One of my best friends frequently tells me that making a list of romantic preferences--physical attractiveness, intelligence, and so on--is a waste of time. "You'll throw your list out the window when you meet the right person,"
Such a list of standards
is beneficial, sure. It's important to know what you're looking for in a romantic partner. But clinging to a list of preferences as though they are necessary requirements can be a narrow-minded and very limiting way of seeking out a partner.As it turns out, I'm discovering that having a list of standards can be just as useless
On the one hand, I've found that I fancy one of my friends whose characteristics don't remotely fit within my range of standards. We laugh at the same things and have a lot in common. We click
, but because of some major differences, like religious beliefs, a relationship between us would never work out. Nevertheless, that doesn't stop me from liking her.
On the other hand, I know someone who meets my list of standards in virtually every way
. She's brilliant, strong-willed, friendly, and has a host of other qualities that, on paper, make her the perfect girl for me. There's just one problem: I don't fancy her
--not romantically, anyway.
What's the difference between the way I interact with one girl and the way I interact with the other? Chemistry. It's chemistry--that spark, that can't-be-fabricated romantic attraction
--that makes the difference between being in the friend zone (despite meeting my romantic standards) and simply being attracted to someone (whom I cannot date). It's chemistry that can make those lists of preferences and standards ineffective...so, in one sense, my best friend was right.
I suppose the point to all of this is that such lists in and of themselves aren't enough to cultivate a solid romantic relationship, nor is mere chemistry. Knowing what you want in a partner and feeling genuine romantic interest toward him/her--together, working in tandem
--these seem to be reliable ingredients for the foundation of a strong relationship.Do you have a mental list of standards for what to look for in a partner? What kind of chemistry do you have with your SO?