Changing the Rules


When I first started using dating apps, I found it useful to establish some criteria for considering and eliminating potential matches. Visual cues were only going to take me so far, so I began enumerating my no’s — the things that were deal breakers. I would occasionally break my own rules, but for the most part, I excluded anyone who could claim the following:

  • Hospitality/Restaurant Workers
  • Dads
  • Republicans
  • Unemployed

I know, I know. It’s ironic that I eliminated a potentially sympathetic group of men by giving dads the ax. It’s unfair. It’s hypocritical. It’s also complicated. What if I were to connect deeply with a dad, fall in love, want to get married? It’s already going to be hard enough to incorporate a new adult figure into my family, but the thought of how challenging and emotional and traumatic it could be to involve a new sibling(s) just seemed like more than I could ask of my children. It seemed selfish.

Regarding the other three criteria, I’ve relaxed on all but the republicans. No republicans. Please and thank you.

My rules have softened lately into something more closely resembling loose guidelines. It’s not about no any more, though I still wrestle with the wisdom of dating a fellow parent. Now, when someone asks me what I’m looking for, I say that I want someone who’s emotionally healthy, happy, relaxed, and considerate. Assholes and republicans need not apply.


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