“The List”…a guide for dating

Many people make the mistake of ‘falling into infatuation’ with the ‘illusion’ the person they are attracted to, is or could be, ‘the one’. They are in hopeful mode that the deeper character of this person is a match for what their personal needs are, so they move forward in the relationship, only to get disappointed after they become ‘emotionally connected’ because things aren’t working out. Their expectations are not met, and the whole ordeal is a big disappointment.  To keep yourself ‘guarded’, and determining if this person is a match, to keep from becoming too emotionally connected too fast…here is a sample list of qualities. It is important to have

the list….

Henry Ford SAW the Model T in his mind before he developed it.  Abraham Lincoln had a VISION in his mind of leading as an influential politician, running 9 times before being elected. Hank Aaron struck out way more times than he hit home runs because he was CLEAR on hitting homeruns and determined. BELIEVE in your soul mate. ASK God to bring you favor for a companion that is well suited and aligned with your needs and desires. TRUST that God is bringing this person to you. BE CLEAR WHO THEY NEED TO BE, by making a list. Use this one as a guide. Tweak it, Delete things, add things, and re-word things. But, HAVE YOUR LIST!!

This is a real list created for a client that she and I created, as she was having trouble evaluating whether to continue in dating after certain qualities or characteristics became apparent.

I am sending this to you because I didn’t know if you had a list, and hoping this will bring you much success in your dating endeavors!!

Love & Friendship ~

Life Coach Annalisa





  1. IDENTIFY the Characteristics you must have in someone.
  2. IDENTIFY the Personal needs you must have in a relationship.
  3. IDENTIFY the Must-haves within a relationship.
  4. IDENTIFY the Red Flags that sabotage a relationship.
  5. IDENTIFY your Values to determine if someone’s values match yours or come close.


Characteristics & Must Haves:   Someone who…

  1. Is financially stable and manages their money well.
  2. Is able to talk and communicate about thoughts and feelings.
  3. Is emotionally healthy.
  4. Is able to converse about many subjects.
  5. Can civilly discuss differences-NO: yelling, name calling, changing subject, interrupting)
  6. Does not get angry or defensive & communicates without harshness.
  7. Understands me; we get each other; get on the same page consistently.
  8. Asks questions to seek understanding before jumping to assumptions.
  9. Clearly communicates desires, and goals.
  10. Listens to me, and has input about my ideas, goals, and plans.
  11. Likes to have fun.
  12. Engaged with my children, enjoys activities with family.
  13. emotionally available to me (for my needs, and needing me for theirs)
  14. has a strong work ethic, likes what they do, has passionate purpose
  15. Loves the Lord, and there are fruits in their life to show that.
  16. Goes to church not because I do, but because they like to go.
  17.  approaches our dating decisions as a ‘team’ –  brings ‘us’ together on things
  18. Takes responsibilities for personal choices, actions and obligations – not blaming or finding excuses for things in their control.
  19. A gentleman –or- A Classy woman (well mannered) (socially fits into different type environments)
  20.  is patient
  21.  is kind
  22.  is not self-centered

PERSONAL NEEDS LIST:    Someone who…

  1. is thoughtful
  2. does not criticize me
  3. Encourages and praises and compliments.
  4. provides me with affirmations that we are secure and they are happy
  5. makes me feel important
  6. Makes me feel needed.
  7. someone who makes me feel accepted for who I am
  8. takes the time to know my heart, my desires, my favorite things
  9. is helpful to me
  10. is charming and uses words to affirm their feelings and adoration for me
  11. Accepts and understands my children, their weaknesses & their strengths.
  12. has positive, warm, energy when I am around
  13. always has a kind word to say
  14. Treats other’s they don’t know well in a kind pleasant way.
  15. Will listen to my feelings, even if it’s constructive criticism, and converse without argument about it, doesn’t easily get defensive, can discuss feelings with ease.
  16. Can get to know me on a deep level, without making me feel judged.
  17. Does not put me down, passively or openly.
  18. See’s my weaknesses, but cares about me, and is patient with me anyway.
  19. can laugh with me, not ‘at me’ about things
  20. is proud to have me beside them
  21. displays affection
  22. soothes me when I’m upset rather than get angry that I’m upset
  23. will stay in close communications, talking and texting – so I’m not guessing
  24. will be understanding of my past, and allow me time to grow through issues
  25. Will have my back about things rather than try to tell me I’m wrong; or if I am wrong, tells me in a loving constructive way, not a way that is hurtful.
  26. inspires me, encourages me, and creates positive energy when we’re together
  27. is romantic
  28. shares, is kind-hearted, generous, helpful, and fair
  29. initiates plans and creates plans, not one who counts on me to do it all


  1.  values companionship (romance, team, fun, communication, laughter, travel, prayer)
  2. values family (time, patience, fun, planning, providing, encouragement, )
  3. values God (attends church, talks openly about relationship, strives for best)
  4.  values priorities (financially responsible, work ethic, puts relationship 1st, )

***First, you should determine YOUR personal VALUES and then you know if someone else will be an ideal match because you will share the same ones – in the top 4-6, if at least 2 are the same, the relationship can work. If NO values are matched in two people’s top 6, trouble can occur. People make decisions based on their inner values – so expectations would constantly be unmet if people had vastly differing values.



  • Needs to borrow money, or have you front money until…, needs you to buy something to get paid back later, and needs you to co-sign on something. Needs to borrow an item, or your time, or your labor, etc…on a consistent basis. These are all indicative that they are financially, or otherwise- unstable. Financially unstable people over 40 usually stay that way. How to determine this: Look and listen for clues that they have ‘borrowed’ someone else’s item or items. They may have some type of loan owed to a friend or loved one. They are currently renting from a friend or staying with a friend or relative. (Understandable if a young student) They may be driving a car owned by someone else, but no plans to buy it. They sometimes have a part time job, or in a job that is temporary, are unemployed, or job-hoppers.   Takers.


  • Picks at little things about you. Makes critical remarks or points out little discrepancies about you. Try’s to appear as though they are teasing, but they do not sandwich these comments with praises, adoration, compliments, or encouragement.  Corrects you. Seems disturbed when you’re confused or make a mistake, rather than correct in a gentle- fun, way with laughter.  Belittlers.


  • Is not interested in spending time with your children, friends, or family. Their time around your children is just when he’s around you; he doesn’t make an effort or show attention or understanding to grow a relationship with them individually.They seem disinterested in your friends and family is a sign they may not be that into you.  Or, they may be a control freak and unappreciated your love of family, friends, and people because they want you to their self. BIG HUGE FLAG HERE.  Homewreckers.


  • Doesn’t take you or want to go out. They always want to ‘hang out’, but not ‘go out’…They only call at the last minute or doesn’t make a plan or agree with a plan in advance. They seem to only need you late at night. Or they may only see you after they have been drinking or has been elsewhere in the day or evening. They are not making you an important ‘part’ of their world, but making you a ‘part-time- good-time friend’ outside their world-but their words tell you otherwise. They sleep with you, but may have another sexual partner(s). (Ex. Someone married or in another relationship, or getting out of a relationship, someone who travels a lot, someone who is not committed exclusively to you, etc…) Homebodies.


  • Breaks their word. When someone breaks their word, or commitment, it makes a person feel rejected. It creates the belief inside of us, that we are unimportant, and something else is ‘more’ important. Emergencies and unexpected things happen, but if this happens frequently – BE WEARY.  A person who honors their word is a person of deep, good character. People who break their word often are usually unstable emotionally, uncommitted to a purpose or plan. Tumbleweeds.


  • Lacks a purpose, or ‘focus of passion’ in some defined area of their life! People with a passionate purpose, a defined interest of some kind, whether intertwined with work, or missions, or church related or voluntarily or hobby oriented, are just not as interesting and they are just wondering and many times unhappy and searching for contentment. They lack vision, or clear direction, and will be the type of person who may continue on a quest for direction only to fail at attempts to find it, or become discouraged. They potentially may stop a continued effort and become a stagnant type person who is growing weary of life in general. A person with passion in some area of life is a person who most likely, will not depend on another person for happiness, but embrace a great relationship to be an extension of their inner joy and mission. Question to determine: What inspires you? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? What are you passionate about most in life?Drifters.


  • Doesn’t feel comfortable talking about feelings. If you encounter an emotionally unavailable person, RUN! How to determine this: They do not ask questions to gather more information when you begin talking about your feelings. They may become agitated with the conversation. They may immediately stop the conversation, leave the room, get distracted, create avoidance, or change the subject.  Funtimers.


  • Quick tempered, easily frustrated or upset, or easily angered. This is a sign of an unhealthy emotional person who obviously has some unresolved issues within themselves. They are often the very people who ‘twist’ your feelings into making you feel as though YOU have done something wrong, or behaved hastily – when in fact, they have hurt you, and aren’t healthy enough to ‘hear’ your hurt or why. How to determine this: Listen closely to their tones and attitudes toward challenges that arise in their life, they will display this toward things outside of you long before they will demonstrate this to you in the beginning of a relationship. Signs are: easily agitated with a slow server, easily argumentative with a someone over a small situation, finds fault quickly with others, shows frustration over the slightest setback, complains about work a lot, has disagreements with people often in their circle of influence, is estranged from a family member (parent, sibling, child, former partner, etc)   Maddogs.


  • Has not lived alone or outside of being involved in a relationship. This is usually a sign that this person has trouble being alone. A person who is not comfortable being alone, is usually not in tune with their inner self. Often they do not like their self, sometimes they can be insecure. They possibly can be co-dependent, not always a good choice, because no one wants to be connected to someone who is needy-clingy. Question for them to determine this: How long have you lived alone, or been in the single lifestyle without being involved in a relationship?    Dependents.


  • Seems to always see the glass half-empty, has a down-spirit about them, shows a negative attitude toward work, life, people, and challenges –This person seems  ‘mad at the world’ or- only happy when they are around other’s, in a party, or at a social event, but down when they are in a quiet setting, alone, or with just you. This type of person is subtle at first with these type characteristics, but then starts showing stronger signs of them. This is usually a sign of a depressed person, or an introverted person who is unhappy, and feels unfulfilled in some way.  This type individual often looks for and is attracted to someone outgoing, a happy energetic person. They tend to seek out positive energetic souls to make them feel accepted and worthy – but when a person doesn’t discover this on their own, within their self, their relationships will have difficulties. Question to determine this: What do you love most about yourself? People down on life will be down on their self, and most likely have terrible trouble answering this.  Downers.


  • Doesn’t attend church regularly. Not really interested in growing in a relationship with God. Doesn’t really talk about God, or Faith, or Spiritual things. Fruits of the spirit are not apparent in this person’s life (love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, patience (not pushing your way), gentleness (self-control))

Question for them to determine this: So, what’s God doing or showing you, in your life right now?



  • Draws attention to their self.In the way they dress, or the tone of their voice, or they are flirtatious regularly, or they purposely go out of their way to flaunt a behavior or talk about a subject to capture the attention of a proposed interested party – they buy personal gifts, or lavish gifts -or provide cooked items or favors over and above the normal (usually for the opposite sex) in an attempt to gain approval, or get affirmed, or just get attention. It can harm a developing relationship because these types of gestures are always misunderstood, and usually the ‘doer’ justifies their behavior as being a ‘good friend’. Beware of these types of individuals – they are searching for affirmations externally rather than find it within. Exhibitionists.

I Hope you will evaluate and tread easily into new relationships, or your current one with a greater knowledge and understanding of who you are, what you need, and create healthy boundaries, so you know who is meant in your life for a moment, a season, or a lifetime! Create your personal list….BELIEVE in this person, TRUST in God’s favor, KNOW you are deserving of this partner for life, and your soul mate will manifest!!!

Happy Dating!! May you discover your last first kiss soon!!

Life Coach Annalisa O’Toole

The ideas expressed in this blog are the sole opinions and professional advice of Life Coach Annalisa O’Toole and are for individual voluntary reading and insight is based upon personal perspective. This material is intended to be used as a guide and may not be suited for everyone.