I recently had brunch with a good friend who instructed me on the ways of the chart. We were discussing dating, and how it seems an endless sea of Mr. Wrongs. (She is happily married.) So, she posed the question, “Are you looking for the right guy for you? Or Mr. Right Now? Do you even know the difference? Or are you spinning your wheels?” Well, to be honest, I don’t know. Perhaps that’s why I make such generally crappy choices in men — I’m asking Mr. Right Now to play Mr. Right, a role for which he is not, nor will he ever be, suited.
This came up again in conversation with another set of friends, where they asked if the Chart Method was on my blog, and if it wasn’t, it should be. (Shout out to Joe from Boston!) So, here it is. It’s a basic list with four columns
- Your Ideal Candidate
- Things You Are Willing to Negotiate
- Absolute Deal Breakers
- Honest Assessment
- Past Relationships (optional)
Each chart should address Emotional, Mental, Physical, and General (as a catchall). You can also add a column to describe the typical person you date, or a combination of all the qualities of those of your past. The goal is to see it all on paper, and compare whether YOU are actually suited for your Ideal Person. If the lists don’t match up, then you’ve got to start rethinking your choices or your list. Are you searching for someone who will never make you happy? For someone who doesn’t provide you balance? For someone that would send you into a toxic spiral? For someone who doesn’t exist? On the other hand, use that list as a measuring stick next time a man/woman enters your life romantically. It’s a lot easier to enforce boundaries and stick to your guns when you have articulated them and seen them written down.
For me personally, I don’t believe I’m unreasonable, but I can now see that I am looking for someone who is likely only in 3% of the general dating pool. Add in that amorphous thing we call chemistry, and it’s probably only 0.5 – 1%. Yay me. This will be interesting. Nonetheless, I hope the Chart Method helps you to assess your dating goals, desires, and realities. I’ve found a lot of wisdom in this exercise.
What do you think about the Chart Method? Have you ever used it? If so, what did you learn from it? I’d love to hear your experiences!
Stay Glittery, Daters!