Why yes, I read this post by Ferrett ages ago and am only just now getting around to blogging about it 🙂 The gist of it is that if it comes up naturally, he’s going to talk about how great his other partners are and if that’s a problem for you then you shouldn’t date him.
That seems pretty reasonable, right? I mean, if you never want to hear about your partner’s other partners, wouldn’t you want to know that this new guy is likely to squee about his partners before you get attached? That’s why I was surprised by the amount of pushback in the comments. According to a bunch of people, it’s terrible to warn people about stuff that might be a dealbreaker for them before they even start dating you. Yeah, I’m confused too.
Using myself as an example, I swear a lot (which I’m sure comes as a terrible shock to my regular readers). Even if I were willing to rein that in for a friend or play partner (which I’m not, but that’s a separate issue), they would have to accept that I would occasionally fuck it up. If you don’t like to hear any swearing at all, I am simply not the right person to spend time with. Now, if I waited until you were attached to me to spring that on you, that would be a dick move at best and coercive at worst. But if I tell you right up front that I often swear, now you can make an informed decision about whether to spend time around me.
I fully understand that some people don’t like swearing and they have every right to decide what kind of language they want in their life. I’m still not willing to change the way I talk. If you don’t want to hear any swear words, we’re just incompatible. That seems pretty important to know up front and that’s really all Ferret’s doing. He’s not saying “thou shalt tolerate me gushing about my other partners whether thou likest it or not!” he’s saying “This is how I behave on dates. Keep it in mind when you decide whether or not to date me.”
My best guess is that what people were really freaking out about was Ferrett’s refusal to change his behaviour. I can kinda sorta maybe see the argument that not gushing about your other partners shouldn’t be that hard to do for somebody you like enough to date, but it’s fucking exhausting to watch what you say all the time. Either way, that’s who Ferrett is and it’s kind of a dick move to tell people they can’t be who they naturally are because some theoretical future partner might not like it.
Lots of people are incompatible with each other for all sorts of reasons, I just don’t see what’s such a big deal about that. And you know, I wish more people were that open and honest about stuff they do that’s not going to change. I mean, how many awful sad stories have you read about people who’s partners told them they could change, only to slowly and painfully figure out that actually they couldn’t change and eventually that killed the relationship? Kinky guys who thought they could ignore it, I’m looking at you. Seriously, if someone tells you about an issue that’s a dealbreaker for you before you even start dating them, that’s a fucking gift and you should be grateful, not pissy. Blunt discussions of dealbreakers forever!
Readers, how do you feel about dealbreakers? Would you rather hear about them before you get attached or do you want a chance to get to know people and make decisions on a case by case basis?