We all know what happens when you head to the grocery store without a list. You end up impulsively grabbing items and leaving with a cart piled full of stuff you didn’t really need.
While killing time in the back of a biology class during nursing school, a then 19-year-old Elena Murzello used this “grocery list” theory to create a list of characteristics she was looking for in a potential partner. What Murzello didn’t realize at the time was that this was the first of many “love lists” she would write – eventually leading her to author The Love List: A Guide to Getting Who You Want.
“Without a list, you base your purchases on how hungry you are and end up grabbing random items you don’t need, like pretzel-covered peanut-butter snacks,” writes Murzello in the book. “The reevaluation begins when you stare at your half-full grocery cart as you wait in line and realize that you don’t really need half the stuff that you put in your cart. More often than not, you forget the one thing you went shopping for in the first place because it wasn’t so apparent when you were browsing the shelves.”
The analogy makes sense. But applying it to her dating life wasn’t a success for Murzello the first time around.
Elena Murzello developed the “love list” as a tool to help people identify what they are looking for in a potential partner.
“I wrote 55 characteristics and it had everything from dark denim jeans, to straight teeth, to 5’11” to 6’3” … all this detail,” she told NBC News BETTER. “A month later I ended up meeting my boyfriend at the time and we had a lengthy 10-year relationship. It ended when he went to Vegas for a bachelor party and met a girl. The next weekend he broke up with me; in three months they were engaged, in six months they were married, and then they moved into the apartment that we lived in together. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I kind of went into a hibernation and I went back to grad school.”
How did my list fail me? Did it change? Did he personify the list and then I changed? Did I really need a list? These were the questions that ran through Murzellos head.
“I started to interview single, married, divorced people and asked if they’d ever had a list and all the interviews kind of just accumulated and it became the book,” she says. After speaking to more than 100 individuals, she identified the top three characteristics that people were looking for or what those who were married appreciated most about their partners. For women those traits were: Sense of humor, smart and honest, and kind. For men: Attractiveness, sense of humor, and intelligence/ambition.
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With this research under her belt, Murzello sat down right before her 30th birthday and crafted a new list. And there was a clear evolution between the characteristics that made the cut now, versus the ones that her 19-year-old self had jotted down 10 years earlier.
“My list from my 20s was 55 characteristics – it had a lot of www.besthookupwebsites.org/mydirtyhobby-review/ superficial, physical stuff, and my list at 30 kind of took that away because you know what? Looks do fade,” she says. “The things that really matter are those personality-based traits like honesty, trustworthiness, a solid family and friend base, that kind of stuff lasts. I’m still partial to dark denim jeans, but if you don’t own a pair we’ll get you some.”