I was thinking about the movie "Something's Gotta Give" starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. It's about late-in-life love. Jack Nicholson looks like a gross kisser. No lips, too much wandering tongue. All attack, no flirtation. I bet no woman has even had the chutzpah to tell him about it, either. It made me realize that I need to start a list of warning signs because, really, if the kissing is bad, nothing else is gonna work out either. It's good to keep a small list of early dealbreakers; signs to pull out before sex or emotions.

No negging. When I saw all those conversations on Jezebel about negging, I just assumed that I had never been a party to it. But the more I think about it, the less certain I am. After all, everyone likes a little back-and-forth. Verbal table tennis? Maybe women just want to believe that we're receiving attention, and negging is a way, a lousy way, to prove that the other person is at least looking at you. Still, fuck you if you think you can score through magic tricks you read in a book.

No social climbers. Actually, it's a perfectly reasonable activity, but I don't do it, and I'm probably not going to fit well with a person who does. If you're worried more about what others think of you, I'm probably too much of a handful. Self-embarrassment is my social stock and trade.

No musicians.

Also, please let it be someone that thinks that I'm just swell. Really, I promise. Next time I'll take it for the compliment that it is, and not as proof of their low intelligence.


Let them leave when they want to leave. Let them not call for a week if they need the space. Give them all the freedom. Do not make claims on people that don't want it. As time goes on, I've gotten better at letting go, not questioning. There is something in me that still wants to measure the success of a relationship by how much I can demand of them. But it is the deadliest of impulses.