The list we’re talking about here is the one that contains the characteristics for the partner of your dreams—the person with whom you know you’d experience long-term happiness. The list includes all of your requirements for a perfect partner—looks, financial fitness, personality, education, health, personal and family history, religion, ethnicity, relationship history, and any other item you consider essential for a fulfilling relationship. Not everyone has a preference for all of these factors on their list. Many are irrelevant to some people, while other individuals have concerns that we have not mentioned here.
What Isn’t on Your List
But this post is about what isn’t on your list—certain things that you need to have on your list, in addition to the priorities you’re consciously aware of. These are our shadow priorities— needs and desires that we are less consciously aware of but that represent other commitments in competition with our more conscious preferences. It’s not that one set of preferences is correct and the other is not, but rather that they each represent compelling and competing interests and desires that need to be fulfilled in order to satisfy our different sets of needs.