Being Amazing May Hurt Your Chances To Find Love

No one wants to be merely average.

And, if you ask around, few of us think we’re average. In fact, I’ll bet that you feel you are smarter than average, kinder than average and better looking than average.

But what you may not have considered is that having high self-worth can actually be detrimental to your chances to find love.

It certainly was for me, your humble dating coach.

I tell my story – and illustrate how it reflects on you – in the first chapter of my book, “Why He Disappeared – The Smart, Strong, Successful Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men and Keeping the Right One Hooked Forever.”

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have self-esteem, especially when it comes to dating. Self-esteem carries us through tough times – through loneliness, through rejection – and allows us to keep getting out there even when things are bleak.

Moreover, when confidence comes with true self-esteem, it proves to be an extremely attractive quality. According to the Harlequin Books Romance Report (for which I was a spokesman in 2006), both men and women feel that confidence is the most important attribute in a partner. Which is why it pains me to report that confidence has a serious downside as well.

The downside of confidence is that it’s only a hair’s breadth away from arrogance. And if you think you’re better than others, it will inadvertently come across.

It’s not only cute, Ivy League investment bankers that give off a whiff of arrogance.

The downside of confidence is that it’s only a hair’s breadth away from arrogance.

It’s the vegan who can’t stand meat eaters.

It’s the born-again Christian who looks down on non-believers.

It’s the Democrat who thinks all Republicans are evil.

I’m not singling out those people, per se. After all, we all do this, to some degree – mainly by putting our own beliefs up on a pedestal. Basically, most people’s worldviews are: “If you agree with me, you’re right; if you disagree with me, you’re wrong.”

Except that’s not how the world works. People don’t want to be with someone who makes them feel “wrong.”

I couldn’t be with my wife if she were always reminding me how I’m going to hell for not being Christian.

She couldn’t be with me if I were constantly harping on her to get a more lucrative job.

This confidence (which is actually narcissism) comes out of insecurity. Instead of accepting the fact that other people have different beliefs, most of which are perfectly valid, you expect your dates to be in complete lockstep with you.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had a client – a bright, kind, lovely woman – tell me that her partner had to have certain beliefs in common to be her husband.

You don’t need a clone.

You need a PARTNER.

You’ve been in relationships before. Isn’t most of your time spent talking about what you’re going to eat, where you’re going this weekend, what’s happening at work, how much money you’re saving, and all the things you’d like to do in the future? When you have kids, I’m pretty sure they’re the dominant topic of conversation.

You know how much time we spend talking about the Iraq War? Pretty much none.

So to stake your relationship – which is more dependent on kindness, consistency, values and long-term goals – on his belief about what happens after you die, or about the merits of big government – is incredibly shortsighted.

My relationship survives just fine when I go on some liberal rant to my wife. She doesn’t have to agree with everything I say in order to love me.

She loves me because I put her needs first, because I’d do anything for her, because I make her laugh, because I protect her. If she got rid of me because of politics, religion, or my inability to run a 5K, I predict she’d be making a big mistake.

I can’t stress this enough: You don’t need a clone. You need a PARTNER.

So while it’s normal to want a partner who’s on your exact wavelength, it is, by no means imperative. In fact, if you look at relationships in your past, you may just find that the man who was too similar to you did NOT make a good fit for your life.

To give you a stark portrayal of how your desires may be not only detrimental, but unrealistic, I’d like to ask you to do this simple math exercise. So, please write down your answers so you can do the multiplication…

What percentage of men is attractive enough to date?

What percentage of men is intelligent/interesting enough to date?

What percentage of men is emotionally available enough to date?

What percentage of men is financially stable enough to date?

What percentage of men do you “click” with on a date?

Finally, what percentage of men feel that YOU are attractive, intelligent, emotionally available, financially stable, and compatible?

When you go through this exercise – and multiply those numbers together – you’ll see that, by your standards, almost NOBODY qualifies for a date with you. .0001%, maybe.

But wait, there’s more!

See, amazing and unique women often aren’t content finding a mate who is in the .0001 percentile. You still need to do a little more filtering beyond being cute, smart, successful, available, and having chemistry. For example:

Frankly, I think you’re lucky if you find someone who PUTS UP with your obsession.

…it’s unfair to ask them to feel the same as you feel.

“I’m a huge dog person – I have three of them – and the man I’m with has to feel the same way about animals.”

“I’m a triathlete and wake up at 5:30am every day to train – and I want to be able to share my passion with my girlfriend.”

“I’m an indie music freak. There’s nothing worse to me than a guy with middle of the road taste in music.”

Factor in these kinds of things, and it becomes nearly impossible to find love. What percentage of men has three dogs? What percentage of women wants to wake up and run 5 miles? And why in God’s name do you have to share these interests anyway?

Frankly, I think you’re lucky if you find someone who PUTS UP with your obsession.

And that goes for anyone who does something in the extreme: work, travel, spend time with family.

It’s a lot to ask for someone to be agreeable; it’s unfair to ask them to feel the same as you feel. If you DO find the person who is an extreme dog person, then you may have to accept the fact that he’s may not be as financially stable or attractive as you’d like.

Relationships involve trade-offs.

Compromise isn’t just for “other” people who have to put up with you.

And if you make EVERYTHING a deal-breaker, you can’t be too surprised when you’re still standing alone.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Helen

    Reading the comments here, my own thought is that the choice doesn’t have to be so hostile or laced with underlying anger or dissatisfaction. It is all about free and rational choices as adults, and how you optimize your outcome.
     
    No one is holding a gun to your head, saying that you have to be in a relationship. Yes, people can be perfectly happy single. Some people who do not want to compromise on the 3 dogs, early morning runs, one particular church, etc., may be perfectly willing to accept the fact that s/he is less likely to find a partner who will deal with that, because s/he is fine with being single.  (Indeed, someone who has found such a passion in life is fortunate, and may not need a partner at all.)  On the other hand, those who value a long-term relationship above adhering to a particular lifestyle would do well to look outside the box and to be more accepting.
     
    Evan, I do want to comment on one part of your entry: that you’ll spend no time talking about the Iraq War (or any political or philosophical topic) after marriage and children.  Before we had kids, hubby and I had plenty of time to delve into deep philosophical discussions about everything.  Now we’ve been parents for a number of years.  Recently we went out to dinner alone, and as embarrassing as it is to admit, I felt flummoxed about what to talk about. In a family context, we’d been talking about household-related and kid-related things for so long that when we were together again, with a space of silence between us, we didn’t know how to fill it . And this is coming from two people who pride themselves on being intelligent and philosophical!
     
    So it just goes to show you… even marrying someone who is similar to you doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always enter easily into deep conversations. Maybe we’ll regain that function after the kids leave the house. Thank goodness that love, appreciation, and respect go deeper than intellectual matching.
     

  2. 32
    Gem

    “I will soon accuse you of hating athiests, even though you didn’t write that anywhere.”

    No, but you did say this…

    “if you insist that a man has inferior values because he doesn’t believe in, say, an afterlife, you’re right, you probably should find a guy more like you – narrowminded and narcissistic enough to think that there’s something wrong with someone who isn’t in complete lockstep with them.”

    And no where did I say anyting remotely close to that.

    See, I have no problem with your premise that if you have too many deal-breakers, you’ll not make a deal, but you take it a step beyond and suggest WHAT people should and shouldn’t care about AND suggest that if they don’t let go of their deal-breaker of a shared belief system they MUST be arrogantly looking down their nose at others.

    Just because certain things possess no meaning for you, doesn’t make it good advice for you to suggest these things equally shouldn’t matter to someone else.

    Stick with the broad message and encourage people sort out their own particular needs and I’m all with ya because not all deal-breakers are arbitrary as you seem to think they are.

  3. 33
    Luxe

    Wow, I think a lot of people are taking this too literal. The basic principle remains. The more you excude certain things as dealbreakers the more you limit yourself. Just pick and choose wisely people. It’s always going to be different for everyone. Everyone gets so touchy when religion or politics are mentioned.

  4. 34
    Karl R

    Goldie said: (#35)
    “would you consider it possible that, for some people, their religious beliefs and political stance determine their values and long-term goals?”

    Given the way you phrase this, I’m assuming that you have some values and long-term goals which are determined by your religious beliefs and/or political stance.

    Would you consider it possible that a different person may have arrived at the same values and long-term goals despite having different religious beliefs and political stances from yours?

    Feel free to name any values or goals that you have which derive from your political stance or religious beliefs. I’ll do my best to come up with an example of someone from a different religion or political party who shares your viewpoint.

  5. 35
    Shay

    Karl R (#26)
    Absolutely sure!!! I would be glad to attend his church.
     
    Evan (#21)
    I absolutely agree with your article. The dealbreaker should not be trivial. It should be something people are confronted on a day to day basis. And how to spend our time is quite big, isn’t it?
     
    Just for that, I can compromise to some extend on physical aspects, habits, etc. Like dating short man, not being a runner, etc. If we can get along and have same vision for the future, why not?!
     
    But it really is difficult if I compromise on my wish and in the long run, when the initial passion ends, we become room mates.

  6. 36
    Goldie

    I’ve been thinking about this principle a lot since I started reading this blog. What I have learned so far, both from Evan’s posts and my own experience, is that, one, I really have a lot less dealbreakers than I thought I did. Over the course of last year, I found myself dating people that I would have passed over if I saw their profiles online, because they wouldn’t fit my checklist – too young, still a student back in college, never went to college, dropped out of college, too short, too overweight, no kids, too many kids… the list goes on and on. And the one guy I managed to find that fit every item on my checklist, turned out to be dead wrong for me. This definitely made me think. And this leads me to the second thing I’ve learned – before you add something to your list of dealbreakers, you should at least try it out and see if it works for you. Like, there may be short liberals out there that are an amazing fit for Stacy, but she won’t know  it unless she tries one ;)
     
    But with that said, we’re all human, and eliminating each and every dealbreaker on our list, well that’s just not going to happen. There will always be something that we cannot live with, and these things will be different for every one of us. At the end of the day, all I can do is come to peace with my own few real dealbreakers, and respect those of my date. Like, if a man tells me that he likes me and wants to meet, and then in the same breath adds that he’s looking for a godly woman, I’m pretty sure it’s my duty to warn him ;)
     
    How’s that for a middle-of-the-road solution? :)

  7. 37
    Shay

    Pretty good Goldie!
     
    Thanks Goldie and Gem for backing me up! ;)
     
    If I can have somebody who shares my envisioned future (our family active in church together) there are so many things I can think of that I can be flexible with:
    1. Going to his church even if it means it’s a different denomination.
    2. If he is an evangelist/pastor, maybe I have to change my job/country/neighborhood/area of serving to accommodate his calling.
    3. I might have to make do with less income.
    4. I might have to give up on my other interests and hobbies e.g reading, shopping, traveling, etc and that he might not share any one of it.
    5. I might have to compromise on various extends such as physical appearance, age, personality, ethnic group, etc.
     
    To what extend I can compromise, I don’t know. It depends on the person as a whole package.
     
    And yes! Being single is really not too bad…compared to a bad marriage or a marriage similar to that of just having a roommate.

    1. 37.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You ever notice that the people who are in relationships (Karl, Helen, Honey, BeenThruTheWars, A-L) are the ones who are very happy that they were able to make the compromises to which I refer?

      And the single people are the ones who accuse me of telling them to lower their standards?

      Perhaps there’s a correlation between happy couples and people who understand what a dealbreaker really is.

      Similarly, when I wrote “Why He Disappeared” and shared it with 10 women friends, the five who LOVED the first draft were all in relationships. The five who felt I was being harsh were all still single.

      Just sayin’… :)

      Happy weekend to you all.

      Mom flies to town tomorrow in anticipation of the baby.

      New blog posts to run next Monday, Thursday and Sunday but I’m not going to be monitoring closely.

      I thank you deeply for your participation and differing opinions. The world would be a boring place if we all agreed.

      Oh, and keep voting every day using the box on the upper left. My competition must be paying her friends to vote every day, because she’s cut my lead in half already!

      See you when I’m a Dad…

      Your friend,

      Evan

  8. 38
    Annie

    Evan,

    I’ve often thought that one of the things that you do as a dating coach, is to gently lead people away from their narcissistic tendancies, towards a more open connection with others. I’m surprised you used the word narcissism however, it has such negative conotations and is very difficult for people to understand.

    You are right, in that expecting people to alway’s agree with you, behave like you, do the things you do and getting hostile with some-one, arguing over every little difference, or simply blanking a person because of it, indicates a fundamental insecurity. They need some-one else to be like them, for validation.

    When you finally begin to move beyond this thinking the results are liberating to say the least. You can still love, and be loved without being the same.

    I think I realize now though, I do have one criteria..One deal-breaker. I will never date a highly narcissistic person. I’m okay with that deal-breaker :P

  9. 39
    Annie

    Oh and GL with the baby. Hope everything goes well.

  10. 40
    SouthrnPhoenix

    After ending a long marriage to a truly uncompromising man, I began a journal. Somewhere along the way, I started listing what I wanted out of my next relationship.  It started out with a long list of what I want and another long list of what I didn’t want.  I spent a year getting over the loss of the marriage, and during that time, the list morphed.  The list turned into 2 very different columns: must-haves and nice-to-haves.  Eventually, it turned into a list of 5 must-haves and 10 nice-to-haves.  My focus is so completely on the must-haves, that I don’t tend to remember my nice-to-haves.  I am not religious, moderately political, moderately successful, and so on.  None of my must-haves have anything to do with religion, politics, or career (other he needs to be financially stable – to me, that means he pays his own bills, which usually requires a job). 

    The point is, keep your must-have (dealbreaker) list short, specific, and true – a real must have.  Feel free to give it some thought and to change your mind as your life changes.  I would absolutely love to be in a warm, healthy long-term relationship.  I believe that will happen.  I’m not in a rush, and if I do not find someone that meets my list, then I’m okay with remaining single.  But if it’s that important that you get married or have a long-term relationship, then Evan is most certainly right.  You should cut out as many must-haves as you can to give yourself as many chances as possible to find the man or woman that will be right for you; focus on the things you really want.  You don’t have to accept just anyone or toss out your standards; just don’t let what you think you want prevent you from finding what you really want.

  11. 41
    mc

    Gem and Luxe so well said!! Thank you for closing this blog with such valid great points and for the positive encouragement!  I wish this was said 40 comments ago. ; ) It really is that simple. Too many deal breakers limits your possibilities thats all.

    And if there is that one belief whether its religion or politics..that you feel so strongly about than that is okay. Rather than saying you’re narrow minded, I say no worries, thats okay if you know you want and need that in a partner than that is what you want and that is what you will find. There is someone out there for all of us! : ) Good luck to all of you!!  

  12. 42
    Harriet Bond

    I see your point, that we should be open to the opinions of others etc. but at the same time I would find it so difficult to get on with someone who had, for example, opposing political views, because a person’s politics actually go some way to informing how they view the world and the people around them, and therefore are extremely important. I can cope with someone who doesn’t like gherkins, but not someone who thinks capital punishment is a great idea!!!

  13. 43
    Diana

    I do believe there is an epidemic in the dating world concerning deal breakers over a lot of things that don’t really amount to a hill of beans in the context of a great, lasting and loving relationship. In the many years that I was married, we both learned how to compromise on countless things. It’s interesting how I don’t think either of us felt like we were “compromising,” or we didn’t think of it in such a direct way. It felt more effortless or almost without thought; it came from a place of giving and more importantly, of loving.
     
    Everyone has deal breakers to one degree or another. I have only two, true deal breakers: they cannot smoke (which does drop a lot of men from my generation out of the picture) and I would not likely feel comfortable living with someone who, as I mentioned earlier, were a devout and practicing religious individual, though I do enjoy eastern philosophies and wisdom. They feel more in line with my spirituality.
     
    Everything else is up in the air for me. I have never prepared a “must have” or “nice to have” list. Maybe that’s because of my marriage experience. I have thought about what do I want or need from an emotional standpoint, which has nothing to do with what I believe to be superficial qualities, like height, money, chemistry, hobbies, etc.
     
    Even Evan had deal breakers, until the right woman showed him the error of his ways. ;)
     
    Good luck with the new baby, Mr. and Mrs. Katz. It’s an amazing experience you just won’t believe! :) All of life’s answers will come to you in the flash of an instant.
     

  14. 44
    A-L

    I’m with Honey (#15) on this one.  Evan’s general concept is right, and one’s degree of involvement in religion/politics (etc.) should be reflected in the degree of importance that quality has to one’s various relationships.
     
    I also think it’s important to figure out what it is about religion or politics (or whatever dealbreaker you have) that is important to you from a partner.  I would probably qualify as “devout” by this board’s standards, and I realized that what was important was that any future children attend church, and preferably that my partner join me at church, at least occasionally.  I used to date an agnostic and when we talked about kids he was happy to raise them in the church so long as we exposed them to the beliefs of other religions as well.  That was a compromise I could live with.  Until we got married my husband, who considers himself more spiritual than religious, worked on Sundays.  Though he knows I don’t expect it, he has come to church every Sunday since we got married and would raise our kids in the church should we have any.  These were all solutions that worked for me, but never would have happened if I was looking for a guy who was at church every Sunday, tithing, and involved in other religious activities.
     
    So basically, I would say to figure out what it is about your dealbreakers that is important, because that may be able to be satisfied in ways you didn’t originally think of.

  15. 45
    Goldie

    Ahhhh, Evan #46, must we go the old “if you ladies are such relationship experts, then how come you’re still single?” route again?I can answer this question, of course. But first, good luck to your wife and you with the new baby! You will make a great Dad! Looking forward to seeing a parenting blog in the near future ;)
     
    Onto my answer. I married a guy that I met when we were 19 and 20. We were from different backgrounds, had very little in common, our decision to marry was based pretty much on physical attraction and on the fact that we both loved animals and Jesus. Oh yeah, religion played a part too. The missionaries that converted me, did not believe in sex before marriage and managed to pass this belief on to me, and from me to my BF, who promptly proposed.
     
    Two months before the wedding, I already knew it would be bad. I’d just underestimated exactly how bad. The first few years were a nightmare. I try not to think of them. Tried to end it several times, but in the end, we stuck together for 18 years of marriage, 22 years total. So guess what? My ex and I could write a book together on compromise and adjusting to each other. To reiterate, this was a relationship that should have never worked to begin with, and we somehow stuck it out for twenty-two years, that, I may add, were not all bad. We had some really decent moments :)
     
    So, I think it’s safe to say that you can throw any man in with me, and I will figure out a way for me and him to live together without killing each other. The question is, why do that in the first place? What would that accomplish?
     
    Religion definitely helped. It’s easy to overlook the general crappiness of your marriage if you think you’re going to live forever. As soon as I walked out of the church, I asked myself – why are we both doing it to ourselves? Both he and I can do better than this.
     
    It’s like buying a great pair of designer shoes that is amazing in every way, except you’re a size 9, and the shoes are a size 7. I grew up in a country with a shortage of everything, so I know for a fact that there are actually ways to stretch your size 7 shoes and adjust them so you can wear them for years. They’ll still be uncomfortable and look pretty bad from stretching, but you’ll be able to walk around in them. Meantime, somewhere out there are perfect pairs of size 9 shoes, and women with size 7 feet that your shoes would have fit perfectly. Why do this to ourselves?
     
    Oh, but, I said I’d explain why I’m still single. Two reasons. One, this coming Monday will be nine months since my divorce, so I’m not even sure the word “still” applies to me. No one I’ve spoken to recommends jumping straight out of one LTR into another. You need time to regroup. And reason two, this time I want to do it right. I bought the FTOO, believe it or not, I’ve listened to the audio version and learned a lot, I’m working through the worksheet, I’m going to put a lot more work and thought into finding a life partner than I did the first time around. I also now have two children living with me, and I consider it my obligation to them that I choose my next partner very carefully.
     
    @ SouthrnPhoenix #49, really liked your comment!
     
    “I would absolutely love to be in a warm, healthy long-term relationship.  I believe that will happen.  I’m not in a rush, and if I do not find someone that meets my list, then I’m okay with remaining single.”
     
    This is my plan as well :)
     
     
    @Karl #42,
     
    Feel free to name any values or goals that you have which derive from your political stance or religious beliefs. I’ll do my best to come up with an example of someone from a different religion or political party who shares your viewpoint.
     
    I have no religious beliefs anymore, but I remember the values and goals that I had back when I was religious, so I’ll be happy to share those. First of all, as I was taught, the underlying idea is that all your resources – your time, your money, your energy, your health – do not belong to you in the first place. They come from God and have to be given back. You should not worry that you may run out of money or other resources yourself, because God will provide. So I had a pretty different attitude about finances then than the one I have now. I’d sent sizable amounts to friends in need, charities, and church. I also spent a good amount of time in church every week, both with my children and on my own.
     
    Another thing that comes to mind, I met a number of women online (and one such couple IRL) who believed that they were called by God to be “quiverfull”. This means you use no birth control and have as many children as God will see fit to give you. This, by the way, is what the Duggars are.
     
    Just two examples to illustrate my point that a person’s religious views can affect their goals, values, and way of life in a lot of ways. Can you name me any agnostics/atheists that share any of the viewpoints listed above?
     
     

  16. 46
    Karl R

    Goldie said: (#54)
    “You should not worry that you may run out of money or other resources yourself, because God will provide. [...] I’d sent sizable amounts to friends in need, charities, and church.”

    That reminds me of a good friend of mine. I’d describe him as nominally Christian. He doesn’t attend church. He’s an actively practicing bisexual. He’s extremely generous to friends in need, and to causes he believes in.

    While he doesn’t think that God will provide, he’s pretty certain his parents will.

    Other related non-Christian values:
    Many Buddhist monks depend directly on the lay community for their daily meals (begging for rice).
    Jews are instructed to tithe (10% of income)
    Muslims are obligated to give 2.5% of their wealth (not just their income) to the poor annually
    Baha’i give 19% of the annual increase of their net worth to charity

    Goldie said: (#54)
    “I met a number of women online (and one such couple IRL) who believed that they were called by God to be “quiverfull”. This means you use no birth control and have as many children as God will see fit to give you.”

    I had an agnostic girlfriend who wanted lots of kids. I don’t think that she ever specified a number, but she implied somewhere in the vicinity of 8.

    Having grown up in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood where numerous families were morally opposed to birth control, I would say that 6-8 children is reasonably normal for people who avoid birth control.

    Since I didn’t want any kids, that was the reason for the breakup.

    I knew one couple (in real life) who held that “quiverful” belief. Either God “wanted” them to have 5 kids, or that’s the point when they changed their minds.

  17. 47
    mc

    Yea true…I agree Harriet # 51. A belief based on politics or religion could very well carry over to how you view and treat people around you, so it could be a dealbreaker for me too! It would have to depend on how extreme their beliefs are. I just can’t date anyone who is too closed minded. I am the complete opposite, open minded and accepting of everyone no matter what their beliefs are but it doesn’t mean it could work in a relationship.  I am spiritual but non denomination and I don’t attend church so of he expected me to go to church every Sunday I couldnt’ do it.. Good for you, but its not for me. And more importantly if he is homophobic for example, or if he is so judgemental to the point of disrespecting others….then it would not work for me at all. I’ve done it once and it was just never ending fighting. We never saw eye to eye on anything. Dealbreaker #1!!

  18. 48
    mc

    And turning the subject away from religion and politics if thats okay, can I get anyone’s thoughts on having dogs?  Being on Match.com especially,  it seems like every single guy has a dog and a lot of them say its a must have. Well, I am an animal lover but I just can’t own or live with a dog and that seems to rule out a ton of guys!! Especially the nice warm hearted giving guys! I am not a priss by any means I just prefer living without pets mainly because 1: I’m not home much and 2: a lot of it has to do with the cleanliness! Hair, and constant licking and jumping on me drives me nuts!! So I know its bad but I’ve been deleting most of the guys that have a ton of photos of their dog and if their profile says I have and love my dog or I definitely want a dog I rule them out.

  19. 49
    A-L

    RE: MC’s #57
     
    Speaking as someone with a dog, I think it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a guy to get rid of a dog if he really is a dog-lover.  For dog lovers, their pet is a part of the family.  As far as your first concern, if he has a pet, then it’s likely that his hours at home are sufficient for the care of the pet.  As far as the hair/licking/jumping, if the dog is well-trained it shouldn’t be jumping on anyone and can be told to stop licking someone as well.  In terms of the hair, some dogs shed and others don’t.  But out of curiosity, do you have any children or want to have any children?  Kids cause a much greater mess than dogs do.  Anyway, good luck with your search!

  20. 50
    SouthrnPhoenix

    MC # 57:

    If you absolutely can’t have a dog in the house, I suppose passing on the ones that say you must own a dog or love theirs is no problem.  I wouldn’t necessarily pass on every man that has pictures of him and his dog though, even if there are a lot of pictures.  Things change.  I’ve known people, myself included, that never replaced a pet after losing one. Get to know them, find out if they still have the dogs, check out their values before saying no.  You just can’t tell what you might find out and what you might find you are willing to tolerate for a really terrific person.  I also haven’t noticed an appreciable smell when a person has one dog and takes regular care of the animal.  Maybe you’ve had a few bad experiences that are coloring your perspective? If so, you might find one of those warm-hearted dog owners that takes good care of his dog and will take good care of you too.  ;-)

  21. 51
    Karl R

    mc, (#57)
    I recommend against trying to talk someone into getting rid of their pet. Many single people view their pets as family members. And that family member has been around longer than you.

    I’m allergic to cats and dogs (more to cats than dogs). And if I ruled out every woman who has cats or dogs, that would be the majority of them.

    That’s not in my best interest.

    Figure out where you can possibly compromise. Figure out where he can compromise. The dog no longer sleeps in bed with us. I trained him to get out of the bed on my command. I can’t keep him out of the bed when I’m gone, so I make the bed so he only gets on top of the bedspread. I move the pillows off the bed so he doesn’t sleep on them.

    My girlfriend agreed that the dog could move out of the bed. I put in the effort to make the situation work for me, though she does help reinforce the training. People are a lot more willing to compromise (especially on your behalf) if you do most of the work.

    Vaccuum frequently to remove most of the dog hair. Learn which chairs the dog likes, and avoid those. Train the dog not to jump on you. Don’t put your hands/face where the dog can lick them.

    If the guy doesn’t own a dog, but wants to, you have more leeway. You might be able to talk him out of it. You definitely can negotiate a lot of compromises: a breed that sheds less, that’s easy to train. I would suggest a labrador/standard poodle mix as one that meets both criteria.

  22. 52
    Stacy

    mc #58

    Some dog owners are nut jobs and think that their dog is God’s gift to humanity. They think it’s “cute” when it barks for 2 hours non-stop or jumps kids in the park. These weirdos also often refer to their pets as their “babies”.

    Others are quite normal, train their dogs well and don’t drool over them. A well-trained dog would not bark, jump, and is often kept in a special cage (it’s not bad, dogs actually think about it as their “house”). 

    So you may want to give those dog guys a chance, meanig at least a first date to see what their relationship with the dog is like.

    Also, guys who say they “definitely want a dog” may actually mean 10 years from now when they live in a large house in suburbs with 2 kids. Its a part of their vision of the american dream lifestyle. Definitely NOT a deal breaker.

    IMO, having a pet could be a dealbreaker if there’s allergies involved. I once met an overwise absolutely great guy who was allergic to cats. I have a cat. I really struggled with it (absolutely great guy after all!) – but what was I supposed to do, give my cat to a shelter?? That’s no who I am.

  23. 53
    mc

    Thanks a lot everyone..that really helps a ton!! Southrn Phoenix #59, thanks for the encouragement…my thoughts exactly, a pet owner is most likely a warm hearted good caretaker. That is why I was battling with this and almost wililng to suck it up for this reason and just bear having a dog, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I really can’t live with them. It took me soooo long to admit this, I still feel really bad about it and don’t share it often.

    And yea thats true, it sounds like most of the pet owners I have come across don’t train their pets too well. Their house smells like dog and so do they. ; ) But great I will take your advice and wont’ pass up on the guys with all their dog photos..because you just never know what the situation could be.

    And Stacey #61…that was too funny! I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought some people are a bit weird and crazy about their dogs..aka their “babies”. : ) But I completely understand that they do become a part of the family though, and I understand and can relate to the attachment no doubt. I could never and would never take that away from someone or ask them to give it up. 

    Good to know..thanks A-L #58. Trust me I have asked myself that numerous times…” If I can’t even handle a pet how can I handle a child?” Well to be honest another thing that took me forever to come to terms with after years of debate, is the fact that I don’t think I want children. I am an aunt of my 3 sisters and love love love kids!!! I am around plenty of babies and love being the aunt and the older sister. I have plenty to take care of and lots of family to love and be around always. I just have a lot I would like to do in my life still and haven’t had the opporutnity to do so, ie. travel with my hopeful significant other some day…. Being a mommy just isn’t for me..I give mom’s huge huge props by the way!!!

    So anyway, there are the 2 big big possible dealbreakers for me and this may be a good reason why I’m still single!!!!

  24. 54
    Sarahrahrah!

    Hey, y’all:
    I think we can all acknowledge that this is a fantastic blog and Evan is very generous to provide high quality content and this forum for respectful debate.
    As a gesture of thanks, please join me in trying to vote for this blog in the “best of” contest at about.com.  I think it’s a small gesture in response to this wonderful service.
    http://ht.ly/3ZGtM
    Please be sure to vote everyday until March 8th at midnight!

    1. 54.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thank you, Sarahrahrah. Something’s fishy with that election but there’s not much we can do but to vote every day and show that our readers are passionate and proud of the community you’ve built here. Hope we can pull it out!

  25. 55
    Annie

    @51

    Why wouldn’t you date some-one who supported the death penalty? Why would that belief mean you couldn’t have a good relationship with them? As evan indicated, an individual just doesn’t have to agree with you on everything. How many things would they have to agree with you, before you would even consider them?

    @54 I can point out many athiests that have very firm “views” on the way things should be and how everyone else must behave. They don’t use religion to justify their view’s, but they are just as dogmatic.

    This isn’t the domain of the religious. Some athiests are just as ideologically fanatical as some believers. The issue, is in their attitudes, doesn’t matter wether it’s religious or not.

  26. 56
    Laine

    I would never break up with a guy because he was too short. I’d just never go out with him in the first place :)

  27. 57
    Helen

    Evan, I did not know you and your wife were expecting!  Congratulations and best wishes to both of you.  Boy or girl?
     
    Now I feel terrible writing earlier in this blog about all the trials of parenthood… what can I say… it IS difficult, but it really does get easier all the time (at least till they’re teenagers, so my friends tell me).  There are many rewarding moments, and parenthood teaches me – at least – important skills that I need to learn, such as patience and the ability to deal with emergencies.  You and your wife are in for a life-changing moment.  Best wishes.

  28. 58
    mc

    That is a good one Laine! ha ha. I’m thinkin’ you’re in the same boat as me..I am almost 5’11 and it is sooooo tough finding a taller man! Where are all the tall men????! ; ) So are serious when saying you wouldn’t date a shorter man? I have a hard time with it too! I know its bad becasue its more about personality and the way he treats you and the way you feel when you’re with him but it feels sooooo awkward! I’ve done it once and it didn’t work out for other reasons but it still felt so strange.

  29. 59
    mc

    Hi Annie, I agree..I don’t see how the death penalty would get in the way in a relationship. How often does it come up for one and for two how does it effect how he or she treats you or others.

    And Annie, you said it right..it is tough when people take religion as far as saying this is how everyone SHOULD be and everyone SHOULD behave. That is when things could be problematic in a relationship. I’ve been there!
    I agree Sarahrahrah. Thanks and thanks Evan for making these helpful blogs even possible! I am continuing to vote! Good luck!  

  30. 60
    Sarahrahrah!

    I was thinking about this and wondering about the ways I am picky about guys I will accept.  It occurred to me that I really don’t want to have a long term relationship with someone who doesn’t have a sense of humor.  Of course, having integrity, being trustworthy and caring are right up there at the top of my list as necessary qualities in a potential mate, but having a sense of humor is very important to me, too.  However, I wonder if I’m passing up some great guys over this qualification.
    As a single mother, I love running my household with humor.  I find it works a lot better than trying to be a dictator or can also be a lot more efficient than being “democratic” when short on time.  Humor cuts through tension and makes chores and mundane tasks fun.  I love sharing this with my kids and I can’t imagine giving up this kind of culture in my home.  The problem is, it seems like humor is a very attractive quality in men and I haven’t found a single man yet who seems to have a sense of humor that gibes with mine.
    I am wondering: am I being too picky?  Can people can sharpen their sense of humor over time and in encouraging environments?  At middle age, should I give this up on my quest for a man with humor and be thankful if I find a man who has the other big three?

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