Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Dating Deal Breakers

If you do not know what this term means, it is quite possibly due to the fact that you have not been single recently. Single for the last 36 years, I am very familiar with and knowledgeable of this phrase. Dating can be fun. Dating can be frustrating. Some even purport dating to be like warfare. Not dating at all totally sucks.

In business-speak, here is the definition of a deal-breaker (DB): Significant point that could terminate the negotiation.

Dating really is a negotiation isn’t it? Besides being a fancied up interview, w/food and drinks, dating is all about checking each other out. Assessing one’s DBs. What are we willing to put up with? The first round is usually the physical DBs (a guy 6 inches shorter than me). Next are the socio-economic DBs (lives with parents or has no friends). Then come the political DBs (views Tom DeLay favorably) and don’t get me started on all the various religion DBs. These are the easy ones to figure out, right outta the gate. Once the low-hanging potential DBs are successfully passed, one must investigate deeper to get to those flashing yellows/reds. If you do not know what these terms mean, it is quite possibly due to the fact that you have not been single recently. I certainly do not hold this against you, but I do ask that you read on.

For example, I recently had a date with a guy. (Note: I tried several different adjectives before “guy”, but ultimately went with none, which probably tells you that there will be no second date.) He was fine, polite, handsome, employed. He didn’t yawn, chew gum, exhibit poor grooming skills or smoke. There were positives yet there were negatives. Obviously, the negatives won out. And from his viewpoint, I know he felt the same way about me. And this is OK. I don’t know how many times I have stopped and asked myself this question: “Wait a minute, do I really care that (random guy) hasn’t called back?” (Are you curious about the negatives? In random order: told me how much money he makes, enjoys NASCAR, prefers expensive inanimate objects over pets, talked about his job 70% of the time we were together.)

First dates are a funny thing. There can be so much anticipation, excitement, and nervousness that I hear potential-DBs, semi-digest them and tell myself, “eh, I could put up with that”. But really, when I get home or at least out into the beautiful sunshine and really contemplate it, I resolve: “life is too short to put up with that b*llsh*t.”

So, I press on. Chin up. Lip balm in my cute purse. Stylish shoes on my feet.

Dating and pursuing relationships has changed immensely over the years that I have been an active participant. At first it was walking the hallways in high school, timing a stop at my locker just when I knew the handsome-senior-who-always-ignores-me will pass on his way from smoking at the QT to algebra class. [How many DBs did you spot in that sentence?? See, if you spotted 3 then you are learning something!]

Then there was college: we were technically adults and everyone was seemingly single, free of baggage, encumbrances and responsibilities. Oh, the salad days.

Finding myself in 2007, in my mid-30s and in a relatively large city; the playing field is completely different: people have weathered starter marriages, lived out in the real world and some have even procreated. The baggage, encumbrances and responsibilities are oh-so plentiful and oh-so teemed with potential DBs. Granted, these can now be acknowledged and 86d within a speed date or with a click of the mouse. Technology. I soldier on. If you do not know what some of these terms mean, it is quite possibly due to the fact that you have not been single recently. I will try to not hold this against you, you lucky happily-paired up b*st*rds.
“Life is short -- until you marry the wrong man and then it gets pretty goddamned long!!” - Madeline in “What Planet Are You From?”


The Young Family said...

Love it! I was totally laughing reading on about DB's! Em

Sarah said...

Beautifully written Paula!