With almost every single significant romantic encounter (and in some dramatic cases, even just the one-off dates), I’ve realised I discover another relationship deal breaker. A factor, that maybe this time round I had tried to dismiss as arbitrary and unimportant. but eventually accepted was a bigger deal that I’d first anticipated. And so it goes, the more experiences we have the more we learn about how much we can handle, what we are willing to compromise on and our general limitations. I know I sound like a broken record by now, but I can reiterate enough how strongly I feel about people sticking to their guns about their deal breakers no matter how ridiculous, arbitrary and un-PC the rest of society may deem these to be. If you don’t want to date a guy that is into heavy metal because you believe its the devils work then its OK say to so. Even if you have your heart set on marrying someone who hails from the very same village your ancestors came from and refuse to look at anyone from another race, tribe or town, that is alright too (at least you aren’t wasting anyone’s time).
On the other hand however, discovering more and more things we just can’t stand for makes dating ever-more difficult. Having very specific requirements narrows the dating pool which is gets smaller on its own as we age, in any case. So today, I’m going to backtrack somewhat and tell you that as much as I like deal breakers (implementing them in my own life is easier said than done), my experiences have taught me why it is necessary not to be to rash when establishing new deal breakers, especially in the aftermath of a break up. Sure, when a relationship ends its sensible to reflect on the past and try to figure out when things didn’t work in order to prevent yourself from making the same mistake twice. However, trying to do this too soon when you are still a little bit too angry, bitter and twisted just leads to disaster. From my experience, it usually means looking for someone who is almost the polar opposite of your ex in an attempt to minimise the risk of heartache. Sadly, as we all know by now, the world isn’t black and white and things are never quite that easy. Anyway let me give your some of my personal insights to make things clearer.
Smoking Hotties vs. Ugly Trolls
After what was probably the most horrific break up of my life, my basic little mind decided the reason I had had my heart ripped to shreads was because I dated someone who was well and truly out of my league (well on the superficial level of conventional ideas of beauty, in any case!). According to one of my friends he was the kind of guy ‘ any chick with functioning eyes would pack up and move to the other side of the world for’ and then I on the other hand was the somewhat pretty but chubby girlfriend that’d probably looked like a safe bet. So as it happens, following the demise of said relationship, I decided to be incredibly egalitarian in my dating decisions and give anyone a chance who seemed somewhat interested, relatively well spoken (written?) and basically showed little sign of being a serial killer.
Next thing you know, I find myself falling for a somewhat unfortunate looking chap with ‘wonky teeth, lazy eyes and horrific skin’ (not my description). Sure, beyond all the superficial things, the convo was decent and there was some weird attraction (although with hindsight it was probably more about the fact that logic told me that’d he’d never break my heart because clearly I was the catch this time round). Despite calls from my friends to aim higher I still went ahead crushing on the troll and as it turns out, the universe didn’t play fair. I wouldn’t say I got my heart broken as such but I certainly got an epic slap in the face when this unfortunate looking chap TOLD ME he couldn’t offer me anything serious and the very next week was Facebook Official with a pretty, little, conservative thing.
After this little blip in my dating history, it discovered in fact I do have type – the ‘beautiful’ type. So why fight it?
T-Totalers vs Alcoholics
Long gone are the days I knock back four bottles of wine but I can’t deny I love me the odd glass of wine now and again and I am a sucker of a bit of pink gin, a thirst-quenching cider on a sunny day, anyone for a porn star martini? Booze is an important part of my life, there is no denying it but I understand that its not for everyone. And as we grow up, I think most of us become a bit more selective about our indulgences (if only I gave up the bottle, I could legit be a athlete or a supermodel…jokes, but let a girl dream!). So, there was a time in my life where I’d never disregard a guy because he couldn’t handle/choose to abstain from liquor. Hmm…that was until I had the pleasure of dating an raging T-Totaler.
As first it started out OK. We tip-toed around the issue. He insisted I have a glass of wine. As things progressed however, so did the lectures. Constant YouTube clips about horrific drink driving accidents and articles illuminating the negative effects of alcohol. Sigh. Eventually, the comments started : ‘Have another glass, ALCOHOLIC! Have a shot while your at it !’ Ugh. That was that, I decided to choose wine over the man. After all, wine is the friend that never talks back. And with that I vowed never to date a T-Totaler EVER AGAIN! Alcoholic beverages were far too important in my life to have to deal with that sort of negativity.
But again, after a few months, the universe decided to have another major LOL at my expense. By handing my an ever-so-lovely guy, charming and beautiful in every way. And guess what…he loved liquor as much as I did. Yay!! And to be fair he could handle it way better that I could ever dream of. Every time I’d be DYING of a hangover, he’d be making me feel bad by pumping iron. Seems to good to be true? Well, it was. Turns out, having a ability to consume copious amount of hard liquor with it having no impact on your body whatsover, also comes with downsides. Especially, when the going gets tough, as it inevitably does, and instead of turning to your champagne-fabulous girlfriend you turn to the bottle, because we all know the answer to your problems can be found at the bottom of a litre of Smirnoff (knocking a back a bottle everynight and then starting your day with a nice gin! Sigh!).
Unemployed Bums vs. Workoholics
At the risk of sounding like a gold digger, I’m going to say that dating someone is financially stable is important. No, that doesn’t have to mean that they are rolling in it but that they realise the importance of hard work and that that they don’t expect everything to be handed to them. Entitlement just makes me sick – whether its a guy/girl who expects their spouse to slog away for a minimum wage while they sit on the fat ass playing computer games, or a professional poet or Air BnB post who expects an unsuspecting neighbor to continuously ‘loan’ them R20 for toilet roll…it just gets boring. If you want to live a life of luxury then work for it.
Having encountered a fair share of guys that don’t/can’t (be bothered) to work because you know the whole world and his dog is against them, a racist primary school teacher ruined their career prospects for evermore and because having to work a Saturday in hospitality is slave labor (Sigh!). So when you finally meet someone who is passionate about their work, can afford to pay their way and doesn’t blame others for their mistakes – BREAKTHROUGH!
But as is often the case, there is a downside to every good thing. Because its one thing to have a job that you are into, gives you joy and fulfillment and real job (I’d love to sit on my ass writing this blog everyday but honestly it won’t pay for my champagne habit!). But at the end of the day, a job is just that. And while job satisfaction is important, there needs to be a balance. A job should essentially allow you to fund a decent existence, it shouldn’t necessarily be your sole purpose in life (I personally don’t think any one thing should be). So yeah, in attempt to find someone who is financially stable and gainfully employed (which I know can be a rare thing) don’t go running into the arms of someone who is married to their job. You’ll find it hard to compete with the ching ching.
Ugh, maybe its just me who lives a life of extremes. All I am saying is that it is good to be self-reflective and try and figure out what worked, or more importantly, didn’t work in past relationships. However, making rash decisions and trying to find someone who is the polar opposite of the ex isn’t going to be the solution to all your problems. Stay calm, keep your wits about you and understand that everyone and everything comes with its own unique set of challenges. Sigh. Good luck to y’all!
Alright Rinsers… What is your take on all this? Any advice to the poor folk out there trying to navigate the dating world? Share your horror stories in the comments section below…