Heart to Heart

Six-pack, rich, good cook; What items are ticked on your checklist?

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Drawn up lists of some of the most wanted qualities people look for in their potential partners. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA 

By Gloria Haguma

Posted  Thursday, December 12  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

What’s your flavour? Before we settle into a committed relationship, we all have dreams and fantasies of our ideal suitors; someone like your daddy, momma, sister or even Scarlett Johansson or Tyrese. You will try to diversify your hunting ground in pursuit of your dream, but how successful will you be? Gloria Haguma went out there and brings you the ‘most wanted’ qualities people look for and also talks about the pros and cons of keeping these checklists.


Before Emily accepts to go out on a date with any man, he must be a true definition of class and style - she won’t settle for less. For her, there is no way she will go out with a man who doesn’t match her dream potential partner. She says although it may be hard to find someone who matches her 10-point checklist, the person should at least have seven of the qualities.

“Anything less than that is compromising myself. But if he is stylish, classy, humorous and sustains a good conversation, then I can always find a way to deal with the other lacking things,” the university graduate says.
Like Emily, we all have an imagination of what we want our dream partner to look like. The picture may be inspired by movie characters or a successful lovely couple.

While some people may only stop at dreaming and fantasising, there are people who are devoted to keeping tabs on attaining this dream partner. They will keep a checklist, which is either written or memorised, referring to it or taking off something, at times adding, whenever they meet a new suitor or go on a date.

However, coming up with this list is usually a gradual process because as you advance, both in status, and needs, the list also keeps growing.

If two years ago one of the qualities on your list was a basic education level, one year down the road after attaining a master’s degree, you will find yourself changing from just education level, to at least degree holder.
I am the kind of person who keeps a checklist, but will only consider looking at it when I feel it’s probably time to get serious with this person. By the time I accept to go on a date with a man, I definitely know he is the kind of person whose company I will enjoy.

So, referring to my checklist on the first date, in a way ruins the whole thing even before it has begun because in my mind, I will expect to meet someone funny and charming.
Expendito Katante, who has been married for the last eight years, says he does not believe the checklist is essential when someone is looking to settle down.

“Before I met my wife, I wanted someone with specific qualities and truthfully, when I met her, she didn’t meet many of the qualities I wanted. But that did not stop me from falling in love with her. If you meet someone and you like them, it will feel right. If it’s actually right, that is what is important,” Katante says.

The businessman adds that what many don’t know is that this checklist is simply meant to create a glimpse into what exactly it is that you want, but it doesn’t symbolise anything in regards to who you eventually end up with.
Joy Nakabuye, a single mother, says checklists are unrealistic and a non-factor when choosing a possible suitor.
“Many of the items on this list are mere fantasies and are most times outrageous. How can you be looking for an educated man with a good job, yet you are not anywhere near stable in your own career?” she asks.

Nakabuye adds that the right way to do this would be to simply look for a person whom you are emotionally compatible with, someone you understand and can live with. At the end of the day, she adds, how you feel about this person is what matters most.

Looking beyond
Phoebe Luwum, a relationship coach, says drawing up a checklist is not a bad idea but how you draw it is where the problem arises.
“The key factor is knowing exactly what you want. The mistake most people make is not being able to know who they are,” Luwum says.

“When you don’t know yourself, you begin photoshopping, having things like a man with a Benz, or a wealthy man on your list. These things are not going to last forever.”
She cites the two levels of the mind; the surface level and the subconscious mind, and says most people focus on the surface level when choosing their partners.

“Things like I am Lucy and I am a banker are on the surface level. However, your main focus should be things in the subconscious mind. Know what your values in life and purpose are, then you will be likely to meet someone with the same values. Then you can grow together,” she says.
The subconscious mind, she adds, deals with emotions and this should be the bigger picture when you are choosing your partner.
The relationship coach advises that after knowing who you are, you then have to love yourself.

“Usually, if you carefully analyse your list, it portrays those things that you don’t accept about yourself. You are incomplete, so you will be looking for someone to come in and fill that gap. You want someone to come in and save you from loneliness,” she adds.

However, that is too much responsibility to put onto someone. You have to be complete within yourself in order to be happy.
Luwum points out that she didn’t have a conscious list on paper, but there were things that she wanted but many times she failed to find these in many of the relationships she was involved in.

“Personally, I wanted someone who works out, and you know that’s a very surface thing. However, the more spiritually and deeper I begun looking past this, I started wanting other things. And now I fell in love with someone who doesn’t even work out but it doesn’t bother me at all, and I would not exchange him for anything,” she says.
Usually, there is a subconscious part of you that wants something different. And most times, if you fail to know what this is, then it will work against you, in your relationships with others.

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