#32 Break it off.

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Today Maggie asks:

What are your relationship deal breakers? Some folks are annoyed if a date shows up ten minutes late. Others look for something weightier, like a felony records. Have you ever rejected someone over something that seems insignificant to your friends? Or do you have selective blindness for red flags?

This is an odd question for me, since I've been in a relationship for so long. What would be a deal breaker in a relationship that is ongoing is a very different question than what would be a deal breaker for a new relationship. Mark would have to do something pretty awful to break our current deal, but newbies wouldn't get so much slack.

If I were in the situation of starting something new, there are things I'd be picky about. The first thing that comes to mind is that I'd want someone who was already pretty set in his or her career and through with school. I'm willing to do what I'm doing now (being the one with the "grown up" job and all that) for Mark, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to do it for anyone else, at least not at this stage. In fact, to take it a step further, I would want someone with a solid financial future. I have a hard time seeing myself beginning a new relationship with someone at this point if s/he were not financially independent.

Beyond the money/job stuff, non-monogamy would be a deal breaker for me. I'm just not interested in non-exclusive relationships. Too complicated, too many factors, too much work. If that makes me a stick in the mud, so be it.

Finally, my pets are a deal breaker. They are 100% part of the deal if you want to be with me, and you have to no only tolerate them, but be actively interested in them. No exceptions.

The rest of my deal breakers are probably pretty obvious. I couldn't be with someone who was anti-choice, or pro-death penalty. I likely couldn't be with someone who worked in a field I consider morally repugnant. I'm over needing men to be taller than I am, or having age limits on who I could have a relationship with (aside from the obvious need for an adult). I'm open to all genders and races.

For some reason, though, this is a thought experiment I can't particularly get into. I guess it's because the idea of being in a relationship other than the one I am in just holds no appeal to me. This is, I think, a good thing.

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