What You Want is Not What You Need

What You Want is Not What You Need

Your wants are traits you can live without

A few days ago, I challenged you to write down your musts — your dating deal breakers.  Now we are going to think through your wants — the things that you desire but that are not essential to your happiness.

YOUR ARE WILLING TO COMPROMISE ON YOUR WANTS

I know the wants of thousands of people.  Spend as much time as I do reading (and writing) online dating profiles and you will, too. These are the most common wants:

  • Hair color
  • Body type
  • Distance from each other
  • Religion
  • Number of children

Why are those things typically wants rather than musts?  Because people can still be happy with potential partners who don’t meet the criteria.  In other words, you may be attracted to redheads, but you’re not going to walk away from a wonderful person blond.

Some other questions to think about before I ask you to write your wants:

  • How do you want your potential partner to make you feel?
  • How do you feel about sexual intimacy?  How quickly or slowly are you willing to go?
  • How much time does your potential partner have to devote to dating?
  • How important is it that your potential partner shares your hobbies?
  • How important are your potential partner’s looks?  (This is not the same as your attraction to him or her.  Attraction is essential!)

Find your Action Plan now.  Next to your musts, write a list of your wants.  I’ll wait…

Now that you’ve written your wants in your Action Plan, share them in the Comments, below.  You can also check out my own wants list.

WHEN IN DOUBT, TREAT IT AS A WANT RATHER THAN A MUST

Go back to the two lists you made and decide whether you want to move anything from must to want, or vice versa.  A very helpful tip:  It is better to change a must to a want than the other way around.

Why?

Musts are very powerful things.  When you say that something is a must — a deal breaker — you are cutting out all people who do not meet that criterion.  You are excluding people who are potentially amazing for you.  So categorize your desires as musts with caution. Remember, you can always move a want to the must list later.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAITS IN A POTENTIAL PARTNER ARE RESPECT AND SUPPORT

You aren’t magically compatible with someone because the two of you have similar wants and musts.  Sure, both of you may love hiking but that doesn’t make you right for each other.  By contrast, you may have totally different hobbies and fall madly in love with each other.

More important than any must or any want is how you treat each other.  How lovingly you talk to one another.  How supportive you are of each other in good times and bad.  How understanding you are of each other’s differences and disabilities.  How much you respect each other.

WHO DO YOU WANT TO GET THIS?

We all have friends who are pickier than average.  Who don’t like this, that or the other thing because they want something better.  Maybe they’re that way with potential partners as well.  Send this to your picky friends.  
Then forward it to the world Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn StumbleUpon

QUICK REVIEW

  • Your wants are traits in a potential partner that are not deal breaking musts
  • Answer the five questions, above, to start thinking about your list of wants
  • Write your wants in your Action Plan and share them in the Comments, below
  • Remember that respect and support are the most important characteristics in a potential partner
Jeremy Hamburgh
Jeremy Hamburgh

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Comments

  1. Jeremy Hamburgh says:

    How do you want your potential partner to make you feel?
    -Like I’m funny, even though I’m corny
    -Make me feel smart
    -Make me feel like I’m making a difference in the world
    -Make me feel like my ambition is well place
    How much time does your potential partner have to devote to dating?
    -I had a rough schedule, between playing hockey, softball, launching Hitchcraft Dating and volunteering, not to mention seeing friends. I needed a partner who had her own busy life. (I found one. My wife was a medical resident when I met her.)
    How important is it that your potential partner shares your hobbies?
    -Seeing as how I am a hockey and softball player, that wasn’t likely to happen
    -One of my “hobbies” was (and is) attending Friday night services at my synagogue. At the very least, I wanted a partner who tolerated that, if not did the same.
    How important are your potential partner’s looks?
    -Important! But not as important as her brains.

  2. Tony Langdon says:

    This is an awesome post Jeremy, I see it so many times, that people narrow their wants down too much. I admit I did initially too, but when the right person came along, meeting almost none of my wants, I threw that list out of the window. Best thing I ever did! :) I don’t have a lot of musts – respect, honesty, and trust – the latter tends to rule out most people with a significant addiction, though I seem to end up with smokers, and my first partner also had a gambling problem, but he didn’t hide it, so the trust was still there.

    • Jeremy Hamburgh says:

      Tony,

      Kudos for throwing the musts out the window. A few musts are perfectly alright, but I see people with dozens of them. I always wonder, “How many people in this world are left after all those musts?”

      Jeremy

  3. Andrew Young says:

    My wants:

    brown hair
    average body size
    no more than 120 miles from me

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