Girl’s Best Friend: Don’t Lose a Good Man Over Picky Pet Peeves
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Ameriie’s hit song “1 Thing” never gets old for me. The track applauds the one thing about a potential beau that is driving her crazy – in the right way. So much so, in fact, that it has her “trippin’.” We’ve all been there. Whether it’s the way someone laughs, walks or speaks that turns us on, there’s always just that one thing about that special person. Unfortunately, sometimes the opposite is true, and there’s just one thing that annoys the hell out of us about the one we’re with, and that’s just no fun.

My sister-friend just started dating a guy six weeks ago that she really likes. He is intelligent, worldly and they have similar interests. He has a great job and is well established in his career. At 35, he is an anomaly. He has never been married and has no kids. For all intents and purposes, he is an ideal catch except for this one thing. Well, actually two in this case – she hates the way he eats and his haircut.

My sister-friend can be a bit persnickety about manners, especially table etiquette. So, you can imagine the horror she encountered when she discovered the guy was no student of Emily Post. She said that she couldn’t even enjoy their first dinner because he talked while chewing and chewed very loudly. He also, “Has a way of slurping his drink like a slushee from the convenience store.”  At first, I thought she was exaggerating until I went out with them to eat, and boy is she right. It’s definitely an issue.

Surprisingly, his lack of table etiquette isn’t the biggest deal breaker for her. Homeboy is caught in a bit of a time warp and is still rocking a somewhat updated version of the 90s high-top fade. (Emphasis on somewhat.) Still, he is a handsome guy and was dressed very nicely the three times I have met him. A fade, however, would do him a world of good.

My sister-friend was ready to throw in the towel and move on to the next. In our search for perfection, I believe we let some superficial things get in the way of our happiness. I’m certainly not a proponent of the fixer-up man, but correctable attributes like dining habits and haircuts shouldn’t be deal breakers. I encouraged her to keep dating him and then, when they get to know each other better attempt to give some helpful suggestions about his etiquette and haircut taste.  She agreed to try.

With that said, I do have a personal caveat and exception to this advice. I once dated someone whose voice raked my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. All other aspects were perfect except that voice. I tried to get over it and ultimately just couldn’t. You can change someone’s hair, but you definitely can’t change someone’s voice.

Dating is hard for everyone these days. If you find a potential mate who has that one thing (or two) that gets on your nerves it might be worth it to overlook it if its something you can work on or at least give it enough time to see whether it’s something you can learn to overlook or not. If not, it might just be this one thing that has you steppin’.

Wishing you LOVE & CEASLESS JOY!  

Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.

Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.