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Dating Dealbreakers

I'm going to just come right out and admit this - I was floored to discover that any non-smoker would date a smoker.  I certainly don't think it's sweeping the nation, but chalk one up for romance, because these non-smoking people are out there.

Still, the ability to make choices when you browse online dating sites exists for a reason.  Many people want the ability to search only non-smokers, or Christians, or never-marrieds, or people with children, etc.  I just read a post about a woman who's ready to walk away from a guy because he has kids that live in another state.  We all have our dealbreakers, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

But as I was thinking about the smoking post and the responses, I realized I've developed, with age and experience, beliefs that may be called practicality, or may be called cynicism.  I'm not sure which it is.

Nonsmoking commenter Ann refuses to shrink her dating options by leaving smokers out of the pool of potentials.  I can respect that, and it made me think about some truths of mine:

  1. I believe there are many different people in the world that you could find and build a life with.
  2. I'm positive I'd rather be single than in a bad relationship.
  3. I believe initial or even ongoing attraction actually tells you very little about whether a person is a good match for you when it comes to a relationship.  It's the first step, but it's not the ultimate indication of compatibility.

Just to add a little to that last one - Are you watching Studio 60?  There's a storyline about executive producer Danny who's suddenly in love with studio executive Jordan.  He's been pursuing her to go out with him, declaring his love right and left.  Except what the heck is he talking about?  They've never been on a date, and he has no idea how they will mesh as a couple - I'm not saying that emotions can't run deep at this point, but it's not anything that I'd call love.

And this is about when I begin to wonder if I've slipped over to the dark side.

But I've been in multi-year relationships where I've let things - things that were important to me - slide in the name of love, and those were the exact things that eventually tore the relationship apart.  After my biggest heartbreak to date, totally and completely shattered, I thought to myself with 100% sincerity, Well, thank the heavens I never have to date another smoker again.  That one ended over other things, but I was surprised at the depth of my relief over being free of the smoke.

And if you've been single for any large block of time, surely you've been in a situation where the attraction was palpable, but the object of your affection turned out to be a horrible match.

One final thing about dating qualifiers:  If you have a massive list of things that you absolutely must find in a potential mate, then yeah, you're in trouble.  You're not getting it - I get that.  But being honest about the handful of things that are really important to you is something else entirely.  You need to hold onto these truths - your truths - up front.  Before you get swept away and end up compromising on the things that you are ultimately not going to be happy living with.

For some non-smokers, smoking isn't a dealbreaker.  But I suspect they have other ones - just different ones.

How about you?  Throw it all aside in the name of love?  Or hold the line on the things that are most important to you?

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Recent Comments

I agree with you, in part. I am emotionally unavailable, but not by choice. The men certainly come flocking in - the red flag, emotionally unavailable, avoid-at-all costs type, that is.

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Posted by: EU not by choice | Jun 26, 2008 10:32:19 AM

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