Written by Penelope Farthing
Relationships are hard. Even though the Internet has made the world smaller, it can still be difficult to meet “the one”. If you have been single for a while, and your Facebook feed is blowing up with engagements, marriages, and babies, it may be easy to just “settle” with a guy, even though you know he’s not right for you. That’s why, now, more than ever, it is important to keep high standards in your mate selection, and don’t let the rose-tinted glasses of a new relationship cloud your judgment.
After all, men don’t get told to lower their standards, do they? And another thing – why are black women the only race of women who gets told their standards too high? For all the reading and time I spend online, I haven’t seen an article telling nonblack women to lower their standards or settle so they can snag a lawfully wedded husband. I wonder why that is…
That said, there is a difference between high standards and unrealistic ones. You may want a loyal, affectionate, only-have-eyes-for-you, 6’6, law firm partner who feeds the homeless after work and saves puppies every third weekend, but the chances of that are incredibly slim. Absolutely shoot for that, but realize that you may have to compromise on some of those “nice-to-haves” but never the “must-haves”.
Stay true to your deal-breakers. While some things, like living in an apartment versus a house, or number of pets can be compromised, other heavy hitting subjects, like differences in values or having children vs not having children, are not so easy.
Don’t let the idea of “having a man” persuade you into picking the wrong man!
Here are some of my deal breakers that I cannot, have not, and will not compromise on (in no particular order).
1) A criminal record
A speeding ticket is one thing (and too many of those is a little suspect), but any sort of jail time for any offense is a no from me. Sure he may have “learned his lesson” and “paid his dues”, but I am not a one-woman rehabilitation service or therapist for ex-cons, and I refuse to be gas lighted into “giving a man chance”.
2) Drug/alcohol abuse
I believe in everything in moderation, to a point. A drink here or there is fine, but binging to the point of incontinence, completely blacking out, or hospitalization is unacceptable. Any sort of drug use (from marijuana on up to meth and heroin) is an automatic rejection from me as well.
Nicotine is addictive, and I understand that. But if you smoke, you’re out, even if you meet every other qualification. I cannot stand the stench of musty cigarettes and the risk of developing lung issues from second-hand smoke is not worth starting a relationship. Other addictions including gambling, pornography and sexual addictions will put a prospect in the reject pile.
4) Poor hygiene
This should be a standard for everyone. If I can smell you before I see you, and you don’t seem to care, there’s a problem.
5) Prior children
I strongly believe that single, childless people should be with other single, childless people. Sure, there are successful step-families out there, but more often than not, drama can make its way in one way or another. As a childless person myself, I would never entertain a man with children from previous relationships, regardless of how good a dad he might be. I don’t come with that extra baggage, so I wouldn’t want my potential partner to have it either.
You only get one body and you have to take care of it. Before you are intimate with any partner, make getting tested for everything part of your dating standard operating procedures. If he refuses, or if something comes back positive, then you need to move on. No man (or woman) is worth your health.
I will never understand how people take back a cheater, much less a habitual one. Being partnered with someone who cheats or has cheated in the past opens you up to lots of problems (like number 6 above) and again, is just not worth it.
8) A Temper
We all have bad days, and we all get mad. But some people have explosive tempers that can be abusive at best, and fatal at worst. Avoid men who blow up at the slightest inconvenience and save yourself some anguish later on.
If there’s any sign that a potential mate is abusive physically, verbally, or otherwise, abandon ship. Chances are, if you’re seeing those signs early on, they will only worsen with time.
10) Lack of intellectual curiosity
Have you ever heard someone say, proudly, that they “don’t read books”? Or they don’t care, even in passing, about things happening in the world, even if it doesn’t directly affect them? That’s not someone to partner yourself with. I’ve always said, “the only bad day is the day you don’t learn something”. So, a mate on a similar intellectual level is a must have.
Hypergamy is the name of the game here. Unfortunately, black women are the only race of women encouraged to date down and be mired in struggle. There is nothing glamorous or exciting about struggle, so I suggest avoiding it at all costs. Having standards for yourself, for your mate, for anything you care about, is a must, and there are certain things you just should not compromise on. You can decide you are not interested in dating someone for any reason in the universe. No one is owed your time, company, or relationship.
And if you can’t seem to find a guy that meets your standards, don’t feel bad about staying single. Better to be happy by yourself than miserable and “got a man”. Additionally, the “right” man who wants to be your standard, but isn’t, will do any and everything to become it.
What are your deal-breakers? Be sure to let us know in the comments!