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What’s On Your List?


Many, many years ago I hung out with a guy who told me that one of the criteria for his future wife was that she be in a sorority. Not that she be kind or empathetic towards others. He didn’t say anything about loving God, or being ambitious. Now, of course, this was a long time ago, so we were in our late twenties, but seriously…a sorority?

That’s bad, but I remember making a list once myself of the type of man that I wanted to marry. There wasn’t anything like organization affiliations included, but there were some things that were equally as shallow. I didn’t specify weight, but I did have a height requirement. If I’m not mistaken, I had a minimum salary requirement as well. I was a silly, silly girl. Thank God for maturity and growing up!

The older I got, the more I realized what qualities and attributes really qualify someone to be a husband or a wife. Being a life partner to another person, that’s a serious job. It doesn’t matter how tall you are, or what you pledged when you were in college…if you aren’t honest, compassionate, loyal, willing to communicate, affectionate, and open, you’re bound to have a difficult time in your marriage.

When Terrence and I first started dating, I liked what I saw about him on the surface a lot. He was fine, educated, gainfully employed, but at that time, none of that really mattered to me. I wasn’t all in on the single mom dating thing, so I didn’t immediately think, “Ding, ding, ding…total package!” Instead, because he and I were both a bit tentative about starting a relationship, we were able to really take the time to get to go below the surface. I got to know more about how kind he is (and how stubborn!). He got to get a taste of how passionate I am (and how bossy!), and we were able to connect in a way that was deeper than physical attraction, or familiar backgrounds.

I’ll be honest. When Terrence and I have a disagreement, I don’t care HOW fine he is. I’m sure when I’m nagging him to death (not that I do, but if I did), my sex appeal is completely lost on him. What brings us back together, though, what makes us want to work it out and move forward, is not wanting to miss out on that compassion and empathy and kindness that really made us fall in love in the first place.

What is it about your partner that made you fall in love?

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  1. Wow! I can totally relate to this. I married my first husband because i wanted pretty babies and we were both young and pretty. We did have pretty babies but other than that, it was a 10 year nightmare. As “children” we often make life decisions based on beauty and material things. So sad! My marriage now can be rocky at times but it is based on true emotion and love. We’ve been in love through all of the phases of our 12 years together. He’ll gain weight and say he needs to start working out so that he looks good for me. Funny, I never even noticed the weight. I’ll point out my wrinkles and want to cry and he tells me all he sees is my beautiful blue eyes and my smile. Looking past each others’ flaws is what keeps our marriage going. It’s what you feel inside your heart that matters most. OK, I’ll shush up now but you started this! Glad you found “the one” that makes your heart happy!

    • BrandiJeter says:

      Oh, Christy! Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s interesting how that has started for us already. Same thing, he thinks he needs to lose weight, and I think I need to do something different with my hair, but when we look at each other, it’s like we’re looking at a movie star! I never realized love could feel very much like contentment and peace. I like it. :-)

  2. Arelis Cintron says:

    I’ve know Danny since we were in high school. Our senior year we became good friends and after we kept in touch. Regardless of what was going on he was always there for me and I for him …one day he just felt like home. I feel like I am home when I am with him.

    • BrandiJeter says:

      He just felt like home…oh my goodness, you are going to have me crying! That’s what makes a relationship great, someone that you can feel comfortable with…but that is also like a rock! <3

  3. Janeane Davis says:

    This is a sweet article. It reminds me of what Darren says, “You know its love when you want to make up after an argument.” I wish you every happiness.

    • BrandiJeter says:

      Thank you so much, Janeane! And please tell Darren that I totally agree with him! The first time Terrence and I argued, we were living on 2 different coasts. We hung up the phone angry, and called each other back within minutes. We KNEW we had something special at that point :-)

  4. OK, so I’m single because I wasn’t in a sorority? Who knew? :)

    I’m so happy for you, Brandi!

  5. Chasing Joy (Arlett) says:

    hhhmmm, So if I join a graduate chapter there’s still hope of me landing a man!!! LOL Crazy!

  6. My husband and I have been “dating” since we were 13/14 respectively. What made me fall in love with him (true love) was the fact that he was patient with me. I’m a bit of a sparky personality, and well, he’s patient, and laid back, and just everything I’m not. We compliment each other well, and it’s a blessing.

    • BrandiJeter says:

      So sweet! It’s the same with my fiancee and me. He is so calm and chill, and I am so spazzy. LOL! We totally balance each other out!

  7. Congrats on your engagement. I don’t know that there was one specific thing that made me fall in love with my husband. We started as friends when we were 15/16 and then one day I knew that he was the one. He was devoted to my complete happiness, even in high school.