“The List” and My List

Donal makes a list of what he requires in and offers to his future spouse, and suggested others do the same. I will, but first I’ll talk a bit on lists.

Unlike many in the ‘sphere, I do not have a negative reaction to a list; in fact, I support “the list”. I think it is a positive if a woman rationally plans ahead and has a strong list of non-negotiables she would require of a spouse before marriage and even a list of negotiable preferences. I think every single person, both men and women, should have a list.

A woman should have high standards; in fact, I think women should demand more from men than what they currently do. Women should not settle and should refuse to settle. Many of our modern difficulties come not from women with “lists” or high demands, but rather from women lacking either.

Men should have high standards and a list as well. In fact, I encourage any man reading this who is considering marriage to go and make a list of non-negotiables once they’ve finished reading this post.


The purpose of the list is something that should be kept in mind when making the list. The list exists, or should exist, for two main reasons:

1) To clarify what you are looking for in a relationship so you can focus your romantic efforts where they would be most valuable and avoid wasting time on people who are not what you need in a relationship.

2) To create a hard standard to prevent you from making a bad choice while being swept away in lust and emotion.

A list exists to protect you and your time from those who would use and waste both.

Leap stated:

The underlying subtext of this is all wrong. It’s a beta list for Beta’s and women who feel guilty about not dating them. She actively admits dating men that contradict these values.

He understands the proper subtext but misses the point of the list; the list, for women, is and should be to keep her from dating the alphas who would ruin her. It exists to protect her from her emotions so she doesn’t go through “alpha now -> beta later“.

A man’s list should exist to keep him from marrying the blonde bombshell with BPD. It serves as a firm anchor point when the tidal wave of lust overwhelms his good sense.

Every list should have this, not just as the subtext, but as the main point. Remember one of the main points of Proverbs, protect yourself from the adulteress.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)


The problem is not the concept of the list itself, the problem is with some women’s poor and irrational attempts at creating a list. They go about it the wrong, resulting in the incorrect use of the list. Here are some of the errors people make:

1) Creating a list that is unmeetable, but still expecting to get married. Too many women make a large list that no man can possibly live up to, than wonder why no man lives up to it. You must accept the reality that the higher your standards and the longer your list, the less likely anybody will meet it and the less likely marriage will be. If your standards are too high, you might remain single for the rest of your life.

My list of standards is fairly high (at least for our modern world) and I’d be surprised if even 10% of the single female population met them. In fact, my original list had more points (13) than the list Donal criticizes (12) and my new list below has the same number. But I recognize that my standards are high and accept the reality that I might remain single for the rest of my life. I simply know that I would prefer singleness to marriage to a woman that did not meet these basic standards.

Rule of thumb: Something should not be on your list unless you would rather remain single for the rest of your life than compromise on it.

2) Focusing on frivolities, ignoring the important – What matters for a marriage is underlying character, behaviours, and values related to a successful marriage. A list should focus on these. A list should avoid things unrelated this.

Too many times, when people speak of standards, of demanding more, they think of the superficial standards (absurdly high income,  a height requirement,  unrealistic standards of attractiveness). You should demand more and have high standards, but of character, not the superficial.

3) Making a list, then ignoring it – It is my impression many women make a list, sometimes reasonable, sometimes not, then, if they don’t meet a man who meets that list, rather then reconsider some parts of the list or simply go without a relationship, they completely ignore the list out of desperation. Usually when they ignore the list, it is the more important parts (character, values) they ignore in favour of the more superficial parts that shouldn’t be on the list anyways.

The list exists for a reason; if you make a list, stick to it. A non- negotiable list should be just that, non-negotiable; if you can’t meet anybody who meets the list’s requirements, either modify the list to something more reasonable or accept that you may be single for life.

4) Vague emotional standards, rather than concrete rules – I know romantic love can not be reduced to a formula, but a list should primarily be of concrete attributes, not vague emotions. A list which focuses too much on how someone makes you feel is counterproductive. It violates the purpose of a list, which is protecting you from your own emotions and lust. One or two points about emotions and attraction may be fine, but the bulk of the list should be observable traits independent of your emotional state.


Donal criticizes a particular list, but I don’t see much trouble with the actual points of the list in themselves. My only real problem with any of the particular point as written is #11 because it is theologically inaccurate, even though I have no problem with women expecting a certain, reasonable level of romance.

The problem is, as Donal mentions, the attitude behind this list and the way certain things on the list, particularly those related to emotions, may be (mis)construed could be problematic, but the list itself, as written, is not really offensive.

Also, the lack of concreteness is a problem: #7,10, and 11 can all be summed up as gives me good feelings. Good feelings should be one point on the list, if that, because good feelings are what the list should be protecting someone from; not a quarter of the list itself.

Irrelevant side note on the comments debate on attractiveness: The lady who wrote this is extremely attractive, both subjectively and objectively; a solid 9 at least (but I’m partial to blondes). On the other hand, I find Angelina Jolie unattractive, while I recognize she’s probably objectively attractive. There’s something I can’t quite identify about the fat lips that I find off-putting and her eyes always seem to look either cold, hard, or dead, none of which is attractive in a woman.


I’ve created a list of indicators of a good wife and mother on here before and in rel life I made a list of my minimum requirements for a wife. I’m not sure where I left the RL list, so I’ll try to recreate it here.

1) Christian – I am not too particularly worried about denomination, as long as it is non-heretical and non-liberal (but I repeat myself). I would even be willing to seriously consider converting to Catholicism and Orthodoxy if that was important to her, given that I’ve been leaning more in that direction over time.

2) Virgin, or has a low count but is genuinely repentant – My wife has to have a right view of sex. A virgin would be ideal, but I would not absolutely rule out a low count non-virgin if I knew she was honest about it and genuinely repentant and had enough positive traits to make up for the deficit.

As I’ve said before, I find the problem with marrying a genuinely repentant ex-slut is how accepting the church is of female fornication. When even “Christian” women accept the slut culture, how much can you trust a woman’s repentance?

3) Sufficiently attractive and healthy – Essentially, is she attractive enough to arouse me to the degree sufficient to desire and enact the procreative act and will she be so 20 years down the road? Is she healthy? Healthiness and attractiveness are strongly interrelated, hence why they do together here. It’s not a particularly high bar; most white or Asian women who take care of themselves would probably meet it.

(Note: #3 effectively rules out marrying outside of the white or Asian races, as I am generally not attracted to any but the most unattainably attractive women from non-Asian minorities).

4) Pleasant – Is she a joy to be around or is she a pain?

5) Not stupid – My wife needs to be someone I can genuinely converse with. She doesn’t have to be super-intelligent, I phrased this point as I did on purpose, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life exasperated with and rolling my eyes at everything she says. Also, included under this would be sufficiently low time preference that she would not take drastic, unthinking actions that could destroy.

6) Not emotionally volatile – I am a calm, non-emotional INTJ. I simply can’t handle emotional outbursts all that well.

7) Prioritizes motherhood, family, and children – My wife who primary earthly goal will be motherhood and the family and she will need to be willing to have many children (I don’t have a non-negotiable number of children, but she’d have to be one amazing prize for it to be fewer than four).

8) Good mother – This is kind of vague, but does she demonstrate traits that indicate she would make a good mother?

9) Believes in traditional Biblical marriage – She needs to accept the model of marriage provided in the Bible. I am willing to date a Christian without this, given the sad reality of modern thought on marriage, but she must convert to this model before we marry. She also must be willing and eager to take my last name, no hyphens.

10) Willingness to homeschool – My children are not going to public school. Out of all of these this is the weakest on the list; it’s on the border between non-negotiables and strong preferences; I considered moving it to the top of my preferences list. I would be willing to accept alternatives such as Catholic private school or possibly Montessori education.

11) Responsible/Reliable/Loyal/Disciplined – Essentially, can she be relied upon. Marriage is essentially a business partnership based around running a household with the added bonus of sex; so, would I be willing to run a business with her? Does she wastefully spend and get into debt? Can she be counted on to keep her word? Can I depend on her to be responsible for those areas under her care? Etc.

12) Under 30 – I’ve written about this before, so I won’t say much more here. Under 30 is required, under 25 is a high priority, but negotiable.

My original list had 13 requirements, so this is not exactly the same, but I can’t think of anything that’s missing. The difference is probably because I mixed a few requirements together in this list that were discrete in the original.

Now, I don’t think I’ve made a list that is unreasonable. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that 100 years ago 90% of the single, white, Christian female population would have met this list. Even 50-60 years ago, I’m sure more women than not would have met this list (excepting some of the religious requirements).

In this fallen age, most women would not meet my list, but I think that says more about the decline of our civilization than any unreasonableness on my part.


Lastly, what do I bring to marriage. I’ll start with Donal’s LAMPS:

1) Looks – I’m tall and broad-shouldered, with a decent jawline. I have some muscle mass but I also have a bit of a gut. I’ve been told I’m handsome by a number of older women from church and my family’s social circles; I’ve never really inquired about it from women my own age. I’d guess I’m above average in this regard (but one must always remember the Dunning-Kruger effect).

2) Athleticism – I participate in a few sports, but they are less intense ones, and a martial art. I started lifting recently, but my lifts so far are not all that spectacular. I have a strong handshake and have decent burst capabilities but I’ve always had low endurance; but it’s been improving these last few years. Again, above average.

3) Money – I have a respectable, but not particularly exciting, middle class government job. I’m not yet 30, but I have a salary significantly above my province’s average. My salary is about average, maybe small amount above, for my peer group. I own my own home, have a decent amount of savings, and have a gold-plated government pension. There is a good chance my current career path could lead to six figures by retirement.  Above average here.

4) Power – I am extremely confident, dipping into arrogant at times, but I am not particularly dominant and rarely take the lead due to my introverted nature and my natural apathy to the social hierarchy. I’m working on becoming more dominant though. Probably below average here.

5) Status – I have no idea. I have a respectable but unexciting job. I generally have the respect of my elders; among my peers, I’m thought of as a bit of a right-wing nutball. I’m Probably average to below average here.

Overall, I’m probably average to somewhat above average (hopefully, Dunning-Kruger isn’t rearing its head).

I scored a 4 on Roissy’s Dating Market Value Test, lumping me in the Classic Beta category.

As for the counterpart to my list above:

I am a conservative Christian who believes in traditional marriage Biblical marriage, a virgin (but I do have struggles with pornogrphy), moderately attractive and rather healthy. I am intelligent and emotionally controlled (perhaps too emotionally controlled, according to some). I earn enough to be an excellent provider.I’m also responsible, loyal, disciplined, etc.

I’m probably not very pleasant, but I am fairly easy-going. My major deficits are my social skills are sub-par, I am devoid of charisma, and many women find my views of marriage, society, politics, religion, etc. off-putting.


So, am I worthy and capable of achieving the marriage partner I desire?

I’m not sure, but for now I’ll keep trying and improving myself and we’ll see.

27 responses to ““The List” and My List

  • donalgraeme

    Quite a post here FN.

    The only thing that comes to mind right away is that your assessment of your Money value is probably off. It takes a lot of money/resources for that attribute to mean much. I honestly think that even six figures doesn’t show up as more than a blip for most women. Regional differences might make it better or worse, but I’ve always assumed that in our present decadent, affluent age that you need to be making a quarter-million plus to get any traction.Only millionaires and higher really benefit from this attribute.

  • nightskyradio

    I am not particularly dominant and rarely take the lead due to my introverted nature and my natural apathy to the social hierarchy

    You could be a Sigma, or have some Sigma traits. I believe Sigma is not unheard of among INTJs (I always score as one, big time), and it might explain why you have no idea what your status is (I rarely know what mine is among any group).

    This is a little off topic, but I did a couple of posts about INTJs a while back if you’re interested.

    I am devoid of charisma

    Charisma can be learned. Or at least faked. The trouble is, I’m not sure how to articulate how to do it.

    Can you let fly with a sly or sardonic one-liner here and there? A snarky, “brooding loner” type who doesn’t talk non-stop may not be charismatic per se, but it can help make you stand out a bit.

    I hope this reads coherently, it;s well past 1 am here.

  • nightskyradio

    Apparently past midnight I lose the ability to will proper HTML tags into existence.

  • earl

    Yeah I’d have to agree with nightsky about being more of a Sigma. I’m also more of an introvert who likes the hobbies I do…and uses extroversion when I have to. Thanks to game my extroversion isn’t awkward or a crippliing debilitation like it used to be.

    And after carefully dissecting the traits of all the greek letters that seems to me the best traits for a man of the bunch. You don’t have to play the social game if you don’t want to…but you still understand how to win it when the time comes anyway.

    It’s like MGTOW but still understanding you need relationships along the way because ultimetly no man is an island.

    Turning to to a more Christian viewpoint I thought about the greatness Jesus did on Earth was not only what he established but what the people did that he interacted with.

  • earl

    And in today’s climate of immoral women, a corrupt justice system, and a general hatred of men…not playing the social game is considered a success. With the bonus of having the list if one of the 10% of women who still has those traits happens to cross your path…you can still win.

    Women, PUAs, and betas are the ultimate losers by playing along with this society when it is said and done.

  • earl

    In fact this discussion triggered the memory of watching Resvior Dogs and how Mr. Pink was a sigma in that movie.

  • Carnivore

    Hmmm, how should I put this – you are being way, way too hard on yourself, as are most young men. To sum up what you want:

    1. A Christian/Biblical based marriage
    2. A woman who wants the same as 1 who is attractive.

    Given that, you are well more than ‘average or above average’ and would make an excellent catch for a woman in your class. By ‘class’ I mean social/economic class, not an equivalent 1 to 10 ranking in looks. I assume you aren’t hunting for trailer trash nor a millionairess.

    I know it doesn’t mean much coming from a guy and I’m not trying to stroke your ego, but I am trying to build your confidence and hope. Fifty or more years ago, the traits you list for women were expected for the most part, with only personality and physical attractiveness being the major variables. The only reason the other traits would make for a good catch in a wife today is that so few women exhibit them in this day and age.

    Roissy’s test is good for the find-a-slut/club-scene male but little else. For a woman with a truly Christian outlook, your attributes were always highly prized and still are today. Good earning power to provide, a level head on your shoulders and a strong, healthy physique are how you describe yourself, although in more modest terms. The type of woman you are looking for would jump at the chance to have you as a husband. Compared to the many soft, unemployed schlubs and ass ‘alphas’ out there, you are a 10 for such a woman. You just haven’t found her yet. They are a very rare species these days.

  • Novaseeker

    It’s interesting, but what struck me was the same as what struck donal. It very much does depend on where you live in terms of what the relevant scale is (and that’s for all of the LAMPS factors as well, really), but when it comes to money, it really only matters if there is a LOT of it. It’s devalued because at any relatively normal level of earnable income (even the lower 6 figures), there are plenty of women who earn that themselves, so it isn’t really a standout factor for attraction. Now, the fact that you have a job that has good prospects is definitely something that prevents it from being a negative, but it isn’t really a positive, either, unless you have a LOT of money in 2013.

    Probably I’d say that your M is not a negative but also not a positive (it’s a positive only for very few people, really).

    You can find what you are looking for with what you bring to the table, but it will be challenging — not because of your attributes, but because there aren’t very many of these girls around who meet the qualifications you’re seeking any longer.

  • Leap of a Beta

    Great post. I heartily approve of lists myself, and mine is close to yours.

    My criticism of her list is that the subtext didn’t sound like it would do the job of filtering out Alpha’s while leaving room for attraction to Beta’s.If it does that job for her, than great. But she sounded like the usual woman who had no idea what she was actually attracted to, and only what she’s been told she ‘should be’ attracted to. The list was made from that.

    It’s like if one of us made a list that involved more of the PC romantic inner beauty pile of manure. It’s not that personality traits aren’t important in a woman, it’s that ignoring the key elements of what drive your attraction is a fatal mistake. It wouldn’t work for you if I found you a land whale that met every other item on your list, because you acknowledge that you require physical attraction. I don’t think she does in hers.

  • jack

    You are correct about how women ignore the meaningful list items in favor of the superficial.

    This is simply reverting to the carnal drives. No one ever makes the “mistake” of eating the whole bag of celery while sitting in front of the TV. However, absent-mindedly downing a whole package of Oreos is definitely plausible.

    This leads to statements by mid-30s women along these lines:

    “I’m done dating hot but jerky men, I’ve learned my lesson. Now, I will only date hot guys of high moral character. I’m done settling.”

  • Black Poison Soul

    As an ISTJ I particularly like #6 – and to hell with the so-called “perfect pairing” of ISTJ and ENFP. If it’s way too much work being around her, and I’m supposed to cater to her “feelings” – ie her hamster – I’m going to lose interest fast.

    Be very careful about revealing your job (and thus your income) – in many cases it throws a girl straight into golddigger mode. That will be something to filter for, add to your list.

    As others say about themselves, I appear to be a Sigma: can play the social game yet despise it on the whole. I score 13 on Roissy’s test.

  • donalgraeme

    Everyone covered most of what I was going to say in my follow-up comment. At this point the real challenge is finding the needle in the haystack. Or rather, to find the strand of hay in the needlestack…

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  • Black Poison Soul

    I just retook the test, hah: 15 score. Interesting. Improving always.

  • anotheronetakesthepill

    A list is a logical and rational thing cause you must think logically while developing it.
    Since when have women considered “love” (or the like) something you think over? For them is just a feeling which is flipped like a switch and then acted on.

  • Julian O'Dea


    Coupla things.

    Introverts can be dominant. Very. Especially the INTJ men.

    Do make sure you both find the other bedworthy.

    Try to marry a virgin. It is pathetic that so many men accept used goods. Think about it. Otherwise another man has been deep in your bride before you.

  • earl

    I still can’t fathom how a guy can marry a single mother. I mean you stare at physical proof that some other guy has been deep inside her everyday.

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  • Free Northerner

    @ Donal and Nova: You’re probably right; I do not have the resources for it to be attractive in itself.

    @ NSR: I’m aiming for Sigma, but I would not say I’m there. I’m the beta of the omega->sigma line (wonder if that should have it’s own category?) I do let the occasional one-liner out, but usually no one catches it.

    @ Earl: You reminded me of this:
    “The only winning move is not to play.”

    @ Carnivore: Thanks man. They are rare, but I still hold out hope; however weathered it may be at times.

    @ Leap: True, but when you’re as pretty as her, you are shielded from reality to a certain extant.

    @ BPS: I don’t quite make enough for a gold-digger; maybe for a used-up single mother, but not a gold-digger.

    @ Julian: Good advice.

  • S_McCoy

    “I still can’t fathom how a guy can marry a single mother…”- Leaving aside the fact that the guy may be doing right by the kid that some alpha stud abandoned and yes he should be applauded; you understand the semen doesn’t stain her forever, yes? It’s a shame you feel the need to associate Kolbe with such inanity.

    Honestly you guys should ask yourself why you would be concerned with whoever a woman slept with before you. Assuming no disease, how exactly does it affect you? Worried some Hugo Boss douche is going to chatter about you? Who cares. Worried she’ll always pine away for the alpha she couldn’t keep? That’s probably going to happen unless you get your minds right and get into the arena, be a man for fucks sake already.

    Anyway lists are good but beforehand you should spell out why it is you want a wife in the first place.

    It’s tremendously beta to convert to a religion for a woman. That said, all protestants are heretics. The Society of St Pius would probably be a good fit for you but really you should lighten up a little.

  • David Gadbois

    It would be wise to sort out your religious convictions before identifying a potential wife. You can’t just go along with whatever she is, you need to be the spiritual leader. You need to be firm in your convictions and lead *her*. And it won’t do to try and lead someone who does not share the same core convictions- that would be unequal yolking and thus prohibited. With that in mind, it should be clear that (historic) Protestantism, Romanism, and EO are fundamentally different patterns of religion.

    And while I share your disaffection for modern evangelicalism, that is certainly a poor reason to go to Rome or EO. That is, if you care about Scripture, right and pleasing worship, and foremost the Gospel. There are plenty of historic, catholic, reformational churches to choose from that are confessional and liturgical: various Anglican communions, as well as Lutheran and Reformed/Presbyterian churches. Incidentally I belong to a denomination that was forged in the late 20th century battle against feminism and theological liberalism, in the continental reformed tradition (we confess the 3 Forms of Unity, very similar to the Westminster Standards of our presbyterian brethren). We had the red pill before the Wachowski brothers featured it in that excellent movie that was followed by two horrible sequels.

  • Free Northerner

    @ S McCoy: The wife’s pre-marital sex is one of the major predictors of divorce. That alone is reason enough.

    I’ve already written about why I’m looking for a wife. I want a family, a mother for my children, and a lawful sex partner.

    It may be a bit beta. There is a small distinction; I would not convert because of her. I plan to look into it either way, but that would give me a more pressing and immediate reason to look into it.

    The Society does look pretty good.

    @ David: It would be and I plan to look into it, but her beliefs would be an impetus to do so immediately, rather than waiting.

    Disaffection is not the only reason; I read John C. Wright’s posts on why he’s a Catholic and found them very compelling, and my thinking has been turning more sympathetic to the Catholic and Orthodox faiths over time.

    There’s an Anglican church I occasionally attend I probably would join if they weren’t so liberal; the problem with Anglicans and Lutherans is they are far too liberal. There’s an Anglo-Catholic church I attended once and plant to attend again once they get their new priest; it looked rather promising (the 10 minute interlude on the need for tradition and the evils of liberalism was nice). Reformed churches might be something to look into.

  • HoosierHillbilly

    I would give the Reformed denominations a look. My problem is being Scots-Irish on one side and Dutch on the other. So I get bounced between the Scottish (Presbyterian) and Dutch (Dutch Reformed) sides, but there are no tremendous problems between the two I have seen thus far.

    Not sure where you are at, but a word of warning: be careful which denomination you have a look at. If I can humbly suggest the following: Presbyterian Church in America, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, United Reformed Churches in America, or Orthodox Christian Reformed Churches.

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