Dating these days is a minefield, and with online dating as popular as it is, the temptation for people to live by rules and lists is ever increasing. When you can tick boxes and accept or discard people based on what’s written down in a profile – people begin shopping for potential dates like they would groceries – and if the apple isn’t *exactly* the right colour of green they don’t put it in the trolley let alone proceed to check out.

Whats the danger in this? Well, not a lot – if you want to be single for the rest of your life and miss out on meeting some amazing people and, potentially, the love of your life.

If however, you are dating online to meet a potential partner rather than fill your time endlessly messaging people you have no intention of ever meeting, then it’s time to throw away your list and keep an open-mind.

Think your deal-breakers are non-negotiable? Here’s why what you think will break a relationship could actually end up making it.

He has ‘baggage’ 

Baggage? Love it! Not only does a bit of history show that a man has lived a bit, but it also means he is likely to have the maturity and foresight (with the experience of having been there and done that) to work at things a bit harder the second time around.

So long as he’s not in the middle of a bitter court battle or has an ex who sees it her job to phone you up and abuse you nightly, than hell, crack on.

He hasn’t got baggage

He’s forty-five and has never been married! What’s wrong with him!?

Nothing – that’s what. Times change, as do people’s priorities, just because a man hasn’t followed the exact path that society expects of him it doesn’t mean there is anything ‘wrong’ with him. It means he’s sensible enough not to dive into a life-time of commitment with the first girl who’s willing, because that’s what people expect of him – and all credit to that.

Anyway, stones, glass houses … just saying.

English isn’t his first language 

Fantastic! So you might not be debating the pros and cons of nuclear energy with your Spanish lover anytime soon, but who needs that when you have the language of love!

Mixed nationality relationships are amazing, not only will he have you swooning every time he opens his mouth but think of the weekend away potential. Three days in Birmingham or a long weekend in Barcelona?

Hashtag no brainer.

He’s older than you 

Older men bring a lot to the table, I don’t mind telling you. Not only wise and worldly, but they can be super sexy too. An older man won’t hold you back, quiet the opposite, he’ll have his own ‘life’ in place so that you can maintain yours and you simply serve to enhance each other without the faff and drama of relationships closer in age.

… Or younger 

Sex. That is all.

So what if he’s not marriage material, who needs a wedding ring when you’re having amazing sex fourteen times a week.

He votes differently to you 

Wouldn’t life be boring if we all thought the same? And whilst I wouldn’t put money on a  UKIP voter staying happily married to a Liberal Democrat for eternity, there is no reason that voting differently to your partner should be a problem.

You’re both adults, are you not, who respect other peoples views and opinions? Then crack on. If nothing else, you’ll never have a dull moment over dinner – and a bit of banter and debate is far more fun than agreeing with everything your partner says.

He’s not a high earner

But he’s passionate, ambitious and creative. Money isn’t everything, and although, of course, we all like the idea of being treated now and again, a man with a passion for life and his purpose is far sexier than a man with a passion for nothing but money.

Ps. A tip – men with loads of dosh are usually a***holes anyway.

He doesn’t look like David Gandy

Urgg, whatever. Women who only date hot guys are superficial and have no personalities. If your priority in life is finding a man with a six-pack you really need to consider what’s going to happen when he loses that six-pack and starts thinning on top because here’s the deal – looks don’t last, charm and personality do.

So if you really want a long-lasting relationship you should worry less about somebody being picture perfect and more about what constitutes real chemistry and attraction.

He’s a mummy’s boy 

Oh man, good luck – even I can’t help you with that one.