I don’t consider myself high maintenance. I am incredibly tolerant, and I’m no quitter. As proof, I can provide a relationship resume that would make any dyed in the wool relationship proponent scream, “What were you thinking?!” After a litany of dating experiences the time has come to define, not what I am looking for in a mate, rather, what I don’t want. I’ve narrowed it down to an alphabetic list, so that it will be easier to remember as I age, and my memory starts to go.
I call it the 5Bs. While any one of the Bs is not technically a deal breaker, I vow to break into the Irish drinking song that goes “No, neigh, never,…no neigh, never no more…,” should a potential match possess more than 3Bs.
1. BAD: The type that perhaps you secretly wanted to date, but never would. They still exist, but they can be harder to spot as they age. The big tip-offs, I learned, are their discussions of past relationships. For example, how soon after you meet them do they turn red with rage and bring up their divorce? If they say the word “alimony,” would they not be able to use an appropriate indoor voice and/or would you be able to detect involuntary facial muscle spasms? Are they too friendly with the exes? Do they use the defense, “Well, I don’t hate her”? Little tip-offs can be things like finding him online after he’s been dating you. How rude! There is a button you can click while “browsing” profiles to make you “invisible” so that no one can see you are perusing. If I respect you enough to use the button so you won’t know I’m still looking around, please extend me the same courtesy.
2. BALD: This is shallow, I know, but it’s my list. By “bald,” I mean the men who shave their heads intentionally. These guys are capable of having some kind of hair, and a hair shadow under their scalp may even be visible, but they choose not to.There are two reasons I do not care for this look. First, I suspect these men shave their heads in protest. They are deliberately taunting the female concept of male perfection. In college, many women’s studies students would refuse to shave their legs or wear makeup in defiance of patriarchy. And that’s the point. Acts of defiance against perception of gender perfection belong to women. Hands off! Second, a deliberately bald head is confusing. Our DNA has evolved to make mate selection easier. Brown eyes typically mean dark hair. Blue eyes, perhaps blond hair. I once went on a wonderful date with a DBM (deliberately bald man) and instantly developed ADD. I only wanted to ask two questions: “What did you used to look like?” and, “Can you grow it back?” Not fair after one date to request an appearance change, but alas, chemistry is important. And that was the justification I used as I repeatedly kicked myself for letting an otherwise good guy with none of the other 4Bs get away.
3. BORING: There is nothing worse than a boring man. I can think of two indicators found in online profiles signifying a “walking Ambien”: non-drinkers and those whose idea of fun is attending a lecture or renting movies. Many do not drink as they are in recovery. They are not to whom I am referring. I am speaking of the ones who mind others who drink, who dislike bars, who call drinkers unnecessary slurs, and so on. I am sure these opinions have their place in the universe, but I will never understand them. I am an unapologetic fan of the occasional, responsible drink. If you click “never” on the drinking line of your profile for any reason other than receiving the great gift of sobriety or for religious reasons, then I am sorry, but there is a high chance that you are boring. As to those who click “attending a lecture” or “renting movies” as an idea of a great night out…ibid.
4. BOYISH: This in and of itself may not be a deal breaker, but pay particular attention should it accompany any other B. I do not expect much, but there are things I do not ever want to see again. First, inappropriate enthusiasm for the premiere of any movie involving a superhero. Second, a grown man in a Patriot’s, or any other sports team’s shirt, with another grown man’s last name scrawled across the back. Third, a grown man who repeatedly communicates with his mother throughout the day. Fourth, not to contradict B3, but any man who thinks drinking tales are cool. Keep your stories of bobbing for nips of liquor in the hotel pool while away with your buddies to yourself please. Fifth, a man who does not own a properly fitting suit. All formal wear must be current, matching, and tailored. I may need you for an impromptu funeral, and you will reflect on me. Sixth, seventh, and so on, a man who whines, is selfish, sneaky, openly inspects other women, angers easily, has road rage, and so on.
5. BROKE: I am not talking about the man under economic stress due to job loss or divorce. I mean the type who can do better and chooses not to. The ones who complain about prices. The ones who don’t offer to pick up the check. The ones who meet for lunch or coffee only–regularly. The sales guys who don’t follow leads, the contractors who don’t write estimates, and then blame the politicians, corporate greed, etc., for their situation. If you are lazy, cheap, or if “splurge” and “impulse purchase” are not in your vocabulary, then there probably won’t be chemistry, and you may also have some kind of B list combination.
Dating and aging can be a one, two punch to any woman’s self-esteem, but that doesn’t mean we are without power of choice. Just because we are older, out of shape, wounded, etc., does not make us stuck. Being stuck only occurs when one stops moving forward.