Things have been a bit slow in the romance department of late, so for the first time ever I contacted a matchmaker. They asked me what I am looking for. I don’t want to seem fussy, but I don’t want to settle either. So what’s the best way to go about defining whom I want to date?


Here’s what you should do:

  1. Take a piece of paper and a pen, and write down everything you are looking for in a match.
  2. Scrunch up the piece of paper.
  3. Throw it away.
  4. Take another piece of paper, and write down your three most important values and beliefs.
  5. If you hear of a good person who shares your values, forget about all other prerequisites and date them.

It is absurd to think that the way to find your soulmate is to first describe them in detail, and then seek someone who fits your description. How are you supposed to describe someone you never met? How are you supposed to know what you’re looking for in the first place?

You say you’re an outgoing type, so you need someone outgoing. Really? What difference will it make to your relationship? You love rock climbing, so you need someone with a sense of adventure. Why? Can’t you go climbing with your climbing friends?

Our personalities don’t need to be the same. Our hobbies don’t need to match up. Our values do. An outgoing rock climber who doesn’t share your family values and beliefs about the world may be great company for holidays, but not a great partner for life. But an introverted chess player whose vision for their future and outlook on life matches yours—might just click perfectly.

When you approach dating with a checklist, you are waiting to strike the other person out. That is not real openness. Rather, come to the matchmaker with simple expectations: “I know I am looking for a good, kind person who shares my values and beliefs. On this I am clear.

“As for everything else—personality type, interests, intellectual leanings, how loud or soft they speak—I have no idea what I need. But I am open to finding out. Surprise me.”