The Dating Checklist: Who’s Doing It?

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When it comes to dating, everyone has a dating checklist. A set of criteria they look for in a mate. For some people, potential mates must hold up against a laundry list of criteria. For others, the “list” may be a bit more mental – and a little more subtle. And some people – well, their list looks like a freaking sushi menu (you know who you are!)

If you’re single, you may have found yourself wondering if your list of dating requirements is holding you back at all. In fact, you may have had well-meaning (but seriously obnoxious) friends and family members tell you to stop being so picky. Rude.

When it comes to dating requirements, what is the norm? We asked Laura, Amanda, Lisa, Nycole, Chloe, Brittany and Nick to tell us a little bit about their personal dating requirements – and find out how they really feel about dating checklists.

What’s on your dating checklist?




I do have a list. It started as a joke my freshmen year in college (pre-Facebook days!). It was a typed list based on a point system – 65 total points, and a guy needed 50 to be considered. Let’s just say the list is composed of values, characteristics, vain/looks, and fun quirky things. I honestly think, at the ripe ole age of 18 (never having a boyfriend or anything) I had a good sense of what I wanted in a man. Since then, my list has evolved – maybe not necessarily shortened or grown, but change in what I consider more important.

If I had to cut my list down to five non-negotiables, I suppose it would be honesty, respect, ambition, attraction and undeniable chemistry. I will say, these 5 were not on the original list, but consider critical at this stage in my life. Do I think having such a list helps or hinders me? My immediate thought is that it’s hindering, however I think it is helping me get to the ‘right one’ without wasting time, energy, feelings, with the ‘wrong ones’. That being said, I haven’t found men to meet my dating requirements!  I need to get out more. Ahem, single men: my number is 815…



amandaI have 5 values that I look for in a man: where his faith at, if he has emotional intelligence, how communicative he is, and if he’s nurturing and grateful. This list has gotten more defined over time, and the requirements have shifted to values instead of a “checklist” mentality. I do feel that this criteria is 100% helping me, rather than hindering me. When you get clear on what you want, you hold yourself more accountable and are less likely to be influenced to deviate from it.

If I had to cut my list down to five non-negotiables, I’d say that I must get butterflies from the get-go, be physically attracted to him, and he must be kind hearted, not afraid to show emotions and must be a gentleman. Do most men I date meet these requirements? I try, and I usually I know within the first interaction with that person if I can see it moving forward or not. One date usually does the trick for me.



999130_607126437606_255658629_nIf I were to actually sit down and write out a list, I would say the majority of it would be made up of stuff like morals, values, dedication… all of those fuzzy adjectives. As I’ve gotten older, my criteria has become more focused on values – it’s more about the type of person I’d want to be stuck with for the rest of my life. Do I think my criteria is holding me back? I do find myself making assumptions about certain things when looking through online dating sites. For example, I’ll see an investment banker and automatically assume he’s a total douchelord based on this bit of information. This is the downside of online dating – you end up judging people on information that would probably be secondary in the real world.

If I had to pick five non-negotiables, I’d say someone whose values are similar to mine, is kind and funny. Someone I feel a “connection” with, and… he should be an amazing kisser. Seriously, that’s so superficial and ridiculous, but I could never spend the rest of my life with someone who’s a bad kisser, or isn’t that into it. I think all of the men I’ve dated have had met some of my criteria, but not all. My longest relationships were with people who met the value-based criteria. The shortest and/or most confusing relationships were with those that gave me butterflies and were good kissers. That says a lot, right?



photoI do have some things that are important to me that I don’t want to waiver on, but I don’t have an actual “list” like I did when I was younger. I did, it’s become shortened and revised to make more sense. I realized it was more important to date and see what actually mattered.  If I had to list out my criteria, I’d say I’m looking for a tall, dark, and handsome man.  A man who is successful professionally and driven to always want more. Someone dedicated, genuine, honest, funny, spontaneous, faithful. A man who can make time for a relationship.

Do the men I typically date meet that criteria? I think I tend to go for a man who sparks lust first instead of thinking with common sense. Sometimes I think the little things can hold us back, like only liking tall men, or men with a certain shape or big muscles. Life isn’t a fairytale. It’s no longer about finding “Mr. Perfect” and is now about finding “Mr. Forever” – someone who fits me and my plan. If I had to shorten my list to five non-negotiables, I’d say that he must be genuine, handsome, honest, goal driven, and loving.



chloecline-headshotDo I have a list of dating requirements? Fo shizzle, yo. It reads: “Is willing to date me.” But seriously, I’m not kidding. Have you read my blog? If I had to pick five non-negotiables, I’d pick these five nons: non-smoker, non-Cosmo drinker, non-Paris Club diva, non-Packers fan, non-small spoon.

Do I think this criteria is helping or hurting me? Both. Because my requirements stop me from going out with drug dealers or Packers fans. But I also won’t date someone who drinks decaf coffee. Do most men meet this criteria? Bahahahahahaha. Has my list evolved over time? Well, I’ve taken the cheeseburger thing off. But added the non-Packers fan. Sooo…..




1377378_379413422189356_2087051059_nI’ve never actually taken the time to sit down and write a list. However, the more experience I have, the more I “mentally” make a checklist of what I would and wouldn’t like in a future relationship. If I were to write out such a list, it would probably include qualities such as driven, respectful, trustworthy, family-oriented, fun, intelligent, and so on. I don’t have any “out of the ordinary” requirements, but I do know what I do and don’t want in a relationship. I would say my list has most likely grown as I’ve gotten older. When I was younger, I don’t think I had much of a list and was still learning what I did and didn’t like in a relationship… or what I would and wouldn’t be willing to put up with. So in reality… I have actually just been creating the list as I go.

I think that my requirements can hinder me sometimes because I can seem too picky, but I also believe that they are helpful. I know who I am and what I have to offer which helps me understand what I want from someone I am dating. If I had to list my top five non-negotiable characteristics, I guess they would be trustworthy, respectful, handsome, driven, and family-oriented. Usually, most men I date do meet these requirements. Since I’m not much of a dater, I don’t usually go out with a guy unless I really see potential.



582433_10151358556022372_141277021_nDo I have a list? There’s a few things (like two dozen) that I always have at the forefront of my mind, but most of it is just like a completely casual, non-emotional stunting, mental pro-con list. Numero uno: If you send me a d**k pic, it’s getting posted on the internet along with your number. So don’t f**king do it. My friend Jameson is always the voice of reason when I’m out in da’ clubs (I hate myself), and keeps it super real and is usually like, “Bro, that dude only kind of looks like he might have a little meth in his eye. This lighting is just weird.”

If I had to narrow it down to five non-negotiable traits, they’d be: non-smoker, physically active, likes REAL coffee (not that Starbucks frappcrap). He must be OK with the idea that I am always going to have my own place, and must have a BFP (boyfriend p*n*s) – not too big, not too small, but just right. Do I think these requirements are hindering me? 50/50. I’m not broke from taking guys out anymore, but on the flip side I have realized through some internal reflection that I’ve let at least four really great friendships fizzle out due to my relationship with Netflix.


So, do you guys think men have a list of requirements like most women do?

Nick: Well, yes.

Chloe: Yes. And we shouldn’t blame Kate Upton. Just the men who think that’s possible for the rest of us.

Laura: Absolutely!  I think they may be shorter lists and lists change upon circumstances (i.e. 2 beers vs. 12 beers; friends married vs. no friends married)

Amanda: Men may have lists, but I’m betting they’re completely different than woman’s requirements. I would hope to be qualified similar to how I qualify men. It’s only fair.

Lisa: Absolutely – and I’m sure like ours, their lists have evolved as they’ve gotten older. If they haven’t, they’re probably not someone you’d want to be with anyhow.

Nycole: Men absolutely have lists. Their lists are created by their penises, and women create our list with our hearts.

Brittany: Absolutely. In fact, I think men have a variety of lists for different circumstances. For instance, their “taking home to mom” list of requirements wouldn’t be the same as their “I’m drunk and horny” list of requirements.



To wrap this up, what’s the craziest requirement you’ve ever heard – whether your own or someone else’s?

Laura: He must look good in a towel, and ONLY a towel. (This is one that originated the ‘list’ so many years ago)

Amanda: One of my best friends refused to go on a second date with a guy because he didn’t open her door on their first date. In hindsight I’m not sure if that is crazy or simply know what she wants and if the guy doesn’t demonstrate from the get go he’s out.

Lisa: One of the most ridiculous things I tend to look at is where someone is from. I’m not sure I could date a guy who grew up in a rural area. Yes, I realize this is stupid and limiting.

Nycole: He needs to be on Facebook. If not, I think you’re hiding something crazy like a wife and kids in the woods of Minnesota.

Chloe: Must like cheeseburgers. (Me at 23.)

Brittany: I’ve never heard a completely outlandish requirement as of yet. Then again, I think it’s completely OK to be as picky as you want.

Nick: A guy, on our first date, asked me not to swear because swear words made him uncomfortable, and because he really saw a future with me. I could’ve just been nice and just smiled politely until I could blog about it later and never see him again, but I very rarely take the high road. My response? “You’ve gotta be shittin me?” I paid.



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What’s your take on dating checklists? Do you have one? What’s the craziest set of criteria you’ve heard? Share with us in the comments below!

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