Relationship Non-Negotiables

September 22, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I created a list of things I will not tolerate in relationships:

  • physical abuse
  • verbal abuse
  • alcohol addiction
  • drug addiction
  • sex addiction (it’s not as fun as it sounds)
  • dishonesty
  • duplicity (this is kind of like dishonesty, but more specifically about people’s words not aligning with their actions/behavior)

I had three quarters of a page dedicated to things I did and didn’t like about Dave…and less than half of the remaining space was taken up by the non-negotiables (above). 

It was striking to see this short list on paper. 

It became apparent to me that my basic expectations are set too low.  That’s why I wrote about my son’s father; I wanted to provide some back-story to explain where I’m coming from.  Since his father, my longest-term relationship was with a sociopath (of course, I didn’t realize that until after the fact).  What can I say?  I have really bad taste in men? 

Yes, I have bad taste in men…and I think it also goes back to the Theory of Mind thing.  I get stuck in empathizing mode.  I am fascinated by other people’s points of view.  This can be a valuable skill at times, but in relationships it can lead to trouble.  I become so engrossed in learning about the other person, I lose track of my own perspective.