Long before dating apps and social media algorithm, that now dominates our romantic pursuits existed, we relied on checklist. Among those list of qualifications that potential suiters had to check were dealbreakers. It was more than just a mutually exclusive partner who shared relationship compatibility. A personal preference in height, age, career, financial status and “tall, dark and handsome” was a necessity. Once the digital age took over, and Generation Z made it acceptable to slide into someone’s DM’s, the explosion of a persons status appeared on not only their dating profiles, but social media, and even LinkedIn bio’s. Now Facebook even offers a dating feature. Despite how shallow our digital generation may be, your picture won’t always win you over.
It turns out, though we admittedly want an attractive parter, we are a social generation with a vast knowledge and culturally well versed. Which has created a younger society not looking for marriage and commitment too soon, and focused on career and autonomy. Now more than ever dealbreakers are as prominent in looking for a mate as must-have dating credentials. Which is why it’s important to be yourself and not waste time with lustful texting and emoji sexting. In our moral universe having good looks can only get you so far–like Chris Brown being respected for his music after Rihanna.
If you don’t want someones hotness to diminish once you learn about their flaws, start asking the right questions upfront. Cup Size and shoes size don’t count. Some dating apps give you the opportunity to assert your personality into your profile. In other words, read more, drool over photos less. Emotional intelligence is a must for me. I need someone emotionally mature and self aware, who can carry on a conversation. Someone that is comfortable communicating when things don’t go as planned.
But it’s tough to gauge a person’s character from an online dating profile. The self-proclaimed arbiters of taste are not always accurate representations of a person but rather their egos. I once had two dates with a guy who insisted he knew the best for everything, like, places to dine. Anything I suggested he knew better: Italian, Japanese, Mexican. Exerting his dominance, he never let me have an opinion. I don’t know what’s worse, someones ego, or abhorring a man/woman based on whether they listed the “correct” travel destinations and music references in their profiles. Regardless, a profile gives you insight to a person, and if you connect on shared values and interests.
Sometimes the things that you hate initially are the red flags you see later. Hence the guy who insisted on choosing every restaurant. He turned out to be completely emotionally unstable and self serving. Everyday he called to complain about how bad his day was– always in a somber mood. His red flags raised quickly. His solution to everything was sex, and we had just barely met. After only two weeks, he called to pick a fight when I rejected his invite to go out of the country on our third date. This was a classic case of not trusting my gut when accepting his match. Against my better judgement, and lack of attraction for all but one of his photos, I thought he seemed funny and humor was enough to start a courtship. Jokes on me for trying to date a guy who checked my dealbreakers.
We all have dealbreakers which I ignored for a rush of dopamine over our shared sense of humor. It was a superficial judgment to find the perfect mate. Had I trusted my intuition I would have avoided the pratfalls of his short-lived craziness. Dating app guy #1 taught me how important evaluating dealbreakers are when measuring up prospective dates. In order to strike a balance you have to remain true to your dealbreakers and checklists. Although we all change over time, and things can shift, it takes growing together through selective dating for there to be a forever in your near future.