Thursday, July 09, 2009

More Musings on Dealbreakers

One of the more interesting things about Tuesday's dealbreaker talk is how they're all so... universal. Nobody really cares for rudeness or cheating, for instance. The only really quirky dealbreaker seemed to be "obsession with a philosopher" (sorry, Brett!). We aren't special snowflakes. (Hey, maybe we ought to all be in some sort of polyamorous bloggy love nest together!)

So I've spent a little time thinking about which of my dealbreakers are more me-specific:

1. Cynicism. Negativity is a dealbreaker, of course, because who wants to be around someone who needs constant propping-up? Cynicism goes a little deeper: I cannot bear to love someone who believes the world is an evil place, everyone is out to get theirs, and we're all hurtling toward oblivion. I know I'm on the rainbows and unicorns, true love and carousels side of the spectrum, but I've always considered that one of my better qualities. Don't try to take that away from me.

2. Gaslighting. If I have a grievance or a concern, I expect to be heard out. If I'm told that I'm overthinking, overanalyzing, or possibly crazy, I'll run for the exits. Because, let's face it: I probably am over-everything at all of it, and it's entirely possible that I'm crazy, but that's just who I am. Take it or leave it.

3. Lack of social skills and friends. Having dated a few lone wolf types, I have to admit it's exhausting to be the center of someone's social world. And I go nuts when I have to babysit someone at a social gathering. We're all adults, pick a victim and say hello!

4. Dislike of children. It's ok to be on the fence about actually wanting them, because it's the mother of all big decisions. And, yes, they're loud and annoying and sometimes it's pretty grody when one of my friends' babies unleashes a stream of shiny drool all over the table. But I'd like to be able to see my parent friends without hearing a bunch of bitching on the way home.

5. Road rage. Oh, macho idiot driving, how I loathe thee! If you're flipping the bird at every U-turn, it's all brittle masculinity and meathead foolishness to me. A real man cares too much about the safety of his passengers (especially me!) to get in some sort of Mad Max road battle on 395.

6. Punchiness. This falls under my general hate of meathead idiocy. If you've thrown a punch in the last decade, for anything other than the strictest of self-defense, get out of my way. I abhor violence and don't believe in solving problems with your fists.

7. Lack of demonstrated fear toward my girlfriends. Hurt me at your peril. My girls will beat you, cut you, and leave you for dead in an alley without a second thought. As a more positive statement, winning over my friends is the fastest way to win me.

8. Picky eating. I didn't always have the healthiest relationship with food, and hearing a bunch of fussing brings back ugly memories.

9. Lack of conflict skills. If you go nuclear to win an argument, or, more to the point, you care more about winning the argument than resolving the problem, I'm going to kick off my sexy heels and run like hell. Also, yelling freaks me out completely.

10. White Knight complexes. I don't need anyone to swoop in and make it all better. Talking me down off my occasional insanity ledges, and offering advice when I ask for it? That's all I ask for.

In the comments, tell me I'm way too picky. Or tell me more about your dealbreakers, and whether you feel they're especially unique.

31 comments:

Fearless in Toronto said...

Sounds like a reasonable list to me.

Hmmm...dealbreakers...

Rudeness to anyone, especially to staff in restaurants or stores.

Physical clingers. I once dated this guy who had an annoying habit of resting his head on my shoulder. It didn't last long after that.

Malnurtured Snay said...

There are all completely unreasonable. Here's why ...

(kidding!)

Shannon said...

Fearless - One of the perks of being 5'2" is that I would have to date a hunchback to experience a perpetual head on my shoulder.

Snay - You forgot to ask me if it was "that time of the month."

Malnurtured Snay said...

Oh. Um. Is it?

Fiery Nuggets said...

Wow, I'm surprised we are friends, because I have a ew of the dealbreakers you list here -- cynicism and road rage to name two. My biggest dealbreaker is stupidity, but that's not at all original. Perhaps a more specific description is that one must have a better-than-average grasp of the English language to successfully woo me. Like, if you can use didactic and dystopic in the same conversation, I am weak in the knees. Do it with a sense of sarcastic humor and you are golden.

Jo said...

I think your dealbreakers are not dealbreakers, but requirements in my book for a sane and reasonable person.

My dealbreaker is doormats...UGH. Grow a pair!

Shannon said...

Snay - Yes, that's why my eyes glow with white-hot rage while I sob into a vat of ice cream.

Fiery - Ha! I can be friends with pretty much anyone, and especially you! I think most of my dealbreakers really just add up to, "Don't try to change me."

Jo - Ugh...wimpiness in anyone, male or female, makes me nuts.

Malnurtured Snay said...

Mint chocolate chip ice cream?

Jamie said...

OMG. And I don't use that term very often. I doubt there is a person on the planet earth who could possibly pass that list unscathed. And personally, I prefer cynicism (not the same as negativity) to happy-go-lucky optimism. The world is a messed up place. Pretending it isn't so won't get you very far. You can be cynical and positive and happy at the same time. You need to understand and believe in the evil in the world and be able to laugh at it. People who can do that are my favorite people.

I don't have a list. I just date someone until it becomes clear that they aren't the right person for me, or, if that doesn't happen within some reasonable period of time, marry them. Very simple.

Shannon said...

Snay - weirdly enough, I don't even really care for ice cream.

Jamie - I can pass that list unscathed - not that I'm perfect, because we all know I'm not. But I wouldn't hold someone else to standards that I could not meet. That's hypocrisy.

HP said...

I feel like mine are ever-changing but here are a couple of constants:

1.) Cling. I'm super-independent (probably to a fault) and I can't stand a man who has to call several times a day and hang out almost every night. Space. Please.

2.) "I want a girlfriend guy." The guy who is clearly looking for a gf and I just happen to meet a few of the criteria. Um, no. I want somebody to date me b/c they're blown away by me--not b/c they want a relationship and I'll do for now.

3.) Mr. Flirty McSkeevy. If we are on a date, *we* are on a date. I do not want to turn around to find you flirting with somebody across the room. Further, when I call you on it, don't tell me that I'm the problem because I'm too shy and introverted. No, *you're* the problem because you can't keep it in your pants.

Other than that, I'm pretty forgiving. I'll even date a man with bad taste in sweaters if he buys me the right beer and gives me foot massages.

bh said...

I think your list is pretty reasonable.

A little bit of cyncism, however, isn't all bad. A) Quality sarcasm can be worth it's weight in gold if not overdone. B) I wouldn't want to date the female equivalent of Ned Flanders, although from the pixalated shower scenes in the Simpsons, some of you ladies might enjoy the male version.

The thing about friends is well put, but something I've noticed about men, including myself, is we generally (not always) have a very small group of really close friends. It's hard to expand the circle, since most men set their social circles in high school and college, and it's sort of awkward to say to another dude "hey, you're cool, we should hang out more often" In reading that statement it probably doesn't seem that way, but I bet most of your male readers will agree with me.


I'll cop to occasional road rage, but I live in Maryland so it's a fine line between rage and simply trying to stay alive.

Shannon said...

HP - Having met the erstwhile Cosby Sweater Man, as well as Flirty McSkeevy, I'm gonna take your standards as indications of impressive personal growth.

bh - Great comment. I think there's a big difference between sarcastic and cynical. Sarcasm is a form of humor, whereas cynicism is a worldview in which humanity is basically evil and the world just keeps getting worse. Sarcasm is hot. Cynicism is depressing.

And I don't expect anyone to be as outgoing or have as many friends as me...but a total lone wolf who sits like a lump at every gathering? No thanks.

f.B said...

Road rage is such a deal-breaker. And so is yelling.

But I also can't take over-readiness. Some people are willing after a few good weeks to start talking about big moves like how they envision owning property together.

Malnurtured Snay said...

You don't like ice cream? We can never be.

Shannon said...

f.B - You've been commenting on my blog for a few months now...don't worry, I've picked out the rings and the dress and the church. All you gotta do is show up.

Snay - I weep to disappoint you.

Malnurtured Snay said...

But you're not weeping into ice cream, which is the problem!

Rachel said...

This one is very particular to me I think, but I forgot about it yesterday. I can't deal with guys that will mock or be mean to/about fat people. Having once been very heavy, obese even, I can't abide by someone making rude comments or jokes about such an individual. You don't have to be attracted to that, but don't be mean. It signals to me a lack of empathy, which is the larger issue.

Heather said...

The list makes sense.

Um deal breakers-

Me! Me! complex, if it's always about you, that just annoys me and is not fair to both parties. I mean there can be a healthy balance.

Criticism, if a male or anyone for that matter criticizes my every move, yeah, for one I won't take your advice and I won't like you. I have a soft shell what can I say?

Humor, if we you take life too seriously, where is the fun in that? Laugh a little or at least make others laugh.

Lisa said...

I dunno. I feel like I need someone with a decent dollop of cynicism. I like fairly positive characters, but if they are not remotely cynical, I don't think I can relate.

Shannon said...

Snay - Weeping makes the ice cream go all melty.

Rachel - Well, empathy is an important quality to have! And if they can't manage the golden rule, then why would you want to be in a relationship with them?

Heather - Humor is an important coping skill!

Lisa - My list isn't going to be the same as everyone's - I'm an extremely optimistic person, and if I felt someone was trying to drag me down or take that away from me, I wouldn't stick around for too long.

justjp said...

I am a #5 offender. Its mellow, but I do have a mild case of road rage when going to and from work.

Shannon said...

jp - A little cursing is cool, I could make a sailor brush during my semiannual attempt to drive a car. But when a man gets in a road rage showdown, and starts weaving and cutting people off, I am SO out of there. Literally. Jumping out of a car doesn't hurt too bad if you pick soft ground and be sure to roll.

Shannon said...

A sailor blush, that is. I don't know any sailors who paint.

Brett said...

Apparently, my deal-breakers can be summed up with two words:

Mel Gibson

Kelsey said...

I'm with you there on the lack of friends. My current boyfriend *almost* falls into that category. He was a foreign servcie brat growing up, and as a result is not the best at forming emotional bonds with people. He has a few casual friends, but nobody I'd really consider a "quality" friend - nobody who would help him move. I'm a very social person, so it's odd. He's not lonely or anything, it's sort of like he lacks a social drive.

Shannon said...

Brett - You MUST post your imaginary date with Mel. Must must must.

Kelsey - I tend to worry about people who can't sustain long-term friendships. I'm aware that I'm unusual in that I've had many of the same friends since high school - but there should be at least a couple people who will help you move!

Kelsey said...

@Shannon: With Marc I think it's not so much that he can't sustain them, so much as that he is hesitant to make them. He has a reasonable chip on his shoulder from being moved around so much as a kid and not really being allowed to make quality friendships, and I think that he stopped making friends because subconsciously he is afraid that he'll have to move away from them or somesuch. He just seems to not really know how to make friends that will be quality relationships.

Titania said...

I am with you on that list. I'll add being cheap: those guys that ask you out, choose the place, and then complain over and over again of how pricey it is, makes me want to punch them (um, would that be self-defense?)

btw, got my red dress!

Liz Hurley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dana said...

I decided last night that I have figured out the test I'd use if I ever think about getting remarried. I would sit the guy down and make him watch Elizabeth Edwards on Oprah while glaring at him the same time, saying, "You are NOT allowed to do anything that's even in the ballpark of this." The two dealbreakers in my first marriage were infidelity and abuse, and well...