Donal makes a list of what he requires in and offers to his future spouse, and suggested others do the same. I will, but first I’ll talk a bit on lists.
Unlike many in the ‘sphere, I do not have a negative reaction to a list; in fact, I support “the list”. I think it is a positive if a woman rationally plans ahead and has a strong list of non-negotiables she would require of a spouse before marriage and even a list of negotiable preferences. I think every single person, both men and women, should have a list.
A woman should have high standards; in fact, I think women should demand more from men than what they currently do. Women should not settle and should refuse to settle. Many of our modern difficulties come not from women with “lists” or high demands, but rather from women lacking either.
Men should have high standards and a list as well. In fact, I encourage any man reading this who is considering marriage to go and make a list of non-negotiables once they’ve finished reading this post.
The purpose of the list is something that should be kept in mind when making the list. The list exists, or should exist, for two main reasons:
1) To clarify what you are looking for in a relationship so you can focus your romantic efforts where they would be most valuable and avoid wasting time on people who are not what you need in a relationship.
2) To create a hard standard to prevent you from making a bad choice while being swept away in lust and emotion.
A list exists to protect you and your time from those who would use and waste both.
The underlying subtext of this is all wrong. It’s a beta list for Beta’s and women who feel guilty about not dating them. She actively admits dating men that contradict these values.
He understands the proper subtext but misses the point of the list; the list, for women, is and should be to keep her from dating the alphas who would ruin her. It exists to protect her from her emotions so she doesn’t go through “alpha now -> beta later“.
A man’s list should exist to keep him from marrying the blonde bombshell with BPD. It serves as a firm anchor point when the tidal wave of lust overwhelms his good sense.
Every list should have this, not just as the subtext, but as the main point. Remember one of the main points of Proverbs, protect yourself from the adulteress.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
The problem is not the concept of the list itself, the problem is with some women’s poor and irrational attempts at creating a list. They go about it the wrong, resulting in the incorrect use of the list. Here are some of the errors people make:
1) Creating a list that is unmeetable, but still expecting to get married. Too many women make a large list that no man can possibly live up to, than wonder why no man lives up to it. You must accept the reality that the higher your standards and the longer your list, the less likely anybody will meet it and the less likely marriage will be. If your standards are too high, you might remain single for the rest of your life.
My list of standards is fairly high (at least for our modern world) and I’d be surprised if even 10% of the single female population met them. In fact, my original list had more points (13) than the list Donal criticizes (12) and my new list below has the same number. But I recognize that my standards are high and accept the reality that I might remain single for the rest of my life. I simply know that I would prefer singleness to marriage to a woman that did not meet these basic standards.
Rule of thumb: Something should not be on your list unless you would rather remain single for the rest of your life than compromise on it.
2) Focusing on frivolities, ignoring the important – What matters for a marriage is underlying character, behaviours, and values related to a successful marriage. A list should focus on these. A list should avoid things unrelated this.
Too many times, when people speak of standards, of demanding more, they think of the superficial standards (absurdly high income, a height requirement, unrealistic standards of attractiveness). You should demand more and have high standards, but of character, not the superficial.
3) Making a list, then ignoring it – It is my impression many women make a list, sometimes reasonable, sometimes not, then, if they don’t meet a man who meets that list, rather then reconsider some parts of the list or simply go without a relationship, they completely ignore the list out of desperation. Usually when they ignore the list, it is the more important parts (character, values) they ignore in favour of the more superficial parts that shouldn’t be on the list anyways.
The list exists for a reason; if you make a list, stick to it. A non- negotiable list should be just that, non-negotiable; if you can’t meet anybody who meets the list’s requirements, either modify the list to something more reasonable or accept that you may be single for life.
4) Vague emotional standards, rather than concrete rules – I know romantic love can not be reduced to a formula, but a list should primarily be of concrete attributes, not vague emotions. A list which focuses too much on how someone makes you feel is counterproductive. It violates the purpose of a list, which is protecting you from your own emotions and lust. One or two points about emotions and attraction may be fine, but the bulk of the list should be observable traits independent of your emotional state.
Donal criticizes a particular list, but I don’t see much trouble with the actual points of the list in themselves. My only real problem with any of the particular point as written is #11 because it is theologically inaccurate, even though I have no problem with women expecting a certain, reasonable level of romance.
The problem is, as Donal mentions, the attitude behind this list and the way certain things on the list, particularly those related to emotions, may be (mis)construed could be problematic, but the list itself, as written, is not really offensive.
Also, the lack of concreteness is a problem: #7,10, and 11 can all be summed up as gives me good feelings. Good feelings should be one point on the list, if that, because good feelings are what the list should be protecting someone from; not a quarter of the list itself.
Irrelevant side note on the comments debate on attractiveness: The lady who wrote this is extremely attractive, both subjectively and objectively; a solid 9 at least (but I’m partial to blondes). On the other hand, I find Angelina Jolie unattractive, while I recognize she’s probably objectively attractive. There’s something I can’t quite identify about the fat lips that I find off-putting and her eyes always seem to look either cold, hard, or dead, none of which is attractive in a woman.
I’ve created a list of indicators of a good wife and mother on here before and in rel life I made a list of my minimum requirements for a wife. I’m not sure where I left the RL list, so I’ll try to recreate it here.
1) Christian – I am not too particularly worried about denomination, as long as it is non-heretical and non-liberal (but I repeat myself). I would even be willing to seriously consider converting to Catholicism and Orthodoxy if that was important to her, given that I’ve been leaning more in that direction over time.
2) Virgin, or has a low count but is genuinely repentant – My wife has to have a right view of sex. A virgin would be ideal, but I would not absolutely rule out a low count non-virgin if I knew she was honest about it and genuinely repentant and had enough positive traits to make up for the deficit.
As I’ve said before, I find the problem with marrying a genuinely repentant ex-slut is how accepting the church is of female fornication. When even “Christian” women accept the slut culture, how much can you trust a woman’s repentance?
3) Sufficiently attractive and healthy – Essentially, is she attractive enough to arouse me to the degree sufficient to desire and enact the procreative act and will she be so 20 years down the road? Is she healthy? Healthiness and attractiveness are strongly interrelated, hence why they do together here. It’s not a particularly high bar; most white or Asian women who take care of themselves would probably meet it.
(Note: #3 effectively rules out marrying outside of the white or Asian races, as I am generally not attracted to any but the most unattainably attractive women from non-Asian minorities).
4) Pleasant – Is she a joy to be around or is she a pain?
5) Not stupid – My wife needs to be someone I can genuinely converse with. She doesn’t have to be super-intelligent, I phrased this point as I did on purpose, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life exasperated with and rolling my eyes at everything she says. Also, included under this would be sufficiently low time preference that she would not take drastic, unthinking actions that could destroy.
6) Not emotionally volatile – I am a calm, non-emotional INTJ. I simply can’t handle emotional outbursts all that well.
7) Prioritizes motherhood, family, and children – My wife who primary earthly goal will be motherhood and the family and she will need to be willing to have many children (I don’t have a non-negotiable number of children, but she’d have to be one amazing prize for it to be fewer than four).
8) Good mother – This is kind of vague, but does she demonstrate traits that indicate she would make a good mother?
9) Believes in traditional Biblical marriage – She needs to accept the model of marriage provided in the Bible. I am willing to date a Christian without this, given the sad reality of modern thought on marriage, but she must convert to this model before we marry. She also must be willing and eager to take my last name, no hyphens.
10) Willingness to homeschool – My children are not going to public school. Out of all of these this is the weakest on the list; it’s on the border between non-negotiables and strong preferences; I considered moving it to the top of my preferences list. I would be willing to accept alternatives such as Catholic private school or possibly Montessori education.
11) Responsible/Reliable/Loyal/Disciplined – Essentially, can she be relied upon. Marriage is essentially a business partnership based around running a household with the added bonus of sex; so, would I be willing to run a business with her? Does she wastefully spend and get into debt? Can she be counted on to keep her word? Can I depend on her to be responsible for those areas under her care? Etc.
12) Under 30 – I’ve written about this before, so I won’t say much more here. Under 30 is required, under 25 is a high priority, but negotiable.
My original list had 13 requirements, so this is not exactly the same, but I can’t think of anything that’s missing. The difference is probably because I mixed a few requirements together in this list that were discrete in the original.
Now, I don’t think I’ve made a list that is unreasonable. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that 100 years ago 90% of the single, white, Christian female population would have met this list. Even 50-60 years ago, I’m sure more women than not would have met this list (excepting some of the religious requirements).
In this fallen age, most women would not meet my list, but I think that says more about the decline of our civilization than any unreasonableness on my part.
Lastly, what do I bring to marriage. I’ll start with Donal’s LAMPS:
1) Looks – I’m tall and broad-shouldered, with a decent jawline. I have some muscle mass but I also have a bit of a gut. I’ve been told I’m handsome by a number of older women from church and my family’s social circles; I’ve never really inquired about it from women my own age. I’d guess I’m above average in this regard (but one must always remember the Dunning-Kruger effect).
2) Athleticism – I participate in a few sports, but they are less intense ones, and a martial art. I started lifting recently, but my lifts so far are not all that spectacular. I have a strong handshake and have decent burst capabilities but I’ve always had low endurance; but it’s been improving these last few years. Again, above average.
3) Money – I have a respectable, but not particularly exciting, middle class government job. I’m not yet 30, but I have a salary significantly above my province’s average. My salary is about average, maybe small amount above, for my peer group. I own my own home, have a decent amount of savings, and have a gold-plated government pension. There is a good chance my current career path could lead to six figures by retirement. Above average here.
4) Power – I am extremely confident, dipping into arrogant at times, but I am not particularly dominant and rarely take the lead due to my introverted nature and my natural apathy to the social hierarchy. I’m working on becoming more dominant though. Probably below average here.
5) Status – I have no idea. I have a respectable but unexciting job. I generally have the respect of my elders; among my peers, I’m thought of as a bit of a right-wing nutball. I’m Probably average to below average here.
Overall, I’m probably average to somewhat above average (hopefully, Dunning-Kruger isn’t rearing its head).
I scored a 4 on Roissy’s Dating Market Value Test, lumping me in the Classic Beta category.
As for the counterpart to my list above:
I am a conservative Christian who believes in traditional marriage Biblical marriage, a virgin (but I do have struggles with pornogrphy), moderately attractive and rather healthy. I am intelligent and emotionally controlled (perhaps too emotionally controlled, according to some). I earn enough to be an excellent provider.I’m also responsible, loyal, disciplined, etc.
I’m probably not very pleasant, but I am fairly easy-going. My major deficits are my social skills are sub-par, I am devoid of charisma, and many women find my views of marriage, society, politics, religion, etc. off-putting.
So, am I worthy and capable of achieving the marriage partner I desire?
I’m not sure, but for now I’ll keep trying and improving myself and we’ll see.