By Laurel House for GalTime.com

When it comes to finding “Mr. Right,” I used to believe in lists. After each relationship, I would add to my “Musts” and “Won’t Stands” based on experiences had and realizations made.

It seems the whole list thing is pretty common. The idea is that if you make a detailed, honest list of exactly what you are looking for in a guy, it will help you find your Mr. Right. Why? Because you are being clear on what you want and putting it out there.

Essentially, you are creating this perfect person in your mind so that either:

A. You can use it as your gauge to judge each guy you go out with and be prepared to look out for red flags or (hopefully) your ideal perfection.

B. You are tossing your picture of perfection out to the universe so that that guy will be sent your way, cross your path, and you won’t be able to help but take notice when you come across the embodiment of your specifications.

But it’s more than a list of positive attributes and the components that you want your ideal guy to bring to the table ( or what I call “must haves”). It’s also about the negatives- the “won’t stands.” Those are the deal-breaker elements that you absolutely cannot look past.

Related: 6 Things Women do to Push Men Away

So I made my list. And after each date I would check it, x’ing the poor guy off because he didn’t qualify. When my list exceeded 250 pre-recs, I realized that pretty much no one could embody my needs.

… And then I found him. He was the complete (as hard as it may be to believe) embodiment of my list. Every single item was checked off. He defined who I have always wanted. He wrote little notes telling me how great I am. He picked flowers and put them in a bud vase beside my bathroom sink. He was successful and interested in helping boost my career too. He woke up in the morning and allowed me to sleep for a few extra minutes as he prepared coffee for me — despite the fact that he wasn’t a coffee-drinker himself. He wanted to and had the financial and scheduling means to travel with me — anywhere, everywhere, anytime — on a whim. He loved my body, and told me all the time. He was emotionally available and supportive. He liked to live a healthy lifestyle and wasn’t addicted to any drugs nor did he excessively drink. I learned from him, both from his personal experiences and his career. He would make an amazing husband, partner, the type of man who you could spend a life with, and always have something to talk about. He was interested and interesting. He was perfect… paper perfect.

Sure, he was the embodiment of my list, but once the initial excitement wore off and regular life set in, we realized that we were better off as friends. We didn’t have that spark, that chemistry that is so hard to define but so necessary in a relationship. And so we had a conversation about it and decided that that was what we should be — just great friends.

And that’s when I realized… screw the list!

Like when a smile doesn’t touch the eyes, just “paper perfect” sometimes doesn’t touch the heart. But the fact is that you’re not looking for a walking list. You’re looking for a feeling. What you might find is that the person who in fact is perfect for you, might be very different from what you thought you were looking for. Because it’s not your eyes that should be doing the looking. It’s your heart.
So What Do You Do?

Create a list. But don’t just write the musts in terms of activities, appearance, location, interests, or even personality. Think about:

1. Core Values. What are your core values? I mean, what are the most important things to you at the core? I’m talking about home, family, trust, close relationship with parents, ability to be emotionally raw and available, compassionate, giving back, and close friendships.

2. Feelings. How do you want the relationship to make you feel? Comforted, excited, sexy, calm, balanced, secure, safe, at home… If “home” is on the top of the list, what does “home” feel like to you?

Now let go of the list. You aren’t going to find someone who is “exactly perfect”, someone who embodies every line on your list. But someone can be a lot of what you are looking for, and maybe even more of things that you didn’t realize you wanted. Sometimes you didn’t realize the things that really matter to you, because you were never exposed to them in the past.

Related:  Top 5 Myths Women (Still) Believe About Men

Create an Intention Board

An Intention Board is a collage of images and words cut from magazines, drawn, or written that illustrate the energy, feelings, and loose goals of what you are looking for. Each morning, and before you go on a date, spend 5 minutes looking at the board. Focus on the elements that pop out at you and remind you what truly is important to you and important in the person you are looking for, and life you are looking to live.

How to make it:

- Use a poster board and cover it in images, words, photos, magazine cutouts, whatever you want, that helps bring to life your ideal
- Visualize what living that wish might be like.
- Every morning as you are drinking your tea or coffee or eating your breakfast, sit in silence with your board and just take it in. Look at the images, read the words, and imagine how the energy of that board, those desires, and that energy can translate into your life. Don’t take each image literally, just take its energy.
- With the intention of your board in mind, see how you can make small changes throughout your day to make those goals take shape.
- Don’t be attached to the form or outcome of your wish. You have to surrender a little bit of control here and trust that your wish will come true in some shape or form- just maybe not in the exact shape you saw in your head. Focus more on the energy or feeling that your board expresses instead of the exact pictures or words that it contains.

Screw the list, go with your heart instead.