Ideal Other: Lists and Coding
Additional Information for Chapter 7, page 95
The objective of this link is to provide you an array of qualities and characteristics under each of the ten topics designed to assist you in creating a picture of your ideal other. We follow the order of topics from the Ideal Other Chart-located at the end of the chapter and available (in larger size) under the tools icon in this chapter.
Many of the 168 items listed will apply and many will not. The primary function of this list is to cue ideas. The concept or feature mentioned may not apply but it may cue ideas of things that do apply. For instance under the Social and Relational category #2 identifies “loving vs. unloving”. Now it is the rare person who wants someone who is unloving, but you might think, “you know, I want to marry someone who loves to touch, snuggle, and enjoys a lot of physical contact in general.” Now the original phrase deals with a different issue but jogged your memory about an important quality. Also some of the words or phrases are stated in the negative (e.g., needy, prejudiced or racist) because the negative phrase might cue something that a positive phrase wouldn’t. Some of these items are placed on a continuum to help you realize that a range of possibilities exist. For instance, #5 is critical vs. appreciative. Now, only someone who is verifiably insane would want someone who is habitually critical. There are some, however, who want to marry someone who will is direct, honest and will let them know if they are out of line. Once again we have bypassed the central idea (critical vs. appreciative) but the topic has cued a quality that is important.
The lists are, of course, not comprehensive. But if you wish to complete an excellent profile of yourself, these items should cue ideas you had not previously considered.
After the lists of qualities, we shift to discuss the important issue of the coding of qualities. Recall from The Compatibility Code that the four codings are:
- Highly desirable
Lists of Qualities
Social and Relational:
- Extroverted vs. introverted
- Loving vs. unloving
- Caring vs. uncaring
- Level of respect shown to others: low vs. high
- Critical vs. appreciative
- Level of humor: absent vs. abundant
- Communication ability
- Prejudiced or racist?
- Sociability: highly social vs. anti social
- Affectionate vs. cold
- Articulate vs. verbally clumsy
- Witty vs. dull
- Talkative vs. taciturn
- Level of romanticism: low to hi
- Sensitive vs. hard boiled
- Emotionality: excessive vs. cool and reserved
- Party animal vs. hates parties
- Level of loyalty
- Tactful vs. hurtfully blundering
- Overall importance of family: central vs. peripheral
- Loves extended family
- Enjoys huge family gatherings
- Children: wants vs. doesn’t want; loves vs. dislikes
- Divorced: yourself, parents? Number of former marriages
- Children from previous relationships
- Stability and quality of family of origin
- Good parenting skills
- Are there “problem people” from former relationships
- Pets: loves/wants them vs. hates/refuses them
- Honest vs. morally flexible
- able to forgive vs. holds a grudge
- Spiritually vs. worldly minded
- Strength of convictions
- Attitude toward church attendance
- Attitude toward involvement with Church ministries
- Patterns of worship and prayer in the home
- Frequency of reading spiritually uplifting material
- Selfish vs. altruistic
- Active vs. passive
- Anger control and expression
- Patience vs. impatience
- Neurotic vs. emotionally stable
- Healthy vs. unhealthy self-esteem
- Humble vs. proud
- Commitment: able vs. unable to form secure commitments
- Level of control: low vs. high
- Industry: lazy bum to workaholic
- Frequency of depression: rare to omnipresent
- Stubborn vs. open to suggestions
- Optimistic vs. pessimistic Intelligence
- Poverty mindset vs. abundance mentality
- Decisive vs. waffling
- Highly principled vs. expedient
- Genuine vs. trivial
- Harbors hatred or bitterness
- Generous vs. stingy
- Broad minded vs. opinionated
- Narcissistic, that is, obsessed with self
- Ambitious vs. content with the status quo
- Psychic metabolism: weak vs. Strong
- Interesting vs. boring
- Impulsive/reactive vs. thoughtful/planing
- Shallow vs. profound
- Cooperative vs. stubborn
- Neat and orderly vs. slovenly and disorderly
- Early riser?
- Tightly structured time management?
- Drug use?
- Squeaky clean vs. unsanitary
- Addictions: gambling, porn, soap operas, substances
- Sexuality: responsible vs. promiscuous
- Prudent vs. spendthrift
- Swears vs. verbally responsible
- Cultured vs. barbarian
- Argumentative vs. conflict avoider
- Passive aggressive?
- Responsible vs. irresponsible
- Work to create balance
- Work to get into the divine flow
- Music: enjoys listening vs. actively involved
- Love of the outdoors
- Spiritual growth
- Dogs, cats, or other animals
- Classical music/opera
- Classic movies
- Personal growth
- Extra ordinary talent or accomplishments
- Shop till you drop fanatic?
- Level of involvement/obsession in any of the areas listed above or others
- Importance of advancement in the company
- Likelihood of change of location or change of profession
- Pride in performance
- Enjoyment of your profession
- How well the job provides financially
- Investment activities
- Present financial prosperity
- Goals to achieve wealth
- Reading and watching “trade” books/videos
- Committed to personal growth?
- Content with the status quo?
- Activities designed to improve your mind?
- Average number of books read per year
- Risk taker vs. obsessed with safety
- Visionary vs. lives in the moment
- Logical thinker vs. emotional, reactive thinker
- Level of education
- Weight: Obese, overweight, ideal weight, anorexic
- Body build
- Level of attractiveness
- Sexiness, level of allure: low vs. high
- Physical handicaps?
- Healthy vs. prone to illness
- Athleticism: low to high
- Regular exercise regimen vs. none
- Dietary (e.g., Vegetarian, low fat, high fiber, etc.)
- Weight reduction/maintenance program
- Hiking/running enthusiast
- Avoid exercise at all costs
- Read books/magazines and watch videos about health and fitness
- Member of city organizations (such as city council)
- Member of service clubs (Rotary, Interact, Elks, Lions)
- Active member of church
- Participate in church ministries
- Make financial contributions to missions or other worthy causes
- Member of other local organizations: PTA, SPCA
- Athletics coach
- Music teacher, director, conductor
- Work with homeless and disadvantaged
- Give blood
- Participate in town or highway clean ups
- Work actively with social causes (global warming, pollution etc.)
- Politics: party, interest in
- Country of origin
Coding of Desired Qualities
We reproduce the chart from page 96 in The Compatibility Code:
- Required-something your future mate must have. If the quality is not present it’s a “deal breaker”
- Highly desirable-not required but greatly desired
- Desirable-an enjoyed quality but you are willing to be flexible
- Preference-nice if it is there, but no problem if it isn’t
The function of coding the qualities you have listed for the ideal other is in recognition that a perfect match does not exist. As we have stated before, if you wait for the perfect match you will die single.
A second consideration is that you will not find anyone who possesses all the qualities you list. Because of this it is critical that you be able to distinguish between qualities that are required (#1s) and qualities that are desired (#2s, #3s, #4s). Chapter 7 of The Compatibility Code does a good job of describing the details of how to code each item. We need not repeat here what the book does so well. Some cautions:
Don’t code too many of your items #1. You may create an idealistic picture which doesn’t exist in reality. One trick that I like to do is estimate how many people possess my list of #1s. Purely for sake of illustration, lets be real WASPish about this and consider people from North America, Europe and Australia/NZ. This represents a population base of about 1 billion. That means there are approximately 500 million men [we are writing from a woman’s perspective, 500 million women if you are a man seeking a woman]. We ignore for the moment marital status.
Now let’s take the list of #1s from pages 96/97 of The Compatibility Code-our hypothetical ideal man-and see how many men might contain all 11 #1s listed.
Now the issue is not to squabble over my estimated numbers, but to see if the list of #1s is overly stringent. With a starting number of 500 million we have dropped to 3 million. Half of those men are married, we’re down to1.5 million, 1/3 of them are children, down to 1 million. This suggests that .2% (2 out of every 1000) of available men meet this set of requirements.
Is this an impossible set of criteria? Not at all. I (Darren) have all 11 (acknowledging that #9 is personal preference) and I know many men who also have all 11.
On the other hand it is a stringent set of requirements reducing your field substantially. If I were to counsel with someone who had created this list, I would suggest that they consider downgrading #3, #10 and #11 to a “2” rather than a “1”. Discussion would determine how committed they are to the present set of values.
A final thought: It is almost certain that the list you create and code will change in the light of a real relationship. You may add certain items you had not considered and you may alter the coding of certain characteristics as you discover that a quality that you had rated a “4” proves to be much more important than you thought; or, a quality that you coded “1” may not be as absolute as you originally felt. It is fine to add or delete items or to change coding. Just make certain you are not sacrificing principle with these changes.
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