Your "Must Haves", or absolute minimum requirements, are the qualities and traits for relationship, love and marriage compatibility that you will not be able to live without when you are with a partner over the long haul. To best figure out what these are, try this piece of dating advice, the "old age test":
Imagine you are 90 years old and you are hanging out on your front porch in a rocker, thinking back over your life…
And, lucky you, your true love soulmate is in the rocker next to you and still in love with you and you've grown old together.
As you think about your life and how great it is to still be in a relationship with your wonderful partner, what kind of traits did he have that made you compatible partners for 50-60+ years together?
When you think about it, wanting a man who will go clubbing with you this weekend becomes less important than being with a man who was supportive of your dreams, loyal and honest.
Many women have commented that over time what really mattered in a man was that he was kind, made them laugh, was affectionate, loved his family, spent time with them, and was emotionally available.
Here is a sample Top 10 Must Haves List:
Other traits that women have said were their "must haves" and minimum requirements for relationship compatibility:
Spend a little bit of time and think about the kind of person you'd still want to be with when you're ninety. What are they like?
Then, add those additional characteristics to your Who Is My Soulmate List. Put "MH" by any of these traits so you know that any man you want to have a relationship with MUST HAVE these minimum requirements. A good rule of thumb is to have about 10 "must haves".
You might realize that some things on your list are "nice to have, but not one of my must haves", like being with a partner who can cook, drives a nice car, or likes camping. Keep these on your list, but just be aware of it. Thirty years from now you might not really care that your true love shared your passion for your current favorite TV show, the ballet, or gardening.
Also, some of the traits on your list may turn out to be not as important once you start dating someone. For example, you may initially think that you want a partner to work out with, but as time goes on and you date someone who doesn't care for the gym, you may appreciate the alone time of going to the gym by yourself or time spent with a friend if you take a yoga class together.
You may think, "I want ALL of these as my "must haves"! And, of course you can have that! However, it's a better exercise to try to narrow down the must haves to a top 10 so that you are very clear on what is most important to you when you meet potential dates.
Next up... Deal Breakers - Know who NOT to date