last week, my favorite Tara Leigh Cobble posted yet another blog post that i wish i could have dog-eared and highlighted, had it not been on a computer screen. a reader wrote in and asked her how you know what to look for in someone to date? how do you keep your expectations in check?

her reply included a list of characteristics she looks for in a man (and she notes that many of them mirror what she looks for in a friend because that’s what your relationship should mirror first and foremost):

  • Do we like to do the same things? (not all the same things, of course – it’s important for you to have individual interests that you can explore on your own)
  • Do we like to talk about the same things? (Again, not all the same things, but the big ones. For example, it is an absolute deal-breaker for me if a guy can’t expound upon his thoughts about spiritual matters. Being in ministry, this is too much a part of my life to not be able to discuss it with my best friend.)
  • Do I respect this person? Even when he/she fails? And does this person respect me?
  • Do we have fun? Do I enjoy being around this person?
  • Does this feel natural? Is it easy to be around this person or does it require a lot of effort?
  • Do I trust this person with my heart?
  • Does this person make wise decisions? (For marriage, you will be making decisions with this person for the rest of your life. If they don’t execute wise decisions, it will affect you forever.)
  • Am I able to be my true self around this person without fear of rejection?
  • Does this person understand me in a way that even I don’t understand myself? (This is important if you are looking at marriage as a means to become holier and more sanctified, because this person will be able to help you develop your strengths and reduce your weaknesses.)
  • Can I welcome the “hard truths” from this person when they challenge me?
  • Does this person help me become all that God has called me to be? Am I developing into a better version of myself because of his/her presence in my life?
  • Does this person encourage me, lift me up, and make me feel alive? Or tear me down?
  • Could he lead? Would I follow?
  • Am I this person’s biggest fan? Do I think he/she is awesome?
  • Does he/she make me love Jesus more?