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Make a written list of the must-have qualities in a mate

By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50

In September, 2016, a senior single woman emailed, “Three years ago, I believed I had met the love of my life. We were and are still two good people who had a great chemistry that allowed me to override a couple of incompatibility issues that I saw from the beginning of our relationship. I didn’t understand the must-have qualities in a mate that were critical to me.


The issues were nothing horrible, bad or ugly--just must-have qualities that I disregarded. Everyone must make compromises but compromises are really a trade agreement. I will do this if you do this, for example.


“I fell into the not-being-me behavior that women and men often fall into in the beginning of a relationship, which I mistook as compromise. I was trying to be the person he wanted me to be; big mistake. A couple of must-have qualities in a mate were not present.


“It was intoxicating to be in a relationship after a long, dry spell and to meet a great guy who had both feet on the ground, who was generally considerate and had a good track record in regard to marriage and relationships.


“In the end, it turned out that neither of us were satisfied with being so different in a few areas that counted to each of us. I would not trade the 2 1/2 years we shared…it was wonderful to be able to say, “Honey, I’m home,” again…shared intimacy…even reading the paper together in the morning. But in the long run, the must-have qualities in a mate we both required were not present.


“Until I read your column last Friday, I was ready to throw in the towel in regard to finding anyone again. Your advice was right on as usual. I can add only one thing from my experience. I have realized that my pre-selection skills are lacking. If and when I ever meet a good guy again, I will go slower no matter how much I am attracted to him. I will balance my emotions with logic. I will pay attention!”


Note from Tom: It is important to understand the must-have qualities you require have in a mate, as this woman described them.  Yes, there are little compromises you must be willing to make, but don’t cave-in on the deal breakers, i.e., the must-have qualities. If you do, chances are, there will be a breakup once the freshness wears off.


And I strongly recommend you make a written list of those must-have qualities. When deciding to re-enter the senior dating field, have your written list of must-have qualities posted somewhere (like on your mirror) so you won’t overlook or forget them.

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