I wrote out my "non-negotiables" over 5 years ago. And for the past 5 years, I have seen those non negs as the guidelines for what kind of man I would hope to marry and what kind of wife I would hope to be. The past month, I have been learning something new about my heart. Not different, but new. Instead of setting boundaries for my heart, the past month has been a time to examine the natural tendencies of my heart. I have spent some considerable time talking to some close girlfriends about some recent matters of the heart and I have come to realize that my approach romantic love is quite unconventional to my generation. I seem to fit more into the mold of Elizabeth Bennet (from Pride and Prejudice) than any modern heroine. I am not looking for that butterfly in the stomach, can't sleep at night, sweaty hands relationship. I am looking for deep admiration and respect. Sure, I would love to feel that chemistry with someone, but when I am honest with myself, that chemistry means much less to me than truly admiring and trusting a man.
There have been few guys I have deeply admired this way. But those few guys have affected my heart in a way that I cannot describe. It's odd. I feel a deep deep love for them. All I want to do is love them and pray for them. And even though we may never actually move to the dating stage of our relationship, my love for them does not die easily. Back in the day when I was into the whole eharmony thing, I remember being asked if I valued chemistry. I wasn't sure how to respond. Now I know, my heart may be quick to move on the surface level, but the love that will someday lead me to the altar comes not from a few movie dates, but from a deep respect that is built upon months of noticing godly character.
All of this is to say that I am learning how my heart works. I value admiration over chemistry. A godly man, trustworthy and gentle, strong and humble. These qualities make my heart pitter patter.