Recently, I watched Arsenio Hall interview Niecy Nash about her hilarious new HBO show Getting On and they discussed Niecy’s status as a Hollywood matchmaker (the actress introduced Sherri Shepherd to her husband). Arsenio asked what the trick was and her response was that she told her that if she was serious she needed to start dating for her priorities and not her preferences. And, you know what, Niecy is right.
In my twenties, my list of criteria was as long as a child’s Christmas wish list. I don’t know whom I had imagined would walk in the door, but if it weren’t Jesus himself, then the person wasn’t going to live up to my standards. Older and after a long-term relationship, my list has changed and shortened. I haven’t settled myself in any way, but at 37, I do know perfection doesn’t exist nor am I perfect myself.
But, hearing Niecy discuss this truism and others from her relationship book It’s Hard to Fight Naked I began to unravel the dilemma – I didn’t know the difference between my priorities and my preferences. I certainly wasn’t resigned to give up everything I was looking for just to find a partner, but I was having a hard time differentiating between the two. So, I made a list.
Once down on paper, I was able to decipher what I could live with or without much easier. And, as I started being truly honest, my list ultimately came down to five things. I am looking for someone who is: 1) Intelligent; 2) Driven; 3) Loves God and Family 4) Has a Great Sense of Humor, and 5) Loves Me. The other stuff I had on the list (mostly superficial and material things) didn’t really seem to matter as much as those five things I certainly could not live without.
Read on for more dating advice at Essence.com