Monday, April 8, 2013

The Requirements for Dating Me (Note: You must meet all requirements.)

I started writing this yesterday when I was half asleep because I ran a 15K race in Central Park! I was totally pooped. I suppose the two post-race cocktails didn't help with my sleepiness… Oh, and then I had to watch the Mad Men premiere, and that's the one show that gets my undivided attention. Anyway, that's why I'm 24 hours late on this post.

I have always said that dating has many similarities to interviewing, and on Friday, my coworkers prove me right.

We were at that point in the afternoon where we felt a little too guilty to leave yet but too checked out to actually be productive. Somehow the chitchat turned to me and my thoughts on dating. It started off with me explaining the difference between talking to versus seeing someone. You start off talking to someone as you feel out the potential, and depending on how it goes, you could progress to seeing to him. For example, the 25-year-old (who turned 26 over the weekend, which oddly makes me feel less like a cougar) is someone I’m talking to but we don’t go on dates because there is zero boyfriend potential. The guy I was seeing before my divorce was final had legitimate boyfriend potential, hence his progression to my word choice of “seeing.” This of course kicked the door open for my coworkers to ask how I define "seeing" potential?

I explained that I have certain basic criteria that must be passed for a guy to be considered for dating, and eventually “seeing,” and possibly even earning the high title of “boyfriend." Immediately, my buddy Yoshi grabbed a marker and headed for whiteboard. If you’ve ever worked with a software engineer, you probably know that they don’t like to go through requirements of a project without a marker and whiteboard, and apparently that includes my dating life.

Yoshi: So you’re saying there is a workflow in order to date you?
Me: No, it’s more of a checklist than a workflow.
Yoshi: The specs are not ranked in order of importance either? [twirls marker between his fingers]
Me: Not really. Every requirement should get equal weighting when assessing candidates.
Yoshi: OK. Give me the specs. One at a time, please.

By now others had popped their heads over their cubicle walls to join the conversation, all curious to hear what a newly divorced woman’s requirements to date her might include. I’ll say to you, dear readers, what I said to my coworkers: I will share with you if you can handle not judging me. I recognize that these criteria could mean I miss out on some fantastic suitors, but at this point in my life, I know what I want, and you gotta narrow the pool somehow. So here goes:
  • College educated. My family is big on formal education. In fact, we all have Master’s degrees. My future boyfriend doesn’t have to have a Master’s, but he must have a post-high school degree.
  • Salary. He needs to make at least as much money as I do, or a bit more (not crazy more though). I am very mindful of money and who’s spending how much on what. It’s better in the long run for him and for me if he makes at least as much as I do. (By the way, I make a comfortable living, but nothing outlandish, so it’s not like I’m a contestant on The Millionaire Matchmaker showing up with this criteria.)
  • Age. This is the one I’m least set on. I’m 33, so I figure my dating pool should be roughly 30 to early 40s.
  • Roommates. If you’re mature enough to date a divorced woman and making at least as much money as me, you should be living alone. No roommates allowed. That’s that.

As Yoshi sketched out each of these criteria, we all laughed about how much this really is like interviewing. If you’re looking for a Marketing Communications Specialist, your job description will include requirements such as a related college degree and at least seven years of work experience. You’re just not going to bring in a Mathematics major with a year of work experience. Could that Mathematics major do the job and even end up being awesome? Sure, it’s possible. But with a stack of resumes, you need a way to cut through to candidates that have a serious chance at being successful. Pass those initial requirements and you sail into the interview with the wind at your back (until your white tube socks peek out over your black shoes).

The 25 26-year-old only meets the college education criteria, while the guy I was seeing in December meets all of them. (And yes, Max, meets all of the requirements as well, so clearly this list doesn't provide any guarantees.)

Since I’m still living with my ex-husband (SELL, CONDO, PLEASE), I haven't gotten to test out my dating requirements yet. Living with my ex-husband definitely puts a cramp in my dating life! I look forward to testing my requirements and seeing what kinds of dates/interviews they yield.

What are your basic criteria for dating?


  1. You have to know what you want!!

    1. Yes, and just be OK with it. I own these four basic requirements and know that, big picture, they should help me find the right guys to date.

  2. Excellent read. Peoples' lists always intrigue me because they often evolve, as we do, from relationship to relationship. I've written about my own. We always 'know' what we want. But, as I've said with lists, what we want evolves. And I've also read that more and more people are asking their would be lovers about their credit scores. No joke.

    My list used to be pretty extensive once upon a time. Tall woman, educated, funny, big family, career-driven etc. etc. Then, over the years there were core things I found that mattered most and they dealt with stuff you can't put a measuring stick next to: Get my humor and have a sense of humor, love what you do, love your family, be supportive and do something I can support them on... It's interesting because I compared my old list which is a good 10+ years old...

    Dating shouldn't feel like an interview. It sounds cliche, but that's always been my feeling. But it sounds to me like you've got an interesting journey ahead. I'm looking forward to the ride. =)

    1. Yes, when I think about my "list" when I was 25 and just met my now ex-husband, of course my was quite different. Priorities shift the more life experience we have.

  3. Right after my separation I did not have any requirements. LOL. I went through a short-lived phase of sleeping with just about anyone that hit on me. I always used protection, so I wasn't completely idiotic. When it came to actually dating, my main requirement was that whoever wanted to date me had to like the REAL me. I was not going to pretend anymore. My mom named me Amanda and that means "worthy of love". I AM worthy of love. I will not change or pretend for anyone.

    1. I have condoms in every purse pocket now! If I ever actually get laid again...

      I hope you find someone worthy of you!

  4. I'm divorced too. Dating as a divorced person is rough, at least for me! :S I haven't really dated steadily since... and guh, that was hmmm four years ago! :S

  5. Do you wish you were dating more? Or are you OK with how things are?

  6. I wish I was dating more, but at the same time I've busied myself with school so I don't really think I'd be very much fun to date right now!

  7. Well whenever you feel like dating, there will be a pool to choose from!