Is your ‘check-list’ holding you back?


Our modern world revolves around instant gratification and consumables.  Little wonder then that more and more people treat their relationships the same way.  Part of this ‘get it quick and move on’ mentality is the burgeoning use of  the ‘check-list’.  

Full of  ‘deal breaker’ dot points.  

But I guess it reflects the world we live in and is potentially a window into what the future holds. 


Tick that box — the ‘check-list’ mentality

There is a check-list for everything these day; If you want to know how to write a blog, Google ‘blog writing check-list’ and you will receive a banquet of options to chose from.

If you fancy learning how to manage your time there is a check-list for that too.  You name it, if you think of it, there will be a corresponding check-list created somewhere in cyberspace for you to access.

And of course there is the ‘right person for me’ check list that just about every person develops for themselves at some point in their life.  

Now, some list points are valid and should be a no brainer, like not being violent.

No one would disagree with that.  

But there is a trend towards lists that are so lengthy, they are not only unachievable they are bordering on self destructive.  

These lists tend to be the domain of the single female, however young men also write lists detailing their perfect woman.  

And we wonder why we don’t get a second date.

Imagine this; 

You are out to dinner on a first date with your mental check-list, and your date is sitting opposite you with their respective mental check-list.  And all night you are both trying to see if the other is meeting up to your specifications.

Is that any way to start a lifelong relationship?  

Or any relationship?  Probably not.  


There are at least three reasons you should ditch your check-list:

  1. No one is perfect
  2. Priorities change through time
  3. Check-lists can limit your options

Lets explore these ideas…

If you’re not perfect why should ‘he’ be?

The truth is, no one is perfect and so no one will ever meet your expectations if you set the bar too high.

Consider this, sometimes your greatest perceived weakness can be your greatest strength, for example, some may say you talk too much, yet that weakness can lead to you being a great public speaker.

Of course the opposite can be the case.  What you thought was charming or sexy in the early days of your life together, may be the one thing that drives you crazy after a few years.

The point being, what you currently think you want in a partner,and diligently hold out for on your prioritised check list, may not be so important in a year or two.

Please understand, I am not suggesting for a second that you should set ultra low standards and just settle for the first person that walks in front of you tomorrow afternoon when the local town hall chimes 12.  

Far from it.  

I am simply suggesting that

 and in return they end up alone or so desperate they put themselves out there on dating sites, while some ultimately end up on reality TV dating shows.  

Like ‘First Dates‘ for instance.

Perhaps it is a symptom of our technology addicted lifestyle, but it seems to me that people have forgotten how to meet people, because

It’s hard to meet people

I know I would not want to be single these days.  

People have lost the art of real interpersonal communication thanks to the magic of social media, and so we find it difficult to go up to people and strike up a conversation in the flesh.  

It seems today, that we need to have established an on-line relationship with someone before we enter the realm of the physical.

But what we forget is the ability to fake your personality type when we are on-line.

It is easy to make up stories about what you want out of life when body language and facial expressions are removed from the equation.  It is easy to post a selfie that makes you look like you love adventure, but it may not be the real you, you may in fact be a couch potato, and love it.

So to compensate for our loss of social skills we turn to dating sites and reality TV to help us over the hump.

Or perhaps it is just our narcissism searching for our 15 minutes of fame?

Of course dating shows are no new phenomena; do you remember ‘Perfect Match’?

I’m showing my age here, I know.

This was a TV dating game show from the 80’s and was spectacularly successful for a while with its computer aided robot ‘Dexter’ crunching the numbers for the participants personality profile matches.  

I remember contestants would describe how hard it was to meet ‘good people’.

It was a hoot, and in fact many couples married as a result of that show.  Who knows where they are today, and if they are still together, but it did bring people together.  So I can’t dismiss this process completely.

The big thing though;

I am sure it was not this hard ‘back in my day‘.

You went out, you met someone, you had fun.  If you ‘clicked’ you went steady, if not you moved to the next boy on the block.  Relationships just organically evolved until all of a sudden you had been going out for a few years and were getting married.

I have been with my man for 29 years now, we are still happy.

It just kinda happened.

Like I said, these days, I think we wan’t too much from people.  And I think we think too much.  So we cut off our nose to spite our face.

Unrealistic expectations

I recently read a blog post that professed to being really proud of their perfect man check list which consisted of 50 dot points (and there were plenty of comments applauding this).  WTF?

I wish her luck on her quest, but I doubt she will find a person who meets all her requirements.

One of the key points on this persons list was that he ‘must not be a perfectionist’…how ironic…I guess you can work off the ‘opposites attract’ theory.  But I think she is just being too pedantic.

I wonder how she will feel about this lack of perfectionism in a few years time when his ‘near enough is good enough’ approach starts to wear thin on her perfect image.

Who knows.

What is for sure is that the things this person is looking for now will change.  We can only hope that her partner has the capacity to change too.

The thing is, if we are constantly holding others to an unachievable list of expectations we are not allowing them the chance to shine as the person they truly are.

We are holding our partners happiness to ransom, and restricting our own.

We need to scrap our check-lists

Ask yourself these questions


Life changes around us every day and what may be perfect today may not be tomorrow.

So throw away your check list and let love happen to you.

Until next time

Stay safe, be happy and let your life shine.

Robyn Williams 🙂