A few weeks ago, I blogged about breaking up with a guy I loved being with, but felt he loved being with me more.
While there is nothing wrong with that dynamic, there were other factors that influenced my feelings and, ultimately, my decision. It was not an easy decision to make because he is such a great guy, but once I slowed things down, I realized it was the wrong time for either of us to be together.
That goes back to the few rules I made for myself after choosing the wrong guys all the time – or the right guys at all the wrong times. Most chicks make a list of characteristics that make their dream guy. I made a list of deal breakers. Because it’s harder to see the red flags when you can check off the boxes for hot, employed and doesn’t live with his mom.
Maybe a lot of this has to do with PTS from past toxic relationships, but they are definitely hard lessons learned.
1. I will not get involved with someone who is overly into his phone or social network – like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Nothing is more unattractive than a man who acts like a tweenager online, taking and sending an excessive amount of selfies, whose phone goes off all night, and he has to check his newsfeeds to see what’s new in the last few minutes since posting something online. I also dislike seeing a guy I’m dating add random girls he does not know past meeting them once at an event or through a friend to his Facebook or Instagram; then call them ‘friends’ because they ‘liked’ something about him on any of his pages and now they talk on occasion, but they really talk all the time. What this is telling me is that he cares more about instant gratification than anything else.
Cell phones and the Internet allow us immediate access to just about anything. The problem is that instant gratification is addicting. It becomes habitual and eventually creeps into our relationships. And if they are meeting new people and talking to them all the time, sharing the details of their life with someone – everyone – else, they are probably not going to have anything left to share with me. How does that affect my love life? If I’m not available 24/7 – or when he wants me to be available – he knows that with the click of a button, he will find someone who can be available and equate that as a bigger ‘love.’
2. If I work with him, I will not date him.
I admit this is kind of an outdated notion. It almost makes perfect sense to meet someone at work. However, the one time I tried it, I had to end it abruptly and things were awkward on the job for a little while. Keeping my professional and personal life separated works in that I am not bringing that part of my life to work with me.
3. I will not date a guy who is newly single, newly separated or newly divorced.
This should be a no-brainer. I’m twice divorced. There is no such thing as a legal separation; you are married until you are divorced. And in the newly split stage, no one is ready for a real relationship. Why get involved with someone who – if they had to be honest – is just looking for validation that they are still viable. We call that a rebound. Most of the time, they don’t know they are in this phase, but anyone on the outside can see it clearly:
- He moves super fast – being quick to use the ‘L’ word.
- You find you are spending most of your time in bed or at home instead of going on actual dates.
- You find yourself becoming the divorce or break-up coach.
- He wants to spend all of his time with you – to the point you have no time for yourself.
- They need to keep in constant contact with you – whether it’s through text, email or the social network.
- You feel he is trying so hard to fit you into a hole in his life and that if it wasn’t you, it could be any number of girls in your place – That you’re not special, just a filler. And that point will be driven home by how fast he is able to move on from you.
4. I will not date a guy who says he is separated.
He is still technically married and until he is divorced, he still belongs to another woman. In addition to potentially being a rebound, there is the chance he could still be married and the separation is only geographical, rather than pending a divorce – and only known to him and not his wife. There is also a chance he could go back to his wife or is only looking for a superficial relationship based on sex. I’ve had all of the above happen to me.
5. I will not date someone who says his best friend is a girl – especially an ex-girlfriend.
An ex-boyfriend from a few years back told me that guys may say they have girls as friends, but it’s more likely they are girls they’ve had sex with, want to have sex with or with whom they are still having sex. Before anyone goes on the defense – this is MY list, not yours. I also made this rule after I dated a guy who insisted his ex was just his best friend, and then cheated on me with her. Coincidentally, this was the same ex who gave me the advice I just stated.
6. I will not date a guy who doesn’t have a life outside of a relationship.
This is kind of important – for me. I like a guy who has friends and hobbies outside of our relationship – things he can share with me or will keep him busy when we aren’t able to see each other. I’m not into the Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey relationships where both parties are sucking the life out of each other’s personal space. Being the sole reason for anyone’s being is both intimidating and exhausting. Clinginess and neediness change a relationship from a partnership into a chore.
7. I will not date a guy who doesn’t have the same morals and values as me.
I grew up with a core set of morals and values that some might see as old school. In this new millennium, certainly the world has changed and a lot of people have adapted to a more open and liberal lifestyle. This includes a lack of honesty in intention, respect for others as human beings and not being accountable and/or responsible for their actions. We have entered the Age of Entitlement and Self Gratification. Welcome.
8. I will not date a guy who is more than 6 years younger than me or a guy who is not at the same point in his life that I am in mine.
So, I’m 41, divorced and my only child is about to go to college. It’s about to be party time up in my house. Just kidding, I’m going to miss my kid. The point is younger men are never going to be in the same place in their lives that I am in mine. They are still deciding what they want, while I already know what I want. I know that one day, they will want something I can’t give them – like kids. On the other hand, there are men my age who don’t have kids and want them and that’s not wrong. However, I’m ready to start the next chapter in my life, not start over. It was so hard for me to actually admit this to myself, because it’s like admitting I am old. And truthfully, I don’t look a day over 41 …
I admit this is not a foolproof list. I’ve strayed from #1, #3, #5 and #6; which turned into disappointing reminders of why I set those deal breakers. I don’t believe in meeting someone who will live up to all of my requirements for a perfect partner. I do believe that there is going to be a guy who will not be on my deal breaker list.