Help for the Broken Dating Picker

A Dating Epiphany

I’ll never forget the moment I saw Date or Soul Mate by Neil Clark Warren on Tim’s bookshelf. I whipped my head around and asked him, “Do you have a top 10 list?”

Tim glanced up from his coffee and smiled, “Yes, actually I do.”

“Ok, I am going to drive home and get my list and then I will call you and we are going to read them to each other on the phone,” I instructed as I hustled out the door.

The Top 10 List

The “Top 10 List” is a list of MUST Haves and CAN’T stands every dater would be wise to make to know exactly who and what they are looking for in a relationship.

Warren’s book describes a simple method of making a list of the crucial qualities desired in a mate and conversely, another list of undesirable characteristics.

By having both in hand, it’s easier to find out if the person you are dating is worth keeping around. In fact, you can usually do it in just a couple of dates.

Personally, it forced me to stop holding on to guys who met most but not all of my requirements.

Ladies…this means if he’s rich but RUDE, drop the jackwaggon! And guys, no matter how HOT she is…if she’s stupid or self-absorbed or bad with money, let her go! (I mean it guys!)

Fixing a Broken Dating Picker

Personally, I was the girl who kept compromising in the spiritual area. I really wanted a man who would lead me and be as passionate for Christ as I was but I didn’t meet many men who fit this scenario. After an endless parade of men who went to church with me but couldn’t talk about my favorite topics –theology and spirituality, I had to decide if “loving God” was a deal-breaker or a negotiable.

My heart said NON-negotiable. So when I finally stopped dating the type of guys who didn’t match up in this area it was easier to find what I was looking for.

Now, Tim and I had dated about six weeks by the time I found the dating book on his shelf and we were already falling head over heels for each other. I prayed earnestly all the way home that he met ALL of the qualities on my list. But I was ready to let him go if there were any red flags.

(Clearly, as a pastor I already knew he loved God, but I didn’t know if he had the rest of my list nailed down yet.)

About twenty minutes later I pulled into the driveway of my condo, ran to my overstuffed bookshelf, found my journal and opened my Top 10 list. I reached for the phone and dialed him.

Must Haves and Can’t Stands

It turned out my top three MUST HAVES were identical to Tim’s.

  1. Love God with all your heart
  2. Desire to be physically active
  3. Understand my call to ministry

Our lists matched up perfectly!

Boy was I was relieved that wealth wasn’t a MUST HAVE on my list and Tim hadn’t included kids as a deal-breaker on his.

I have to believe God knew exactly what he was doing when he paired the two of us up together.

But I also know that I needed to get to a point where I knew exactly what I wanted and just as importantly –what I didn’t want, before I could see what a true catch Tim was to me.

Have you made a TOP 10 list yet?



  1. Ali Woodard says:

    Fabulous! I will be incorporating into the Fristers for teen moms relationships curriculum : )

  2. How do I know if my must have’s and can’t stands are realistic?

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