Choosing romantic partners

So, dating. I have a rich history of choosing partners who don’t work and enjoy substances to excess. In the past, when I began to get to know someone, I made a lot of excuses for behavior I didn’t care for (They’re tired, they didn’t mean it that way. She’s under a lot of pressure. I must have misunderstood….). Then, lo and behold…those things later annoy the hell out of me because that was actually just them being them, when I thought it was them under pressure. Nope, that’s their normal – and I’m learning okay, they get to be whatever they decide, but I don’t have to choose them in the first place.

I’m hoping this is making sense.

So, new person comes into my life – we spend a LOT of time texting, talking on phone, video chat. There are things I like about her but I’m really noticing she never asks anything about me – talks about herself pretty much exclusively. I think – okay, note to self: This would really bother you in a few weeks when you realized this is just who they are – call it self absorbed or whatever, it doesn’t matter, this is not a characteristic you would enjoy being in relationship with! I mentally file this away and move this person in my mind from “potential partner” to “we can be friends” and I’m actually good with this.

But….then I think, am I creating a manual? for people I’m not even IN relationship with? We all have traits and habits that might be annoying, me included! Is me saying to myself, ok, this would not be a good match for me (when in the past all they had to do was express interest and I was all in), is this some kind of manual? This is NEW for me, and I’m second guessing myself!