Practical Romance

Does Finding Mr. Right require a Checklist?

Dating and house hunting are both serious endeavors. So can you write a checklist for a husband (and love) in the same way that one would a house?

Before I met my husband| I wrote a detailed wish list for a mate including everything from political beliefs to height. This allowed me to think rationally about how compatible we were before the intoxicating allure of hormones kicked in and reason went out the window for the months to come.

I once worked with a girl in England who had an arranged marriage and only had a 30 minute meeting in which to assess the suitability of her husband. When I asked her what was she was looking for (given that they already shared a cultural background| etc.) She said someone who had a university education (like herself)| was kind| and wasn't marrying her in order to gain British requests about height or hair colour or a huge bank balance. So simple really. And yet she was really truly happy. So perhaps our western idea of romance is a tad over rated?

I've always been a practical (yet sentimental) person. So after several heartbreaks many years ago| I decided to approach the search for a love in the same manner I would searching for a house or a job.

Firstly| there was the list of essential needs - such as a man with a pulse of a marriageable age and the obligatory sense of humor.

Next| I tried to think about the life I would like to have and the ideal person I would like to share it with - the same way I would my ideal house or job. I once refused to date a lovely guy simply because he rode a motorbike!

So after thinking long and hard about my values and aspirations in life| I sat down and wrote the most comprehensive list I could. It included everything: height| education| spiritual beliefs| personal ethics - and was a wonderful way to focus my mind on what was really important to me. In the end| it wasn't how much he earned| or if he owned his own home or any of the other usual asset checklist. Rather| I was looking for someone who had the same values as me but at the same time had a complimentary personality!

From personal experience| despite best intentions| first dates always felt like interviews for the position of boyfriend/girlfriend. So| forearmed with my list| I re-entered the dating scene with renewed focus. Accordingly| when I met my future husband for a coffee and we chatted about life and I rationally recognised a kindred spirit before the influence of any hormones kicked in| I knew I should take a chance with love with him.

There are no guarantees in this life (even with a husband wish-list) - especially when it comes to love and happiness. But I'm so glad that I chose to add a dash of practicality to my search for romance. Who knows - without it I might has missed out on my own Mr. Right simply because he liked to ride motorbikes!

Nicole Burns is a part time scientist and married mother of 2 from Australia who loves chocolate and having uninterrupted conversations with grownups!