- Respect. She can't be rude or spiteful. She has to treat other people, especially me, with respect.
- Patriarchy. She can't want to be in charge. I suspect that all women have a tendency toward manipulation and control, but if she knows this and tries to suppress it, that's all I ask. She has to believe that her husband is her head and be willing to submit herself to him and her will to his.
- Integrity. She can't be a thief, a cheat, or too much of a hypocrite.
- Figure. I'm OK with athletic, thin, chubby, tall, or short. But she can't be obese, skeletally thin, muscle-bound, or terribly misshappen. Call me shallow if you want, but if I'm not in the least turned on by what I see and feel, then that is going to be a serious hinderance to a relationship.
- Age. At least 18 (preferably over 25, but some young women are exceptional) and no more than 5 years my senior. I'm not interested in jail bait, and how many teenage girls in today's America are settled enough to handle a husband and children? On the downside, how many 25-40 year old women aren't bitter, sick, or have to hire a bellhop to carry all their baggage around?
- Honesty. Related, but not quite the same as integrity. So many women lie as a matter of course. Much of the time, they don't even realize they're doing it. They lie to protect themselves or to spare someone's feelings or just because they feel like it. Nobody is perfectly honest, but there's a limit.
- Beauty. An attractive face is clearly a plus, but beauty eventually fades. I don't care if a woman is plain, just so long as she isn't hideous. Fortunately for all of us, really ugly faces are even more rare than beautiful ones.
- Baggage. Everybody has issues, everybody has baggage, but a person has to be able to function. I'm not interested in anyone who's bipolar, psychotic, misandric, rage-filled, possessed, exceptionally bitter, too self-hating, etc...
- Religion. She has to be a believer. She doesn't have to agree with me on everything as long as she is in general agreement and knows that I set the rules in my house. If she doesn't know Yahweh, then she can hang out and be friends, but that's as far as it'll go.
- Intelligence. As I already said, I don't care if she isn't a genius, as long as she isn't stupid. I don't need a woman to match wits with me, but I need to know that my house will remain in order if I am absent. I need her to be able to understand me when I speak and to respond in an intelligent manner. If there will be children, then she needs to be able to teach them.
These characteristics received the heaviest weights:
- Recommendations. Weight=5. Recommendations from people I greatly respect.
- Respect. Weight=3. See above.
- Patriarchy. Weight=3. See above.
- Kindness. Weight=3. Obvious.
- Integrity. Weight=3. See above.
- Industry. Weight=3. Hard working and self-motivated.
- Health. Weight=3. Obvious.
- Figure. Weight=3. See above.
- Age. Weight=3. See above.
A few other characteristics: Cheer, generosity, spirituality, torah, humor, fertility, family, domesticity (cooking, mending, etc.), financial acumen, etc.
I put 12 women on my chart. I was already very interested in 2 of them, mildly interested in 4. 2 others had expressed an interest in me, and I added 3 in whom I have no interest at all, just for balance. Based on the deal killing traits, I immediately eliminated 9 women. Out of a possible score of 136, the remaining 3 received scores of 93, 91, and 22. (The last received such a low score because too many cells are occupied by question marks.) That gives me a plan of action: Attract the attention of the 2 top scorers and collect more data on the 3rd place finisher.
I'm sure most women and some men would find this method too cold. I'm fine with that. If you don't like it, don't use it. I expect this might be more useful to analytically inclined men--computer geeks, engineers, etc. Many others might think I'm being too picky. I'm fine with that too. For the moment, I'm perfectly happy being single. I don't have or want a girlfriend, and I haven't asked anyone out since last August. At the moment, this is more of an intellectual exercise than anything else.
Correction: I had a date in December, but it didn't turn out well. There's a deal killer I didn't mention: She forgets to tell you she's married.
Update March 13, 2008: Here's another deal killer: gross immodesty. I don't mind a tomboy, and I don't mind a twisted sense of humor. I don't want to hear about her sexual exploits or how proud she is of her bodily functions. I don't want anyone else to hear those things either. Modesty is all about knowing (and keeping!) the appropriate time and place for everything.
Update March 14, 2008: I used to think I was the only man to be so analytical about relationships until I came across this Kim du Toit article: Why Bother?
Update March 15, 2008: I need to add yet more fields:
- Parental Recommendations. Weight=5. Recommendations from my parents.
- Infatuation. Weight=4. Feelings come and go--which is why this only counts for 8 out of a possible 154 points (so far)--but I'd still really like to feel something for someone I might marry. Call me a romantic.