In Negotiations

8 Jan

It’s probably not lost on y’all at this point that I have a lot of ambivalence about what I want in a man. A guy I used to date told me once, before we started dating, “I know why you’re single; you don’t know what you want!” To this day that statement replays in my mind and I have to say he was a little right. I can identify a lot of great qualities in a man that are desirable but to me everyone is different and those qualities manifest themselves in different ways, right? So what’s the point of coming up with these lists if every individual has something different and great to bring to the table. Well, I guess that’s the problem. Not every one does! Naive, I might be.

 The only thing I would have to say is a consistent fixture on my “list” is physical fitness. I’m not committed to that quality just for the mere superficial fact that I like muscles but, because it’s been my experience. There’s no point in fixin’ something that ain’t broke. The majority of the men I have dated have been FINE:  fit, hard, and toned with full chests, round shoulders, defined abs,  effortlessly flexible muscles, who work out , sport perfectly fitted athletic shirts, and when they sweat it glistens and excentuates their big………

Sorry where was I again? Oh yeah, qualities I should seek in a man. Physical fitness is nice and even to some extent negotiable for me but, I think I need to determine the things that are non-negotiable in the partner and relationship I am seeking.  By determining what qualities aren’t negotiable I will be able to appropriately assign a person to my life without getting caught up in the desire to be committed or fear of rejecting someone. Basically, I’m preventing poor decision-making, time wasted and minimizing relationship risks. I am a fan of Paul Carrick Brunson, a modern day matchmaker who insists that people determine and discuss their non-negotiables from the very beginning.  Seems pretty basic, right? I think so but, the problem is actually figuring them out. What are my non-negotiables?

 Physical Fitness.  So, I lied. Physical fitness isn’t that negotiable but, I think this calls for some clarity. I do have my fantasies about marrying a Terrell Owens look alike but, I understand that not every man is an NFL player who trains rigorously in an intense contact sport. So, all I ask is that the guy have low body fat! If I can’t see the whole 6 pack then give me at least 3. The pecs and shoulders are kinda important though; they make great pillows. As long as physical fitness is a part of his life then we shouldn’t have a problem.

Belief in God. He doesn’t need to be volunteering at the church on Sundays or be able to quote Bible verses but, he needs to have good intentions for God to say the least. Maybe he doesn’t go to church often and he may even swear but he has got to believe in God. Atheism, agnosticism, or anything else that starts with an A, and denies the existence of my God is non-negotiable. Not entirely sure yet if I will consider men outside of my religion but, I know that I am not willing to convert to a new religion.

Belief in Marriage. There is no darn reason for me to entertain any man who isn’t interested in marriage whether or not we even ever get to that point. Period! I don’t believe that marriage is for everyone and people should preserve their chance to opt out of marriage if they so choose but, that has nothing to do with me. So, if he is only interested in some Stedman/Oprah life partner type of thing, I would not be interested.

Great Sex. I feel you judging me so stop! Not that I will be experimenting on the first date but, it is important for me to be able to freely express myself sexually with my partner and have a fulfilling sex life. Good sex is just non-negotiable. What more can I say? Nothing, I think it’s just that simple.

Self Sufficiency. What does this mean? It means I’m not saying my partner needs to have a bunch of expensive degrees, a high power job, a set 9-5 job, or a breadwinning salary but, he has to be self sufficient. He can’t be living dependently on someone else; he has to be able to pay his own bills; he has to have a plan of action for his life; he has to be in a position to help me if I need it; he needs to have a consistent and reliable means to take care of himself. As I write this I have a hard time determining if I’m setting the bar too open ended. Help me out y’all.

Family orientation. I almost can’t believe that I’m putting this down because I am not one of those people who believe that families need to be very close and tolerant of one another’s BS. However, my family is important to me and whatever I have to do for them, I will. So I need someone who is patient and can be supportive of that.

Morally Sound. Basically, my potential boyfriend need not have a criminal history, must refrain from illegal involvement, illegal tendencies, and doing hood rat things with his friends (<<please click on the link and smh). He can’t be married in any way, in another relationship, and he has to be prepared for a monogamous relationship. Absolutely no smoking or drug use will be negotiable. He must be willing to practice safe sex and willing to prove he is in good sexual health before it goes down. Knowing your HIV status is a moral issue in my opinion and it’s non-negotiable.

Geez, I feel like just weeded out a lot of men with great bodies. These are my authentic non-negotiable terms so tell me what you think of this list? Am I being too critical or frivoulous in your opinion? What are your non-negotiables? If you’re married what were your non-negotiables? Did you compromise on anything that you thought was non-negotiable?

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6 Responses to “In Negotiations”

  1. Magda January 9, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    I don’t think that you’re too picky. Having standards is never a bad thing. My non-negotiables are quite similar to yours actually. I once dated a guy with whom I had different beliefs, and that caused a problem in the long run. Christianity, then became on my list of non-negotiables;) I’m glad you brought up the sexual health part; it’s always important to know your status!

    • hisandhersinks January 9, 2011 at 12:39 am #

      Thanks for sharing Magda! I’m glad to hear that my list is realistic and relatable.

  2. Xanthe January 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    It’s good to have standards and to have some idea of what personal qualities you need/seek in a relationship. However, it’s also good to leave some things to chance and allow yourself to discover/challenge/learn from the person you’re dating. People evolve – some of the people I’ve known/dated/been in a relationship with aren’t necessarily the same people I know now. Yet, for the most part, I still value the qualities they bring to my life, if we choose to remain in each other’s lives in some form or other. A long time ago, I was in a relationship with a guy who had seriously considered entering the priesthood when he was young, only now to become an atheist, making a living as a derivatives trader.

    I don’t share many of the items on your list. I think I value intelligence most, and just hope they turn out to be decent human being.

  3. H.Mami January 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    There are so many intangibles when you meet someone that I find having a list a good starting point, but not necessarily a roadmap to your perfect mate. Also, I agree with Xanthe that people change, and that the most important thing is really loving someone for who they are. And it sounds like you are just trying to quantify what that person would be, so I think the non-negotiable’s are a fair and important place to start, but should be applied with a grain of salt. I think you forgot one non-negotiable… don’t you want someone who wants to have your babies?? Lol

  4. motherof3monsters January 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    I love this all of it. P.S jewish men are the best..;) coming from a Christian women and all!!!

  5. Karyn January 20, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Girl! You are an extraordinary woman and have every right to demand certain characteristics in a spouse. It is true that you have set the bar high, but this is one area where no one- man or woman, should compromise on their ‘non-negotiables.’

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