I have a friend who blogs about dating. She’s a good decade younger than I am, and sometimes I enjoy taking a trip down memory lane to revisit the anxieties of singledom that I, too, once experienced through a much different lens than I do now. (In fact, I don’t have a lick of anxiety about being single just now…no ticking clock, no need for a partner, etc…)
So this post on imagining the worst kind of cracked me up. Turns out, my feelings about the worst thing you could learn about someone you’re dating are not that much different than this 20-Nothing’s list. STDs, bankruptcy, dishonesty, debt, violent crimes — yep, those pretty much top my list, too.
And I think being forty and having seen a lot of relationship “stuff” in the past couple of decades, one tends to mellow to a lot of the ethical conundrums that would have been deal-breakers at a younger age. And, in present tense, they may be deal breakers now…but to learn that someone we like may have made a misstep in his or her “youth” no longer evokes the same harsh moral judgement as it would have a decade ago.
Having been through a rocky relationship, I’ve experienced rage, temptation and vulnerability, meanwhile behaving at times in ways that are difficult to reconcile with the woman I know as me. We are all human and fallible, and my attitude toward many indiscretions has softened as a result of my experience.
To summarize, I still think STDs and murder top this list, though it’s something I don’t spend much time pondering. And I’d probably add “failing to provide for one’s children” — that’s right up there for me, too.