(Closed) What are your non- negotiables in a relationship????

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: Do you believe women should have a list of nonnegotiables when dating?
    Yes. : (329 votes)
    89 %
    No. : (39 votes)
    11 %
  • Post # 108
    3088 posts
    Sugar bee

    Oh, some things on the list are…

    Non smoker

    Must be able to love and assimilate to my two kids

    Christian (but not necessarily religious)

    NOT cheap – although I like someone frugal and financially responsible – but I cannot again date someone who only wants to take and rarely wants to give

    Has to have an income that is consistent and enough to take care of himself.

    Open to education level but he must be intelligent, ambitious, and curious about the world (I love to discuss, debate etc.).  He cannot be a ‘one level’ kiind of man

    I do not want to compete with his momma, his job, or his friends.

    I must be attracted to him physically and spiritually. He needs to care about his health.

    He cannot be a yeller.  He must have an even temperament. My ex husband was a yeller and it was the worst.


    Because I am divorced and have kids, I am not open to BS in every shape or form.  Also, I do not intend to be on the market for at least the next 5 to 10 years when my kids are older.  But when thinking of the future, these are the things I would like.


    Post # 109
    9950 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012


    View original reply
    @Butterfly6:  Thank you for your kind words.

    Your list is good… I can see you are thinking this thru this time (as us Encore women do)

    BUT you should know that your statement:

    Because I am divorced and have kids, I am not open to BS in every shape or form.  Also, I do not intend to be on the market for at least the next 5 to 10 years when my kids are older.  But when thinking of the future, these are the things I would like.

    Might not be able to hold water for the long run… because you are a girl with STANDARDS and a head on her shoulders, the good men in the world will find you… even if YOU AREN’T LOOKING.

    That was how it was with Mr TTR.  He came into my life (we met thru a mutual friend) and we were friends first… but he saw MORE in me… than I saw in myself.  So he was both patient, and persistent… he was such a GOOD Friend… and a GOOD Man… that I saw him as “harmless”… so eventually I agreed to a date with him.

    It was FANTASTIC… and as they say the rest is history.

    Sometimes life happens inspite of your best intentions for it not to.

    No Regrets !!

    I am truly blessed… and LOVE the second time around is soooo sweet.

    Post # 110
    1722 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 1998

    If you still find yourself veering so sharply in this direction – which is a natural reaction after a breakup – taking more time to yourself is probably best. I remember going through that and being ultra picky after I had a breakup – partly because I was so afraid of getting invested and putting up with so much crap all over again. So, here’s my list:


    Has to have ambition. If he’s always lying to work and calling off, claiming he has other obligations, he’s not going to be a reliable husband or father. He doesn’t have to be a high earner, but I don’t want to be with someone who’s content working a dead-end, minimum wage job. Going back to school for somethign more employable, taking on more hours at work, or trying to find ways to get promoted are all positive signs. If you can’t tell, I dated a guy who would routinely lie to work, call off, and expect me to pay for everything.

    Honesty. Has he really done everything or been everywhere he says he has been, or is he just a storyteller? Again, dated one of those types -i.e., he’s a black belt in karate…oh, no, his friend is, but since they had fought as kids, he was one too! (…?) Everything was an exaggeration.

    Distance. He has to let me get out and do my own thing every now and then. If he’s not OK with close opposite-sex friends, that’s understandable. But if I can never go out with my friends alone, he’s jealous of my family, etc., it’s going to end right-quick.

    Communication. Does he have stomping, screaming temper tantrums or punish you with silence? Not the guy for me. If he’s bothered about something, he needs to be able to tell me about it and work on a solution. Not passive-aggressively make plans with other people without telling me on a day we usually spend time together because he’s pissed about something (too many times to count…that one has happened to me).

    Treats me well. I had a boyfriend who would routinely walk ahead of me out in public, like he was embarrassed of being seen with me. When I would call him out on it, he thought that it was funny. That, in addition to his extremely short temper with me, his demands that I do everything his way, and that I be a completely different person than the one he knew me to be before we even started dating, showed a fundamental lack of respect. I felt it was controlling.

    Sets the tone with friends and family. I remember being in a restaurant with a guy and his friends when a song came on. Apparently, one of the friends mentioned it, but I didn’t hear him. A minute or so later, I mentioned the song. The friend looked at my boyfriend, then looked at me and disgustedly announced, “Wow, you sure got one who is slow on the uptake,” before turning away from me. My boyfriend at the time laughed. This was the first time I had ever met the guy. I have a sense of humor and I don’t mind deprecating jokes, but there’s a time, place and relationship necessary first. There were other examples of this.

    If I’m dating someone, he has to make clear to everyone how I should be treated, and that it’s NOT ok to insult or ignore me.

    Interests Do we have somewhat similar interests and values? Even if we disagree, can we handle them productively? Very similar outlooks on big issues, like politics and religion, are essential – as these could be dealbreakers when kids arise on the scene.

    Support and Warmth – Does he handle problems productively, or does he just focus on raging at you? Does he show affection and warmth, or does he withdraw until he gets what he wants out of you?

    Big Issues: No one who’s physically, sexually or verbally abusive. No addictions or outstanding criminal record (He stole something from a corner store when he was 17? I’ll look the other way. He has a felony or some (in my books) serious misdemeanors? No).

    Treats others with respect. After a year of dating a guy, I found a receipt to a restaurant we had gone to. It was one of the very few times he EVER paid. I was horrified to find he hadn’t tipped (he paid with a card, so I had never seen that). When I called him out on it, he just smiled, laughed and agreed that no, he never leaves a tip. The saying is always true, in my books: how people treat people they perceive to be “beneath” them (waitstaff, clerks, etc.), is very indicative of their personality and how they may eventually treat you.


    Post # 111
    2484 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    When I met Dh I had a huge long lists of “must haves”. DH doesn’t have half of that list and now 4 years later most of that list has changed. But its always good to have some type of standard. like

    :Must not be a serieal killer.”

    Or since I want kids him wanting kids must be something…

    but things like the religion I used to be went out the window… so you never know whats going to happen.



    Post # 112
    66 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    College educated






    goals in life

    wants kids 



    loves dogs

    gets along with my family

    phisically active

    no micro peen

    no pencil peen

    good smile

    love muscles – no skinny pencil necks

    facial hair

    and my FH meets all of them except he is a few months younger than me

    Post # 113
    98 posts
    Worker bee

    Mine have definitely evolved over time. I’ve always disliked smokers but when I was a teen I would go out with smokers and try to make them quit. Only worked once! 

    ibe met and dated guys who made me rethink common “non-negotiables”-

    -non violent felon: didn’t change my life at all

    -bad teeth: didn’t bother me like I thought it would

    -fat(with man boobs!): great personality so this didn’t bother like I thought it would 

    -lived with parents: depends on situation… And the parents! 

    -non religious/more religious: respect my moderate beliefs and we’re all good

    Now, I’m currently in a great relationship, so this is all in fun. But what I really can’t be okay with:

    -smoking. I don’t want your second hand smoke killing me. 

    -intelligence. Doesn’t necessarily mean college educated, and not all college educated people are intelligent, but it was a huge drain to my life to be with someone who was dumb as a box of rocks. 

    -funny. life’s too short to be dull

    -and the obvious kind/honest/rtc


    looks? Sure I have preferences, but personality lasts longer than looks

    job? Well, why are you unemployed?

    kids? Depends on the situation. 

    Post # 113
    59 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    Not sure if anyone really follows this thread anymore, but I thought I would throw my perspective onto the pile…

    I haven’t had much dating experience, but I grew up to always have a “list” of the certain guy I wanted. Of course, being so young, most of them were pretty superficial because I didn’t know what I wanted or didn’t want until I started dating. 

    My first “real” boyfriend seemed like the “perfect one.” He had good morals, decent upbringing, had not dated much either (we were each other’s first in bed), his family liked me, he loved God. I mean, this guy had a very clean cut background but had some serious emotional issues that he needed to take care of. We ended it and I was devastated. Later on, I realized how we would have never worked out. 

    I am now dating my boyfriend who was the complete opposite of my first boyfriend. Things that, to me, were “dealbreakers” in my head may not be as clear-cut as I had thought. 

    The guy I am seeing is 2 years older than me. He is without a doubt one of the greatest guys I have ever met. However, he has some qualities that have been mentioned on here as “dealbreakers” and it has me thinking that it may be much deeper than that. 

    1) He had dated lots of women – I thought maybe that was going to be a deal breaker for me because I automatically assumed dating around that he may not be committed or whatever. He started dating when he was 15 – so young. But many of his relationships were for a quite a long time. Some, lasting up to a year. So, I wpuld say that he is pretty committed.

    2) Another dealbreaker I saw was cheating, or infidelity. I am not saying that this is not a horrible thing to do to someone. But I also think that you have to look at the circumstances. Is he a serial cheater? Or was it a one time mistake? Why did it happen? What did they do after they had cheated? Many people quote that saying “once a cheater, always a cheater.” If we used that logic, then it could be considered in many other aspects. “Once a liar, always a liar.” We have all lied, whether it was about something big or small. Does that make us some horrific person? No. We all make mistakes. My point is, my boyfriend cheated on one of his exes. He was with his friends, at a bar and was extremely unhappy about his relationship with his girlfriend at the time. Yes, he should have broken up with her. However, she had emotional issues and everytime he tried to break up with her she convinced him to stay. She even lied about being pregnant when in fact, she found out later she was not even able to have children. Anyway, he ended up kissing another girl at the bar. Later on that evening, he confessed to her and even broke up with her. Cheating is bad, I get it. But, my boyfriend is not a serial cheater. Anyone of us can cheat even if we have never cheated before, or couldn’t even fathom the thought of it because we are all human and it could happen. 

    3) The next I saw was criminal history/drug abuse. I am going to put these hand and hand because most of the time, they go together anyway. My boyfriend did some pretty bad things at 16, 17, and 19. One of those he wasn’t really involved in he was just in the wrong place, wrong time with the wrong person. He was at fault for the others, but two of the charges (16, 17) were dropped. Was this a concern? Not really. They weren’t because of his age, what crime it was, how old he is now (24) and has he learned from those mistakes? Yes. As for drug abuse, I am not sure if you are meaning now, in the past, or ever. My boyfriend has abused drugs (marijuana) and so has a few of my family members. However, my family member and boyfriend do not do it anymore. My father is a police officer, and knows all about my boyfriend’s past. If it was much of a concern, my father would have told me by now. 

    4) This one is more for my sake than what I saw listed. In his past, one of his exes got pregnant. He isn’t sure whether it was his or his girlfriend’s father of her child. From what he says, she had been spending quite some time with him. However, she ended up having an abortion and they broke up. I know, for many, this is a very controversial issue and so I am not trying to spark a debate. This was hard for me because I thought this would be a deal breaker since I do not necessarily agree with abortion. However, I also have to look at it from his point of view that he had no say in the matter because she still went on with it anyway no matter what he said. Although, he was going to request a paternity test once the baby was born if she had decided to have it. Anyway, they broke up. 

    So, these things that I thought would be possible dealbreakers turned out to be possible negotiables. It also depends on the person. My boyfriend is intelligent, funny, attentive, kind-hearted, loves God, loves animals, and is ambitious. He just recently graduated from the fire academy to become a FF or an EMT. He is not the man he used to be before he met me. Yes, these issues may be “red flags” or whatever to some people but I also think that it is wrong to place some people in the automatic “undateable” group just based off things from the past unless it directly affects your future together. 

    My boyfriend had a rough past, even a rough childhood. When I compare mine and his I grew up so much more fortunate than he did. If anything, his can be life lessons to our future child because we are expecting in April 2015. 

    With that being said, I have a few things that I look for when l am dating: 

    Non-smoker (especially with no intentions on quitting) – lucky for me, my boyfriend kicked this habit a year or so before he met me and doesn’t smoke cigarettes anymore… he hasn’t smoked anything else in quite a long time, and doesn’t plan on doing it ever again.

    No physical, emotional or sexual abuse 

    No serious crimes – rape, murder, assault

    Must be a Christian – Personally, it would be way too hard for me to be with someone who did not have the same faith as I did. Especially since my family is Christian and we like to go to church as a family, especially for holiday events such as Christmas.

    Must get along with family (and friends) – Family is important, and my close friends are also important. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if my family didn’t like who I was dating

    Must want to get married

    Must want kids

    Must love animals



    Same morals/values

    Views on raising children

    Lucky for me, my boyfriend fits all of these qualities that are on my list. If I had compared him to my list I made years ago, my boyfriend wouldn’t have cut it and we wouldn’t be having a wonderful little blessing in April. I am not saying be naive about who you choose to date/spend your life with. However, I think some situations need further evaluation before cutting someone off completely. Despite the things that have happened in my boyfriend’s life, he is a good man. 

    Post # 114
    7892 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    Interesting post! Having too many superficial non-negotiables can hold you back, but a few broad characteristics can be important. I didn’t think much about dating or marriage, so I never had a list of things I was looking for in a partner. Based on my own personality and goals, I figured my person would be loyal, smart, and a non-smoker, and Fiance is all those things and more. 

    The topic ‘What are your non- negotiables in a relationship????’ is closed to new replies.

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