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While talking to an older woman that I once worked with about relationships, she suggested that I write down all of the traits I wanted in my future husband. This list, she said, should even include those superficial things that I wanted in a man. She then told me to read over the list anytime I needed a reminder and most importantly ‘don’t bend’ on the requirements. Although I usually take heed to the advice given by older women, now two years later after revisiting the list that I had created full of superficial qualities and all, my single self has suddenly realized that a little bending won’t hurt; and most importantly there comes a time when a girl must learn to compromise, even on her precious list.

Although a firm believer in women, or anyone for that matter, not settling when it comes to relationships, there is a difference in settling and compromising. Settling means going against everything you feel, want, and believe in order to be in a relationship. Compromising means to bend a little on some things of lesser value (height, size, looks, etc.) and instead focus more on those things of greater value that a man may possess.  And while everyone’s definition of settling will vary because we all place greater importance on different things, my basis for not settling means to not bend on those things that go against my values and my happiness. And at this point in my life, everything else is up for debate, even the Boris Kodjoe lookalike that I anticipated meeting one day.

I often consider three things before compromising my list of requirements. First, I ask myself how does he make me feel? There have been times when I actually enjoyed spending time with a man but blocked my feelings from progressing because he didn’t look good on paper.

For instance, he made me laugh and genuinely cared about me, but he was two inches too short from what I considered acceptable and he had a laugh that sounded more like a giddy school girl than a grown man.  Plus he wasn’t the cutest guy out there.  So although I enjoyed spending time with him, I let my superficial requirements persuade me otherwise. Of course, you can never base decisions on mere feelings, but now when someone makes me happy or I enjoy being around him, I at least open my mind to explore the possibility of a relationship.

I also consider if the things that I dislike about him are upgradeable. For instance, if I hate the way he dresses in public, is this something I can assist him with? If he at least has potential, there is room for compromise.

The other thing I consider before compromising is if he meets the core requirements I want in a man. These core requirements revolve around my morals and values. Basically, does he value family, have a spiritual background, and work hard, although he may not be rich in terms of wealth?

The reality is, if a man can make me happy, is respectful, and shares the same values that I have, I at least attempt to look over those superficial qualities that can’t solely make a relationship.  It’s important to know that looks alone won’t make you happy, but a man whose goal in life is to make you happy will.

I am not trying convincing you to ditch your infamous list of requirements. Nor am I suggesting that you marry someone who adores you but you can’t stand the presence of him. I am only suggesting that you consider compromising on some of the things that won’t make or break your relationship, keeping in mind that it’s never a good idea to settle, but instead compromise. And trust me, there is a big difference.