Waiting to date – here’s how to create a dating checklist

‘Come back,’ I cried as the echo of thudding hooves and clanging metal faded into the distance, the white of his horse blurring into the horizon. He was gone. The words formed in my mouth. ‘There are no knights on white horses anymore.’

I’ll admit I am waiting, waiting for my knight in shining armour! Sometimes I get tired of waiting.

In the meantime I’m working on what I can control, me!

Whilst waiting you can:

Lastly you can work through what you want from a relationship. (This may seem clinical as you end with a list, but women have expressed that it has helped them to not jump into ultimately unhealthy relationships or settle, and instead hold to a character standard of what is important to them.)

Create a dating checklist

Once you know who you are and what you like, spend time thinking about what you really want in a relationship. My list is now very different from what mattered to me in my early twenties. Some considerations are:

  1. Has the relationship grown from friendship? This one thing may be the best basis for a lasting relationship because you know the person before the ‘love chemicals’ kick in which can blind you to aspects of the person’s character.
  2. Define your own criteria for the kind of person you want to share your life with. This may include their character traits, how they treat others, and their attitudes, beliefs and values. This is your list of what is acceptable to you and what you cannot tolerate. Decide what is negotiable on the list.
  3. Share your dreams with the person you are dating. Are you heading in the same direction?

Create accountability

Create accountability for when you are blinded by ‘love chemicals’. Have some trusted friends who are prepared to speak the truth to you and can help by being your counsel on any future relationship. Give them permission to speak truthfully, even when they know it will hurt you. Tell them of any special areas to look out for. For me it is not conforming to what the person I’m dating wants, forfeiting myself in the process. I had asked a couple of friends to do this and after a first date they went into action. Although I was a bit miffed because I really liked the person, the danger signs were obvious to my friends. Now I am glad I gave them permission to speak.


It is hard once you get to the point of thinking you are healed enough to date, to wait for someone to appear in your life. I found I would check out men’s ring fingers for a tell-tale wedding ring, read the personal ads and generally fantasise about how to meet someone.

Waiting and being prepared to stick to my checklist and criteria I find difficult. Sometimes I feel like dropping my standards because any relationship would be better than having to wait.

This is where knowing you are whole without another person to complete you and living a life of purpose is important.

Putting legs on it

Create a checklist of

  • What you would like in a relationship, your dreams and where you are heading?
  • What characters traits do you want in a person?
  • What are your boundaries?

What things on the list are important and what is not-negotiable? What would you compromise on?

e.g. you might give up your retirement plan to travel Australia in a caravan if the person had the character you wanted but their idea of retirement is volunteering overseas in a third world country.



He said, She said Columns series : He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has travelled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends. SHE is … Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.

Pray for a mate – if you live in Adelaide South Australia and are interested in a group please contact me vicky@hisheartministrytraining.com.au


Love chemicals BBC:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/hottopics/love/

Amazing brain:   http://www.youramazingbrain.org/lovesex/sciencelove.htm

Photo Credit: Matthew Henry unsplash.com

7 ways to help you process forgiveness

Imagine this scene. You are fighting with your ex. There’s a crystal vase – a wedding present and reminder of the life and love you shared. In the arm flinging and yelling and trying to get a point across, the vase is swept from its resting place, smashing onto the floor. You pick up a piece of the glass and hold onto it. You yell at your ex, ‘See what you’ve done. It’s ruined. It’s broken like us. I will never forgive you for this.’  Your ex leaves and you sit holding the broken glass in your hands, crying from your loss, angry at the mess of the vase that represents your life together.

Broken glass StockSnap veeterzy

Years later that shattered vase is still on your floor. You run your fingers through the glass on a regular basis rehearsing your pain. You stomp and shout to your ex, (wherever they are), ‘I hate you for what you’ve done. It’s all your fault!’ As you grip the broken glass, empowered by your bitterness, you notice you are bleeding. The glass has cut you.

Forgiveness is letting go of the broken glass.

When you hang onto the broken glass, picking it up, turning it over in your hands, repeating your pain; you are the one who gets cut. Not your ex.

To heal from the wounds of your past, relate in a healthy way and be free to love again, you need to practice forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a process

Forgiveness is letting go of your urge to retaliate, to exact revenge. Forgiveness is an unnatural act1.

Forgiving others is not about them and what they did. It’s about you and moving on with your life.  It does not excuse or belittle what happened. It does not make the other person right or mean you have to let them have the power to hurt you again. Forgiveness buys your freedom.

Forgiveness is a process not a one off event. It takes time. You forgive little bit by little bit, often repeating the process.  It is not about how you feel or what you emotions say.  It is the act of saying, ‘I forgive.’

Ever had a guest stay with you and you couldn’t wait to put them on the train and wave farewell? As you left the station you invariably felt lighter, less burdened and free to be comfortable in your own home.  Picture forgiveness as a train. You put people on the train speaking your forgiveness to them and some of your emotional baggage goes with them as the train leaves the station. Then you think of someone else you need to forgive or something has triggered a memory so pain bursts into life again. Put these on the next train. Keep repeating the process and you will be the one who benefits.

The benefits of forgiveness

Studies have shown that forgiveness is good for your health, lowering blood pressure and heart rate and reducing pain. It will reduce emotional symptoms such as depression, anger and anxiety. It improves relational and spiritual health.

If you are curious about where God fits in with forgiveness click here.

white flower quino-al-137872

Some ways to help you process

Here’s a list of ways you can try – some I use and some others have used:

  • Write a forgiveness list. Begin with ‘I forgive you for…’ to each person or event on the list You could imagine the person sitting opposite in an empty chair and speak your forgiveness to them
  • You could write a letter that you never post. I wrote letters in a journal so I couldn’t accidently post them
  • Picture sending people and events out of your life as you forgive them. Put people on the train and visualise it pulling away from the station. Occasionally I float off on a leaf down a river people and events I need to release and stop regurgitating in my mind. Did I mention there is a waterfall on the river?
  • Write notes and attach to balloons. Float the balloon away to symbolise the letting go
  • Write notes and throw the paper into a fire
  • You can contact the person and speak your forgiveness to them. It doesn’t matter how they react, it’s about you saying ‘I forgive’.

Whatever you do always be safe. For some people it is never safe physically or emotionally to have contact with an ex or other people who have harmed you, so choose a method where you don’t contact them

Find what works for you.

Don’t forget to forgive yourself.

Putting legs on it

Who do you need to forgive? Write a list.

Try one or more of the ways to process your forgiveness as you work through your list.


If you would like to know if divorce is the unforgivable sin as some churches have taught click here

Stepping stones to forgiveness


  1. Yancey, P. (1997 ) What’s so amazing about grace, Zondervan Publishing House, USA

Photo Credit: Broken Glass Veeterzy stocksnap.io and White Flower Quion Al unsplash.com