5 MORE pre-relationship eliminators

Check those suckers off, y’all

This list is a continuation of my first post in which I listed 5 things to look for in a potential romantic partner. Because, #dating.

Missed the first post? Read it here.

  1. Unavailable. As in: emotionally, mentally, physically or otherwise (not sure what else there is, but..that)


A hot mess.

Emotionally immature.


Too busy.

Too self-absorbed.

I could go on, but I think you get it. If the person isn’t nice, open, vulnerable and interested, like KEENLY interested and awesome — just move on. Like, really. Do not pass GO. Just get the hell off the game board. If you want to endure the worst of human behavior, go play Cards Against Humanity. Don’t actually do it in real life.

My ex tried to kick me to the curb for the five years we were together. If I didn’t have my head so far up my sentimental butt, I would have read her ambivalent writing on the wall and saved myself years of wasted time and energy.

2. Undifferentiated.

We all have families.

And we love them.

But if your person is like, still not able to function without the help and validation of his/her family, you might want to rethink things. Just a little.

Like my ex who was 35 years old and her parents make bi-weekly trips from the midwest to take her on grocery shopping excursions to fill her closets and cabinets.

I know. You’re asking yourself why that relationship lasted more than one week. Trust me, I ask myself the same question sometimes, and it was seven years ago…

We all deserve and NEED the love and support of our families, but we also need to take care of ourselves. You can decide what level of autonomy your person has, how his/her life is shaping up, and what that might mean for what that person can provide you. If they are barely getting through the demands of being an adult without constant support from the ‘rents, they may not be able to do much else — especially managing a complex adult relationship.

3. Unable to deal.

Life is busy and full. And complicated. And as adults, we deal. Or we find ways to deal. Some of us use healthier or more mature methods such as running, meditation, yoga, healthy eating and therapy.

Wine sometimes happens. It’s a wonderful invention. But if your person is constantly using alcohol, drugs or something else to distract or disengage from life, it should be a red flag. Or if the person throws hissy fits at the slightest inconvenience or disappointment.

We all have feelings. We feel frustration, disappointment, anger, resentment, etc. BUT we are also adults. And we need to learn to deal with the pressures of life. We can’t throw our hands up or throw tantrums like brats and expect life to fall into place. I’ve seen peers do this on facebook and in person and I’m like, “whaaaa?”

Major turn-off. For romance or friendship, amiright?

4. Living in La-La Land.

Similar to #3 but different.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s me but I was raised to pay bills and my rent and dress for the occassion (whatever it may be). I am ALL ABOUT being an original person with unique self-expression, but when it comes to being an adult — — I am an adult.

Some folks, they sort of live in la-la land. Like, they don’t work really or worry about taking baths or talk about life in terms of platitudes.

As my teacher Pema Chodron says, “some people do yoga or sit on a mediation cushion and never really reach enlightment. They sort of use the time as they do all other time — -to check out of life and act like they are enlightented when really…they are just not dealing with anything at all.”

Totally paraphrased her right there. But, God I love that woman.

And for the handful of people I know who do this, I think it’s because they haven’t had to really take on the responsibilities of adulthood. Maybe they are subsidized by their family, or were for a significant portion of their lives (see #2 above). And this can foster arrested development. Which will probably bite you in the ass as you seek to foster a mature adult relationship.

Or maybe this person’s level of maturation works for you. In which case, move on to #5.

5. Mega-money issues.


If someone has money issues, catch it quick. This isn’t necessarily a full-on eliminator, but it’s a contender. You want to know that someone’s money stuff will spill out into EVERYTHING ELSE. Money is attached to feelings of worth and value, for him/herself, you and everyone and everything else. UGH! All the things.

If this person is constantly talking, thinking or obsessing about dolla dolla bills, address it early and directly. It will intrude into every conversation and every decision moving forward. Scarcity-mindset is something that is connected to time, energy and self-confidence and self-worth. Don’t let that person convince you they are frugal!!!

I can’t stress this one enough. Check out Geneen Roth’s book about this, and Kate Northrup, too.


What is missing from my list(s)?

Share other eliminators you’ve come to see, know, experience, etc. in the comments below.

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