My dating days are over, but even so, the things I look for in a partner would be almost the same as what I would look for in a friend. Therefore, here are my dealbreakers. This post was inspired by an interview with Jaclyn Friedman, in which she talks about the difficulties of, uh, dating (but they used a much less appropriate word) while feminist.
Deal breakers - I will not budge on these criteria. I DO NOT want to date/hang out with/be friends with anyone who:
- would try to convert me to their religion. I respect that you have your beliefs, but please respect that I have mine. I don't even mind having an intelligent conversation about religion, or even showing up to church/temple/whatever with you, as moral support and as a friend, but the second you tell me that my way is the wrong way, and that I should believe as you do, I'm outta here.
- uses the word "gay" disparagingly. It's true, actually - all of my very best of friends do NOT say things like, "That's totally gay." And that's how I like it. I have no room for you in my heart if you can't understand the concept of hate speech.
- is completely misogynistic. (Contrary to popular belief, women can be misogynists as well.) If you refuse to recognize my value and my power and my identity as a woman, than I refuse to recognize you. Also, I have a big problem with people who use the word slut in a serious way. I'm okay with being friends with someone who doesn't identify as feminist (though, I would try really hard to give that person a new definition of feminism, because I believe essentially that all the people I truly love and trust are actually feminists in their beliefs at least, if not in name), but I could never be friends with someone who is a misogynist.
- is outright racist. Granted, everyone has their own "discomforts," and everyone tells racist jokes sometimes (which isn't okay, actually), but to seriously and un-ironically make disparaging and stereotyping comments about other races (ANY races, not just the "minorities") is not okay with me.
- makes moral judgments based on things that have nothing to do with morality. Granted, I'm pretty liberal in my personal views (I am pro- many things that other people might find appalling), but... I don't think I'm wrong. One example: tattoos, piercings, and other body modifications. Having them in and of itself is not immoral, and certainly it does not define my entire existence as being immoral. It's a logical fallacy anyway - if having tattoos makes one immoral, does not having tattoos make one moral? But I'm sure there are TONS of people throughout history who did not have any tattoos who were perfectly immoral. I can't hang out with you and sit through dinner with you knowing that you look at me and deep down, you think I'm a bad person. I hate the whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" thing. Because sometimes the things they define as sins are NOT sins. And this goes along with...
- criticizes my personal tastes and choices. There's a difference between the kindly friend who says, "Um... maybe this wouldn't be such a good idea," and the friend who is constantly putting you down, telling you that everything you're doing is wrong, and cannot keep an open mind about other people's choices.
- is consistently flaky and undependable. (Haha - "consistently flaky" is an oxymoron, isn't it?) You need to hold up your end of the deal, buddy. We're all busy adults, and I'm not asking for 24/7 attention from you. But if we make plans, then you need to keep them most of the time. If you're constantly hitting me up for advice, then you need to be available when I need some advice.
So, those are my deal breakers - I don't have many, but I probably should not, because these are the things I would end a friendship/relationship over, so if I had a LOT, I'd probably never have any friends. It doesn't mean that, if someone commits any of these "crimes," that I would completely write them off as a bad person, and it doesn't even mean that I dislike or hate the person - it just means that we disagree on some issues that are fundamentally important to me, and that I just can't be your friend with all that a friendship entails knowing that we disagree on those issues. We can work together, we can run together, we can even play roller derby together, but I would never be able to confide in you and trust that you would support me and not judge me. Sorry, but I just wouldn't trust you enough to get that close to you, even if I like you.