Simple relationship requirements. Reasonable or not?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 10:51 AM GMT
    OK, here is my question.
    I have said in the past that in order for me to consider a committed relationship, the following 7 conditions are required. By committed, I mean an exclusive monogamous and devoted long term relationship. Mutual love, although presumed, is not sufficient on its own. All other issues are up to mutual agreement. I don't mean to make this sound like a contract, but I think that I've got to draw a line of sorts. These points don't have to be achieved to perfection but have to be significant in the way he lives his life for himself, not me.

    1. Independent: both financially (not wealthy, just self supporting) and personally.
    2. Consistent healthy lifestyle in exercise and nutrition.
    3. Actively (not just 'wants to') betters himself intellectually and culturally.
    4. Compassionate and empathetic towards others. Not judgmental, status conscious, or seeking the validation of others.
    5. Socially and financially responsible.
    6. Honesty, even when it's uncomfortable. (It's easy to be honest when it doesn't require change.)
    7. Sexual compatibility.

    Is this unreasonable or too restricting? I'd like the comments of others.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Dec 03, 2007 11:40 AM GMT
    I'd say that they are very reasonable
    but the question is then what happens when you
    have all that to begin with and say
    you or your partner bend or break one of the rules
    after you're in the committed relationship?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 11:47 AM GMT
    if that's what you want hold our for it. Don't expect a line of men to chose from. Even with those guidelines you will be surprised how you might bend a few rules when you actually think that you are both falling in love. I stayed single for over 7 years just trying to find a guy that didn't piss me off. (right from the start) so good luck. Let us know how it goes for you
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Dec 03, 2007 12:20 PM GMT
    The only thing I see being a stumbling block is how you define the criteria to meet those requirements and if the potential guy views them the same way. If he's like minded, you also have to entertain the possibility you won't measure up to his requirements.
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    Dec 03, 2007 2:17 PM GMT
    To answer two of the questions: first, I only say that they are requirements for committing to a relationship. Once in a relationship, there is alway a certain amount of flexibility. I'm not that rigid. As long as there is honest two way communication, issues could be resolved.

    As to what the 'potential guy' requires for committment, that would be up to him. These are my baseline needs and and I don't presume that he would have to have the same requirements of me. That's why I said, perhaps not clearly, that all other issues are up to mutual agreement.

    I would hope that I could also live up to his needs if he were living up to mine. I would also hope (but not require) that there would be some overlap.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 2:37 PM GMT
    I think, if these requirements relate to the committed relationship, its reasonable.As we know, if we want to maintain a long term relationship, we need some restriction for each other to maintain this relationship better.But we should know what is the most important in the relationship,its just the love,not the others.So,if just for the love, we used to not be serious of these requirements.As the frist time we fell in love,we never mind whats the guy have,and dont care about the status of the guy.The only thing we care about was that whether the guy love me too and how could i make him happy.That was what the love is for itself.But after several pains from the love, we changed, we began to disguise ourselves,protected ourselves from be hurt again.So we made many requirements to do it.But actually,we forgot what we need and what we want in the relationship.We forgot whats the love is for itself,we wilder ourselves. To maintain a long term relationship,the most important is not the restriction,but is the love.Love is no limition.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 2:55 PM GMT
    I think these are pretty much the standards that we all prefer for monogamy, so I don't think that you're being picky. I find it interesting that you picked independent to be first since I think we all need someone who loves us but isn't clingy. Clingy is a major dealbreaker!

    Also, your choices reflect your wisdom with age. When we were all 20, good looks was enough. And then by the time you reach 30 you start drawing the line at an unhealthy lifestyle and an unkind or uncharitable personality. As I close in on 40 I find that one needs another who is financially sound. But by the time I am 70 a pretty face will be all that's requred. icon_wink.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 4:00 PM GMT
    very Realistic.

    Not much to ask for and it appears that you leave room for a work in progress.

    What about education? HS grad yes. College grad and or if advanced degress are required?

    That also needs to be examined, yes?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 4:03 PM GMT
    I would definitely add RESPECT....for himself, for you, for others. Once the respect is gone in a relationship...everything else between you and him begin to collapse slowly. Its similar to the listed number 4 yet very different.

    As GQjock mentions....after years in a commited relationship...that list you got there may begin to wibble wobble a bit...but what you can never afford to loose even for a few days is the LOVE for each other, RESPECT, and HONESTY.

    Just my experience in my nearly 10 years "adventure"...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 4:07 PM GMT
    from your list, it gives me idea as to how to rank a guy.

    finance/career 0 poor --------- 10 rich
    independence 0 isolate--------10 clinging
    health/physic 0 ill fit -------10 body builder
    empathetic 0 aloof ---------10 generous
    social/character 0 introvert------10 extrovert
    Moral/honesty 0 criminal ------10 righteous
    intellect/learn 0 dumb ----------10 smart
    sexual/virile 0 asexual -------10 lustful

    although i think i'd include stuff like positive/negative personality, saver/spender, interest...

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16869

    Dec 03, 2007 4:17 PM GMT
    Well let me say I would generally be one that would endorse your approach, however there are several points that should be considered:

    1. Your second consideration really is a little ambigious. Do you mean you don't want a drunk (lol)
    (I wouldn't).. or are you saying you won't date someone who eats fast food? What is your interpretation of a "healthy diet", and what if someone you want to date believes he has a healthy set of fitness and nutrition goals and you don't? What degree of flexibility do you have?

    2. I agree there are some there that are "deal breakers" for me as well. What degree of rank do you place on each requirement? Which is most important.. or do you have them ranked as listed here?

    3. What are your thoughts on a partner that meets those criteria initially, but later due to illness or
    complication, doesn't?

    4. What if you date a guy who has his own requirements and they are not harmonious? In other words, would you show flexibility and negotiate or would you end dialogue?

    Again, I'm not being critical. Many of those you have listed would be on mine. I'm just curious what your thinking is on the process.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 4:24 PM GMT
    The rules look good to me. However, I always found that when I fell in love, I promptly threw my brains out the window. Good for you for remaining rational.

    Of course, as several have noted, people can change over time for all kinds of reasons -- health crisis, losing a job. My earlier partners always became stupid and turned into total bottoms.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 4:54 PM GMT
    hey no wonder you're single! icon_smile.gif

    but since you asked... my two cents:

    be open to the unexpected.

    point #8 should be "If it feels right, be willing to throw all of the above out the window."

    live a little... even if it hurts.
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Dec 03, 2007 5:18 PM GMT
    "Not judgmental, status conscious, or seeking the validation of others."

    I've never met a human being who could live up to this one. But if you're willing to be less absolute and settle for someone who treats these tendencies with self-awareness and perspective, then it's reasonable.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 5:28 PM GMT
    Well first I should reiterate that these are requirements that would be for making a commitment. Once in, I would think that if something bad happened that was out of his control, like losing a job, that I'd remain in. If he started to fail on all counts, I'd definitely be out, as that would probably be self induced destructive behavior.

    As for ambiguity of the health statement, I think basically it wouldn't be a deal breaker if he wanted to go for fast food. However, making little or no effort to be healthy in nutrition or activity would definitely be a deal breaker.

    As to the order, it's completely arbitrary. I think honesty is a little higher than the others.

    For education: although higher education is nicer, I wouldn't say its a requirement since I mentioned that he actively betters himself intellectually. I've known guys who were brilliant with only a High School Degree, and PhD's in whom I was amazed that they could drive a car and tie their own shoes. So formal education isn't the hard and fast rule here.

    I'd also never directly connect honesty and morality. Most people I've met with "high moral values" tend to be the most dishonest, rigid and judgmental people I've ever met.

    Lastly in defiance of love, I've found that throwing the requirements out for love always ensures that the relationship will start heading south and quickly too. Not to mention being painful as you go down.

    Thanks for the good feedback though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 5:50 PM GMT
    like i said... even if it hurts. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 5:56 PM GMT
    if you have all those 7 things going for you and somehow you can be magically non judgemental about it all what do you need a relationship for?
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    Dec 03, 2007 6:01 PM GMT
    The best way to answer the question about whether or not it's "too restricting" is if you're having any measure of success in applying it. I'm guessing not.

    Any real long-term relationship requires the thing that you call out as 'presumed but insufficient on its own' - love. Interesting that love is the one thing that is totally glossed over in your list.

    Look, kids - everyone is looking for the magic bullet and there isn't one. Being at the top of your game with regards to all 7 of your categories guarantees nothing - I know or know of plenty of near-10's in all of them who regularly go home alone and miserable because they think that because they're so good on paper that they DESERVE love, and that anyone would be lucky to have them.

    Until you look at a long-term relationship in terms of what YOU bring to the table and how YOU can mutually achieve happiness, you will be hard pressed to find anyone who wants to subject himself to your scrutiny and dissection (and that goes for all of us who apply the same methodology). I've read mortgage applications that were more romantic than some of the posts on here, and the language in your first sentence (".. in order for me to consider a committed relationship") makes you sound like a full-on prick. Are you looking for a relationship or a merger/acquisition?

    I realize that might sound harsh, but consider it like a workout: when you don't get the results you want (assuming you actually want a relationship here) you need to change up your routine. Only you can determine if that's the case or not.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 6:33 PM GMT

    BadMikey sounds pretty deep.

    I think I agree. Myself, I've never had a list. How does having a list and being non-judgemental go together?

    I try not to date smokers, and even that goes out the window. I think all my long term (7 yr,4 yr, and 2 yr) relationships have been with smokers. And, I don't regret any of them.

    I especially don't like the implications of the financial independence requirement. Seems a little snobbish. A lot of good people struggle to make ends meet.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 6:34 PM GMT
    Those are great ideals to have, but good luck trying to find someone with all seven. I think accepting someone who may have some shortcoming and loving them in spite of it is also something you should add to those sseven points.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 6:50 PM GMT
    Here is a quote from your lead:

    "By committed, I mean an exclusive monogamous and devoted long term relationship."

    Perhaps, what you want to know you could find out from the guys on this site who already have "exclusive monogamous and devoted long term relationships". There was a recent forum about LTR's on the site and several guys had really long ones. Of course, I am presuming that if someone were in a LTR for say, more than 5 years, that is an indication of a healthy relationship and that may not be true 100% of the time.

    Your last 5 requirements are true in my relationship. The first two, not so much. Financial independence can be a tough one to predict. For example, I stayed at work, while I helped my man through school. He later helped me when I became unemployed. Consistently healthy lifestyle can also be a tough one to predict. I can not imagine my man ever leading this "healthy lifestyle". He hates exercize and does not like sports. Why is it so important for you to have him be healthy in your eyes as long as he is healthy in his own mind.

    I would add that a similarity of values is the number 2 asset in my relationship, although you have covered some of that ground in your 4 and 5. Of course, love is numero uno.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 7:10 PM GMT
    Let me give a little context to this as some points seem to be obviously taken out of context. I've been in a LTR that lasted 14 years. Most of it was great and frequently many of these things weren't there. This is meant as filter for getting into a LTR.

    I've been in love before and more than once. Madly, profoundly and painfully.

    If you are physically, mentally, or emotionally abused in a relationship, or neglected for that matter, it isn't unreasonable to expect anyone to say I will never be with anyone again who abuses me in that way. That is where this list came from. I'm not implying that these are absolutes in any way. I meant them as guidelines. I don't expect perfection on any level. I'm not perfect in any way so it would be absurd to expect it from someone else. Case in point: I'm struggling financially to make ends meet. I think it's reasonable to say I don't want to start a relationship with someone who I have to provide 100% for financially.

    Although I thought I said that love was a given, I was not glossing over it. But you can't survive on love alone. It's unrealistic to dismiss survival, fulfillment, and growth for romanticism. I haven't had a problem meeting people who have these qualities. The issue started when someone said that desiring these qualities in someone was selfish, or unrealistic. I wanted to hear your experiences. I'm not really surprised by some of the responses, nor do I think everyone would or should agree.

    Lastly, on being judgmental,status conscious, or seeking the validation of others, it isn't an absolute. Squarejaw was correct in stating that no one could live up to that. However, there are those who cross the line into self righteousness. That is what I want to avoid.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 8:01 PM GMT
    It seems like a sensible list to me although I would struggle with the monogamy bit. And the further educating myself bit. Life's too short to be a perpetual student.

    Best wishes with your search.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 8:07 PM GMT
    Honestly, BG, I think your yardstick is reasonable.

    I financially supported two earlier partners and I learned the hard way that people end up resenting anyone they're dependent on. I'm not talking about financial support for educational pursuits or because of a health crisis.

    But I think general support is usually a mistake. I've also noticed repeatedly in counseling work with gay male couples that income inequality is a huge issue. I have a friend who has a younger partner and he actually lowered his own standard of living rather than try to elevate his partner's. They've been together over 20 years and long ago became economic equals.

    One thing not on your list that is an absolute imperative for me, maybe the most imperative, is a sense of humor. I cannot deal with people who lack humor, especially about themselves.

    The other thing not on your list that's important to me is educational and intellectual parity. Both of my earlier partners -- the ones I supported financially -- were basically uneducated. I would never do that again. Whenever a disagreement arose between us or when I wanted to do something that required a few firing brain cells, I was accused of "intellectual elitism." Having a partner who is a lot smarter than me in many respects makes a lot of his imperfections bearable.
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    Dec 03, 2007 8:36 PM GMT

    I would add a comment to the above regarding the requirement of "honesty". This frequently means two different things. I think it would be necessary to have complete trust and honesty with one's partner about matters of fidelity, for example. But too many people (an ex of mine, for example) pride themselves on their "honesty" which is often just a mask for cruelty. Telling an ugly person "you're ugly" is honest; it is also unnecessary and revolting behavior. But ask someone who prides himself on "honesty" and he'll likely say "it can't be cruel if it's true." Well, yes it bloody well can.

    Without naming names, there are posters on this site who think it necessary to denounce in ringing tones and heated language anyone whose habits they deplore.
    Is this honesty or just meanness? My father used to tell us as kids: Remember, you don't have to tell everyone everything you know.

    So like Candide, I prefer to tend my own garden and make it grow. (how pretentious was THAT? lol)