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Another great tip for singles willing to wait for the best mate.

This is another way of saying, know your non-negotiables and stick to them. If you go to the mall to buy a dress, you will be there all day if you don’t have an idea of the kind of dress you’re looking for, the color, and the price range, But if you know in advance, your search will go much faster. Know what you’re looking for in a mate, and you can eliminate very quickly unqualified candidates. Psychologist Neil Clark Warren says, know your “must haves” and you “can’t stands.”

While you’re single, you should have a list. What are the absolute essentials you are looking for in a mate? What is your value system? What do you believe you are called to do and what kind of mate would complement that calling?  What are the things you cannot tolerate? If you must marry someone gainfully employed and you meet someone without a job (and he’s not looking for one and hasn’t worked in years), you don’t need to go past a conversation. Case closed.

Your “can’t stand” list may include someone who is verbally abusive, lazy, or who has children. The list is different for each person. God allows us to have preferences. After all, we all like different foods, cars, and clothing. That’s OK. God likes diversity, but you need to know what you are about before you meet someone. What is it you can’t live with? A dirty man? Someone who is jealous, or who uses profanity? Some women don’t mind if the man is unemployed, as long as he’s good looking and wants her. Whatever works for you.

The more you know your qualifications and expectations before you meet someone, the easier it will be to discern if this person is for you. Think about it. We use this procedure in other areas of our lives. When we decide to become homeowners, we go through a process of elimination: Do I want a condo, townhouse, or single family home? Do I want to live in the city or suburbs? Which neighborhood? What can I afford? Do I want a new house or an older one? Is a garage mandatory?

If all these questions and others are decided beforehand, the search will be more productive. You can tell the realtor exactly what you’re looking for. You would be upset if you told the agent you are interested only in single-family homes in a certain community at a certain price, yet every day she calls you up about a condo in an undesirable neighborhood. You would probably get another agent because the person is not respecting your decision making and instead is trying to steer you in a direction you do not want to go.

But how many of us say we know what we want in a man, but we aren’t willing to wait for it? We take any man who comes by, even if he’s not what we’ve been praying for. We are just thrilled to have a man, any man! We need to be more discriminating and determined to wait for what God wants to give us. We usually live with regrets when we don’t.

Cheryl Martin is the author of the books, Distinctly You and 1st Class Single. To learn more, visit,

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