1. Jewish
  2. 34-40 years old
  3. 6’+
  4. Kind
  5. Funny
  6. Successful
  7. Smart
  8. Educated
  9. Generous
  10. Close with family
  11. Has good friends
  12. Athletic and fit
  13. Chivalrous
  14. Outdoorsy
  15. Foodie
  16. Likes going to concerts
  17. Well-traveled and wants to travel
  18. Etc., etc., etc. …

Whether you’ve written down your list or just have it in your head, we all have an idea of what we want in a mate. We also have an idea of the items on the list we are willing to compromise on and the ones that are deal-breakers. If your list is too short, then you may find yourself settling for someone who isn’t up to par. If your list is too long, then you have an explanation as to why you are still single: because no one can meet your expectations.

Fantasy vs. Reality

Take the above list, for instance. Obviously, Judaism is important enough to you that you signed up for JDate; but perhaps, how religious or traditional someone is can be negotiated. Beyond that, consider whether the age range should be widened; the idea that a man slightly under six feet should not be eliminated; successful can be subjective; and smart and educated are two different things. There are other things that may need to be thought of in more realistic terms, as well; for example, no family is without their drama, so don’t expect perfection.

Another thing to consider: how important, exactly, are someone’s interests and hobbies? If a prospect is into the exact same things, then life may be easy, but it may also get boring. If a prospect doesn’t like any of the same things, then you may broaden each other’s horizons, but you may also find it difficult to agree on what to do together. The above list has four of those items, so if two (half) are met, that’s a pretty good common ground – enough things to bond you, and enough to keep things interesting.

Revising Your List

Using the tips described above, you should have been able to whittle down your list without feeling like you’re settling. Some items may be redundant, some may be fluid, some may change in the future. Here’s what the list could look like after adjusting it:

  1. Jewish
  2. 34-46 years old
  3. Tall
  4. Kind (generous, chivalrous)
  5. Funny
  6. Successful/passionate about what he does
  7. Good people in his life
  8. Active
  9. Has similar hobbies and interests (outdoors, foodie, concerts, travel)

There are definitely missing pieces here, but you get the gist of how to narrow a list down – in this case, by half. Of course, “looking to get married,” “wants to have kids” or “has kids” could be other items to add based on your agenda. The point is to figure out what your make-or-break items are (this should be in the single digits) while at the same time being willing to be flexible. You won’t feel like you are settling if you refuse to give up your core values; but at the same time, you’ll open yourself up to more people who could potentially be great matches for you!

You may also be interested in Your No-Pressure Dating Guide For The Holiday Season

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