A friend of mine recently told me how she’d ended an otherwise fantastic relationship with her then boyfriend because she wasn’t comfortable with being a couple of months older than him. Though I did not say anything at the time, I felt some anger on behalf of the guy. She said after she broke up with him, he wasn’t talking to her for a while. But apparently they’re friends now. I have to say kudos to him. If I were in his shoes, I wonder if I’d have been able to let it go.
I know choosing a partner is an intensely personal decision and I have no right to comment on people’s choices. But c’mon people, some of the discriminating factors are just trivial. Two months older? Really? Eh? Why? How?
So here are some of the discriminants people use and why I think they shouldn’t apply.
1. Age:- Except for pedophilia, I believe age alone shouldn’t be a disqualifying factor. If every other thing seems to be well, don’t give up on the relationship because she’s older or because he’s 10 years older. Give it a shot. Everyone deserves a chance. Ruling out people when you haven’t given them the opportunity to show who they are is just wrong. It’s Wrong!
2. Skin Color:- Now, most people who are racist in choosing their partners are usually looking at more than just the skin color. It’s usually that the person with a different skin color probably has a different cultural context and so getting along is that much harder. But I have another friend who has told me that she simply will not entertain any fair-skinned guy no matter how much she likes him. Her rationale? Since she knows she prefers darker skinned guys, she’ll always be wondering about the road not taken. And if one day she met someone who was just as cool as the light-skinned guy and this person was dark-skinned, she might just dump the light-skinned guy for our new black brother. TRAGIC!!
3. Wealth:- Of course, money is a very important factor in a good relationship/marriage. And I believe there is a positive correlation between the amount of money a family has and the stability of the relationship. Now before you start attacking me, I’m not saying all relationships with money are great and all poor people are doomed to a break up. I’m just saying that the tendency is that when there’s money available, there are fewer issues to worry about and the relationship tends (and I repeat, tends) to be more stable. I think we all know enough exceptions to know it’s not fixed. Having said that, disqualifying someone simply because of their financial status is (as someone I know would put it) “not the best”. People have potential. You never know who will win a lottery or start a small business that will grow explosively or lose 80% of their net worth in a recession or be falsely(or truly) charged with financial or political crimes and lose all their wealth. Of course there’s also that typical African situation where the rich husband dies young and his family come and take all the property and leave the woman with nothing. So, basically, the point I’m making once again, is that the person be given a chance and not blacklisted on first meeting.
4. Height:- This one really, really, hurts me. I mean think of all the guys who are under 5’5 who would die single if we all stuck hard and fast to “guy taller than girl philosophy”. Once again, yet another friend who had been asked out by a guy she liked. Again, everything was cool. Just as she liked, except his height. She wasn’t so tall and he wasn’t a Goliath either. And so, yet another relationship failed to kick of for the sake of this discriminant.
This list could go on and on. Weight, baldness, breast size and just about every physical attribute. The point is, people are more than the sum of their parts. Character goes beyond all these criteria and love triumphs them all. So if there’s some guy or girl you’re holding out on because they laugh weird or they have facial hair where you wish they didn’t, break down those barriers you’ve built and give them a chance.