Think about the last time you wrote a list. It may have been a daily to-do list. It could have been a guest list or a list of the classes needed for upcoming semesters. But, when was the last time you wrote down or thought about a list of things for future romantic relationships? This is what I like to call “the list”.

My ListWhen I was a little girl I loved watching princess movies. One of my favorites was The Little Mermaid and my favorite parts were when she was singing and when,*spoiler alert*, she and Eric were married in the end.At that age, the only thing on my “list” was he must be a prince in a kingdom far far away. As a nineteen-year-old this requirement sounds silly, but the idea of “the list” is still something I hold onto. Many people have them. I have talked to a couple of people lately who have said things along the lines of, “he meets everything on my list”. Some of the common items on these lists are, “he must be taller”, “must want kids”, “must love to travel”, etc.

We can compare “the list”, to a grocery store shopping list. There are things that cannot and should not be taken off. These items should be non-negotiable. One of these items for me is a relationship where God is the center, but there are other things that are absolutely essential. If a person does not have the non-negotiable quality, then he or she may not be the person for you. There are also qualities of a person that you never would have considered to put on “the list”. Like when the new flavor of Oreos ends up in the cart because you had no idea they even existed. That is one of the points of dating. I have added to my list over the years because of this, I had no idea there were some aspects of a man that have now become important to me. There are also items on the grocery list, like the want for six different types of juice when you really only need two. As a relationship progresses, you will learn that there are some things that are not as important, and this could be because you realize that you do not actually like that quality, or because there is another quality that is even better.

However, I urge caution in removing things from your list. It is a rough position to be in, knowing you are settling for something when you know you deserve better. I believe everyone who has a list has created it for a reason and has, hopefully, put some thought and time into it. I also believe that each person deserves and should wait for someone to come along who fits the list perfectly, or who exceeds the expectations. I like to think that God will bring someone along who exceeds my list of wants and needs because that is just how great He is.

The last thing I have to say is, God has a plan. There are times I like to think I know what is best for me and I like to think I know for sure everything I want in a future romance. There may have been times where God has looked at me and said,

“You have no idea what I have in store for you”.