Is reading a deal breaker?

By Vita Forest

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My friend Vastra is another who did not think “when I grow up, I want to be a single mother…” but somehow ended up as one too, despite her best intentions.  Unlike most members of the various “First Wives Clubs” that I belong to, she decided to try diving back into the dating pool again.  (Interestingly, our male counterparts are all “settled” in new relationships, some even engaged and married.  Us females appear to be enjoying our freedom too much.)

Vastra was careful.  She was on Narcissist Alert and avoided men in certain occupations entirely.  She was not going to waste her time.  The man who neglected to mention he already had a girlfriend was definitely not an option, but another seemed more promising.  They met a few times and everything seemed to be going well, but then she discovered the deal-breaker.

He did not like to read.

Not even non-fiction.  Not even magazine articles.  Not even magazine articles on topics he was interested in, carefully saved for him by his new friend.  Other quirks had been forgiven, but after this discovery, they parted ways.  Gently of course, she was “not ready”  she didn’t want to “rush in.”  Which really meant “I want a man who reads!”

She didn’t realize “must like reading” was one of her prerequisites for a relationship.  It had seemed too obvious.  Not worth mentioning.  A given.  We pondered this story at one of our dinners and agreed she had done the right thing.  We have all had time to ruminate over what is important and what we don’t want again (when and if we are ever ready for again.  Don’t believe the Rom-coms – the single life is a good one).

Being a reader is important, being the kind of person who understands that sometimes you just absolutely have to stay up late to find out what happens next.  The kind of person who lends you their books as a sign of trust and friendship.  The kind of person who has “walked in another’s shoes” as Atticus Finch would say, and maybe learned a new perspective in the process.  Someone who may even change their original prejudices after experiencing a new world between the pages of a book.  Someone who has expanded their mind through reading.  Being a reader makes you empathetic, makes you curious, makes you a thinker.

These are the kind of men we are after.

PS. When I asked Vastra is she minded if I shared this story, she said, no worries – there is no likelihood of her ex-date ever reading this as that would require him actually reading something.  And that is not likely to happen…

Is being a reader a deal-breaker for you?

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7 thoughts on “Is reading a deal breaker?

  1. This is really funny! I’m a big reader and an author too and my husband (who I’ve been with for 11 years) doesn’t read at all. It’s never really been an issue for us as he’s obsessed with anything with an engine which doesn’t interest me so we just have our own different things. I have a sister who is into books like I am and he has a line of friends and family who join him in his workshop while I’m curled up inside with a book lol. We do discuss each other’s hobbies and he takes an interest in the things I’m reading just never quite enough of an interest to read them as well! So for me it isn’t a deal breaker but I can see why it would be for some people 😊xoxo

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    • Thanks Susanne! Glad to hear that the reading is not an issue for you. It’s also good to have separate interests isn’t it? I’m not sure whether it will be a deal-breaker for me, but I my preference would have to be for a reader I think… As I wrote, my friend Vastra didn’t know it was a deal-breaker for her until she dated a non-reader.

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  2. Toni says:

    I understand where you’re coming from Vita but really, doesn’t it sound just a tad simplistic? People’s intelligence, wit and wisdom are not necessarily because they are attached to scanning printed dead trees. It would seem to me that to have such rigid rules (i.e. must read) is to deny the possibility that rules are indeed made to be broken, that an authentic connection can occur anywhere and anytime. You might fall in love with a blind man that hasn’t read a book in years, no? It denies the universal truth that opposites can attract, and attract with a hugely powerful force. A tradesman can love an academic – why not? To think otherwise is simply to create these “boxes” which can deny you some wonderful opportunities. How do I know? Because I’m married to the most wonderful man who doesn’t share my love of books, but truly adores his music. Simply put, it’s an artistic pursuit of another type. I’m sorry, but I can’t agree, it seems shallow to me.

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