Why “The List” Backfires & How To Make It Deliberately For Attracting Your Soul Mate

The practice of making a list – the qualities you want in your soul mate officially written down – to prepare for dating and meeting your partner is either loved or hated.  I got advice many years ago to definitely NOT make a list.  And recently I read an article from a coach that told women to ditch their list entirely lest it make them too picky.

The list seems to have become a joke that invokes the image of an adult, professional, independent woman writing in her pink diary about the guy she secretly likes.  I know I used to think it was and I’d be damned if I would have done such a silly, girly thing.

Alas, after many years of following the advice of list haters and attracting men but never attracting the type of man I wanted for a long term relationship – I finally used a list in my mid-30’s to successfully attract the man of my dreams.


So, yeah, I’ve become quite a fan of the list.  I’ll go so far as to say that if you’re not making a list, you’re not attracting deliberately.  You’re in-the-moment-hope-and-pray-it-all-works-out-for-the-best attracting.  Which is fine if that’s who you are and your style, but you just may not be into deliberate attraction.

Here’s why it’s essential:

1)    Your soul mate is not just anyone; he’s someone you are fulfilling your soul’s purpose with.  Yes, we are a people-loving, spiritual bunch here that knows in reality we are all one.  But your soul mate partner is someone with specific soul qualities that are compatible with yours – you compliment each other and support each other as you fulfill your life purposes, individually and as a team.   Can this person be just anyone you find attractive?  No way.

2)    In a large dating pool narrowing your options will greatly help you to find ONE that you will commit to.  If you don’t narrow it down, your potential soul mate can be literally billions of people of your preferred gender (if you don’t prefer a particular gender then your options are doubled!), available, and of legal age.  Now that’s a bit of an exaggeration, you’re not likely to date someone located on the other side of the planet but you see my point?  Without narrowing down your options with some specific qualities (more on that later) you are exhausting your energy and time looking everywhere and to everyone to potentially be the one.


3)    You will only be very compatible with certain people because you are a unique individual.  Let’s face it, there are some qualities that can really push your buttons and there’s no way you could be in a relationship with someone who has those qualities.  You know what they are.  Write them down.  Personally, it really bothers me when people are chronically late and/or don’t keep appointments without good reason.  There is absolutely no way in heck I could ever date let alone be married to someone like that.  You better believe punctual and reliable made my list and my husband is just that!  Know your push-point buttons and put the opposite positive qualities on your list.

Why I believe the list has gotten a bad rap and how to use it deliberately instead:

1)    Putting the wrong qualities on the list.  Unlike shopping for a car where you put the make, the model, the color, and accessories on a list – your soul mate list is for soul characteristics and practical needs that you know you need in a partner.  Some of mine were honesty, responsibility, spiritually minded, healthy lifestyle, and monogamous.  These were absolutely non-negotiable qualities as I would not get along with someone who didn’t have these basic traits.  Some of the practical things I needed in my partner were that he wants children, wanted to live in my area, and had a decent ethical and legal means of income earning.  Put the traits you absolutely must have for you to be compatible with your partner on your list.


2)    Using the list only as a way of closing off instead of noticing all the areas in which you can be open.  The inclusion of things like tall, dark, and handsome on your list effectively closes you off from many averagely cute guys of northern European descent and under six feet tall (or more if you’re on the taller side yourself).  And many of these guys may have the soul qualities you are looking for in a partner but because your list includes things you can see only, you didn’t give a potentially great partner a chance.  That is where the list goes wrong.

After you’ve made the list from step number one with soul and practical qualities, make a list of every quality that isn’t going to matter 30 to 60 years from now.  This is your open-to-what-the-Universe-brings-you list.  For me this included ethnicity, nationality, religion as long as he was spiritual, height within a very large range (admittedly I’m petite though), age within in a very wide range, divorced or not, already had kids or not, average looking or not, and his profession as long as it was legal and ethical.  That’s a whole lot of being open for a list-making person like myself.  Make a list of everything that you CAN be open about. 

So how do you know if your date has the soul and practical qualities from your list?  Take your time to get to know him and if you’re not sure about something that’s very important to you, politely ask.  Be clear but don’t make hasty assumptions either.  When you are truly being yourself the man from your list will love you.

What do you think about making a list?  I would love to read about it, so please comment below.  And if you found this article helpful please share!  To get weekly updates with the latest blog, more soul mate attraction inspiration, and a free audio “Six Ways To Begin Deliberately Attracting Your Soul Mate Now,” please sign up at the top of the page.

With Love,




  1. I found making a list extremely helpful. It really made me focus on what I was looking for in a partner and in a relationship, and to attract someone with those qualities to me. I was able to narrow down the group of people I was interested in, and know who to pass over. It is also incredibly satisfying to look back at that list and see that my partner matches every point!

  2. Great point! Make your list with the most important qualities, ie, honesty, wants marriage, etc. Then make another list with the things that don't matter as much, like maybe widening age range, location, what he does for a living, looks, etc. The challenge there is to be how open you can be about the things that aren't really to do with his soul qualities. That way you are very open to a lot of options/men you could date and get to know better to see if he has the important qualities. The mistake is discounting too many men too soon and for the wrong reasons.

  3. I agree with that – I think my list is getting longer more on the what I want in a relationship side, vs his actual qualities. So something like "considerate" as his soul quality… what does that look like to me in a relationship? Making me a priority, appreciating me, valuing and supporting my thoughts and dreams… etc etc. That's the part of my list that's getting long! I hope that's okay thing to set parameters around (especially given my recent situation!)

  4. Chronicles of My Single Life That's all great. One way to perhaps simplify it is to focus on how all of that feels to you and to imagine having all of those things now, ie, giving yourself those qualities. Because it may seem like a lot of different qualities but it comes down to one thing Self Love. You know you are a priority, appreciated, valuable and an asset worth supporting. Vibrate in that feeling and it's kind of all the same. Also as far as his qualities there might not be as many separate qualities as you may think. If a person is honest he will be honest in all areas of his life – relationships, career, finances, etc.

  5. Ginny P

    I've done list both mentally and written since I was very young and it really scares me. I have manifested what I wanted but there always seems to be a catch. I found a tall dark handsome man that didn't want children, I met a man that wanted children but because of his religion he couldn't marry me, then along came one that had everything I wanted plus more but he happened to be married. It seems like every time I write a new list, something is going to come up!

  6. Perhaps throwing out the old lists and starting from scratch might be helpful, so it's not like you keep adding. List only the values/traits that are most important to you now. For example, based on what you said – wants children, same or like minded religion, and available!

  7. Ginny P

    Dina Robison – Deliberate Attraction Coach I'm just scared something else will come up, another catch. Like the next one will be available, wants children and same religion but some other deal breaker. Really, I feel the Universe mocks me when it comes to men

  8. Ginny Parra The more you affirm that the more you will see evidence of that. Affirm all of the times things have worked out perfectly for you. Affirm everything that perhaps didn't seem to work out at the time but is actually much better for you now. Affirm all the wonderful traits, even if not perfect, about the men that you have dated/known (celebrating the closeness of the match, aka Abraham-Hicks style.)

  9. Ginny P

    Dina Robison – Deliberate Attraction Coach I now narrowed down my list to making each other happy and being compatible, the Universe with it's infinite intelligence should bring me now a package I'll fee happy with. I'll trust the Universe this time. I'm open to a huge wonderful surprise

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