Every girl's got non-negotiables. Some are loud and in-your-face, while others need just a little bit of support. But most assuredly, they are there. We guys have learned to handle them delicately, with a slight hint of cupping—wait, what are we talking about again? We're all for the aggro and the hard-sell, but there are some things to back away from. Or at least, tread carefully around.
1. Taste in music.
Would you judge us based on our playlists? Like, would you scroll down the music player on our phone, your eyebrow shooting up like a bottle rocket and your mouth struggling with the sudden taste of bile, then going "You like Metallica and Black Sabbath?" And we say, "What's wrong with Metallica and Black Sabbath?" as we try to keep it all light and casual and "yeah, I'd love to know how your musical taste is much better than mine." But we can't help having a sullen, defensive tone.
You hand our phone back to us, smile, and later send us a YouTube link to a song "we just have to hear" if you haven't crossed us off your date list yet.
2. Fashion sense.
Unlike women, our brains aren't naturally updated with the latest in well-dressed software, and our clothes naturally lag a couple of seasons, if not years, behind. Dating us, then, always entails risk. First, you might hear random strangers start whispering, "How come pretty girls always have ugly boyfriends?" Second, we would be the worst fashion accessory you'll ever own. Third, we'll always run the risk of getting refused entry into a bar. But hey, that's what you call living life on the edge.
3. Being a cat person or dog person.
There are two kinds of people in the world: Batman fans and Superman fans. Or Star Trek and Star Wars. Or East Side and West Side. Or people who like Paris and people who like London. Or boys and girls. But a most unbridgeable gap lies between the tribes of dog lovers and cat lovers, who hoist their preferred pets over their heads like weapons and yell over the chasm.
There is no Romeo and Juliet story to be had here, not when a sinister cat crawls over your leg while you're sleeping in your shared apartment, or when an insane dog slobbers over your face when you come home from work. Wait, what? It's actually possible to like both? Come on, get out of here.
4. Political views.
Everything is politics. Whatever you've felt about the way the world should be run and the kind of people who should be running it has been ingrained in you since you were a kid, with all the TV shows you watched, the teachers you listened to, the books you read. Everything is politics, and politics is everything. Even the most avowedly apolitic have little kernels of politics inside their apathetic little hearts that, at the slightest bit of heat, pop out into full-blown arguments.
Okay, we are so not getting into this.
P.S. These things work both ways. Isn't that how all relationships are anyway?
This story originally appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine, May 2014.
* Minor edits have been made by Cosmo.ph editors