Dora Guo

Are you sick of mediocre man sex? In love with your econ TF? Worried corona has killed your love life? You’re in luck! WKND’s own anonymous love guru is here with a new biweekly column to answer your questions about all things sex, romance, and relationships at Yale. Whether you’re pining over your ex or fed up with a clingy FWB, she’s probably been in your shoes before and is ready to help. Don’t be shy: submit your questions here.

“Is it ethical to have sex with a Republican?”

That depends on whether Republicans are a dealbreaker for you. Dealbreakers — we’ve all got them, whether we’re aware of them or not. Some people are instantly turned off when they find out their prospective partner voted for Trump, or they have blue hair, or they’re in the YPU. Is it a dealbreaker if your partner’s a Republican? I can’t answer that for you.

What I can say, though, is that I once dated a guy whose family owned seven MAGA mugs — one for each member of the family plus me. I was alarmed, but it was also 2016 then. Trump was dangerous, for sure, but his election still seemed out of the realm of possibility. I deemed the MAGA merch a yellow flag, not a dealbreaker, and picked out a different mug for myself.

Now, if I found a MAGA mug at a guy’s place, I’d probably call an Uber home right away. That might make me a closed-minded snowflake, but it also means I’m aware of my own desires and boundaries. There’s no amount of charm, wit, intelligence or skill in bed that would make me feel comfortable dating someone who supports a literal demagogue who wants to oppress people who look like me.

Anyway, enough about the T-word. There are certainly many valid dealbreakers that you shouldn’t compromise. If you’re looking for someone who shares your religious faith, that makes sense. If you only want to sleep with people who believe in an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, then hey, you do you. (But also wtf?) If you’re opposed to dating anyone under 6 foot, good luck.

But wait. What if your guy’s Hinge profile says he’s 6’0”, but since everyone knows straight men add two inches to their height on dating apps, he’s really only 5’10” and that’s a dealbreaker? What if he volunteers at an animal shelter and cooks pasta from scratch and always makes sure you orgasm? Is that still a no-no?

That’s the thing with dealbreakers. Usually, they’re not actually dealbreakers. They’re just warning signs, yellow flags, a cause for pause.

Some of my so-called dealbreakers that are really just yellow flags:

  • Did DS freshman year
  • Lightweight crew
  • Active on Reddit

Some of my yellow flags that should be dealbreakers:

  • Has a bad relationship with their mother
  • Going into finance
  • On the Yale Daily News

One of my best friends says she’d never date someone with a goatee. Another has sworn off moderates and conservatives. Another says they’d never date someone who shares a name with one of their parents. (Been there, done that. It’s not so bad. Just don’t say their name during sex.)

Most of us aren’t consciously thinking about our dealbreakers when we’re dating. When I’m lying in bed drunk on Saturday night swiping on Tinder, my fingers move instinctively. Within milliseconds of glancing at someone’s profile, they know whether to swipe left or right. My Tinder dealbreakers are even narrower than my normal ones. If they’re holding a fish? Left. Salt wall at Jack’s? Left. White guy with Chinese letters in his bio? Left. “I’m 6 feet if that matters”? Left.

Instead of agonizing over all the traits we hate in a partner, I think we’d all be better off if we focused on the green flags. The qualities that signal someone is a great match for you. A rock climber? Someone who makes you laugh without trying? A good cook? Especially now, in a pandemic, when we’re stuck with dating apps to find new matches, it’s more important than ever to adopt an open mindset. Who knows, maybe the next time I see a guy holding a fish on Tinder, I’ll swipe right. He might just have all my green flags, too.

Sex on the WKND is a biweekly column dedicated to answering your questions about all things sex, love and relationships at Yale. Submit your juicy questions here and I’ll answer them next time😉

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