There was one girlfriend who wanted me to spit in her mouth as she came (not surprisingly, the same that tried to run me over with her car). Another was after me to hold her hand when she sat on the toilet. Neither was a reason to stop. Sigh. I guess my relationship dealbreakers were allusive, arbitrary, didn't really exist.
Cruelty or pettiness, I told myself, was a reason to move on, end things, but with many I stayed after glaring episodes of both, and was just as guilty of those qualities. Even more, I tried to make things work although I knew I was despised, not forever, but long enough, and even now, over a decade later, wonder if that was comforting somehow, gazing up at that frothing anger and hatred.
No, my dating life was a game of pin ball with the magnets all out of whack. I never understood why some things failed, often just as they began, other than the obvious, which was I expected them to.
Now, when I meet people, it's impossible to guess what kind of friend he or she will be. Life in NYC, middle class (sorta) and middle aged (yes), with kids, social life is certainly social, as much as ever, but, well, not generally fueled by the messy stuff of intimacy or difficulty or urgency, as in youth. Your best friend you see three times a year, then there are a parade of people you may hang out with all day, chatting about everything, laughing it up, and never see again, group setting or no. This doesn't stop me from trying to be entertaining, interested. Well, maybe it does a little.
Still, when I meet someone and they ask me if my glasses are prescription, I'm thinking maybe what they are really saying is, "I've only just met you, but am hoping you're a fraud and a tool and extremely vain." I answer, "Yes, I can't see three feet without them. I've needed glasses since I was eleven, and worn a succession of these frames since I was 19 in 1987."
Fair or not, what I'm thinking is Dealbreaker.
Of course, I'm probably also thinking, "This person is on to me."