What Are Your 5 Non-Negotiables?

The New York season of “The Millionaire Matchmaker” has been a little rough to watch so far. Between Patti Stanger’s broken engagement, her emotional outbursts (mostly at the new intern), and her total lack of comprehension of the NYC dating scene, she’s been in a noticeably foul mood. However, her concept of the five non-negotiables, which she’s been pushing hard this season, is rather brilliant. She typically uses it to get douchebag dudes to stop being delusional about what kind of women will actually be willing to shack up with them, but I decided to give the exercise a whirl myself. Of course, I have that wish list that every single woman has, you know, the one with the hundreds of qualities that her dream guy will possess. I know, keep dreamin’, sister. But seriously, I do think it was a helpful exercise to pare that long-ass list down to the absolute essentials. After the jump, I and some other Frisky staffers share our five non-negotiables. Share yours in the comments.


  1. A “mensch.” A Yiddish term for “a person of integrity and honor.” Integrity and honor. WORD.
  2. Chemistry. Can’t describe it, but you know if when you feel it. Gotta have it.
  3. Intelligence. There are different kinds of intelligence, but ours have to intersect in some fashion.
  4. Sense of humor. He has to make me laugh or at the very least has to laugh at all of my jokes. Because I’m funny, dammit!
  5. Self-awareness. Has taken a flashlight and shined it inside himself and didn’t freak out. He is dedicated to continuing to grow as a person.


  1. Wants kids. Not “maybe wants kids someday” because that is too amorphous for me. WANTS F**KING KIDS FOR SURE. Period. And not in 10 years when my eggs are all dried up but some 26-year-old’s are not.
  2. A sense of humor. He makes me laugh, but, frankly more importantly, I make HIM laugh. I am funny and I want a dude who gets that.
  3. Politically liberal. I may be able to have sex with someone whose views on the world are diametrically opposed to mine, but I can’t BE with someone who thinks abortion should be illegal, or that brown people are stealing our jobs, or that gay people shouldn’t get married.
  4. The desire to travel and try new things. I can’t get down with someone who won’t try new foods or doesn’t have a desire to visit far-off places. A desire to travel to Europe — just Europe! — does not count.
  5. Serious sexual chemistry. I know this waxes and wanes and changes over the course of a relationship, but I want to find someone who I can generally get super horny for and gets super horny for me, even if we end up only getting super horny for each other, like, once a week.



  1. Must have all the limbs a human is meant to have.
  2. The ability to laugh at himself and not take himself too seriously.
  3. Intelligent without being annoying about how much he knows.
  4. Must not be overly religious. Believing in a higher power is preferred to being religious. But atheist takes the cake.
  5. Must want children and a wife.


  1. Must make me feel loved, adored, and respected.
  2. Must be passionate about something–be it his career, something he’d someday like to be, or a hobby.
  3. Must be a physical person. As in someone who’s affectionate and wants sex often.
  4. Must want to experience things — to travel and to go to shows, readings, parties, restaurants, etc. As well as the quieter things, like taking long walks, sitting in parks, and staying in and enjoying each other’s company.
  5. Must be open to having kids, eventually.

Well, I have found the Ricky to my Lucy. So here are the top five things I love about my boyfriend David and why I think our relationship has endured. These are my “five non-negotiables.”

  1. Open-mindedness. Willing to hear new ideas, consider new points of view and hear me out on anything. Our upbringings were similar, but our careers and interests are very different, so we have lots to talk about and figure out about our lives together. Maybe we’ll always live on the East Coast, maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll have kids, maybe we won’t. I like how I don’t know how the rest of my life is going to look!
  2. He’s kind and fair. He is just a good, good, good person. He is generous to complete strangers and is as kind to them as he is to my own mother and father. His kindness and integrity really are the most attractive things about him to me.
  3. He treats me with respect. I dated guys for waaaaay too long who were rude or belittling to me. I didn’t have such great self-esteem so I stayed with guys because I don’t think I believed I could do any better. Even when we disagree or argue, I feel valued and respected. There’s nothing worse than someone who doesn’t fight fair.
  4. Smart, but silly. I learn from him every day and he learns from me. But we are actually the two silliest people in the world together. I love how we can have a deep discussion one minute and be talking in goofy voices the next. I know exactly how to make him laugh and I love when I can get him in stitches.
  5. He makes me feel beautiful and loved. I’m not the kind of girl who wears a lot of makeup or fussy outfits, but he makes me feel beautiful every day. I know I am pretty in his eyes. Even though he tells me he loves me all the time, I feel loved by the way he cooks me my favorite pasta sauce for dinner every weekend or took care of me when I had the flu. He tells me but he shows me, too. (And of course, I think he’s pretty cute, too!)


  1. Generosity: Doesn’t matter how much he has, just a willingness to share it with me.
  2. Family-Minded: Loves my folks and wants a close-knit crew of his own.
  3. Positive outlook: Cheezeballs as it sounds, he’s gotta be a glass half-full kinda guy.
  4. Friendly and social: He hearts parties and hanging out with pals. The dude can schmooze up a room.
  5. New Yorker for life: Wants to live in NYC foreva and evah.

So — what are your five non-negotiables?