One of the steps in eHarmony’s guided communication is exchanging lists of “Must Haves and Can’t Stands”.  I’ve always hated this stage – in part, because it is just one more obstacle before you can freely talk, and in a free communication weekend, time is literally money.  But, I also don’t like it because the choices are largely so ridiculously vague.  As if someone is going to say on a dating site that they can stand dishonesty or cheating or that good hygiene is negotiable (real choices, folks). As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot to glean from these lists.

So, instead, I thought it would be fun if we made our own Must Haves/Can’t Stand lists, based on real life.  Of course, the ones mentioned above are givens, as are someone who shares my faith, doesn’t live in his parents’ basement, and works a steady job.  But, here are a few that may not appear as choices on e-Harmony.

Must Have: A car.  A working, 4-wheel, gas-powered automobile.  I’ll accept a truck (actually, I prefer it).  What I will not accept is a motorcycle as a sole means of transportation.  I thought my first boyfriend was soooo cool because he only rode a motorcycle – and then it rained.   I spent a lot of rainy nights pretty bored.

Can’t Stand:  A Gronk jersey.  If you’re a Pats fan in general, we’re probably going to have to go through some extra counseling, but supporting Gronkowski makes me not only question your judgment, but also your view of women.  Automatic deal breaker.

Must Have: An addiction to New Girl.  Or be willing to develop one.  There are lots of shows I love that I would not expect you to – Nashville, Once Upon a Time, the Bachelor.  But, if we can’t hang out together with my besties in the loft, it’s probably not going to work out.

Can’t Stand: Name dropping. I went on a date once with a guy who told me about Miss Brazil hitting on him in Starbucks.  Not only is that a weird story to tell on a first date, but from the looks of him, I’m quite positive that did not happen.  (Sorry, buddy, but it’s true!) The same guy also told me he’d met Tim Tebow out one time. You may never misuse the name of Tim Tebow (or Peyton Manning) around me.  Some things are just sacred. I left before I could even finish the second drink he’d ordered for me without my permission.

Must Have: Athletic skills.  I’m completely inept, but you shouldn’t be.  Think of our children!

Can’t Stand:  Swearing on a first date (or worse, before the first date).  Honestly, swearing isn’t that big a deal to me.  I mean, most of the guys I’ve dated were in the military, so it kinda goes with the territory.  But, if you can’t even keep your mouth clean when you’re trying to make a good impression, what am I going to have to listen to 6 months from now when the newness has worn off? It seems disrespectful to me to use it before you even know whether it offends me, and it’s impolite.  Plus, it makes you sound like you have a limited vocabulary (aka, stupid), and if there is one trait I value more than any other, it’s intelligence.

So, there is my list, honed after years of experience, yet, surprisingly, not choices on eHarmony.

What about you?  What are some of the more unusual must haves and can’t stands on your list?  Any that match mine?  (If so, we’re probably kindred spirits and should hang out more often than we do.)  Have a great weekend, everyone!