This post was first published on 4 December 2011. Given that I am trying online dating again, this is a timely reminder to self. These deal breakers still stand, but I’m a bit more relaxed about smokers now than I was when I first wrote this post.
I was talking on the bus with a work colleague (we catch the same bus) and our conversation turned to relationships (as conversations often do) and what the deal breakers are. What things about a person would cause you to not see them again, or discontinue a relationship? We agreed that we are both “mature” individuals, conscious of the fact that as one gets older the pool of available partners shrinks because of a) fussiness and b) fewer available partners, but I said I would rather stay single than compromise on these things (and I think they are universal):
An addictive personality
Show me a gambler, smoker or boozer and I’ll show them the door. I don’t mind a bloke who has the odd flutter on Melbourne Cup, or a glass of wine or two with dinner, but someone who disappears into the pokie lounge for hours on end, or needs to get smashed to “enjoy” themselves… well, I’m just not interested. Smokers will say I’m being harsh lumping them in the same category as boozers and gamblers, but (and how can I put this nicely?)… I don’t care!
Everyone who has a family, has issues (trust me, I know!). But there issues, and there are Issues. Any man who has not dealt with his family issues is an emotional liability. And be warned: some family issues are easier to spot than others. It took me 18 months to realise that The Italian’s mother had an abnormal psychological hold over her children and him in particular, although the signs were always there. I vow to stay alert from now on, and listen to my gut.
Get up an go
I am an active person; I enjoy trying new things, meeting new people, getting out of my comfort zone. I reckon I’m giving this life thing a pretty good crack. A man whose idea of living is a weekly trip to the DVD shop, or Friday nights at the same pub with the same people is not living life. Well, not one that I want to share, anyway. And if he has no sense of humour (and I don’t mean the mean kind that gets laughs at the expense of other people), he can forget about it.
Dishonesty, lack of integrity and empathy
I wrote in a recent post that everyone lies. This is true (even I do at times and I think I’m an honest person), but there are people who have turned dishonesty into an art form. Any man who constantly lies (and we all know when they do, even if it’s just a gut feeling) or lies about The Big Things (and I’m not talking about the size of his willy here) is simply not worthy of my time. Ditto any man who can’t keep his word. And any man who is not able to empathise with others has no emotional intelligence, and has not evolved beyond being a teenager. I don’t want to mess around with that.
Not everyone has gone to university, but that is no reason to be uneducated. There’s reading, there’s iTunes University, there’s TED. There is no excuse for not learning, or continuing to learn. A man who isn’t interested in expanding his mind, or considering another point of view, or shifting paradigms, or learning about what makes him and others tick is uninteresting. That is all.
These are my deal breakers just in case any future husband-types are reading. Of course, there are other lesser things, but these are my non-negotiables. My biggies. These are things on which I will just not bend.