Anyone who has been single for en extended period of time will tell you how much the dating game sucks. It's exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelmingly unsuccessful most of the time. I'm sure everyone gets to the point where they just feel like giving up and settling for the next dude or chick who comes along and isn't entirely awful. It sounds like a nice concept, just lower your expectations and you'll supposedly find what you're looking for...more realistically you will find almost what you're looking for and still be missing something.
It's been a full year since I got back into this game, and I am most assuredly not winning it. I am, however, figuring out what I actually require out of a partner and what I absolutely can't deal with. Here is a brief recap of some of the dealbreakers I've come across in the past year, compiled out of my own entertaining horror stories from the war zone that is dating in your 30's.
1) The guy that texts back two words after I've thoughtfully crafted a cheerful hello message to brighten his day. Then, when hanging out with said dude, he's constantly texting other people. Yep, I'm sure that's just all your homeboys texting you and not a harem of other chicks you're also trying to play. Nice try but I'm smarter than that. Deal broken.
2) The guy who changes the subject to sex every time I introduce a topic of intellectual interest. Sure, I'll still be intrigued for a short time and you might even get lucky once or twice, but I'll be gone as fast as you met me if you refuse to stimulate my mind. Deal broken.
3) The guy who constantly talks shit about salespeople. My career is the #1 thing I am proud of in my life, and I do my job ethically. I don't care if you once bought a car from a lying scumbag and now you think all salespeople are Satan himself in the flesh. I am not that salesperson, and if you want a chance to be with me, you better be supportive of my career. Deal broken.
4) The guy who thinks he's so much better than everyone else because he's a white male with money and privilege. This dude even went as far as to claim he has absolutely no empathy for people who are less fortunate because (all of them, across the board) are just not trying hard enough. I've lived at the poverty line and it's not easy to move yourself up socioeconomically. I believe in personal responsibility but I also believe in compassion for others and helping people who need it. Go enjoy counting your money, douchebag, because it's all you will have to keep you company for a very long time. Deal broken.
5) The guy who ghosts after 4+ months of dating. Months!! It's fine to ghost after a few dates if you just aren't feeling it, but once you have dated someone for several consecutive months and you know that person has strong feelings for you, you owe them a conversation. You don't get to just disappear and pretend you didn't hurt someone terribly; you did. It's also not fair to lie when confronted, spout some crap about how you don't want a relationship with anyone, and then show up on Facebook with a new girlfriend. Ever heard of honesty? In my experience, it's the best policy. Deal broken.
6) The guy who has absolutely no path in life and isn't serious about anything. If you happen to meet someone who lives in a cheap motel and is wasted in the middle of the day every day, just run. No good can come out of that situation. Deal broken.
7) The guy who has a good path in life but is way too serious about everything. I'm talking about the one who meets up on a beautiful weekend evening for a first date and won't even have one drink with me. His interests are working too much, going to the gym every day, and getting up early even on the weekend. Look, it's awesome that you're such a motivated douchebag but I want someone who knows what work/life balance is and knows how to cut loose in their off time. Go find someone else to convert to your Crossfit cult, please. I'll be at the wine store. Deal broken.
8) The guy who is too good to drink wine from a box. Ever heard the phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover?" There are a lot of wine brands out there that are choosing more eco-friendly packaging and I applaud that. Whether it comes in a bottle or a box says nothing about the quality of the product. I'm glad I found out early that you are a closed-minded snob, so I can roll my eyes and say "NEXT!" Deal broken.
9) The guy who lives with his "sister" and texts from a random texting app rather than a normal cellphone like a normal person. Did you really think I was that dumb? Clearly, you are married or have a girlfriend or maybe both. Either way, count me out. Deal broken.
And I saved the best (aka worst) for last...
10) The super-ultra-mega-douchebag who makes plans to go to dinner for your birthday (after dating for over a month), then suddenly ghosts ON YOUR FREAKING BIRTHDAY, after you've already told your friends you had plans. A person only gets one 30th birthday and mine was pretty much ruined. Deal broken. Not that he ever tried to call again or anything...
So there you have it. If you are reading this as a happily married person, I bet you're thinking about how lucky you are to be out of the game. If you are single, you are probably laughing and shaking your head at the ridiculousness of it all. If you have identified yourself as one of the guys I wrote about, you're probably just thinking that I'm a bitch and that's fine. I'm just hoping that, as I continue this terrifying experiment in 2015, I'll actually meet someone who understands me and complements the unique person that I am.