Buried Leads, Great Evenings, and Deal-Breakers

I spent the better part of the day in bed – body spent, a little hungover, and generally exhausted. I was fairly certain that I would spend this Saturday quietly at home, despite a low murmur of restlessness rumbling in my brain. Then my very dear friend and best date sent me a text message inquiring about my availability for drinks that evening. Lately, Heartbreaker’s schedule has been as crazy as mine so a random night with both of us free was an opportunity not to be wasted.

We settled on early evening drinks at an off-the-beaten-path bar downtown. Joe, our friendly bartender, had already poured Heartbreaker a glass in celebration of ProseccO’clock when I arrived. By the time I had hugged and kissed my nominal date, Joe had stealthily poured me a pint of the beer I drank the first night I met him about a year ago. He’s always so good about getting my libations without prompting, and generally taking very good care that I haven’t had the spirit to tell him that I prefer another drink most nights.

Heartbreaker and I set about catching-up on the random goings-on of our lives. Work stuff, family stuff, and of course, dating stuff. Given that this was the evening after my date with the Conservative Nutter, that unfortunate two hours was discussed at length.

I suppose – just like I have done in this blog post – I buried the lead in recounting the events of the prior night. I took a while to mention that after leaving CN, I met an exceedingly charming woman at another bar later… and had a fatigue inducing night that quenched a number of desert induced thirsts… and that as much as we found delight with each other and in each other, sadly, Jessica and I aren’t suited to dating in the long term.

Heartbreaker was shocked… hell, last night Jessica and I were shocked too when we learned about some fundamental incompatibilities and deal-breakers on each side.

So what’s the problem?” Heartbreaker asked.

The short version: she’s a suburban girl… who wants kids, plural kids-kids” and I am so decidedly not. [ed. note: I acknowledge this exception, but that doesn’t change the rule]

Really” Heartbreaker questioned, “Is that really that big of a deal?”

Yeah, it really is. She works downtown, lives in the suburbs and kinda just tolerates the city. She likes that, is happy with that, and that is just incompatible with the life I want. It’s a deal-breaker.”

Heartbreaker accepted that status and we moved along to other subjects, and our favorite pizza joint. We always sit at the bar, preferably the side that overlooks the pizza making station and with a direct view of the wood-fired oven. At a certain point, I got a little lost in the movement of the flame and the choreography of the pizza chefs.

Why would anyone want to sit anywhere but these two seats?” I asked Heartbreaker. And that question led me back to the topic of deal-breakers.

I would never want to date a woman who would prefer those booths to these seats… I guess sometimes you don’t know what you’re some of your deal-breakers are until you cross them.


8 Responses to Buried Leads, Great Evenings, and Deal-Breakers

  1. kitty says:

    so well said. particularly the part about only knowing your dealbreakers when you come across them.

    Some of them do creep into the consciousness, others declare themselves with all of the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the forehead.

  2. magnolia says:

    hidden dealbreakers were the death of my marriage. suddenly, all these things i thought were immaterial became very, very, VERY important. i now spend my time pursuing the kind of life he never would’ve imagined for me. it feels amazing.

    In contrast, my marriage ended not because of the discovery of hidden deal-breakers, but due to the willful and foolish ignoring of the known deal-breakers… yet another reminder to me that blogging is cheaper than therapy.

  3. […] are discussing deal-breakers. His and his alone: people, like me, who live in the suburbs. His and mine as well: children that […]

  4. Hmm. It’s always interesting when deal breakers are tested, and you’re forced to access whether or not a given issue, preference, point of view, etc., really IS something you can’t get past or work with. I think the most important thing, though, is sticking with what feels right for YOU, no matter what.

    Sad to hear the story end this way, but happy to hear you know what you want and aren’t willing to settle for anything less.

    The veracity of any personal belief is never truly known until it is tested by the fire of something/someone exceptional in all regards but that one. And I’m not quite sure the story has ended… ya know, just saying.

  5. Vie says:

    I’m glad you had a good night, deal-breakers aside.

    I’ve almost exclusively dated guys who lived in the suburbs. It only occurred to me about six months ago that it really is a deal-breaker for me, which is honestly shocking given how much I hated living in Crystal City a few years ago. I’d rather wait until I was 40 to buy a house or condo than live in Herndon or Reston or Silver Spring.

    Did you feel disappointed when you realized that was who she was, or just relieved that you discovered this right off the bat? Thankful for the brief time you had? Something entirely different?

    If I had to dilineate my thoughts in the aftermath of the deal-breaking discovery, I would say that it was mostly a melange of the three emotions you suggest with a heavy smattering of appreciation for the Universe’s sense of humor.

  6. Scarlett says:

    Not only do you know know some of your deal breakers until you encounter them such as, “i think i could date a USC fan” until you realize that that would necessitate not speaking for the entirety of football season!

    BUT some dealbreakers change – into “nice to haves” such as would “never date a divorced guy” or “never date a democrat” these become more flexible over time 😉

    For reasons about which I may or may not write later, I once had an opportunity to review two lists of deal-breakers, and nice-to-haves that were written almost ten years and one divorce apart. The changes were fascinating.

  7. I wish that the deal-breakers with Jessica weren’t so glaring (or that they didn’t become obvious until a later date). I also hope that you’ll save a stool for me some time at the bar at Coppi’s! xoxo

    I’m glad that the deal breakers became apparent as early as they did – better to rip off the band-aid before things got too sticky. On another note, I can’t believe we haven’t shared some prime Coppi’s real estate already.

  8. […] stood to greet her and for just a moment, had a flash of awkwardness – it’s not supposed to be a date, but we’ve already been pretty familiar – wondering about the appropriate level of […]

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