Maybe It’s Time We Start Negotiating Our Non-Negotiables [Diary of the Undateable]

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diary of the undateable

I’m a Christian. Both of my grandparents were preachers, so I basically grew up in church. I’m not one of those in your face, verse spitting, sprinkle-you-with-holy-water-as-you-twerk-in-the-club devotees, though. I’m still figuring out who I am in terms of my faith. I know what I believe and even if someone else doesn’t, I’d still respect them. I came across a guy who defined himself as an atheist – at least that’s what his Facebook profile said when I found – okay, stalked – it. I was telling my good friend Tranessa about him and mentioned his faith, or lack thereof. In retrospect, that might’ve been a mistake.

Tranessa’s a Christian, too. When she came to visit me in D.C. last semester, she dragged me to an early morning church service despite me still being buzzed from one-too-many cocktails that previous night. She’s the kind of friend that’ll pray with you and for you – meaning that she’s a good one. But the prospect of me dating someone who didn’t believe wasn’t something she took too kindly to.

“Religion is one of those things that’s important to me. I’m not going to budge,” she told me. “If someone doesn’t have a religion, that’s a deal breaker.”

She wants her boo to possess the three S’s off bat – he has to be single, sane and sanctified. The single and sane part is obvious. Who wants to date a cray cray with a bay bay? But the sanctified part…I don’t know.

Tranessa often complains that there aren’t many available guys in Atlanta where she lives…specifically, available men in their twenties with college degrees who aren’t in jail or already in relationships. Her words, not mine. I empathize with her, though…when I’m not online dating, it’s hard to scope the single ones out. But since there’s such a shortage, is it smart to rule out ones that might be great for a reason like religion?

I mean, I guess that I have standards. Sure, I want someone who’s intelligent, honest, respectful, funny and creative – attractive, tall and well-dressed wouldn’t hurt, either. But I find myself occasionally relaxing my standards when I’m talking to someone in the spirit of dating outside of my comfort zone. Yeah, he might not have the best job, but at least he has a good heart. He may hate to read, but at least he’ll listen to my story ideas. What I don’t have are non-negotiables – dating deal breakers. It’s not like I’ve dated tons and tons of guys, so there aren’t any huge no-no’s that I’ve established. Tranessa’s beef with the atheist is making me rethink that, though.

From my limited experience, I know that I don’t want someone who’s uncommunicative. If I like you, I want to hear from you. I’m not saying that all day, everyday nonstop texting and kiss me through the phone calls are completely necessary, but I want to know that you’re there and, you know, not ghosting me. I don’t want someone who’s unambitious. My dreams are so big that they scare me sometimes. I want someone who can dream with me and push me to keep pursuing. And needless to say, I’d prefer not to date crazies or druggies or all around weirdos. A little crazy and weird is fine. Like the Diet Coke version of crazy and weird.

I’m not sure if I’d completely rule someone out based on their faith this early in the game. If I’m trying to get to know someone, I don’t want to start off with strikes against them. If the relationship was getting serious or if marriage and babies were in the picture then yeah, that’s something that would need to be discussed. But not now. It’s too soon. Who am I to judge you?

CollegeCandy, what are your non-negotiables?

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea, a recent Howard University graduate, moonlights as a magazine intern and a freelancer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.

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