But dumping someone for being an Adam Sandler fan is understandable

Okay, this article that Jill linked to is so worth blogging. It’s this weird, semi-guilty article about those oh-so-picky-bitches who just want men they partner with to clear certain basic standards in conversation ability. Okay, well, dumping someone just because he’s never heard of Pushkin is a little extreme, at least if he demonstrates good taste overall. Some women need to learn the joys of introducing a lover to something new, though of course you always run the danger that he’ll hate it.

But the notion that holding potential mates to a taste standard is shallow frankly blows my mind. I think, and said this in the comments at Feministe, that the admirable liberal movement against being judgmental sometimes suffers from what can only be considered a definitional issue. Judging someone for their race, religion, sex life, whatever, when it comes to their basic human rights and access to involvement in the political system is clearly wrong. Judging someone on these things and refusing to be friends or Chaturbate lovers with them is your right, but it makes you stupid and limits you more than anything else. But judging someone that you share a friendship with, much less your life, on personal qualities strikes me as perfectly reasonable and the only efficient way to handle your social life. If you can’t stand someone’s horrible taste or sense of humor, it seems that it’s best for everyone involved to go their separate ways.

With that in mind, I offer the same discussion question Jill did: What are your deal-breakers with someone you’re dating?

But I come not just to gently tease the article and start a discussion, but also to ream it. Or precisely, this “WTF” bad argumentation that only slipped in because it fits the NY Times mandate that men and women should be treated not as different sexes, but different species.

Let’s face it

This is what we call a false analogy, or comparing apples to oranges. Kicking someone out of bed /= breaking up with someone you’re seeing, and pretending they’re equivalent to force this “men and women are so different” argument is a lousy trick. The women interviewed are largely talking about refusing to pursue relationships, not just some meaningless sex. If you asked 100 men if good taste is mandatory for potential girlfriends, not just someone you permit into your bed for a night, I bet you’d get the same percentages as if you asked women the same question.

And then when they do interview men, it turns out my hunch is right—turns out men care about taste, too.

So, in other words, there’s no real reason to think men and women are significantly different on this issue.

I think it’s more important to me that someone has good taste in what they do than whether or not they do something. Like, I don’t mind if someone doesn’t read a lot of books, so long as he or she does other interesting things. Like if you like Jasminlive movies more than books, that’s cool, as long as your taste in movies is good.

What are your deal-breakers with someone you’re dating?

The only really, really serious dealbreaker is either physical/sexual/emotional abuse, or slightly less severe but no less huge, feeling free to disrespect me in front of friends or family. And no blatant misogyny, racism, and/or general assholishness.

Sadly, I’m probably most judgmental in terms of Livejasmine career. People who work in finance or a similarly corporate field bore me. It’s probably not fair, but it’s been the case so often than I treat it as a general rule. Politics is probably next on the list.

My 3 rules

I’ve had the same rules since high school, and they always served me well when I was single:

- No Rush fans (the band, not Limbaugh, though that might be a dealbreaker, too)

- No martial arts

- No guys named Jim, James, or any derivative thereof

I remember talking to my therapist when I was getting ready to dip my toe back in the dating pool and telling her that my absolute #1 requirement in a boyfriend/husband was that he be someone I could have conversations with. She tried to discourage me since there are still a fair number of “strong silent” types out there, but that’s what it was.

Now I’m married to a man who sometimes makes me late to work (and vice versa) because the sex chat conversation we’re having is too interesting for me to interrupt. So it all worked out.

What are your deal-breakers with someone you’re dating?

Someone remotely sexist, racist, homophobic, or “macho.”

Someone who believes in anything spiritual, religious, or supernatural.

Someone who doesn’t want to knock boots frequently.

Someone who wears clothes ironically.

Someone who refuses to enjoy the Beatles. I don’t have time for that crap.

It’s a very good thing I made an exception on my “Someone who employs comma splices and misuses homophones” deal-breaker. I ended up marrying him. Love conquers all, and teaches grammar snobs to get over it.

If for any reason I ever had to date again, I don’t think I could stomach swapping spit with a non-vegan. Taco juice is gross!

Besides the obvious (lack of respect, bigotry, cruelty, etc.)

Someone who is not at least OK with dogs.

Someone who does not like the outdoors- you don’t have to be Bear Grizzly, just don’t sit in front of a computer all day. And as a corollary, no luddites need apply, either.

Someone who can’t appreciate Terry Pratchett.

Someone who can’t at least make an attempt to understand my obsession with campy sci-fi (Stargate SG-1) and hard sci-fi (BSG).

Someone who doesn’t mind that I am not a vegetarian.

Are those shallow enough?

Real life story

I was a young undergraduate and worked out all the time at this gym. One day, a big jock-type guy with no neck asks me if I want to see a Metallica concert. Having never been to a Metallica concert but mildly turned on by the idea of heavy metal, I agree to go. We have a bland and unmemorable time, but I like the experience (even though I cannot hear for about three days afterwards).

Then, he asks me out again to so see Peter Pan! I am sort of tickled that a guy who likes Metallica might also like Peter Pan! It’s a trip. But he likes it SO much and spends so much time later analyzing Peter Pan that I start to worry…

The deal breaker, though, is Valentine’s Day. It rolls around right after our second date. I am not expecting anything, especially since we have not even kissed yet. But he sends me 12 dozen red roses. And so, I know it is the end…

Also: anyone who seems like they want a little too much information about me early on: Stalker radar goes off and I run.

There are so many popular movies I’ve never seen

Every time I make internal sweeping generalizations about how someone’s tastes effect their worth, I usually end up eating crow, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it all the time.

The biggest deal breaker I can think of is people who listen to Pink Floyd or Led Zepplin. I’m sure there are generally good reasons for liking the bands (God help me if I can figure them out) but most when I hear about most people in my age range (mid-twenties) talking about liking them, I get the feeling that they like the fact that people know they listen to the band, more than they actually like the band.

I think I would probably draw the sharpest line on 9/11 Truthers; if I was on a date with someone who tries to convince me that 9/11 was an inside job, I could picture myself excusing myself from the table and stiffing the girl with the bill.