Dating Requirements

“Maybe I would have been something you’d be good at. Maybe you would have been something I’d be good at. But now we’ll never know.” ~Tegan and Sara, Call It Off 

I frequently talk about what I do and don’t want in my next relationship. Most of what I talk about are standards. My standards are more or less qualities I want in a partner. For example, loyalty. Honesty is another big one. Open-minded, kind…you get the picture. The natural qualities and makeup of a person. These are different to me than requirements.

When I think of requirements, I think of them as something separate than standards or personality. Maybe you don’t. This is just how my brain works. I think of requirements in terms of things like employed, takes showers regularly, doesn’t still live with his parents, etc. All things you need in order to consider dating someone.

I feel like many people have a backwards view on dating requirements. I hear people say things like… I can’t date someone who doesn’t like football. (By hear, I mean a guy said this to me two weekends ago when I said I don’t really care about football. I don’t hate it. I’ll go to a game. However, during football season when left to my own devices, I don’t turn it on.) My response to this is a very logical – why not? (He didn’t really have an answer.) Would you really not date someone who you find perfect in every other way because they don’t give a shit if a team you love is playing some other team you both don’t give a shit about for three hours on a Sunday?

I was catching up on my log of recorded Steve Harvey episodes, and I kept hearing things like this from people whose dating lives Mr. Harvey was trying to help. I kept hearing things like I don’t want to date a guy who travels for work, I can’t date someone who doesn’t like baseball, I can’t date a guy who doesn’t like…whatever. You get the idea. When the camera would pan to Steve’s reaction, I noticed I was making similar faces of confusion. He was muttering what I was thinking, which is basically, “Uh. Ok. A man has a good job and has to travel sometimes so you’re just not gonna…ok.”

Maybe my Nickelback thing is someone else’s football.

Is this where dating is at now? We can’t date someone who shares different interests and hobbies? When did this become a thing? I think dating someone who likes all of the things you like is boring. I don’t want to date myself! It’s now acceptable to meet a guy who is kind, chivalrous, loves children and has a good job but doesn’t follow baseball so bye Felicia? For the most part, this is weird to me. I also find it bizarre how people like that are confused as to why they’re still single.

However, it got me thinking…do I have some weirdo underlying requirements? Are there quirks or interests that would totally turn me off from trying to get to know someone who was otherwise seemingly perfectly wonderful? It turns out yes. I do! What would cloud my interest in getting to know a guy, you ask? Here they are:

  • If you currently own or previously owned a Nickelback album. I feel like there are other underlying terrible judgments you have, and this is just scratching the surface. Those other good qualities have to be REALLY perfect for me to not look at you with some harsh skepticism. Translation: I’m not sure I could sleep with you.
  • If you don’t like animals. I will probably think you have no soul and saved myself from ending up on Dateline because our fighting over my passion for rescue animals became too intense for your black heart. (This is the only possible and logical outcome in this scenario.)
  • If you have a terrible work ethic. I can’t deal with you. Grow up. Stop being lazy.
  • If you have been to jail for a violent crime or drug dealing. This requires no explanation, and if you feel like this is an unfair requirement…then you have a story to tell. While I don’t want your business up in my business, I am interested in hearing the details of your stay in prison.

That’s all I could come up with, and I don’t think they’re too terrible. I feel like they’re pretty fair with the Nickelback thing possibly being the exception. I didn’t say I wouldn’t date you at all, but there will be some extensive interviewing, a trial period and some other tests I haven’t come up with yet should this issue arise.

My point here is, people need to chill out. Your partner doesn’t need to be your mirror. So what if they don’t like football? Have you considered this is your chance to have some “me” time with your pals every Sunday for 16 weeks and maybe longer if your team doesn’t suck? I don’t know. Just a thought. What do I know? Maybe my Nickelback thing is someone else’s football. That is a sentence I never thought I would be typing.





Author: Penny Lame

I can find humor in almost everything. These are my stories.