I was reading some of the other discussion topics but I was surprised I didn't see this already addressed. So my question is, what are your deal breakers? 

I have more than a few but some things are negotiable. However there are some absolute deal breakers. 

3. More than one small child. I'm not even sure I can handle one but I know more than one is too much obligation.

2. Neediness (is that a word?). This is usually tied into insecurity on their part. I shouldn't feel obligated to tell him he's a pretty princess everyday.

And number one on the charts is...

Bad Breath! How some people don't find their to the dentist regularly or (gasp) never floss, I'll never understand. 

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I used to list only two requirements/dealbreakers: 1) no smoking (at least, not so I can detect it); 2) I don't want to have kids of my own (although if someone already has them, that might be OK, as I'm generally good not only with animals but with children, too). I became aware from experience that I had to add a third: 3) the desire for lots of sex and the self-knowledge that she enjoys sex. I've also become aware that I will want to make sure that any prospective partner is aware of some of the things Deborah Tannen has to say about language affects relationships, and of some of the results of Prof. Ted Huston's PAIR project. I want someone who, like me, couldn't imagine simply leaving a relationship out of the blue, or after the first fight.

I'm very tolerant, so it's hard to say what else I require. However, a religious believer or a political conservative might find it hard to tolerate *me*. (Religious believers tend to have this "I want to meet my beloved in the afterlife" desire, and the belief that they wouldn't meet me there unless I converted--which isn't going to happen.) My ex-wife got into tarot reading and Earth-mother religion, and although I could tolerate that in her--while letting her know what I thought of it--she had trouble with knowing what I thought of it. Many people seem to have the feeling that if you disagree with them, then you don't really love them as people--that to love them, you have to place value on every aspect of their being, and if you strongly disagree with them on some meaning-of-life issue, then you simply don't value *them*. (Sigh.)

I will add that I think that for the most part, love comes from within; one chooses to permit himself to love person X, and does so. Some magical match-made-in-Heaven isn't necessary.

I've recently started watching old programs on hulu.com--an episode of I Spy, one of The Night Gallery, and several old Nanny and the Professor episodes. A sexually-charged Phoebe Figalilly would be great! (Laugh)
I'm glad I'm not the only person who is willing to admit that sex exists and doing it frequently enough is important. I get the impression that people who are religious and/or have socially conservative attitudes think s-x is a necessary evil that exists only to have children, although I'm not against having a kid who would be more time efficient than I was and I would do more with him/her than my parents did with me, and he/she would enjoy doing hobbies and activities and games and maybe learning or reading books, and would not be taught to waste time doing a religion or to have time-wasting obsessive-compulsive beliefs and behaviors like what I use to have, which came from Judaism. Also, I have briefly read articles that explain that psychologists agree that in order to have a good relationship a couple must have s-x frequently enough.

If my partner makes me feel threatened or anxious, that's ungood. Violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse... yeah that doesn't work.
I would really like someone with ambition, a bright outlook, emotional stability, and who cares about their health even if they aren't perfect (I'm far from it).
If a guy was extremely religious, we'd have to get a good understanding at least or else we'd just hurt one another.
If he had beliefs that were racist, homophobic, sexist, etc... I don't know that I could respect that.
I definitely prefer someone easy to talk to, don't know that I would want to spend my life with someone I couldn't get thoughtful with.

If I get a super-shallow one: blonde eyelashes are kinda weird. :P
really blonde eyelashes? Interesting
If my partner makes me feel threatened or anxious, that's ungood. Violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse... yeah that doesn't work.

Really? That even needs to be put in there as a qualifier? That isn't just sort of understood?

If a guy was extremely religious, we'd have to get a good understanding at least or else we'd just hurt one another.

If you're even vaguely thinking about kids, I don't see how this could work at all.

If I get a super-shallow one: blonde eyelashes are kinda weird. :P

Actually, I can sort of see this one. It's nothing I'd put in as any kind of deal breaker, but I can see what you mean about weird. Most blonds don't even have blond eyelashes though, do they? Doesn't it take something on the level of albinism to pull it off?
I must say, you are a very open minded person.
Smoking. Number one, above all else, deal breaker.

Hygene/not taking care of oneself. I attract my fair share of mud and dirt, have been known to run into the bathroom for a quick pitt-wash because my d.o. is wearing off, and I've got about 30 pounds that don't need to be there. But some folks ... when the weight starts to interfere with one's functioning, it's seriously time to cut down on the junk food. And it's called 'soap' people. Learn how it works.

Kids; with few exceptions. I suppose if someone has truly raised independent children, fine. But I want to date you, not your family.

Need to be on the same page politically, or at least in the same chapter.

No Theists, with few exceptions (a philosophical Buddhist or Shinto, a lapsed Hindu, a not-so-heavy-on-the-woo neo-Pagan).
1) Must be dedicated to continuous self-education. I just can't respect someone as a potential, intimate partner if the only 'literature' they read is by Stephanie Meyer.

2) Must not be emotionally needy. I am, of course, not claiming she must be a Stoic. But I've had two prior girlfriends who eventually needed to hear 'I love you' every couple hours, or they began to shrivel like grapes-into-raisins. That's a bad place to be.

3) Must be capable of self-locomotion, which is to say, must see the great capacity for action in the world and in herself. I've met some people who I think were chronically unable to produce ATP.

4) Must have a healthy understanding of sex.

5) Must not be religious, with some exceptions. I know at least one deist who is positively ravishing.

Kinda icky to put it in terms of 'must,' but I'd say I could allow very few exceptions to the above list.
It is nice that someone else is willing to admit that sex is important. I have never been in any kind of relationship but based on a few online conversations I have had with girls, if I didn't know any better, I would assume that all women are revolted or disgusted by the subject; it seems that you are not supposed to mention it around polite company.
I've only got 3. Religion (duh), smoking, and pets.

I've tried dating Christian girls. No matter how much they insist that they understand and won't try to force their religion on me, after a few months together, they start wondering why I continually refuse to go to church with them. I just completely gave up after the first few and said no more.

To many Christians have this mental block that prevents them from accepting that anyone could actually not believe in God. We're just mad at him for some reason, or we don't want to give up our Sundays. And most Christian girls will endlessly try to convert you, after you've been dating long enough for them to try exerting their influence, even if they do truly understand what being an Atheist means.

I just got this sort of ignorance off of a guy at work, only two days ago. When I told him I was raised in the Catholic church but was never Catholic and was Atheist the whole time, he immediately asked me 5 different ways what sort of bad experience I had had and what would make me forgive God. They just don't freaking get it!

Smoking is pretty straightforward. When I'm around cigarette smoke for very long, I get dizzy and have to sit down. Throwing up afterward seems to be optional.

Then I've just got too much past, emotional trauma involving pets. My mother and one of my aunts both turned their houses into pet sanctuaries. My mother had 7 dogs, at one point, 3 cats, and a few birds. My aunt had a couple dogs, a couple cats, and 100+ small birds and rodents of various sorts.

Neither my father nor my uncle were pet people, and they got their houses turned into complete disasters by pets. I can't even walk into my mother's house for more than 4 or 5 minutes without starting to itch over every inch of my body. I have no allergies. I just have very slightly sensitive skin, and her house is just that bad.

A girl can tell me that we'll just have one dog, and she'll clean the house so well that you won't be able to tell we even have a pet ... but I just keep seeing what my mother did to my father, and I start having anxiety issues about the future of the relationship.

Oh, and I really want kids. I almost forgot that one. I don't know if it counts as a deal breaker, but it's pretty important to me.

The rest is just little personality stuff. I have OCD, so general cleanliness/hygiene is important, and there are random personality traits that are good, but that all goes on such a sliding, gray scale. I can't see anything like that fitting into a deal breaker analysis.
It's funny, but I don't take people's questions about bad religious experiences or the like as upsetting; rather, I take them as opportunities to explain why I don't believe in God and why they shouldn't, either, by talking about why we hold beliefs about the world (because we think they're true) and why we think beliefs are true (because we have good reason, either evidential or inferential) and explaining that I think there is no good reason to think that God exists. Ontological arguments don't work; cosmological arguments, even if they worked, wouldn't get you a God-like being (and certainly wouldn't get you an afterlife) but would only establish that *something* necessarily existed (possibly the universe itself, or simply metaphysical reality) or that there was a First Cause (possibly the initial event in the universe, or possibly a cosmic "on" switch), and so on; arguments from design don't work (even if the fine-tuning argument worked, it would only get you that there was a reason why the fundamental constants' taking life-friendly values in this universe should not be surprising--it wouldn't tell you anything about what that reason was.

I actually enjoy discussing theology. I once had a roommate for two years who, halfway through our time as roommates, converted to a rather fundamentalist brand of Christianity. But she was still a rational person, and she and I had many enjoyable theological discussions.

The trouble comes not when a religious believer believes in God and I don't--one can treat that as being like one person's agreeing with Hume and another with Berkeley; the trouble comes when there are real-life, conflict-causing consequences of such belief--like the desire to meet one's spouse in the afterlife, which will only happen (or so it is believed) if that spouse is also a God-believer. Otherwise, however, kindness matters more to me than intellect, and more than intellectual agreement.
I wouldn't say that it's upsetting, just frustrating when you're trying to have a discussion with someone and so many of their preconceptions of Atheism are so @#$%^& up ... and once you explain the reality to them, they start insisting that you're not being honest with yourself. I was even an altar boy for 4 or 5 years, before I finally was able to start ditching CCD and church, around 14 or 15 years old. Mass was pleasant, if a bit dull. I have no anger at God, because he doesn't exist. I reserve my anger for what His followers run around doing.

This guy at work actually had a personal experience, involving demons attacking him in the flesh, when he was giving up his drinking and partying days, to dedicate his life to Jesus. He explains that demons will try to get rid of people or at least scare them away from Christ, when they become a threat to Satan's plans, and that's why people who aren't Christian won't get attacked, since we're not a threat to him. I don't get to have any personal evidence of the supernatural, because Satan doesn't consider me a threat. And God is apparently too much of an ass to provide any evidence to win me over to his side.

The big problem is that he got attacked by demons while he was going through detox for alcohol addiction. One of the well-known symptoms of alcohol withdrawal is hallucinations, including even tactile hallucinations. If you have a bit of a religious bent, that will steer the hallucinations you get. Alcohol withdrawal is serious stuff. It's one of the few drug addictions that can kill you when you're detoxing.

Otherwise, however, kindness matters more to me than intellect, and more than intellectual agreement.

Obviously, kindness is important, but intellect is equally so, for me. I'm a very intellectual person, majorly into science and politics. I have a few friends who aren't up at my level, intellectually, but I need someone I can at least relate to, intellectually, if I'm going to remain interested in her as a life partner.




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