Are you drama-free?

One of the most common items I see listed under men’s “What I’m looking for” area in online profiles is “drama free.”

It makes me scratch my head wondering why it’s so common.

I guess some women (and of course, some men) live a life full of drama. The bad kind that comes from obnoxious exes, demanding baby daddies, overdue bills, kids running amok, overbearing bosses, to name just a few.

It’s understandable that a man would not want this stress added to his life from a woman he’s dating. I wouldn’t like it either. I hate dealing with people whose lives are a mess, even if some of that mess is not initiated by them.

But we all have setbacks. It’s not the setbacks, but how we deal with them that makes our life full of drama or not. I know some people have little control over their some of their circumstances, but you always have control over how much negative situations affect you.

For example, a gal pal has an overbearing, inappropriate boss. The woman boss spends hours on Facebook each day, posting pictures and commenting on her friends’ pages — even though it’s against company policy. She also reads aloud x-rated texts from her boyfriend — in front of my pal.

My friend has a lot of stress around this as she has to do a large part of her boss’ job since her boss is goofing off so much. She’s complained to HR but they say they can’t do anything unless the allegations can be proved.

The only thing my pal can do is work to not let it get her blood pressure up.

I know it’s not easy to remain unruffled by challenges you face. As you get closer to someone you’re dating it’s natural to share your concerns with him. Yet men are wired to want to fix things, especially if they care for a woman. So your drama signals to him he must fix it, even if you didn’t ask him to. If he feels he can’t fix it for you, he feels emasculated.

Look at your life objectively — would someone looking in think you had a lot of drama? If so, how could you reduce it? If you can’t reduce it, then you can at least reduce how much you talk about it with someone you’re dating. Be conscious of what you share as you don’t want to overwhelm anyone with life’s dysfunctions.

Whenever a man I’m starting to get to know asks me how much drama I have in my life I ask him to define what he means by drama. I have no baby daddies, no bill collectors, no overbearing exes. However, I do have the drama of being asked to work with orphans in Cambodia, or to join a group of Americans helping kids in Turkey learn English. To me that’s drama, but the positive kind.

What’s your definition of drama? How much of it do you have in your life?

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12 responses to “Are you drama-free?”

  1. Grace Pamer Avatar

    Very little thankfully but I must be a lucky one. I have a friend who has a daily crisis. Losing house keys, car keys, having car impounded, losing dog, finding dog, losing purse, having house burgled, having back door neighbours house explode (because guy was trying to top himself by leaving gas on) – you name it, it’s happened to her and it happens to her daily. I can understand why her ex would write something like ‘no drama’ on his dating profile for sure!

    This post is getting a tweeting from me! 😉

    Have a great day

  2. Vicki Avatar

    A good book is “A Framework for Understanding Poverty.” Many people who have financial problems also just seem to have more chaotic lives in general. Since many women slip into poverty after a divorce, it’s very common for many single women to be living lives of extreme “drama”: problems getting someone to watch the kids, problems keeping the phone company from cutting them off, problems keeping their car from breaking down, problems relating to relatives, problems at work, etc. It’s sort of a domino effect.

  3. Mitsy Avatar

    A counselor told me once that when you get to be in your 40’s & 50’s, very few people don’t have some baggage that comes along with them. If you want to call that drama, then it might work the same. But what I might call drama, might be nothing to someone else. I think not having kids by several different men would be a good thing, being gainfully employed & not having bill collectors at your door would be another point in your favor. If you have kids & they are grown (or old enough to not need constant mothering), then that’s also a plus. If you have an ex-wife (or ex-husband) in your past, then getting along well enough (for kids’ sake) is also important. There are people who seem to thrive on drama & they oftentimes make their own despite their protests that it’s other people causing them issues. If someone else is causing them drama, then they need to be more firm in their boundaries. Otherwise, they carry that drama on to other relationships. No one has a stress-free life & we all have a certain amount of baggage once we reach mid-life. However, not letting that baggage get in your way is the key to limiting the “drama” in your life.

  4. Richard Avatar

    “Look at your life objectively — would someone looking in think you had a lot of drama?”

    “Drama free” is not only a state (baggage), but also an action. Are you a person that causes stress in other people’s life?

    If someone has baggage, but they are dealing with it ok, that is one thing. But, if she is a complainer, controller, or cynic, that gets old really fast. If I happen to mention Julie in a conversation, I don’t want you sulking the rest of the week.

    Someone who is a Drama Queen overacts to everything – think high maintenance, but from an emotional cost.

    Why is it so common? For the same reason that frogs become a higher and higher percentage of the dating pool. The drama free people get taken.

  5. Walker Thornton Avatar
    Walker Thornton

    I agree with Richard, drama is all about how one deals with and reacts to crisis…Or creates crisis.
    As someone else said, it’s impossible to come to the table at this point in our lives without having a little baggage–it’s the way we deal with it.
    I don’t think it’s that we put men in a place of feeling the need to ‘fix us’ as much as driving them crazy with melodrama, whining, crying or other emotions used in the drama.

  6. Beth Avatar

    Of course I have baggage… I’m almost 54 years old, I’m divorced, I have three kids, one of whom has had some medical issues over the last 4-5 years, I have debt (much more than I want and sometimes, okay, lots of times, it’s hard to keep up on the bills)… Do I want some man to come into my life as a bellhop to shoulder that load of luggage? No, it’s my burden to bear and so I shall. Do I want someone to come into my life and be supportive of my efforts and maybe provide a shoulder or a nice massage after a long day? Well, that would be nice. Do I want someone who will have a smile, a hug, a touch, a kiss to remind me (when needed) of all the good things in my life? That would be good too. Do I have drama? LOL Of course… to some degree. And I believe that anyone in my age group who claims not to have drama may not be completely honest with themselves. But that’s just me. I try to live life to the fullest. I try to contain my complaining within (or into my journal). And if I do complain about my “drama,” it’s not because I want someone to fix it, it’s because I need to get it out… to just vent for awhile. And I would expect my partner to feel able to do the same thing with me… complain about his nasty co-worker… the rough day he had at work… the unexpected “catastrophe” that he has to deal with. No problem. That’s one of many things that partners/lovers/spouses are for. To be there for each other.

  7. jeannie Avatar

    Zero drama here, no kids, no ex husbands, no overwhelming
    payments, my own boss and love my job….just having fun and wanting to have more fun!!!! Traveling is always in my agenda!!
    I do want drama free men in my life!!!!!!

  8. Janie Avatar

    Verbal diarrhea, the waterfall of words, the fear of a prolonged silence –I can relate.

  9. John Avatar

    Baggage and Drama are way different.

    Think “Drama Queen” – and that is someone that is always making a big deal out of something.

    Think “Drama”, and it is the fallout of someone whom things, all kinds of things, just find happening to them.

  10. Tracey Avatar

    Is it drama or emotional unavailability? My ex couldn’t handle so much as a “what happened at work today” story. I “stressed him out”. He kept me at arm’s length for 15 years, then I gave up. THEN he wanted to change but due to other factors it was too late and we divorced after 18 years. My boyfriend enjoys my work/life stories, and I his. Crap happens – it’s how you deal with it that makes it a drama or just an anecdote at day’s end.

  11. Shandra Avatar

    Some people manufacture drama just to make their lives more exciting.

    There is “real” drama, the kind that might be an inevitable side effect of some unfortunate life circumstance; but there is also artificially created drama, which nobody wants or needs.

    Honestly, I found when dating that far too many men were drawn towards women who created lots of drama in their lives. These men said they wanted an exciting woman. A nice woman living a simple life just wasn’t good enough for them. I often heard them complain that too many nice women were just boring. Consequently, many of those men wound up with women who were gold diggers, addicts, had personality disorders or cheated on them. All I can say is, they got what they wanted.