constantly late for things, what does that say about your character? If the man I was dating never called me back and always showed up for dates 20 minutes late, he wouldn’t be with me too long. Being late is a clear indicator of one’s lack of consideration for others, a trait we all want to have in an ideal partner. If you’re late, you will not get a date.

Do you have your own list? What are your non-negotiables?

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