Woman seeking emotional stability uses dating profile to weed out potentially incompatible matches


After being in several emotionally unhealthy relationships, my cousin decided to “knit” her dealbreakers into the conversation early on. Sometimes she would mention her non-negotiables before the conversation moved off the app. For example, if she didn’t want to date someone who smoked cigarettes, she would write something like, “I’m a nonsmoker, so I’d prefer to date someone who doesn’t smoke.”

This allowed her to avoid wasting time chatting with people she wasn’t compatible with and also helped to weed out potential red flags early on.

But there was one item on her list that seemed to be triggering for many potential prospects — emotional stability.

“In the past, I’ve dated people who were emotionally unavailable, volatile, and generally unstable,” she wrote in her profile. “It’s not fun being with someone who is always on an emotional roller coaster.”

As a result, my cousin found that potential partners were often put off by her mention of emotional stability. They would either ghost her or reply with something snarky and dismissive such as, “Who isn’t emotionally unstable these days?”

Another problem she ran into was meeting people who did not perceive themselves as emotionally unstable but who she quickly realized weren’t a good match.

“I’ve dated people who seemed perfectly fine at first, but then I got to know them better, and it became clear that they were actually quite unstable,” she said. “It’s not always easy to spot the signs early on.”

Several women in our friend group think she’s “shooting herself in the foot” by putting so much information in her profile, but my cousin begs to differ.

“I’d rather have fewer matches and know that they’re compatible with me,” she said. “It saves a lot of time and energy.”

I think my cousin might be on to something. With the vast array of potential partners out there, it makes sense to be specific about what you’re looking for. Of course, there’s always a risk that you’ll scare off potential matches, but, in my opinion, it’s better to know upfront if someone isn’t a good fit for you.

What do you think? Is my cousin’s approach too much, or do you think it’s a smart way to filter out incompatible matches? Let us know in the comments!

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Intimacy & Relationship coach, writer, and creator of The Sensuality Project. I specialize in Relationship-ing (it's a verb).

Los Angeles County, CA

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