Yesterday, a date asked what I was looking for in a man. I replied that I didn’t have a list but when I met someone I wanted to be committed to, I would know.

I think he must’ve thought me unserious or coy. But, my answer was influenced by the realisation that some folks with checked lists don’t end up in good marriages. Like a friend once remarked, “A good marriage is more grace than design.”

When I got home, I ruminated a bit more on his question and asked myself 3 questions:

1. What can’t I live without?
2. What will make me happy?
3. What is non-negotiable?

Here are my answers:

I can’t live without peace. My head is a constant humming machine – always processing information; always creating. I need a man that is a haven and home; one I absolutely trust and can depend on; who exudes internal peace. Internal peace is harder to achieve than it sounds. It takes maturity, experience and a connection to the Most High to be at peace with yourself. You must come to terms with your frailties and have a sense of purpose to be at peace. You must also have forgiven yourself for past wrongs. It’s difficult to fully define, but some people radiate peace while others leak strife, fear, agitation and discontent. I want peace.

Conversation makes me happy –  rambling discussions about any and everything on a consistent basis. Someone who genuinely loves conversation and doesn’t just do it to make me happy will own my heart. Someone I can be a fool around and laugh with.

Shared ideology is non-negotiable. I can’t fully explain why I love God’s word or why I consider some Nigerian customs outlandish or stupid. Therefore, I would like to be with someone whose ideology I share. I crave someone who validates me and reminds me I’m not the only crazy person in Nigeria. I desire someone whose life has been shaped by the words he’s personally shared with God or the experiences he’s had with him. I’ve never been religious but am not ashamed of my dependence on God and hope to be with someone who likes him too. That’s something I would like to share that with the man I love.