When a Christian woman is dating a man that either doesn’t believe in God or says he believes in God but his life does not reflect the fact that he has surrendered it to the Lord, then it is impossible for him to love you the way God designed husbands to love their wives.
You can tell by a person’s actions and attitude if they are a true follower of Christ. When I was a single woman I didn’t know much about the Bible  nor exactly what to look for in my future husband. Of course the guy could’ve been saved, but what I was desiring was a man who was deeply committed to following Christ, not a man who was so easily swayed by his flesh.
In my very little understanding of the Scriptures I watched the guys actions and attitudes (their fruit) to see if what they said (their believe in God) lined up to what they did.
The reason why I can say these words so emphatically without knowing the love you and your man have for one another is because of the Scriptures. So dear sister, if you want your future husband to love you the way that Christ loved the church, then your man needs to love Jesus Christ more than he loves you.
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It’s a hard one to explain, but when I meet a guy who I feel is genuinely kind, it is one of the most attractive things to me. I believe all of those things come together to form a good conversationalist, which is a total non-negotiable for me. And all the better if he’s a bit of a funny lad, since I tend to take life a little (ok, a lot) too seriously at times. People might assume that this is an obvious one on the list for me, but it’s probably the most nuanced of them all. That said, this one is probably the one item on the list that whittles down the pool of guys out there the most, because I’m not just looking for a guy who goes to church. I feel like it should also be noted that as I get older, I tend to find more guys attractive whom I might not have considered years ago. The good news about dating in your thirties is that I think those sort of people outweigh the others, thanks to good ol’ time. The thing I didn’t quite expect about turning 30 was seeing the possibility of having kids called into question. A good friend once told me the only thing on my list should be someone who treats me right, everything else is negotiable. That’s what comes to mind right away although I’m sure if I thought about it a little bit longer I might have one or two other things to add to the list! I’ve been following your blog for a little while now and just felt compelled to comment today.


I’m loving your posts about being single and relationships – look forward to reading more!
And all the better if he’s a bit of a funny lad, since I tend to take life a little (ok, a lot) too seriously at times.
That was hours ago, but this post has been rattling around in my brain so much since, I had to comment. I have been wrestling with this very question, albeit from the other side, and I am heartened to see that there are women whose lists very closely mirror mine, especially in the details of point three. I believe that many of my failed relationships, such as they were, would have been successful if one or both of us had been more willing to put the other first and assume the best in each other. I appreciate the work you are doing, and this list in particular… it certainly gives me many things to think about. Hi Ali, I love this post, mainly because in coming up with this awesome, thoughtful list, you are taking control. From what I’ve gathered of your blog posts you are a woman of joy, hospitality and goal-minded.
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I think it would be quite spectacular to have this URL printed out on business cards to whip out super-fast ninja-style when someone asks the question. I’ve only been married for one year, but my list included things like finding a man who respects me enough to let me disagree and values my opinion, a guy who is able to have a great time without spending a ton of money (I like a creative fun loving guy),and someone who inspires me to be the best person I can be.
I had a pre-John list similar to yours, with character things as well as a few appearance notes (please be handsome and healthy, please please please).
It’s the lists of the single women I pursue, who seem to me to be much less realistic than you. He enjoys a lot of down time, but is an amazingly efficient problem solver and a little bit of a hustler when something needs to be accomplished. It’s so important to have a few things that you KNOW you must have, and it seems to me that you have chosen those things wisely. I love my dog and seeing a guy who loves animals or owns animals is a massive attraction for me. And when he comes into your life, I know you’ll both be what the other person needs and wants. This is not to say I am a paragon of maturity myself, but I have dealt with enough Girls to know that I am very much not attracted to them. I thought this was so funny mainly because I am divorced after 25 years of marriage and those lists are ever changing to say the least. I am sure that some man has a list of non-negotiables that align with your character and I pray that him living a life for God will eventually connect to yours.


I had a list, too, and finally I was able to check off the things that were important to me.
Whether you've been wounded, grown weary, wandered from The Narrow Path, or wondered how to walk the Christian life as a woman or a wife, my heart and passion is to encourage, equip, and inspire you in your journey of following Jesus Christ. Thanks for sharing as it gave me some piece of mind to know that there’s others out there like me!!
Your list is thoughtful, considerate and realistic and I like to think mine is much the same. To have a guy I love to talk to as we begin our relationship together, all the way until we’re holding hands talking in a nursing home as we end our lives together? You are on the right track and hopefully the guy who comes along and sweeps you off your feet will at least have a few if not all of those traits. I think there is a difference between a preference and a necessary and every man or woman should know those non-negotiables that are necessary. I also think your comments on him being a Christian were very well written and something that has made all the difference in our marriage (we are both Christians, in the way that you described).
The only thing is, while they may meet those guidelines now wait about 10 years after you have lived with him for a while and you will sometimes begin to think when did those traits begin to fade away? I am approaching one year of marriage and can tell you that all of my pleas and prayers from a young age have been exceeded – God completely surpassed even what I hoped for in my husband. They have almost divorced several times but she keeps trying to make things work & living a Godly example and of course praying for him. Department of Defense shows the extent of destruction in Japan from an earthquake and a tsunami that followed. So good luck Ali, I am rooting for you and I hope that you find a good and kind man to spend thew rest of your life with who will be a loving Father to your children.
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