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:

  1. Required
  2. Highly desirable
  3. Desirable
  4. Preference

Lists of Qualities

Social and Relational:

  1. Extroverted vs. introverted
  2. Loving vs. unloving
  3. Caring vs. uncaring
  4. Level of respect shown to others: low vs. high
  5. Critical vs. appreciative
  6. Level of humor: absent vs. abundant
  7. Communication ability
  8. Prejudiced or racist?
  9. Needy?
  10. Sociability: highly social vs. anti social
  11. Affectionate vs. cold
  12. Articulate vs. verbally clumsy
  13. Witty vs. dull
  14. Talkative vs. taciturn
  15. Level of romanticism: low to hi
  16. Sensitive vs. hard boiled
  17. Emotionality: excessive vs. cool and reserved
  18. Party animal vs. hates parties
  19. Level of loyalty
  20. Tactful vs. hurtfully blundering


  1. Overall importance of family: central vs. peripheral
  2. Loves extended family
  3. Enjoys huge family gatherings
  4. Children: wants vs. doesn’t want; loves vs. dislikes
  5. Divorced: yourself, parents? Number of former marriages
  6. Children from previous relationships
  7. Stability and quality of family of origin
  8. Controlling?
  9. Domineering?
  10. Jealous?
  11. Codependent?
  12. Good parenting skills
  13. Playful?
  14. Are there “problem people” from former relationships
  15. Pets: loves/wants them vs. hates/refuses them


  1. Christian?
  2. Denomination?
  3. Honest vs. morally flexible
  4. able to forgive vs. holds a grudge
  5. Spiritually vs. worldly minded
  6. Strength of convictions
  7. Attitude toward church attendance
  8. Attitude toward involvement with Church ministries
  9. Patterns of worship and prayer in the home
  10. Frequency of reading spiritually uplifting material


  1. Selfish vs. altruistic
  2. Active vs. passive
  3. Anger control and expression
  4. Kindness
  5. Patience vs. impatience
  6. Neurotic vs. emotionally stable
  7. Healthy vs. unhealthy self-esteem
  8. Humble vs. proud
  9. Commitment: able vs.  unable to form secure commitments
  10. Level of control: low vs. high
  11. Manipulative?
  12. Industry: lazy bum to workaholic
  13. Flirtatious?
  14. Frequency of depression: rare to omnipresent
  15. Stubborn vs. open to suggestions
  16. Optimistic vs. pessimistic Intelligence
  17. Poverty mindset vs. abundance mentality
  18. Decisive vs. waffling
  19. Highly principled vs. expedient
  20. Genuine vs. trivial
  21. Harbors hatred or bitterness
  22. Generous vs. stingy
  23. Broad minded vs. opinionated
  24. Narcissistic, that is, obsessed with self
  25. Ambitious vs. content with the status quo
  26. Psychic metabolism: weak vs. Strong
  27. Interesting vs. boring
  28. Impulsive/reactive vs. thoughtful/planing
  29. Shallow vs. profound
  30. Cooperative vs. stubborn

Personal Habits

  1. Neat and orderly vs. slovenly and disorderly
  2. Early riser?
  3. Tightly structured time management?
  4. Smoking?
  5. Drinking?
  6. Drug use?
  7. Squeaky clean vs. unsanitary
  8. Addictions: gambling, porn, soap operas, substances
  9. Sexuality: responsible vs. promiscuous
  10. Prudent vs. spendthrift
  11. Swears vs. verbally responsible
  12. Cultured vs. barbarian
  13. Argumentative vs. conflict avoider
  14. Passive aggressive?
  15. Responsible vs. irresponsible
  16. Work to create balance
  17. Work to get into the divine flow


  1. Music: enjoys listening vs. actively involved
  2. Love of the outdoors
  3. Spiritual growth
  4. Evangelism
  5. Dogs, cats, or other animals
  6. Classical music/opera
  7. Reading
  8. Classic movies
  9. Football/baseball/hockey/basketball/Olympic sports
  10. Personal growth
  11. Extra ordinary talent or accomplishments
  12. Shop till you drop fanatic?
  13. Level of involvement/obsession in any of the areas listed above or others


  1. Employed?
  2. Profession
  3. Importance of advancement in the company
  4. Likelihood of change of location or change of profession
  5. Pride in performance
  6. Enjoyment of your profession
  7. How well the job provides financially
  8. Investment activities
  9. Present financial prosperity
  10. Goals to achieve wealth
  11. Entrepreneurial
  12. Reading and watching “trade” books/videos
  13. Committed to personal growth?
  14. Content with the status quo?
  15. Activities designed to improve your mind?
  16. Average number of books read per year
  17. Workaholic?
  18. Risk taker vs. obsessed with safety
  19. Visionary vs. lives in the moment
  20. Logical thinker vs. emotional, reactive thinker
  21. Level of education

Physical Characteristics

  1. Age
  2. height
  3. Weight: Obese, overweight, ideal weight, anorexic
  4. Body build
  5. Level of attractiveness
  6. ethnicity
  7. Sexiness, level of allure: low vs. high
  8. Physical handicaps?
  9. Athleticism


  1. Healthy vs. prone to illness
  2. Athleticism: low to high
  3. Regular exercise regimen vs. none
  4. Dietary (e.g., Vegetarian, low fat, high fiber, etc.)
  5. Weight reduction/maintenance program
  6. Hiking/running enthusiast
  7. Avoid exercise at all costs
  8. Read books/magazines and watch videos about health and fitness


  1. Member of city organizations (such as city council)
  2. Member of service clubs (Rotary, Interact, Elks, Lions)
  3. Active member of church
  4. Participate in church ministries
  5. Make financial contributions to missions or other worthy causes
  6. Member of other local organizations: PTA, SPCA
  7. Athletics coach
  8. Music teacher, director, conductor
  9. Work with homeless and disadvantaged
  10. Give blood
  11. Participate in town or highway clean ups
  12. Work actively with social causes (global warming, pollution etc.)
  13. Generous
  14. Giving


  1. Politics: party, interest in
  2. Country of origin

Coding of Desired Qualities

We reproduce the chart from page 96 in The Compatibility Code:

  1. Required-something your future mate must have. If the quality is not present it’s a “deal breaker”
  2. Highly desirable-not required but greatly desired
  3. Desirable-an enjoyed quality but you are willing to be flexible
  4. 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.

Item coded #1 Number of men who possess all qualities Comment
1. Enjoys close family ties 300 million most men enjoy family, we estimate 60% of our original 500 million
2. Committed Christian 50 million We’re down to only 10% of the original 500 mil.  Lots of nominal Christians but if you are a committed Christian this is a realistic requirement.
3. Pays tithe (10%) 20 million Unrealistic requirement? We’re down to 4% of the original 500 mil.
4. Affectionate 19 million most men who love family are affectionate
5. Committed to ever growing 12 million cuts numbers but this is certainly a required quality for this person
6. Non smoker 12 million With qualities 1-5, smokers are rare
7. Intelligent (> 115 IQ) 7 million cuts numbers but again if you are intelligent it is critical that you marry someone who is also intelligent
8. Able to think logically 7 million anyone over 115 IQ can think logically
9. Personally appealing 5 million Interestingly, if items #1-8 are fulfilled the chances are high that this person will be appealing.  Not all, of course; suggesting the drop from 7 to 5 mil.
10. Committed to high level of fitness 3 million This one hurts.  We’re probably optimistic in suggesting only a 40% drop from the previous level.
11. Regular exercise schedule 3 million If a person is committed to high level fitness it is likely they have a regular exercise program.


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.

Chapter 7 Resources

Reference and Research

  1. Power of the Subconscious Mind

Tools and Worksheets

  1. My Ideal Other from pages 95 & 100 (PDF, 157 KB)
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