I was watching VH1’s Tough Love Miami the other day and the contestants had to tell potential mates about their deal breakers. It made me realize that a number of single men and women are failing relationship tests they don’t even realize they’re taking. In other words, men and women are constantly evaluating one another without the other partner being fully aware of the evaluation. I actually don’t have any one deal breaker myself, defined as a single reason why I would stop dating a woman I like but I do have a series of mental questions I like answered without asking. If a man ever randomly stopped calling you even though everything seemed perfect you probably “answered” one of his questions incorrectly. Mine include:
1. Can you admit when you’re wrong? A woman that can admit when she is wrong (without qualifiers) is one of the sexiest things on Earth. No one is always right. Sure, we all have enemies but if EVERYONE you’ve ever known is an enemy, most men are going to start looking at you, not your enemies, because you are the constant denominator. Crazy women are sexy as long as their particular strain of craziness is tolerable. Most men don’t like drama and if you lack the self-reflection to account for your own influence on your life’s trials and tribulations we will leave before we become the newest scapegoat for your latest failure.
2. How is your relationship with your father and men in general? If the words “men aint sh*t” leaves your mouth a few times a month, men will take notice even if they don’t comment. Ironically, as the “good men” abandon camp to avoid your emotional baggage the “aint sh*t” men are the ones left to treat you like…well, you see where I’m going with this.
Another issue as it pertains to fathers are women who want their boyfriend to be daddy #2
or if they never knew him, daddy #1. This is a weird situation. I guess the equivalent is men who expect you to you be their mother. Know how weird that feels? Exactly!
3. What do my friends think? There are two periods when a man’s friends can ruin your relationship: 1) right before you start dating and 2) right before you get married. Friends’ veto powers lessen as the relationship progresses, which means they have more influence in the beginning. I’ve walked away from a number of women on the advice of my friends who either knew something about the woman I didn’t or convincingly argued that she wasn’t the one for me. I know women hate this but it is what it is. My true friends know me best and can sometimes objectively assess a relationship better than myself
especially in the beginning when I’m sometimes thinking with the wrong head.
4. How do you spend money? Some men don’t care how you spend money, namely ballers. Us regular guys do because we aren’t making it rain at Neiman Marcus every weekend. If you go through money like water and/or have a credit score less than the number of Spartan soldiers in 300, it will eventually affect us. I ended a relationship with one particularly high-maintenance woman with the phrase, “I like you but I can’t afford you.”
5. Do you work out or eat right? As I wrote about in From Elegant to Elephant: When Your Woman Gains Weight, I prefer a woman that works out or eats well or both. Admittedly, some women are lucky. They have good genes, they can eat whatever they want, never work out, and they will still age like a fine wine. Other women eat a piece of bread on Monday and weigh 20 pounds more by the weekend. Just look at your High School friends on Facebook. Having “good genes” is not a long-term health plan. Life isn’t fair. Know thy self and deal.
We can argue all day about the degree but all men are visual creatures. If you want to gain 100 pounds because “a man should love me for me” more power to you but if you’re 21 – 25, never work out, and eat everything on the McDonald’s menu most men will put in their two-week notice before your waistline quits.
6. Can I make you happy? I dated a woman once that I really liked and who claimed to really like me but for the life of me I couldn’t keep her happy. It was almost like she refused to be happy. As fellow writer, Mr. Spradley, explained on Five Things About Women I’ll Teach My Son – You Can’t Save Them All; some women are emotionally broken and can’t be fixed until they choose to recognize they’re broken in the first place.
In my case, every time we seemed to make progress, I was hit with a barrage of “what if” questions and “the last guy” scenarios. I know stuff happens and people do us wrong but as Musiq Soulchild pointed out on Previous Cats, I’m not to blame for the pain that was caused by previous cats who had your heart before me. Your present man shouldn’t have to pay for the sins of men past. Forcing a good man to atone for all bad men will make him leave you.
7. Question/deal breaker #7 is for you. Ladies and gentlemen, what is a question you must have answered before you are comfortable committing? What is your deal breaker?