Sunday, November 21, 2010

Setting Standards or Restricting Reality?!

First of all, let me say this BLOG, BLOG, BLOG. Apparently, the last post wasn't nearly as dramatic as some of mine have been so my mother and youngest sister said it read more like "blah, blah, blah" except since it's a blog, they were being funny and saying "blog, blog, blog." Don't worry -- I'm not offended. It's good that not all of my posts are gut wrenching, tear-inducing, laughter-crazed musings. Variety is the spice of life and keeps things interesting (and hopefully, friends and family reading the latest situations and thoughts about my life).

Now then....back to reality! :)

I'm pretty sure we all know about setting standards. There are standards of learning in classrooms all across America, standards for health and occupational safety, standards for professionals in every field, etc., etc. We may not always know who is setting the standards, but we are usually pretty informed about what they are and how we should measure up to be successful in meeting those identified standards. I'm well aware that individuals set personal standards as well--live a certain way, act appropriately in accordance with pre-determined ideals, interact with others based on established criteria.

I have standards for myself, but have never really laid out standards for others that I may encounter in personal relationships. My mom was asking me at dinner tonight if I had ever made a list of what I'd want in a guy that I was dating....and the answer was no, not really. I mean, I have a sense of what kind of guys I like, but that's about it. So she then asked me to think of some characteristics that would be "deal breakers" in moving forward, using the knowledge from my past relationships to set (higher) standards. Of course, then Devinne said this was definitely going to become fodder for blog posts and I laughed and said "but of course."

After some interesting input from the two of them and some brainstorming by myself with explanations, I was able to develop a list of core standards for any future guy to be considered as a possible "Mr. Right." My intent is to know what I don't want so that I can avoid the pitfalls of familiar traps in ignoring deal breakers until too much time has elapsed and I'm already emotionally vested in the relationship. That being said, I'm going to document this list and keep it in my Bible for prayer. Yes, I'm that kind of girl who prays for my future husband who is at present, uncertain and perhaps even unknown. I don't want to restrict reality or put God in a box by saying the guy must meet all checklist requirements for romantic consideration. At the same time, there are standards that will help keep me from twisting reality to maintain the romance.

Lots of details can be included in each of the overarching ideas (standards) for Mister Right, but here are the basics:
1. Christian - must share my faith in God as the ruler of heaven and earth, worship Him in spirit and in truth, acknowledge Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, and be capable of serving as spiritual head of the household (yes, you can be the boss of me if God is the boss of you!)
2. Sense of Humor - must be capable of laughing at self and others in the situations that need such humorous doses of medicine for the soul, appreciate corny jokes and a laugh that almost always includes snorting (mine), entertain with a smile that melts my heart, sees the bright side of life even in the stormy trials and tribulations
3. Common Heritage - must be caucasian, able to appreciate or share European ethnicity from generations past, enjoy traditions that are comparable to my own, fellowship over international cuisine, and have more in common than not when it comes to race, ethnicity, customs, etc.
4. Work Ethic - must possess a strong work ethic, be willing to invest the time and energy necessary to accomplish the tasks required, make ends meet or not expect to sponge off of my finances, pull their own weight in household responsibilities (financial stability, practical chores), never show signs of apathy or laziness (different from enjoying a reprieve or vacation), have a sense of personal fulfillment from whatever professional endeavors are his chosen passion (enjoy going to work)
5. Family focused - must be respectful of me (demonstrated by his respect of other women in his life), embrace the idea of marriage and those vary sacred wedding vows, have or want children, appreciate the "fur babies" in my life and welcome pets (dogs definitely, cats optional, horses negotiable) as an extended part of the family, enjoy spending time with the family (immediate and extended), never belittle or demean me as the female in the family unit (which actually goes back to the respect thing)

Sooooooo, there you have it. The 5 non-negotiable standards I have set for the Mister Right who is even now being prepared by God just for me. I'm pretty sure each of these standards aligns with God's intentions for Christian marriage--husbands, fathers, partners in this thing called human life. Hopefully, I haven't restricted His reality for my future in creating a list of ideals. I won't be posting a classified ad based on these (and neither should Brianna who did sign me up for E-Harmony four or five years ago), but I will pray about them and keep them in mind when guys come my way, looking to make a romantic connection.

Love and prayers,

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