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The Pros & Cons Of Creating A 'What I Want In A Man' Checklist

Before your write down your man wish list, be sure to look at things from a realistic perspective.

Love & Relationships

One of the reasons why I think it's important to tackle topics like this is because it's a reminder that when it comes to finding the one who is truly right for you, it's not really a one-size-fits-all kind of process. It's wise to keep this in mind because, if you're not careful, you'll hear someone else's love story, admire it, then think that if you do things exactly like they did—BOOM your man will suddenly appear. And then be pissed if "he" doesn't

Yes, y'all, I get it. Some women have written a list of what they wanted in a man and everything on the list did indeed manifest. Along those same lines, we've featured stories on the site of women who had a tattoo that made a romantic connection happen, prayed a particular prayer and got married—the testimonies go on and on. But just like those ladies are individuals with their own unique romantic journey, sis, so are you. That's why it's essential to pray, meditate, ponder on what is the best "method" for you to take in your quest for love.

Oh, and if you're hellbent on comprising a list, here are some things you should seriously consider first—just so you are able to keep a balanced and realistic perspective on what a what-I-want-in-a-man list can—and cannot—do for you.

PRO: You’ll Have Clear Direction About What You Want

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I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's heard that it's not a good idea to go grocery shopping when you're hungry and/or when you don't have a list in tow. If you do, everything that you see will look good to you and/or you could end up getting things that you already have, don't need or even really want. Along these same lines, that's why it can be a good idea to create a list of what you want in a man before getting into a relationship. While it's another message for another time that it can also be a good idea to not "shop for a relationship" when you're "hungry"—and by that, what I mean is needy—when you've taken the time to think about what you truly desire in a person, as well as a relationship, it can bring forth a clarity that cultivates the kind of self-confidence that reminds you not to settle for less.

CON: You Could Find Yourself Closed Off to What You Actually Need

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If you don't get anything else out of this article, please hear me when I say that wants and needs are not always or automatically the same things. I can't tell you how many couples I have worked with who totally regret the spouse that they chose (if you quietly can relate, check out "What Should You Do If You Feel Like You Married The Wrong Person?") because they were more focused on what they wanted than what they actually needed. What's the difference? There's one woman I know who was caught up in her now-husband, ever since I met her. He's fine. He's talented. A lot of women lusted him. I get it. But his work ethic sucks. While she was out here being focused on wanting him, she didn't really focus on needing someone who would be a good provider (among other things). So now, she's out here doing most of the work (literally) and that's been the case for many years.

A potential con that comes from the "what I want in a man" list is you can be tempted to treat it a lot like a Christmas wish list. You're so busy thinking about what tickles your fancy, that you're not really pondering what would be good, long-term, for your mind, body and spirit.

It takes a lot of maturity to realize that needs should definitely come before wants, across the board, in life. If you do decide to compile a list, make sure that necessities always trump fleeting cravings and desires.

PRO: Your List Can Keep You from Being Superficial

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A wise person once said, "If you don't have a map, you don't know where you are going." Along with that, I once heard Bishop TD Jakes say that if all you want is to be with someone, nothing but "something" could be all that you end up with. In other words, when you're not thoughtful about what you desire, it can be easy to get distracted. Trust me, I know from whence I speak. There are some men in my past who were able to reel me in, bed me up and totally waste my time, all because I was caught up in the superficial of what they had to offer—good looks, semi-great sex and something to do. That's cool but it's also pretty shallow and superficial.

That's why it's important to create a list that reflects the quality of relationship that you want, not just the kind of man that you desire. Hear me when I say that there is a lot of "fine nothingness" walking around out here who might be a good time but won't hold you down when ish hits the fan and you're looking for real long-lasting love and support.

CON: Your List May Actually Be Hypocritical and/or Unrealistic

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Another potential downside of creating this kind of list is you can find yourself wanting what you, yourself are not. For instance, I know one woman who said that a man who'd been married before or had kids was non-negotiable. I mean, go off, sis—that is your right. But what's interesting about that is she was already twice-divorced with two children of her own. I know another woman who wanted a man with a six-figure income while she was in five-figure debt. Then there's the woman who wanted a man with a six-pack but said she refused to go to the gym herself because "her husband should love her just as she is".

Yep. It can be really easy to create a "what I want in a man" list that oozes with hypocrisy that may even teeter on the side of being unrealistic. One way to avoid this "con" is, after you finish your list, purpose in your mind to make sure you are what you desire. That significantly ups your chances of attracting what you wrote down anyway.

PRO: You’ll Be Able to Nip Ish in the Bud Much Quicker

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If there is one thing that I do actually like a lot about creating this type of list is it can help you to spot BS much quicker. If you want a man who is interested in marriage, then you won't go past a couple of dates when someone who says he doesn't want anything long-term. If you want to be with a man who has certain values, you'll nix the potential for a relationship the moment he shows that he isn't on the same page as you are. If you want a man who is spiritually at a certain level, why keep seeing someone who couldn't care less about God or his purpose?

Time is valuable. It's something you can't even get back. One benefit of having this kind of list ready before you start seeing someone new is it can let you know if something should last for three dates or—not.

CON: You Might Not Recognize the Universe Is Operating in an Unexpected Way

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What inspired me to write this is this con right here. There are some women I know who can personally attest to the fact that they were so—pardon the pun—married to their own list of what they wanted in a man that when their now-husband came into their life, they almost missed out on him. For some, he didn't look the way they wanted him to. For others, their husband had certain personality traits that, while initially they didn't think they would be drawn to, it has actually balanced them out in the long run. Some didn't want a man with kids, but they have come to adore his children as their own. Others didn't want a "dreamer" but now he's a thriving entrepreneur. Some wanted to meet their man at church but ran into him at a football game. Others wanted him to come at a certain time, but he either came much earlier or…much later.

I can pretty much guess what some of y'all might be thinking. When you take this particular point into account, why come up with a list at all? At the end of the day, what I'm really trying to say is a list is cool, but it's best to use it as a guideline not some written law that has no room for editing—or for the Universe to alter if it so chooses. Bottom line, if you want to write a list, do so. Yet allow space in your head and heart for life to surprise you too…with a lot of what you want and even more of what you really and truly need.

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Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

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Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

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