5 Signs It's Time To Toss Your "List" And Date With An Open Heart

That list is only holding you back. Here's why ...

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Two years ago, I had a new client who was a widower in his forties. His wife passed away in a tragic accident. It took him over a year to process the shock and even think about dating.

So there he was, sitting across from me, telling me he was ready to date.

Granted — after many years of marriage he wasn’t sure how to begin dating, but that’s why he came to me and he was very much looking forward to starting a new relationship. 


After some coaching, I lined up a few potential dates for him and he came to his first Social. He did not like any of the girls at the party.

Later at our coaching session, he outlined in great detail what he did not like about each and every girl: one girl's hair was too short; one had large feet; another "only" had an Associates Degree (even though she was successfully running her own retail business for years).

Not deterred, the next time, I lined up potential dates for him, I made sure they were PhDs with tiny feet and hair manes to rival Rapunzel.

Still, no good. One woman's lips were too big. Another lived further than the acceptable five-mile distance from him. A third had a small son, which my client was not ready to raise. 


Yes, my client had "a list." And likely ... YOU have a list of some kind, too.  

His list was very long and, frankly, humanly impossible for one person to embody. It was as if my client compiled a catalog of all the qualities — physical and intellectual — that he loved about his deceased wife; added a few additional traits he wished his wife possessed and threw in the  'good to haves' just for kicks. 

It was almost as if he did not want to allow himself to find a new woman to love. His list ruled out all the women in the New York Tri-State Area and, I suspect, most of the country, if not the world.

His list had to go. And YOUR list needs to go, as well. It is not helping you find love. It is only creating a barrier between you and fulfilling connection with a new partner. 

Here are 5 signs you're nit-picking your romantic prospects instead of truly opening your heart to love: 

  1. When you meet a guy you like, do you think that he's probably hiding something, because men like that are "too good to be true?"
  2. Do you limit yourself to dating people of a certain type: i.e. brunettes only or men at least 6-foot tall”?
  3. Do you dissect your date’s qualities to figure out which you like and which you don’t?
  4. Do you limit the amount of people you date because you think it is a waste of your time and/or money?
  5. Does your LIST include more than 10 "deal breakers?"

If any of the above rings true, you're preventing yourself from finding love. Burn your list, sweetie. Your love life will thank you for it! 

As for my client, well ... it took us many more hours of coaching, coupled with his personal therapy, until we finally narrowed the top ten REASONABLE qualities he desired in a partner ... like age range, no children and personal values. We excluded nit-picky extras like eye color, shoe size and favorite foods.

My client has since met a woman with whom he is currently in a ten-month relationship. They're talking about moving in together and seeing where life takes their relationship next.

In the end, it was my client’s fear of starting life anew that made him create and cling to his unreasonable list of demands for a future mate. When he let go of the list (and opened his heart) he found love. It's time for you to let go of your list and open your heart, don't you think? 

Marina Margulis is a Matchmaker and Dating Coach in New York City.  If you need help becoming a man every woman wants or if you are already that man looking for the right woman, please contact her.