Forget “The Husband List”


Kristen Dalton Wolfe, who blogs at She Is More, has produced a list of twelve “non-negotiables” for single women: “The Husband List.”

I won’t recreate the list here; check it out for yourself. This list includes “He is a practicing believer,” “God is the center of his life,” and “He has integrity and does not put himself in tempting situations.”

This is a demanding list: “He pursues and loves you passionately” but also “He is humble and can admit when he is wrong.”

My husband and I would never have gotten married if we had required that we already possessed these twelve ideals, and we have been happily married now for 36 years. We were working on many of those supposed “non-negotiables” at the time we met. However, some of them—like “doesn’t put himself in tempting situations”—neither of us was working on at all!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think all of these are wonderful ideals to shoot for. And God bless the young woman who finds a man who fulfills all of these right now! But I think we are all works-in-progress, and realistically, I believe we don’t display all these wonderful characteristics all at once.

Wolfe makes a very good point at the end: God surprises us.

This is exactly what Pope Francis frequently tells us: God is a God of perpetual surprises, he wrote in Lumen Fidei. In a conversation when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he described the religious experience as a surprise: “the astonishment of meeting someone who has been waiting for you all along.”  And, in his recent interview in America Magazine, he reiterates this point:

“God is always first and makes the first move. God is a bit like the almond flower of your Sicily, Antonio, which always blooms first. … God is always a surprise, so you never know where and how you will find him. You are not setting the time and place of the encounter with him. You must, therefore, discern the encounter.”

You have to discern the encounter.

I met my future husband in Hegel class. I was the smart one taking copious notes in my heavily underlined copy of The Phenomenology of Spirit. In the middle of a heavy, mind-bending discussion, I glance up to see the cute guy across the room wink at me.

A good friend of ours was pursued by her future husband for weeks (perhaps longer) while she held out. She refused to succumb to his winning personality, because she wanted to marry an Irishman. When she finally grudgingly gave in and met his parents, she discovers: surprise! He’s full-blooded Irish!

If a young man or woman has a list of twelve non-negotiables that any match must already possess before he or she can go out on a date, it may be hard to discern the encounter. They will not be ready for the surprise. As Pope Francis cautioned: “If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing.”

Better than having a ready-made list, be a man or woman of intense prayer. Then, when God surprises you with the one who has been waiting for you all along, you will discern the encounter.



  1. Michele-582217 November 24, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for the possibility to speak out. My major concern is whether or not is he catholic. Someof the nice men that you meet are baptist or methodist or some other religion that you realize that am I going to find someone that can be my best friend and then a true lover or husband. I know that I am not alone just like millions of people that going through the same thing that I am but can I find true love just by being on a catholic site, match, or even christian mingle. How do you meet Mr. Right? He’s bot going to knock on my door and sweep me off my feet. Men today are not how we hope them to be. They get involved in a relationship string the woman along and then say bye bye after one or two years of the relationship. If there is someone out there that can help me out I am willing to listen.

  2. Mary-1024727 November 19, 2013 Reply

    I am not a good poker card player. In my profile, I lay out who I am. I have prayed through reading and though thought about the seven teachings of the Church. I am rational, but heart driven person. After giving it time and thought and logical thinking. I have changed my answers to “yes.”
    I am no saint; I am a sinner. These past 36 years are filled with innocence and naivete, -and- not obeying that rational voice that does not interfere with my free will.
    So here I am among my brothers and sisters, and you have taught me.
    So I pray that God will lead me to the spouse that He chooses. My parents were prearranged. They still act like teenagers! A match maker approached my mother, but she would not interfere with my free will.
    Now I will lead a quiet life (focusing on loving myself and my personal relationship with God) and pray and hope that someone will join me along my path. Peace to you all, Mary

  3. Paul-929810 November 18, 2013 Reply

    Not too many even in the running here in England, so any woman, any age, with or without a pulse would be good enough to start with;. I have a spare pacemaker and jump leads for the deceased as long as they are still warm. I hardly even get a reply so can only assume that those who I contact are blind to my charms, or perhaps the mustache puts them off. I do have a sense of humour which many claim is important, but even that is of no avail. Perhaps I should lower my expectations even more so and accept a date with no human qualities whatsoever. I’ll wait for the alien invasion and be the first one to step up for the experiment.
    Best wishes, Paul

  4. Dominic-981542 November 18, 2013 Reply

    Hi Patricia . . i see your sharing your experience about man , And your experience comes from being a Woman .
    I wont share mine with women but I want to share with you I have never been married nor had a relation ship & for the first 20 years that had its own painful experience .
    The reasons behind that is another story but its a rare experience unlike any one who have not been married , without going into it God had made a small Mystic out of me & being one has made me more lonely , I’m 55 now & I feel God is telling me its to late for me to be married now & I know for sure he would want the same for you. . . . I only came on here thinking I might find some friends of the opposite sex because I love the nature of good woman but they too can carry thorns & spears .
    So I’m content to take life as God wills it for me .
    Praise & thanksgiving to Him & God Love you all.

  5. Patricia-846886 November 17, 2013 Reply

    I’ve been on Catholic match for nearly a year & have to say that it’s been a very interesting & primarily rewarding experience. For the most part, it’s been beneficial for me because it’s boosted myself esteem. My husband of nearly 38 years divorced me (easy to do within the state of Colorado) 7 years ago. . I was absolutely devastated & my life was turned up side down because I truly loved this man. By going through the annulment process, I was able to experience healing and understanding of why my marriage failed.
    Within the past 10 months on CM, I’ve corresponded with two amazingly wonderful men. One was my age & another 4 years older. They were both widowers & dealing with the pain of losing their wives. That honestly scared me because I couldn’t help believing I’d eventually be compared to these women. Even though I’ve always been a strong practicing Catholic and a virtuous woman, there’s a stigma attached to being a divorced Catholic. I went through such terrible pain after my husband divorced me that I honestly can’t imagine being criticized or judged by the family of a widower if I married him. I realize that sounds extremely paranoid but I believe it’s the reality for any divorced Catholic (despite an annulment) if they marry a widower. After a loved one has died, that person can become like a saint so do I want to be compared to her? No thank you . . . it’s truly not worth the grief.
    I also met a gentleman on CM who was my age & he had an annulment but he wasn’t entirely honest with me during some of the conversations we had. From him, I learned I was being too trusting. He just wasn’t who he claimed to be and that explains why he’s been on CM for nearly 6 years.

    If anyone read my profile, they’d see that I’m very orthodox and would never go outside the teachings of the Catholic Church. If it weren’t for my annulment, I wouldn’t joined because in God’s eyes & that of the Catholic Church, I’m still married.
    I could never lower my standards for any man, let alone my virtues. I’ve been flattered to have many gentlemen view my profile but 3/4 of them were a decade older than me! Or, the ones who were my age believed in sex before marriage!!!! Talk about disappointing. I want to say to them, “And you believe as a Catholic that premarital sex isn’t a mortal sin?? Where is God in your life & what priority have you given Him? Who do you seek to please, yourself or our Lord?
    As well, it’s so insane that men have such a problem with age? They truly seem to believe that they’re ‘entitled’ to a woman l0 years younger. Uh huh!! Yep..
    I can only laugh at how silly that is. I do believe that when women look in the mirror, they can be realistic about their age. Men look in the mirror and see someone much younger. I think if most of them dated within 5 years of their own age, they would have found a lovely woman by now. It’s all such wishful thinking on their part to find a younger woman.
    I think the majority of men don’t realize women aren’t desperate to marry so therefore, they aren’t interested in dating someone a generation older.
    . At my age of 67, it’s even more serious because I refuse to date anyone who’s more than 5 years older than me. Why should I? I don’t want a relationship THAT badly. I could also easily add that I can’t understand why so many men my age haven’t kept up their appearance. I know . gripe, gripe but it’s true. Appearance does matter!!! Worse yet, how many have out of date photographs? Too many, by golly 🙂 And why cut off the top of your head for a photo shot or wear a hat because that only tells me you’re bald. I don’t see anything wrong with bald and it’s much better than a comb over. . that’s just the worst! I think the bottom line is, “IF you want an attractive woman, it’s necessary that you be physically attractive to her. Goes both ways ya know. . . .
    Surprisingly, the longer I remain single, the more I realize what a great life I already have. Marriage is no longer so appealing to me and esp. because most men my age aren’t realistic about women. They don’t read about who I am as a person but rather how old I am. I believe as well that the majority of men on CM don’t want a Godly woman but primarily one who will first & foremost, meet THEIR needs. That’s all so disappointing to me.
    I’ve no doubt that if God wants to put someone special in my life, it will happen without Catholic Match. Our Lord knows me inside & out. He is so good and has blessed my life in so many wonderful ways. I only have total praise & thanksgiving to Him for all he’s done for me. Thank you CM for letting me speak my peace. And may God bless Catholic Match.
    Within our Lord’s peace,

  6. Connie C. November 16, 2013 Reply

    I had missed few S par of “he” singular verb, sorry

  7. Connie C. November 16, 2013 Reply

    I will post a comment in here to share relate to the subject, but, after two weeks of becoming a member in here I met a nice man who was in another old profile belong to another site in which I posted couple pictures with my Church in the back groun, me in the Yard with my family group. There, in this particular pictures, he saw his work place and he went at heart and questioned me about it.. A new construction building where he is the architect next to the Church. So, he asked me to meet in person in his lunch hours and, I agreed since I live behind the Church myself.. That happened about two months, right after my enrollment in Catholic Match. I was about to close the other site. We went for coffee, then lunch, followed by couples dinners 7 in total, all paid for him by 5pm, never late night, and now, we are in a commitment to stay together a least for 40 years according with his words. Good feeling, we, are both 68th, He is Christian and requested me his desire to visit my Church with me on Sunday, feeling sorry when he missed it. He also said that he does not matter my believe, That he like me the way am I. He only want to be at my side in the Church. When in there, sitting next to me, he search for my right hand and hold it all the time that the service last.
    I think that my 6 month enrolled in CM, will not help me more than What I all ready have found. So that is why I are not entering to search, beside that, from CM I only receive private mails in my personal mail by CM saying that someone view my profile, Or someone leave a message for me, and they only are a impersonal flirts. No real typing words, That do not make me to open it. I dislike flirts, So, for now I am running slow until my 6 months are over hoping that when this happen I will continue this new born relation that i stared with Nathaniel. Am Spanish and he is an American born man a sweet man!

    • Dominic-981542 November 17, 2013 Reply

      Good For Connie . . Its good to hear some one say i dislike Flirts . . God Love you & keep you safe .

  8. Barbara-1009428 November 15, 2013 Reply

    Lori, You’ve said it all. I couldn’t have said it better. I was married twice as long as you were and there was lots of baggage. Good and not so good. Amazing how when they are gone you remember the good baggage in capital letters and that bad baggage is in small letters. And yes we would love to see their face again, give them a big hug and appreciate the heck out of them….more than we did when we had them around. So my list now would probably be the same as my list the first time – respect and similar values.

  9. Michael G. November 15, 2013 Reply

    Wow, I’m honest caring and love being active. Currently I’m a graduate student at the University of Phoenix Lone Tree Campus studying Special Education, and hope to graduate spring 2015 and be working in the field by Fall 2015 in Northern Colorado close to my two children that I am involved in their lives very much. I love sports and have coached baseball, basketball, football and even soccer. I love to dance, and will again once recovered from a foot injury and surgery. I like the outdoors, and movies too. I enjoy romantic evenings and walks in the park. God is a very important part of my life and my family, as my girls are in a Catholic school to enjoy a good education and learn about the bible.

  10. Maggie-960484 November 14, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for this post, it certainly makes us take note and think about why we are struggling in our quest. As mentioned in an earlier post, I think you do need a basic list of ‘must’ and ‘must not’, 🙂 and I mean basic.
    To start off with you have to know yourself and what you desire in a mate, and that sounds easier than it really is, we are constantly growing. For me right off the bat if a man does not have a Christ centered view of his life and the world then, unfortunately, I don’t proceed; this is very important to me. I am trying to walk the walk and I would want to have my God-mate walk with me. The same goes with the ‘must not’; the basics here are taken care of IF he is walking the walk and seeking to poses the character of Christ.
    Now we all have that subconscious list and that goes into gear the minute we see a potential suitor, 🙂
    That’s where the blonde blue eyed bombshell gal or the tall, dark and handsome guy, come to play. After all, we are human, so we must constantly try to put these judgments aside and allow God to shine through the other without the worldly influences.
    God speed in your journey!

  11. Dominic-981542 November 14, 2013 Reply

    A huge list or any list of no value comes from immaturity & shallowness , These Women are dissent for a man who has no respect for them & treat them badly & then divorce . . because they held no value for respect . . . to value respect is not to add any think of no value with . . to do that is the ignorance towards it .

  12. Thomas-640812 November 14, 2013 Reply

    Women want so much from men ! I meet them in so many places and one can almost see the mind working at “sorting out” exactly who you are. I had arranged to meet a particular woman for a coffee and found out that the woman at the next table was her friend, who, I found out later, had been brought in to assess me as a Man, or possiable suiter ! What happened to romance ! Women never cease to surprise me in their demands on men ! We, it seems to me, would need to be supermen to satisfy thier criterion ! They can never see the real Man, most of what they want is to do with thier own wellbeing and future wellfare, nothing to do with the Man, other than what he can supply in material and other benefits ! It is no wonder that they have such huge lists, as they have such huge demands ! But I have noticed that it does not work in the opposit way ! Oh no, just present yourself Madam and all will be well ! Take as much as you want, no need to repay. How much must we Men give of ourselfs ? We work our bodys to destruction in order to create and maintain a family, only to have it all taken away and then when we try to get back into the race of life, we are met with stoney faced and hearted ” individuals” who want not only, like their sisters, our goods, but also our souls ! Make your lists but ask yourselfs, is this what a Man is made of !

  13. Brigitta-923334 November 14, 2013 Reply

    I had a list. Looking back now, I know my list was way too long. As I’m sure it’s been mentioned a dozen times, there is no perfect human being, WOMAN OR MAN… I formed a friendship only a few weeks ago with a man I never dreamed of befriending, due to my ‘list’ (albeit it has shortened over the years). However, once I got past the few things I really didn’t like about him, I realised we had so much in common, we got along like a house on fire!
    Start with friendship and if the romance grows from there, so much the better…..

  14. John-876419 November 13, 2013 Reply

    It seems like a good idea to have such a list but it seems to me like it would not work. I think you have to get to know someone as well as you can and then decide if you share the same vision or not.


  15. Carolyn-265134 November 13, 2013 Reply

    Some good ideas were presented. However realized that if you put too many items on the list you may never make much progress to your goal. “Be loose, be easy, forget the last war and the one to come,” is from an old poem. I do not believe “loose” and “easy” has a negative connotation. More of one of acceptance of possibilities.

  16. Altagracia-699268 November 13, 2013 Reply

    …Thanks for it!!!…Is a great idea with list..Hope, i have the best result and good luck with a list yours provide for the member with a log time waiting for long time, traying for get my soul mate and my husband very soon, and finally marriage and found my ideal partner and a good relationship for ever..Thanks…

    ….God is good, and hope listen to me and sending to me the special man with good feelings, loyal, and real love!!!..

    ..With Sincerelly and Special Thanks…


  17. Yvette-1026241 November 13, 2013 Reply

    I want to say that I am surprised about Catholics not agreeing with the Catholic teachings on pre marital sex and contraception. I have read different profiles and if they do not agree with these teachings I know that down the road I will be at risk if a man does not truly love God enough to obey His commands. Yes it is difficult when a relationship is serious and physical intimacy becomes a temptation. I want the confidence that my future husband will not jeopardize my soul and my relationship with God. He should want to protect me and help me to be pure in Gods’ eyes. These are the most important “lists” we may need to guide us.

  18. SusanMarie-612261 November 13, 2013 Reply

    I have always known this to be true, but this does not mean that both men and women should not have at least three to five major requirements. They might consist of practicing the Catholic faith, being a widower, single or have had divorce annulled, A gentleman who can bring equal value or finance to the relationship, no smoking or tattoos living within driving distance of your geographical area.

  19. Dave H. November 13, 2013 Reply

    Robyn, you have reignited my desire to find a mate! With the way the world has coarsened, I didn’t think there were any women who had those qualities on their “list”. It’s nice to know they still exist, maybe I just haven’t been looking in the right places. After four serious but fruitless relationships, I had pretty much given up, but maybe there is hope. Really don’t want to be a lifelong bachelor.

  20. Allen-715333 November 13, 2013 Reply

    To all the single people out there,

    The list… I don’t think we should down play the list for what it really is… It is what we are comfortable and compatible with… It does exist for all of is. We all need to compare these lists to see if we sync. BUT, I think you have to use the 80 / 20 rule here. The list should be prioritized in to “must haves” and things that would be “just nice if” I think the most important thing is to be honest with ourselves as to what is really important for the long haul. If most of the big needs are meant, then the rest is extra.

    I wouldn’t get to hung up on finding the perfect “match” or you could be single for a long time. I am a firm believer in each taking a honest compatibility test like what is offered on sites like e harmony or other forms of Q & A tests… and then discuss the results… honestly with each other.

  21. Dominic-981542 November 13, 2013 Reply

    P.S . . Woman . . . . do not have a list more then a few words , throw it a way & pray to be worthy of some one your selves . . NO ONE is PERFECT & what you ask for is less then perfect because all those things you ask for in a MAN you don’t have your selves .

  22. Dominic-981542 November 13, 2013 Reply

    We don’t all have a list because some of us know its wrong to ask for to much & its a sin.
    Here is my list . . that the Wife knows & understand the value of respect , How its important for a Female to have & all that she ask for above any thing else . end of list.

    Here is how a Woman’s list should be . . . All i ask for above any think else is a Husband who respects me as a Lady because without that I am nothing. . end of list.

    In all the divorce cases i have seen , which is 90% of relationships , at least 96% of them have all the wrong answers as to why there marriage was a failure.

    There is a lot of shallowness in asking for to much from a person that is not of value & its so wrong .
    I think its evil when women ask for ” He must be this He must be that” ” he has to be funny , must love out doors & in doors hug up on the couch with me watching a good romantic movie as well , a good sense of Humor , he must know how to please me & loves my dog , he must be a hard worker & love’s me for who I am , He must be fit & handsome , its a must his always there for me & gives me my space . He must dress well & makes me laugh . . . !
    It is SO WRONG.

  23. Adolfo-1018078 November 12, 2013 Reply

    Hey! the thing that I do not like is when the women said: “they want for God to send someone”, that they accept whatever God choose for them!” but…….what they really want is a clone of George Clooney\Brad Pitt,…….and with a career like Lawyer or MD, guess what? that kind of guy do not participate here…..

    • Dominic-981542 November 13, 2013 Reply

      There’s truth in what your saying Adolfo , But not all woman.

  24. Darin-991166 November 12, 2013 Reply

    Having been in a troubled relationship, I too was looking for the template to finding the right woman. I came across Steven Wood’s “The ABC’s of Choosing a Good Wife”, but I realized before I could expect a woman to be everything I was looking for, I needed to be everything she was looking for, so I first read Steven Wood’s “The ABC’s of Choosing a Good Husband” to get myself in order. I don’t profess to have obtained all the attributes of an ABC Good Husband, but I know that’s the kind of person I want to be for whomever I am supposed to be with. Maybe the two of us can help each other get to our personal best together.

  25. Michelle-640571 November 12, 2013 Reply

    One of the other posters had it so right… Who made that list: You? God? Society? I went to the National Singles Conference in Philly at the end of September 2013. Fully expecting to come home and end a budding relationship with a “non-catholic” who had taken an interest in me. The chemistry was great, age difference-good, goals-good, basic values-good; but I wasn’t sure we “met” in the right places namely morality and Catholic. As I said it was a very early relationship, in fact I had met him several times before I relented and gave him my phone number. I had prayed hard about it before I did.

    When I got back he had already done some soul searching and had begun learning about the Catholic Faith enough to understand why this was so important to me. I realized quickly due to something in my life, that this relationship may well be “the one”. There are other hurdles to be sure, and the process is still early. What I realized is my narrow view that only stated Catholic may well have excluded a man who is now teaching me things about MY Faith…. He’s asking questions I have to think about, research and find a good reason for. He isn’t hostile, he truly wants to learn, and to learn with him has been a gift. He is going to RCIA next fall, he’s already talked to a priest. As well he is closer to my value system than almost any other Catholic man I’ve dated. I’m not a cradle Catholic, but was not well catechized. He is catechizing me as well, to learn and share together, that is a gift.

    Throw away the list, and listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.

  26. Elizabeth-712199 November 12, 2013 Reply

    My only requirement is that the man I fall in love with put God first in all things, because if he does, everything else is insignificant. I found that man, and for awhile I was truly Blessed, unfortunately for me God had other plans and he took him home 13 years ago.

  27. Paul-858743 November 12, 2013 Reply

    The main thing women want is Hollywood good looks and most importantly a six-figure income! Trust me I know.

    • Carolyn-265134 November 13, 2013 Reply

      I do not believe this at all! Women do not care about looks or money as much as you think!

  28. Lori-1020607 November 12, 2013 Reply

    My list is a nice smile and kind eyes. When I message him, I would like that he responds and takes the next step to ask me a question or questions. When you’ve lost the love of your life of 20 plus years you realize the rest comes nauturally. If he is a nice man you will soon find out when you talk to him. No one is perfect, you have to grow together. I can remember all the things that use to make me mad that Doug would or wouldn’t do, It’s a relationship that you have to work at, it’s not a fairy tale. Then they are suddenly taken from you and all the things you thought were wrong with them becomes mute. All the things you remember from that point on are all good and I would give anything for him to walk in the door with his work boots on and get dirt on my newly mopped floor. So, no list but you have to have an attraction to him, no matter what that attraction is that sparks your interest.

  29. Stacey-871864 November 12, 2013 Reply

    I would like to find a man who is honorable and trustworthy and who I can’t live without and will be with me through the good times and the bad… someone who can show a woman what it feels like to be loved and loved in return as well as treated with respect. A man who will show interest in me and make me feel wanted and that I exist in this world and not just pass me by….but most of all someone who shares my faith and way of life.

  30. Michael-978729 November 12, 2013 Reply

    My priorities have changed. I realized my parents and grandparents had specific roles that kept them married. As a man I need to keep my career as a primary focus and making money. My Dad left the church many times when his beeper went off and he had to attend to a patient at the hospital. The women took care of the children and the house. For a women to have a career meant no children or a spouse. Many rich men are to busy for a woman. They do not help there career. Women have been lead to believe they can have a fantasy career, children and a happy husband. This is false. At 49, I judge women hard. First is the relationship with her ex lover? 90% fail that selfish act. Her family dynamics with my family dynamics. Including religion. And personally like if she’s an outdoors girl, the mall is fine but the mud is cheaper.

  31. Mary P. November 12, 2013 Reply

    Also, he is around my age, Catholic, prefer widowed so I can marry again in the Church. Basically a good man with strong values of hard work, taking care of his health, and his family.

  32. Mary P. November 12, 2013 Reply

    I am widowed. My list is that the man is honest, caring, will grow to love my child, and treat me with love as well as being my best friend and not smoke.

  33. Kathleen-1027084 November 12, 2013 Reply

    I’m not looking for perfection. And at our age, I care little about looks. I want someone with a kind heart, a good brain and a well-nurtured soul. Someone who loves God and his neighbor as himself. A person who is open to being loved and loving. Someone who will make me a cup of tea when I’m sick, celebrate my successes and support me when times are tough. I’m looking for a companion, a partner, a man who is not afraid to take a risk for love. In return, I will love him with all my heart and soul.

  34. Janice-1021998 November 12, 2013 Reply

    OK, don’t have a specific husband list. Actually, just turned 66, never married (though had oppty’s) and do not believe I’d be good at it – so independent, after doing everything for myself for so many years. I do enjoy a good man’s companionship & miss being around men after many years of working in business. Recently joined Catholic match looking for companionship, fun, a travel friend . . . with a man of faith, strong value system. Messaged one man for a week, chatted on phone & met. He did not look like my “ideal” so made a plus/minus list to clarify my overall feeling after meeting. So I think this may be kind of list:
    Plus: he is smart, family oriented ( heavily involved with 2 daughters & granddaughter), independent & seemed to have a sense of humor thru messages
    Minus: had to wait a while for him at meeting place, despite convenient location for him; seemed distracted, looking at TV in restaurant & did not have questions for me (not good communicator in messages either) married & divorced 2x! (grown daughter divorced) did not offer to walk me to my car or call to check I arrived home ok

  35. Shara-994552 November 12, 2013 Reply

    My list:

    1) Has a similar value system or is willing to very deeply respect my value system
    2) Is interesting to talk with
    3) Is someone I deeply respect
    Less essential but still pretty important to me:
    4) Is in a compatible stage in life

    If I don’t find someone meeting these requirements, I’ll just visit my friends and their kids a lot, go traveling and camping by myself, and save enough to support myself in old age. it’s just not worth it to compromise on these things, and then be burdened by an unhappy marriage. Maybe, though, I’ll luck out and will find someone meeting these requirements who wants to spend the rest of our lives together!

  36. Jacki-746978 November 12, 2013 Reply

    God’s Blessings to you all as you pray hard and move forward in finding a love and spiritual partner for life.
    I am going to speak for the women AND men who are beautiful, caring, and forgiving–so much so that they drop their “list” and decide that the only thing that matters is Church and that “they love ME.” Overlooking things that others would discern in their “unconscious” list, which I fully believe we all have.
    I am a therapist, I do therapy…. I see potential in every one of God’s creations. I have found out the hard way that in order for me do His will to the fullest, I cannot marry someone without checking my “list.”
    There is NOTHING on my list about hair color, teeth, jobs, looks, cars, house, etc… There are other things like Catholic, prayerful, HAPPY, and someone who just oozes Christ with a big smile on His face!
    Being alone is ok too, I want the person I am with to know that I chose them because they are special to me, not because I settled on the first warm, willing, Catholic body I found.
    Have fun, but be SAFE,

  37. Kim-989867 November 12, 2013 Reply

    I learned long ago, i cannot put my expectations on my husband, God rest his soul,he would never be able to live up to them, because they are my fantacy of what i thought he should be. I had to learn to love and respect and encourage who God made him to be! One can apply that to our other relationships as well!
    Peace and All Good

    • Richard-687611 November 12, 2013 Reply

      A list, yes! We all have and need a list. The question is, “What should be on that list?” Everyone, I am sure, on Catholic match has one very important item on their list and that is, they are looking for a spouse that a good practicing Catholic; not just Catholic in name.

      In the article by Robin Lee, she lists some silly items to show how Mr. or Miss. perfect doesn’t exist. However, there are some items that should be on our list. In the post/article above by Laraine Bennett there are some very good items to consider and at least discuss with a potential spouse.

      I read a book some years ago titled “How to Tell in Two Dates if He or She is worth pursuing.” The author, who is a psychologist that did marriage consulting for 25 years, suggests two list; one is a must have and the other is cannot have. The items in these lists are deal breakers; things you cannot live without or with. For example, for me in my must have is she must be a devout practicing Catholic, and in my list of cannot haves is she cannot smoke. These are qualities that I could not live without or with; deal breakers. One thing that he pointed out is more than 10 items in either list and you will never find anybody. He also states that making exceptions and dropping just one quality from either list put you in a high probability of divorce after the honeymoon phase wore off. Some thoughts you might want to give consideration to.

      As it is for Paul, it is for me also, that she must first and foremost give a positive response to all of the faith questions.

  38. Lisa-829947 November 12, 2013 Reply

    I am older than many looking to marry with a divorce/annulment behind me. At 49 I now want a man to care about himself so he won’t die young, not so he will be “hot”. I want him to be financially secure because I can’t support him financially, not because I want a fancy ring or designer purses. I want him to be a good example and mentor to my newly adult son, and to like him…if he wants to be a father, I hope he has the selfless maturity to consider unconventional options, like adopting an older child.

    I hope he will accept that I don’t have a 25 year old body, and that he’ll still find me attractive when I pull my readers out to look at the menu on the first date. I hope he will be ok that instead of growing old together, we’re growing older. I ho

    I hope he has been through good times, and done trying times and that he is mature enough to know our histories are “Life”, not “baggage”. I hope his faith has been tested and tempered and that he believes what he says and does not because his parents and teachers said so, but because his life experience has shown him the right path.

    I hope for a companion fir the rest if my life who will be fun on vacation, be good company fir an evening in with a movie, and who will like my dog.

    I don’t care if he sends me flowers, but if I have to go to work when I don’t feel well, he will be my romantic ideal if he brushes the snow off my car.

    I hope he will just really like me, and choose to he with me because it’s fun and comfortable, not because I’m chained to his ankle,

    It goes without saying he will be a man if God, because if he is not, there is no moral foundation.

  39. Emma-976028 November 12, 2013 Reply

    I would like to meet a Godly man with, but what I may want may not be in God’s plans and that’s fine with me.

  40. Allyson-810761 November 12, 2013 Reply

    I am not afraid to admit that I have a list. But when it comes down to it, all I want is a man who is a good guy, preferably Catholic who will love me for who I am and understands real marriage. I want a guy who will prove to me that not all men are bad

    • Dominic-981542 November 13, 2013 Reply

      And you will Allyson . . seek respect & value it above all else & you cant go wrong .

  41. Sara-329369 November 12, 2013 Reply

    Love Paul’s and Christine’s comments! The faith questions are a biggee for me too. I like the way Paul put this, that of course we will struggle with some, but the basic belief should be there.
    Haven’t updated my profile in ages but maybe I need to go back, remove some items, and add teeth…

  42. Paul-929810 November 12, 2013 Reply

    And as a Post Script to Christine;
    I still have all my own teeth but no job, would you settle for that – possibly?
    Best wishes,
    PPS And I am still breathing without the aid of a respirator!

  43. Eleanor-607703 November 12, 2013 Reply

    Have you ever heard of CHMOG or CHWOG? When I was in my 20’s and went on a Catholic Singles “Barnabas” retreat (where I met my late husband), someone told me about CHMOG and CHWOG. Your article reminded me of that. CHMOG stands for Catholic Holy Man of God and CHWOG, as you may now have guessed, is Catholic Holy Woman of God. You write a letter/or list of what you are seeking in your CHMOG/CHWOG and you can be very specific. Then you pray that God sends you the person for you but also, that God changes you to be the CHMOG/CHWOG for the person He has for you. This of course does not mean changing your personality or your moral convictions.
    I don’t feel my list is too outrageous. I am looking for a Catholic Man of God who wants to continue growing in his faith, who will encourage me to continue growing in my faith, who puts family above others, and is open to personal growth. Of course he’d want to get to know my children too and understand that they are not looking for another father (theirs is in heaven watching over them) as they are teenagers. What I would like is a good role model man for my children. … Okay, am I asking too much? Because I have been on Catholic Match for 3 years and the really nice men I have met tend to shy away from commitment as soon as the dating looks like it could move into a nice commitment relationship. It could be also that I have a teenage daughter with special needs (Down syndrome). But I’m a good mom and not looking for someone to take over advocating for. I’ve learned to do that and am teaching her to advocate for herself.
    I’d love to be in a committed loving and faith filled relationship that can/will lead to marriage but in the meantime I know that I am where I am supposed to be for today.

  44. Paul-929810 November 12, 2013 Reply

    Well, yes, we all have lists but some of us might not know it or even own up to it. I imagine that for most men it would be that the potential partner would be leggy and slim, long blond hair and become willing after a few cocktails. For women I imagine the list, either owned or possibly hidden, would be that ‘he’ is tall and strong with wavy dark hair and bright blue eyes and good endurance!

    And how false this all is and yet how powerful these features are in this dating game, For me the main items of utmost importance are first of all a positive response to all of the ‘faith questions’

    If a woman, even if she is in the street next door and everything that I would find attractive, says that she does not accept church teaching on, say, contraception or women priestesses, well- that’s a no starter. Sure we can struggle at times, especially around pre-marital sex and so called natural family planning, but struggling to accept Church teaching is a world away from not accepting it at all. I just don’t know how anyone can call themselves a Good Practicing Catholic and yet not tick all those boxes.

    And a very old and happily married friend once said to me: “go for the ugly one – she will always be faithful and no one will want to take her away from you!” ……… not always true but worth consideration?

    What do you think,

    • Emese-981841 November 13, 2013 Reply

      I was reading all answers that showed many kind of consideration of the =list=. I am absolutely agree with your view .The basic issue is fate how the person agree or not with fate teaching.Human should be not have own view about any question if really has God in his or her heart.

    • Shelly-1016830 November 18, 2013 Reply

      Paul – it’s nice to see a “fellow” on here. I’m a newbie, but I agree with you on the 7 questions and so far it seems not too many guys agree. Your friend’s line about what kind of a gal to choose, ugly I think it was, etc. is not fair. There are those of us, that have been called pretty, beautiful, even hot LOL, who are on board with the holy 7 and would make loving, loyal wives for the right one. Don’t give up (that’s for me too).

      God Bless,
      Now back to that list…

  45. Christine-1008247 November 12, 2013 Reply

    My list of criteria have dwindled to teeth and a job.

    • Ann-69118 November 12, 2013 Reply


    • Anita-471998 November 13, 2013 Reply

      ROFL, I might get there soon:)

    • Krystle-814664 November 13, 2013 Reply


    • Hope-994361 November 15, 2013 Reply

      Christine. You were too funny. Since subscribing to CM after being widowed for 2 years, no one has made me laugh, thanks. none of the guys make funny remarks. Good luck. I just had to comment.

  46. Ann-69118 November 11, 2013 Reply

    I never had a set list other then what you would need to make a relationship work. Someone who is honest, Christian, respects my beliefs, not into drama. It’s when I’m flexible with what I’m looking for that I run into trouble. Everyone will have issues it’s finding someone who’s issues you can live with I think is the key.

  47. Faith-1027282 November 11, 2013 Reply

    Love the article, 🙂

  48. Joan-529855 November 10, 2013 Reply

    After first reading this article I wanted to “agree”, but then I clicked on the bloggers “husband list” and decided I agree with the blogger more than the author of this article. The reason I agree with the blogger is because of my own experience. When I met my former husband I didn’t have a “list” because I was too busy going to school and working and didn’t have time to “date”. He entered my life first as a friend of a friend from “mass on the grass” at the Newman Center, then as a friend at a bible study.. I believe that if I had a “list” I would NOT have married him and would have been spared the heartache of infidelity and divorce. The “list” is very important, to weed out those that either do not have the ability to be spouses or have not yet matured to that point. My former husband didn’t have a “list” either, which was a mistake on his part as well. He was just looking for anybody that would show an interest in him, which I wish I had known at the time. He is still this way today; anybody that shows interest in him becomes his latest “girlfriend”. The “list” is very important; it shows that you love yourself enough to take care of yourself.

  49. Cynthia-990702 November 10, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for this article, more than words can say I appreciate your real world advice. I had two lists from two different publications, combined into one list. Finding someone who met all my qualifications was impossible to say the least. I]ve passed up many an invite while waiting for the ‘perfect’ one to find me. Finding an ideal man in a less than ideal world is a tough assignment. Finding a man with many ideal qualities is another story. God Bless

  50. Nolan-977240 November 10, 2013 Reply

    This is so true, the other thing for women to remember is that they’re not perfect either too. God has a better imagination than we do, maybe the person that He sees as perfect for us is completely different than the person we think is the “perfect” person . . . maybe the person God has in store for us doesn’t fit ANY of our subjective criteria. God knows better than we do, and that’s why I am a firm believer that we should keep an open mind when dating and give everyone at least one chance. The problem is that no one knows how to just get to know someone and take things slow, so they mentally go into dating with the stakes placed way too high. That’s why I think many of the “church girls” I meet are their own worst enemies when it comes to dating, they get this list in their heads and it basically comes from all these romance novels and movies, (which by the way are written by people who usually are failures when it comes to relationships) and it turns many young women these days into stuck up and judgmental jerks who won’t give anyone a chance. The church-going girls I meet that are actually approachable and normal are the ones that usually have boyfriends 99% of the time, and I don’t think that’s any coincidence. Young women these days are often times their own worst enemies when it comes to relationships, and when you look at the broader picture, that’s why marriage is in such a sad state too I believe. Here’s a radical idea, what if we as Christians started actually acting like it in relationships and instead of judging someone as soon as we meet them (or even before we even meet them or talk to them) we tried to look at them with eyes of love as God The Father does, looking past the surface to see the beautiful qualities and all the wonderful potential that God sees when He looks at them and imprinted on them along with His image when He created them? If more people did that, I think there would be a lot more marriages, a lot less divorce, and a lot more young women who were pleasantly surprised like you and your friend were to find that the man God had for them maybe wasn’t the one they thought it would be, but maybe God had something better in mind. Instead people are getting married later and later and they start to feel their biological clock ticking and they end up settling, but the sad thing is, I’m sure God introduced them to many great people along the way, if they would have just taken the time to notice.

  51. Chad-988613 November 10, 2013 Reply

    Thank you Laraine – this is one of the better articles I’ve read in a while. I’ve often wondered how many potentially positive relationships are never allowed air to breathe and come to life -because one or both of the parties involved has a list? Do I have a list? If so -who made the list God, me, or society? Does my list help or hinder my readiness for the surprise God wants to give me? Also do I see others as a work in progress? Or am I demanding something that will never be -a completed project?

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