The very simple concept of honesty tripped several people up, which was a shocker to me.

“Must have a legitimate, legal income and pay taxes” became my second non-negotiable.

They were deal breakers before I created the non-negotiable list.

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Five years ago, I paid off my credit cards and have lived without one ever since.

I don’t want a mate living large while breaking the bank account. I just want my potential mate to have a good plan in place to handle any existing debt and any big purchases in the future.

My friends now think the five non-negotiables are a brilliant idea.

My mother, who does not pry into my personal life beyond asking if I am happy, was encouraging and kept telling me to stick with the non-negotiables, despite the level of complexity they added to my dating life.

This is a bit of a spin off of the first non-negotiable and was put in place to make sure my mate would not be involved in illicit activities.

Drug dealing, gun running, auto theft, human trafficking, making methamphetamine, counterfeiting, money laundering, tax evasion, and engaging in acts of prostitution are all deal breakers.

I made this a non-negotiable because I do not want to spend any length of time in an intimate setting with someone who would call me names when angry with me or who would ignore a safe word.

Finishing up the list of non-negotiables is “must be able to stand on own — pay own bills and have a handle on debt.” I have been paying my bills on my own since I graduated college.

The first non-negotiable is “no lying or deceiving — must always be honest.” I spent three years in a relationship with someone who lied about everything and hid illegal activities and infidelities with ease.