Would you agree that most people spend more time doing research for a new vehicle purchase or looking for a job than they do choosing friends or spouses? I would!
Solution? Write a Classified Ad!
What qualities are you looking for in a friend? Claim them!
“Looking for a friend with mutual interests to spend time with and talk to. Must be trustworthy, dependable and fun! I want someone who will hold me accountable. Must be able to speak truth in love AND allow me to do the same. Would prefer someone who enjoys working out, bible study and chick flicks! Fair weather friends need not apply!”
Getting the idea?
What about for a husband:
“Looking for a mature Christian husband who has a desire to enjoy a lifelong honeymoon with just the right lady. Must be a real ‘grown-up’ with career employment and financial stability Are you outgoing? Like to travel? Easy going and fun? Family oriented? Then I’d like to meet you! If you don’t want children, then I don’t! Dancing is a plus but not a must. Light social drinking is okay, but smoking is a deal breaker. Must be affectionate, loyal, trustworthy and dependable.”
Think of the fun you can have writing your ads. Why don’t you try one of your own?
Now, on the flip side, write an ad for someone currently in your life who possesses qualities you don’t necessarily appreciate:
“Looking for a moody boyfriend, filled with anger and self-pity. I prefer a loner who cringes at the thought of socializing. Don’t want to carry your weight? That’s okay, I’ll carry it for you. Not interested in church? Eh, not a big deal. God knows I love him. Combative and difficult personality types preferred. Showering optional. Marriage even more optional. Porn ‘interest’ (AKA ADDICTION), well, seems most guys have one these days so I’ll just deal with it. I’ll complete you. I’m really not looking to be happy, rather, just need a breathing body to share space with. True joy is just a guise for those who pretend it’s something it isn’t. I’m a realist, so if you just want to suffer through life together, or at least put up with each other until our kids are out of the house, then I just may be your dream gal!”
Eye opening, isn’t it? EXACTLY the point!
Obviously, this last classified ad is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but how many people are actually living with relationships they wouldn’t ‘intentionally’ seek out? A lot!
Years ago my sis and I verbally constructed an ad for the guy she was dating. It went something like this:
“Looking for a guy, dumb as a box of rocks, but thinks he knows everything. Must want to be the center of attention at all times and think he is funnier than he actually is. Prefer someone who likes to tell others what to do but takes no responsibility for it.”
Needless to say their relationship didn’t last, thank God! And while we busted up in giggles and had tears streaming down our cheeks as we discussed the ad, the truth was very telling. And very impactful.
Of course I’m not suggesting actually running these ads. They are for your personal, private use, but constructing them will promote more awareness, insight and intentionality in your choices, thereby producing better results. Now THAT’s encouraging!
- If you aren’t in a relationship yet, or are seeking out new friendships, try something different! Write a few classified ads and make an intentional effort to find people who actually fit the bill.
- If you’re already married or in a relationship, write an ad for it as it currently is. Then write an ad for what your heart desires. Encourage your boyfriend / girlfriend or husband / wife to do the same. Write Action Steps to help both of you move from the current ad qualities to the desired ones. If you are both working towards common goals together, it can only be a means to a much more joyful, fulfilling and successful end!
- If you aren’t married and you determine the relationship isn’t worth salvaging, cut your losses and intentionally seek out a better applicant! Yup, you guessed it. Start by writing a new ad!
Need help with your Action Steps? Click here for an Action Plan template you’ll find useful! Need personal one-on-one or couple to couple coaching? Click here for details or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
* The concept for ‘Classified Ad’ writing came from Are You the One for Me?, Beverly De Angelis, Ph.D..