Are You Wrong for Wanting a No-Drama Relationship?

Are You Wrong for Wanting a No-Drama Relationship?

Let’s start off here. Men and women – in my unscientific opinion – are 90% the same.

We want to be loved, accepted, respected, understood and have partners who are attracted, honest and committed to us.

It’s the 10% – whether it’s biological or sociological – that causes so much of the friction.

Witness this article by Laura Hilgers, which does a great job of setting up a straw man argument and knocking it down.

Her take is that too many men say in their dating profiles they want “no drama” relationships despite the fact that relationships, inherently, will present conflict. Therefore, men are ridiculous and unrealistic.

It’s an easy angle. After all, men DO say they want “no drama” relationships three times more than women. And, obviously, there is no such thing as a “perfect” relationship where two people agree all the time. So isn’t the author “right” about men and their foolish fantasies?

After all, men DO say they want “no drama” relationships three times more than women.

No, not really. Here’s are three important things she’s missing.

  1. She took a phrase from a dating profile that suggested that men prefer easy, low-maintenance relationships (true) and extrapolated it to mean something extreme: “Here’s somebody who probably won’t listen if I’m having a bad day”…a problem-free partnership with someone who has no life experience…a woman who never gets angry or afraid or sad, who never worries about her family or struggles in her job.”
  2. She didn’t consider why men said that they want “no drama” relationships; because many of their previous relationships involved a lot of drama. “Drama” isn’t merely a bad day or a health scare. Drama is the feeling that any stray word or thought could result in a fight, an apology, an outburst, a silent treatment, a relationship discussion, or a breakup. Drama is not feeling accepted by your partner. Drama is feeling like you’re doing your best and you’re constantly disappointing her. Drama is trying to be even-tempered and patient only to find that if you disagree or maintain the right to your own opinion, you’re wrong. This is not territory exclusive to women whatsoever, but I think anybody would have the right to say that they want less of this in their relationships.
  3. She didn’t seem to consider that women put similar markers in their profiles, warning all potential suitors of being liars, players, too old, too short, too poor, and maintaining unhealthy relationships with exes or mothers. Like the guy who says “no drama,” a woman has every right to avoid these types of men. The problem is that she shouldn’t advertise it in her dating profile.

Which is why paragraphs like this drive me up a tree:

“Vanessa Valenti, co-founder of the feminist website Feministing, had a different take. “I think it’s pretty sexist,” she told me. “You might as well say ‘no humans,’ you know? But sexist behavior exists offline, just like it does on dating apps. This is simply another medium.” She added, “I think there are unrealistic expectations put on women to be accommodating at all times in their relationships.”

Ms. Valenti said that when men say they want no drama, “they’re signaling to others that they’re someone who’s incapable of witnessing and honoring another person’s feelings.” She also expressed concern that the numbers are higher, at least on OkCupid, the younger the men get.”

Valenti implies that not only is there no nuance or validity to men wanting “no drama,” but that the idea of wanting an “easy” relationship is sexist itself. Yet none of these authors can see the parallels with women who put in their profiles that they want men who are, fundamentally, honest, financially stable, and commitment-oriented.

How that’s any different than a man who doesn’t want to walk on eggshells his whole life, I don’t know.

There’s one more thing that upset me about this article:

“This precariousness seems like all the more reason to find a partner who can face the challenges and roll with them. There are days when you accidentally sideswipe your neighbor’s car or you have to check someone you love into rehab. Other days are steeped in joy. The kind of partner I’d like shows up for it all.”

No shit.

There’s rolling with the drama of life, which is necessary for every couple, and then there’s the drama CAUSED by someone in the couple due to his/her insecurities, anger issues, lack of kindness/sensitivity, etc. ALL of us want someone who sticks by us in tough times and ALL of us want someone who doesn’t CAUSE the tough times.

My whole business is helping women choose men who are no drama.

And personally, I don’t think it’s unrealistic at all. In fact, I think it’s the only way.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.





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  1. 1

    The author of that article wanted to know what men meant so she asked…women? I’m a woman and I require (and have) a drama-free relationship. My ex husband was nothing but drama and it got really freaking old. The slightest thing would set him off, he was always trying to figure out how someone was wronging him, if I forgot to do something for him he’d say it was because I didn’t love him, and I felt like I was walking on eggshells constantly. Good riddance. Current boyfriend is none of that and life is sweet. I had a bad day yesterday with work and family stress and had a patient loving boyfriend by my side who asked me what I needed from him and then delivered. He told me I’m the best girlfriend he’s ever had and he loves me more than he’s loved anyone. I asked him why. Top two reasons: I accept him for who he is and he’s genuinely happier in my presence than not.

  2. 2

    Also, I made an acquaintance with a woman who made a similar comment about how men who don’t want “drama” and wanted me to explain. In fact, that was the reason I didn’t want to date HER — her life was always chaotic — a drug-addled son who was on the run from the law, issues with her business, lawsuits she was in involved in, medical issues with her pets — just DAILY crises vs. ones that might pop up 1-4 times a year.

  3. 3
    In Hiding

    If she’s hot and will have sex with them, they will be very forgiving of drama.

    1. 3.1

      Well, in any relationship they have sex; and even that has an expiration date. Being sex partners doesn’t mean being in a relationship. Then the drama would wreak havoc.

  4. 4

    As if wanting “no drama” in a relationship is a bad thing. Easy going women are more pleasant to be around than women who have to be emotionally placated constantly or who allow themselves to become emotional and escalate small disagreements into full blown tearful fights. Women with half a brain should want a no drama man too, not one that blows up in jealous fits or picks on every little thing about them.

    This is just crying “sexism” either for it’s own purpose or to excuse being a crappy partner.
    1800’s have come and gone, it’s not cute to have a pouty temper tantrum throwing wife or girlfriend any more.

    Tbh, from what little I’ve seen from her, Valenti seems to be one of the many women with personality disorders who are prominent online feminists. Always with an excuse for women and a harsh judgement on men. I’d wonder why there was so much of that going around but like appeals to like I guess.

  5. 5

    “Drama Free” I agree with Evan’s point #2. While I don’t put “Drama Free” in my profile, I definitely don’t want a relationship like I had when I was married….which is summed up pretty well in #2
    But women put in their profiles all the time “No Hookups” “Looking for serious” etc….
    Which I mean that is fine they list that stuff…..but as a guy, how do I know if I want something serious with you? Right out of the gate?
    Let’s meet and talk and hang out a bit, and find out about each other….and then see if “serious” comes into play.

    1. 5.1
      Malika With an L

      When i was dating i stated that i was open for a serious monogamous relationship if we felt a mutual connection and both wanted it. But i definitely wanted to get to know them first! That takes time and dating someone for a couple of months and then seeing where the land lies was a pleasurable and positive experience, even if at the end either of us didn’t want it to go any further. No guy i dated ever told me that that statement was stifling, in fact quite a few lied to know directly what i wanted and did not want.
      Women often state ‘no hookups’ because we don’t want to date someone who is not open for a serious relationship. Going on a date with someone fun who after a while tells you he is still not over his ex and just wants a bit of fun gets very old quickly when that is not what you are looking for.

    2. 5.2

      You are the man that Evan warns people against. He doesn’t know what he wants. He uses a dating profile to get laid. He isn’t genuine to what he is after. When you are honest with yourself, that getting laid and it meaning nothing is lessened.

  6. 6

    I don’t think the “no drama” phrase is an easy angle. The phrase probably means that he is going to be more discerning in a possible relationship. He going to observe how she lives her life and how she deals with emotional issues. He maybe less romantic but more pragmatic. He probably wants more laughing and less crying. She may say its lazy and sexist but I think she is concerned about re-framing or push back by men in a relationships. She does not want to be in the hot seat(or walk on eggshells). You can just as easily say she wants the easy angle. Needless to say, “signaling” with dating code words is usually a bad way to communicate.

    1. 6.1

      This. It means that he won’t cede to women the power to define what a relationship should look like. The what and the when and the how and the why. He will insist on maintaining at least a share in that power, preferably as much as he can. Just as women want as much of that power as they can maintain, to have their relationships look the way they want them to look. To define love and intimacy and communication – the what and the when, the how and the why. It is a significant frame-shift to go from the assumption that relationships and love should look the way we envision to the assumption that we must compromise to some degree in what we envision relationships to be about. To realize that it isn’t just about finding someone whose pie-chart matches ours, but rather to have BOTH partners be willing to compromise where the charts diverge – not just compromise on the what, but on the how and the why.

      But as the first poster above commented, the writer wonders what men wants and asks….women. Does she truly want to know what men want, or does she want excuses and support to define relationships as she wants them defined? As she thinks they should be?

    2. 6.2

      “The phrase probably means that he is going to be more discerning in a possible relationship.”
      I think it’s the opposite. He is asking her to be discerning to compensate for his past lack of discernment. I agree with Harry (post #7) that this is pretty pointless because most women who are prone to drama wouldn’t describe themselves as such. A guy who was discerning wouldn’t need to say “no drama” because he would naturally filter these women out. These guys usually have a history of attracting drama just like women who write negative qualifications in their profiles have a history of attracting those kinds of men.

      1. 6.2.1
        Emily, to

        “These guys usually have a history of attracting drama just like women who write negative qualifications in their profiles have a history of attracting those kinds of men.”
        I agree. Putting “no drama” is a profile does one thing: Scream that you’ve dated a lot of “dramatic” women, which serves to say more about the profile writer than it does weed out women he doesn’t want to date. He gave away a lot more about himself than he probably realized.

        1. Paula

          This, this, this.

        2. sylvana


          I fully agree with that as well. Makes you want to tell them that if they want to avoid drama, they might want to stop chasing drama queens.

          But people can cause drama in various ways. The gossip mills, the righteous indignation folks, the “everything is too much and I can’t handle it” – the princess and the pea. Those aren’t as obvious to tell right off the bat. And you find out over time how emotionally draining they are.

        3. Sandra

          I usually find it in profiles with little to no additional text or info. In general, it comes across as lazy or from someone who does not know what else to say.
          I have also seen it used by men who seek nothing serious or substantial. Usually just out of a marriage, looking for fun, yet are not especially articulate.

        4. Emily, to

          “Makes you want to tell them that if they want to avoid drama, they might want to stop chasing drama queens.”
          Saying “no drama” is no different than a man telling you about all the other women who want him. That screams: No one wants me and please, please, please validate me. Secure men don’t have to announce how appealing they are, just like they don’t have to put “no drama” in a profile because they have enough confidence in themselves that they know they won’t tolerate dramatic women and will filter them out themselves.

        5. Louisa


  7. 7
    Harry Palms

    I think the No Drama phrase is a No Brainer. Duh. Kinda like saying your friends would describe you as funny, warm and outgoing.

    I’ll decide what type of person you are. I remarked to a date once that she seemed bitter and she said , ‘What do you mean? I’m a happy person!’

    Saying so doesn’t make it so.

    Does anybody think they have too much drama and would avoid a profile that said No Drama?

    Phrases like that sound stupid and, if anything, make the profile sound morally superior and arrogant.

    1. 7.1
      Mrs Happy

      Yes, people who like drama and have a lot of it in their lives (all around them as the central sun source of the drama) don’t usually think they’re dramatic in my experience.

      So, as ETO and Stephanie stated above, “no drama” tags are red lights flashing, telling everyone that the person writing that has previously attracted lots of dramatic people. Quite apart from hesitation regarding that pattern, I’d be concerned such a person would see a threat of drama where none existed, just with emotional realities in the everyday ups and downs of life, not wanting to support a partner’s basic emotional needs, putting up their hands to say – “oh little old me can’t cope with drama, no drama, I SAID NO DRAMA”, somewhat dramatically.

      Also, obviously, drama is not confined to female partners.

  8. 8

    I see “no drama” requirement as a blinking red flag ,in my opinion that has two potential sources: one the person is recovering from a difficult relationship with a demanding partner with whom they had lots of conflict, in that case requiring ‘no drama’ means that the person did not work through their own part in the conflict and has baggage which may influence their future relationships.Second reason may be even more ‘damaging’ : it may simply mean that the person is demanding themself, not willing to compromise and for any disagreement may use this as an easy excuse for immediate leave (similar like requirements for ‘not needy from an avoidant’, or ‘not jealous’ from a person that creates jealousy with their behaviour )- basically, they may be legitimate reasons or may be used as justification of unacceptable behaviour. Either way, I would take this as a red flag and avoid that profile.A victim or a perpetrator ,with that person there would be most likely too much to deal with, with a questionable outcome.
    This is just my personal opinion.

    1. 8.1

      I wouldn’t count on it meaning either. Some men probably have no idea wanting “no drama” somehow signals to women that they will be the types to shut down any and all conversation about the relationship or that they won’t want a woman to ever express herself emotionally.

      They may just think “no drama” means they’re (or at least think they are) an easy going personality type looking for a woman who is the same way.

  9. 9

    Why does the phrase “no drama” seem to trigger some women so much?

    Perhaps the guys who use it in profiles are actually doing so to filter out the women who it upsets for some reason. Maybe they think those who take offense to it are likely to be the types who are quite high drama, but who are inclined to excuse themselves of that by putting it back on men’s unwillingness to put up with that as a fault in of itself. Which it’s not. But maybe they put no thought into it all, I don’t know.

    I’d be interested to hear from someone who uses it in dating profiles, does writing “no drama” actually get you less drama? (but still get you dates?)

    1. 9.1


      It triggers drama queens lol. Take a wild guess why. It either insults their superiority complex or points out their insecurities. Or it simply shows that you’re not willing to listen to hours and hours of gossip and righteous indignation. For most, it’s the superiority complex that gets triggered. How DARE you tell them that they are not good enough? And up comes the feathers. They are thoroughly ruffled. Next thing you know, there comes the hand and arm gestures, the finger wagging, the “let me tell you, blah, blah, blah.. And who are you anyway? Here’s what I think about you, blah, blah blah. Oh, the outrage! The audacity!” Now, this goes on for whoever-knows-how-long, then either escalates into something physical (throwing things, or even fighting), followed by utter and complete mental exhaustion “I cant. I just can’t. It’s all too much. I can’t handle it. Swoon”. Finish it up with tears.

      And let’s not forget the “did you hear what blah, blah, blah, did to blah, blah, blah? can you imagine?” But of course it doesn’t end at that. Now, we have to spend the next hour or so, working us and everyone around us into a total huff about this.

      Sad part is that what most of those women don’t realize is that by “high maintenance” men don’t necessarily mean the money they would spend on the drama queen. No, the drama queen is emotionally high maintenance. They will wear you out.

      This has nothing to do with helping a women through genuine grief, which is what the drama queen feminist author implied.

  10. 10

    Drama is drama. Conflict is not drama. Drama is making a huge fuss over something that isn’t a big deal or even a non-issue. It’s outrage for the love of being outraged. Causing scenes over nothing and making yourself look like an idiot.

    I’m firmly with men on this one. That’s the reason I can’t handle being around most women for more than a few minutes. Even if there’s no major drama, the intensity of gossip and outrage is exhausting. If there’s a problem, solve it and move on. There’s no use spending the next few hours discussing how outraged you are about it.

    Men can certainly cause a lot of drama as well. Especially if you date them. But overall, women (and gay men) do have a gift for drama. To me, bitchiness falls under that category too. I don’t know how you guys tolerate it. Hats off to you. I have zero tolerance when it comes to bitchiness.

    Overall, though, I think even all women know who people mean when they’re referring to drama queens. Except for the drama queens. They’re too caught up in their righteous indignation.

    Vanessa Valenti, amusingly, seems to be trying to start the exact drama that men are trying to avoid. She’s making a huge issue out of something that isn’t a big deal.

  11. 11

    I would agree with BBQ on this one that part of the issue here is that we all differently assume what ‘drama’ is. There is no definition of slang term ‘drama’, or a ‘consensus’ what it means. The interpretations here go from making fuss over nothing, to avoiding conflict, displaying controlling behaviour, avoiding supporting partner in times of crisis etc.
    So like BBQ noted, I think it would be helpful to find a few profiles that contain that requirement and see what they have in common or what type of person mostly represents them ( i.e young, seeking casual, divorced, looking for long term…)
    But again, I am supporting my statement with that argument too: exactly because ‘drama’ is broadly interpreted it can be used as an excuse, like: “ I said no drama, this is drama, I am out”. If someone is specific about ‘drama’ they would weed that out before starting/ at the beginning of a relationship or intimacy. For example height is height, it is specific criterion and I can say, ‘ I want taller then me ‘( I am petite size, that is just example:)). In contrast, I want successful requires more specific argument, such as: career, looks, or salary, whatever a person considers ‘success’. The same applies to ‘drama’. If someone says just ‘no drama’ it can be interpreted broadly and therefore can be used as an excuse.

    Yet, if someone can find a few profiles with that criteria and show parts of them here, it would be welcome

  12. 12

    Listing “No drama” in an OLD profile for a man probably means different things to different men. Most of the time it falls under the rubric of number 2 in Evan’s response. IMO. his previous relationship history will dictate what he wants but more importantly, what he doesn’t want in a prospective partner. For me personally, “No drama” means being disciplined in not only your emotional life and with your finances, but also be at a point where distractions like adult and minor children, money problems, substance abuse, ex issues, career challenges, etc., do not become the focal point of the relationship. Since this isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve gotten real cautious in giving out time and commitment.

    What this means is that to qualify for my attention, you gotta have it together. Physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. What I bring to the table is a package that reflects these qualities in my “must haves”. It’s the behavior that tells you who they are. Not what they tell you. Congruency is critical. Quality men walk away from this in a heartbeat. Often without saying a word.

    She should have asked men instead.

    1. 12.1
      Malika With an L

      ‘Since this isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve gotten real cautious in giving out time and commitment’

      People who have it together can exude an assuredness and calm that is almost breathtaking. It is the gold standard to strive for and to find in another partner. Good for you for sticking to your guns.

    2. 12.2

      The problem is, everybody could meet these problems. It’s how they deal with it that counts. Because even when you are in a relatonship they can easily surface. How do you choose on it? What are your red or green flags?

      1. 12.2.1

        This is why I interpreted ‘no drama’ as an easy way out in case of crisis, when support is needed. It is an unrealistic expectation, the same when women put ‘“ no short, no below certain salary, no…”,It means that one doesn’t not want to participate in all aspects of partner’s life -and I am not saying solving or taking over their problems – but be there for support. Ultimately, it is not love. Love is two sided – while this one is one-sided trait, centred around one’s needs and desire without talking into consideration other person’s needs or wish; it is a narcissistic behaviour.
        And I am not saying that it is wrong to want it and look for,- as it is often a result of being hurt in previous relationships and not working through grief, loss and acceptance- but then find a person who is looking for the same – they exist- and be clear with expectations and do not mixed it with love or potential long term relationship. Because life consists of good and bad, including money issues, sickness, and death. Real men do not ‘walked away from these, without a word’ like someone noted. Avoidant and non committed men do. Real men stay- or I still hope so…

  13. 13

    I have found that the people who list “no drama” in their dating profile are usually the ones who bring and create the most drama to dating and relationships.

  14. 14

    Take a couple that likes to vacation. If the man likes the mountains and the woman likes the beach, a logical/friendly couple would split the destinations 50/50.

    Now inject a little drama(contention, emotion…) to the negotiation. While at the beach, the man complains about the sand, sun and waves. While in the mountains, the woman is miserable in the cool crisp air while hating wild deer and fireplaces. In the future, where will the couple go more often? My money is on the beach. Most men hate to argue more than women especially when emotions enter the fray. Women usually win a drama infused quarrel. Women can extract more value with a modest application of drama. Women should be more honest and grateful for how much men’s “low drama” tendencies benefit them. A “no drama” man might be a bum trying to weaponize indifference but on the other hand, he might be a man who lives by the saying “a happy wife, a happy life”.

    1. 14.1

      That’s what you got out of this? someone who wanted “no drama” might be a man who lives by the saying “happy wife, happy life”?

      The whole point of “no drama” in the situation you described is that the man isn’t the kind who wants to argue pointlessly with a illogical/unfriendly woman and end up giving in to her “emotions”, but also doesn’t want to argue her down and end up getting his own way but still be in a tense relationship.
      He will simply walk at this kind of “drama”, not give in to it.

      Honestly what are you even trying to say? maybe the “no drama” kind is good because they will give into emotional manipulation? I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what they DONT want. The kind of woman who does this is worse than a man who weaponizes indifference.
      The man who gives in is the bum. Geez.

  15. 15

    I read the article and the comments to the article on the site. “No drama” can mean a lot of things. Also, should anyone actually write this in their profiles? The truly dramatic people probably won’t even see that or have a profile. They are on a drama kick right now, not calmly reading NYT articles.

    I don’t disagree about having easy-going relationships. But do people have to name the opposite of that ‘drama’? And does it actually prevent dramatic people from contacting them?

    On a somewhat related note, though not really, do some people avoid relationships with a lot of baggage already present? The author writes about folks with addictions as well. If you found out (not in a profile) that a potential partner had a history of addiction, abuse, and poor financial management, that’s not drama but that’s some baggage. I think she wants to know if men want to screen out for that. That may not be what they mean by no drama. I don’t know. But her real question is, are there men out there that would be put off by that at the outset?

    I know Evan’s take on this. Don’t lead with that. I know how he handled his wife’s debt before they married. But honestly, some folks out there have had some rough lives. They deserve love too and not necessarily with a person with similar baggage. It would be nice if everyone had their shit together by a certain age, but everyone doesn’t.

    My take: I look at the whole person. Does the good outweigh the bad? How does he treat me? How do our histories mesh? And you know what? There are some folks who don’t want to take on the cancer survivor or the low credit score person, or the person with a toxic family. (A person could also have all three of these things.) That’s not drama but they still may not want to take that on. That’s okay. The point is that person tries their best to improve and find someone who will accept them where they are.

    And that can go for either gender.

  16. 16

    This thread is an interesting read to me regarding the different ways people define *drama*. From people who exercise it to get their own way, to people who are seemingly oblivious to the fact they either create or court, or perhaps even thrive on it. *Drama* is something other people do, not them. Which led to a reminiscence of an old friend who would sometimes complain of all the drama the people in her life created; her various family members, some friends, and occasionally former lovers. Every week there was stuff going on with someone and she was usually in the middle of it all.

    When she would say she was tired of all the drama, I would say something emphathetic. But sometimes I felt she got something out of it because she would *stay in the fray* more often instead of telling these folks to work it out on their own. Remembering that, sparked another memory of her from long ago.

    I had broken up with someone I had lived with for 3 years. Two months later I was still very depressed to the point everything, including leaving my apartment was an effort. My drama-drawing friend called me up one Saturday morning to tell me I was going to spend the weekend with her. I started saying no, because, because… she said No excuses. Pack a bag. I will be there in a hour. And hung up.

    Reluctantly, I went with her. And it was good for me. I was out of my apt. I was with other people, her and some of the other people she helped with *drama*. She took me around a part of our city I was totally unfamiliar with. New sites, a restaurant I had never heard of. When she took me home the next day I felt better. And continued to get better.

    Just an anecdote; musing that perhaps sometimes the people we deem to attract drama, are caretakers by nature. And that may not be such a bad thing.

    1. 16.1

      Selena, that’s an interesting story. Of course, not all drama queens are caregivers (some are selfish), but those who are see drama constantly, because people who need care are usually going through some sort of drama in their lives.

      On the whole, I agree with you and S. Drama is not the worst quality someone could have (as long as it doesn’t manifest in abusive behaviour), and it’s important to look at the whole person. Also, it’s important to define drama, to decide what falls under that rubric and what does not. S’s example of past problems with finances and addictions is on point: if they no longer have those problems, it’s fair to not lump that under drama in the present day. It’s only if the consequences still linger that one might write it off as drama, and something undesirable in a partner.

      I also agree with everyone who wrote that the most dramatic people often don’t realise they are. Just in case, we might all consider under-reacting to everything that happens around us. Even if we are not dramatic, it’s still a helpful behaviour.

      1. 16.1.1

        “Also, it’s important to define drama, to decide what falls under that rubric and what does not. S’s example of past problems with finances and addictions is on point: if they no longer have those problems, it’s fair to not lump that under drama in the present day.”

        My point was a bit more nuanced that that. What if that stuff is present day? Because the author works with folks with addictions and that was a part of her life, it’s never really over. A person could relapse at any time. Same with cancer. These things change you, forever. I don’t know if that’s drama, but she took the men writing this in their profiles as if they didn’t want to deal with this stuff . . . in the present.

        Not everyone has their shit together. Some things happen to you and linger and is difficult to resolve. They could be stable now, but these things can crop up again despite best efforts. Past trauma, illness, physical and mental. So should they never date? Should folks without those issues not date folks with these long-term experiences?

        I think I took that as the author’s point. I think people get to pick and choose what they can live with. Date or not date who they want. So, is it common and acceptable to see in a profile: No cancer! No addictions! (Though I have seen ‘no addictions’ before.) I truly think the author took ‘no drama’ as a way of saying those things.

        It’s just tactless. Choose who you want, but as Selena says, sometimes a person with drama or baggage or issues or whatever one wants to call it, does have something good to offer in relationships. Not everyone will see past that to find it, but I hope some do.

      2. 16.1.2

        Hello Jo & S.

        Jo: “…it’s important to define drama, to decide what falls under that rubric and what does not.

        Well as we see from this discussion, drama means different things to different people.

        When I was thinking about the friend I wrote about it, it wasn’t because I thought she created drama, it was more that I sometimes thought she was a little too involved in other peoples problems. The kind of problems that fit my definition of drama. Looking back now I realize that not only did she lend her ear and time to those she cared about when they had petty problems, one knew they could count on her support if things really got tough.

        Which is how I interpreted the article EMK linked: the author wondered if people who put “no drama” in their dating profile were not just seeking someone easy going, but actually wouldn’t be there should life get messy.

        All in all, it may just come down to compatibility, particularly in terms of personality. What may feel like too much drama to me, might be stuff that barely registers with someone else. And vice versa.

        1. jo

          Selena, that’s an interesting angle I hadn’t considered: that someone who writes ‘no drama’ may not be there for his partner if life gets messy.

          Personally, I don’t find it outrageous if someone writes ‘no drama’ in their profile. I just find it ineffective, for the reason that many others commented above: that dramatic people don’t consider themselves dramatic, so they wouldn’t weed themselves out. Because to each person, the things we get dramatic about are perfectly rational things to care about, whereas the things that *other* people get dramatic about are irrational.

          So ‘no drama’ would not guarantee no drama, IMO. Maybe it does come down to compatibility, as you say.

  17. 17

    It’s funny, I don’t interpret drama, in this context, as being there for someone else or having difficult times in one’s life. In fact, quite the opposite. I think it means someone who makes mountains out of molehills, who turns every little thing into a point of contention in order to get her way. Google Key and Peel’s “Meegan and Andre” sketches for a perfect example of men acting out a caticature of a high drama woman.

    Most men have no defense against such drama. It’s like kryptonite. It’s not that the men who don’t want drama are weaponizing indifference, it’s that they don’t want to be defenseless against the attacks of others. And attacks they are. Attacks with plausible deniability.

  18. 18
    Susan Young

    A man or woman who says they want “no drama” are likely helping to create the drama that they have experienced. Likely they wouldn’t listen to you or be there for you when the going got rough. I would not, personality, want to get involved with a man who had that on their profile.

  19. 19

    I think everyone (men and women) should be careful about putting negative things in their profiles — say what you want — saying what you DON’T want suggests you’ve had bad experiences and might have baggage. It can also sound condescending: “no complainers,” “no golddiggers,” “fit women only.” I’ll steer clear (even though I am a fit, non-complaining, non-golddigger) just because it is negative and kind of pompous.
    “No drama” seems a cliche to me and makes me think the man has been in relationships with women who got upset with him and he couldn’t deal or understand it. Almost like “no drama” is an excuse for treating someone poorly — “you can’t get upset, I said no drama!” It reminds me of the guy I went out with who said his ex was “all drama” and had anger issues. I was super-sympathetic toward him about this, but after about a year of his emotional stinginess and his stubbornness, I was exasperated and thought, “No wonder she had anger issues!”

  20. 20
    Samuel Nelson

    Having reached 54 I’m at a stage in life where I am committed to my life direction and a particular spiritual path. My romantic experience with women is they usually want the materialist modern lifestyle. So they either need to lead in the direction I’m committed to, or follow my lead. Have almost given up finding someone like that. Most want to lead but in no particular direction. I’m celebate mostly. but the sex drive keeps pulling me out there. So I’m looking for someone to follow my lead, but that sounds too sexist. Or I want to be able to have fun and get out without recriminations. That’s what “no dramas” means.

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