Today’s column will address reader questions and concerns from my last article, “10 reasons good love is hard to find in Houston: It’s a numbers game”. I am always happy to hear from readers and enjoy any and all feedback!
Some of your non-negotiables seem a little shallow. The beauty of non-negotiables is that you need not explain them to others. Also, this list can fluctuate as you plough through your prospective compatibles. However, for me personally, the non-negotiables represent certain general values and beliefs, however shallow they might initially appear. For example, while on the surface, “he must be a good cook” sounds like reverse-chauvinism, it is something I am basing upon my own experiences and conclusions. Specifically, any man I have dated who did not cook also had a hard time with emotional intimacy. It took me many years of dating to realize this was a significant non-negotiable for me. Cooking should be a sensory experience and an expression of love and/or affection for others. I love to cook. I think chefs are sexy. Cooking with a guy who also loves to cook is as much fun to me as watching a movie together. Cooking is a basic piece of life to me that brings much happiness. If you are going to be with someone forever, meals will be a big part of forever. Preparing meals together or enjoying a dish made with love for each other is part of the essence of day to day romance and joy. For me. Another woman might love to cook for a boyfriend and want him to stay out of the kitchen. That’s their experience and I can understand that. In sum, “a good cook” or any item on a non-negotiable list always reflects a much deeper belief or value and that’s why we do not have to explain them. Just know them and stick to them.
That was such a dismal article. Usually you are more upbeat. Well, after dating for over 6 years post-divorce, I am afraid I have become more of a realist about romance. You might say that is an oxymoron, but I do think it is imperative to be real about the outcomes of romantic endeavors. Although many readers found this article hilarious, I can see how the idea of being selective could put a damper on the dating game. If a person is not ready for a serious relationship, “light dating” is absolutely fine, as long as everyone is aware from the start that this is “light dating”. Non-negotiables would not be as critical if you are simply looking for someone to see a movie with now and then. In fact, light dating will help you fine tune your list of non-negotiables. As will failed relationships. Actually, I have found this figure of 3,000 out of 2 million compatibles to be very soothing. When you leave a social function and think, “Wow, there was not one person there I would date.” This is normal. You are not being “picky”, you are being honest about your non-negotiables. It is not a wall of protection, but rather, a code to compatibility. I have found that when you try to compromise your list, the relationship will not work out in the long run.
One of your calculations was wrong. Yes, you are absolutely right. Fortunately, this is not a final mathematics exam. I corrected the mistake in step 8 along with a logical deduction which I did not figure in on step 10. The answer does ultimately provide me with more compatible men. However, we could also adjust certain percentages along the way. For example, would 30% of available men truly meet all of my non-negotiables? That number might be much smaller in all actuality. However, I’d rather err on the side of optimism. The point is that there is a very small pool of true compatibles for anyone in any city.
Why didn’t you include the suburbs? For simplicity’s sake. The general percentage is what is significant. Since my final number was about 3,000 out of 2 million, then that is 1.5 % of any given population. If you’d like to give yourself more leeway, go ahead and round it up to 2%. But generally speaking, in any city you live in, your compatibility percentage (according to my philosophical reflections) will be only around 2% of the total population of your city. At least we live in a large metropolitan area where we have a much larger pool than small towns.
I hope that answered some of your general concerns. If readers have further comments, always feel free to share your thoughts on the comments section.