Often Zhan

4 minute read

my checklist for a potential mate

get/have your ducks in a row: to be well prepared or well organized for something that is going to happen.”

– Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Thesaurus


This was the test that I used from 2010–2015 to measure a potential woman’s attractiveness.

I forgot who told me, but an older married man once mentioned, “I made a list of qualities that I wanted for my future spouse so that I would know who I should be looking for when finding my future spouse. Also, I made a list for myself to make sure that all my ducks are in a row when I met my future spouse.” He didn’t say it outright, but his underlying question was “Would my ideal woman be interested in a guy like me?” When pondering this question, I decided to not to spend my time to look for “The One” but rather strive to make myself “The One” for my future spouse.

Funny thing… I lost the list for myself but never lost my list for the “ideal woman”. However, I do think that this list can (and should!) apply to myself. Over time, I’ve used, updated, and adapted this list, and eventually made it into a measuring stick for the attractiveness of a potential mate. I haven’t used this list ever since I got into a serious relationship (for obvious reasons).

The current draft (Version 2.5) is still a little outdated. The last time I updated this list was in 2013.

The Duck Row test still very rough, but that is understandable because I probably spent a total of less than 5 hours working on it including drafting and updating. (Note to self: I should reexamine the test and make a new, updated version in the nearby future.)


Everytime, I showed someone my Duck Row test, they have either been deeply offended or espoused full support. I understand that this test sounds awful. It means that every potential mate I’ve met since making this test has been churned through this list resulting in a numerical value of attractiveness. BUT, I’ve only used this test for 5-6 women. Also, if she had a low score, I don’t dismiss her outright. I’ve never placed this test in high regard. Even so, I still find this test useful in its limited application.

I decided to show it in the blog for:

  • Archival Reason - I don’t want to lose this list.
  • Sentimental Reasons - I occasionally refer to this list because this was my first real list.

The Duck Row Test

In this current version, I organized the test under The 7 Dimensions of Wellness as well as an additional 8th category of personal preference.

The points are added up in the end and measured from a scale of 0-100.

Social Health

Description Score
Conflict Management Skills 3
Involved in Community (Leadership Role) 2
Avoids Drama & Gossip 3
Socially Concious (PDA, Discussing Sensitive Issues in Public) 2

Emotional Health

Description Score
Chill 2
Creative 2
Organized 4
Not a Clean-Freak 2
Time Management 4
Humble 3
Strong Sense of Independence 2
Avoids Gossip 3
Level Headed in Heated Situations 2
No Mood Swings 2
Not Overly Needy 3
Comfortable with her body 3

Spiritual Health

Description Score
Christian 5
Works on Improving Oneself 5
Strong Sense of Moral Code 4

Occupational Health

Description Score
Low Maintanence 4
Low Budget Fashion 2
Minimilstic Makeup 2
FashionSense 2

Intellectual Health

Description Score
Likes Reading 3
Reads Fantasy 1
Reads SciFi 1
Reads Non-Fiction 1

Physical Health

Description Score
Does Not Smoke 4
No Tattoos (or non-visible when wearing clothing) 2
Excercizes Regularly 2
Plays a Sport 2

Enviromental Health

Description Score
Enviromentally Concious in Decision Making 1
Recycles and Composts 1
Metal Water Bottle 0.5
Makes it a Point to Turn off Lights 0.5

Personal Preference

Description Score
Has Short Hair 2
Plays an Instrument 2
Likes Coffee but not Addicted 1
Laughs at my Corny Jokes 2
Pretty 2
Hot Mom 1
Not deathly allergic or against: milk, gluten, fish, meat… 2
Passion for Chinese Ministry 3

Summed Totals

Here is the added values of all of the major categories.

Dimension Summed Value
Social 10
Emotional 32
Spiritual 14
Occupational 10
Intellectual 6
Physical 10
Environmental 3
Personal 15
	Score Interpretation
	0-50   → Do Not Pursue
	51-74  → Unlikely Candidate
	75-100 → Potential Mate

Change Log

Version Description
1.0 Original Draft - Unorganized
2.0 Organized under 7 Dimensions of Wellness and also Personal Preferences.
2.5 Adapted the list to apply to a working adult.