Deal Breakers. Everyone's got them. You know: the instant turn-offs that can turn a romantic dinner for two into an immediate request for the check. Whether we keep ours in an easily accessible mental list, or are surprised by them every time, most discerning folks will have encountered a deal breaker at some point during their dating career?
For Evan, 26, the issues is smokers. "Lighting up is about the least sexy thing a woman can do. No matter how hot she is, cigarettes are an instant turn off. Everything about it, the smell, the look, the health hazard, just doesn't do it for me." For Rebecca, a thirty year-old musician the answer is obvious. "If I am out with a guy and he makes racist, sexist or homophobic comments, I know I will never see him again. I just don't have time to school a guy after only meeting him once." Thirty-five year-old Amanda lists several deal breakers including: living at home, being unemployed and having significantly different politics. "At this stage in my life," she says, "I need someone who has their life in order and who I won't have to fight with every time I open the newspaper."
Some deal breakers don't become apparent until a date is already in progress. Jeremy a twenty-nine year old massage therapist recounts his worst dating experience. "I asked out a woman who I work with. We had dinner and then went to a local bar. I was having a really good time but when we got the bar, the bouncer asked to see her ID. He took one look at it and declared it a fake. Then he confiscated the thing and warned us never to come back unless we wanted him to call the cops! She was mortified and admitted she was only nineteen. I really liked her, but I couldn't imagine going out with a teenager."
Some deal breakers can make perfect sense. Being rude to a waiter, stinginess and incessant ramblings about an ex are clear mood killers. Others are less obvious. People cite everything from a date owning a dog, to being a caffeine drinker, suggesting a vegetarian restaurant or refusing to see anything but art-house flicks, as reasons that a second date will not be in the cards.
For those individuals who know what they can and cannot tolerate in a potential partner, internet dating can be a lifesaver. It is pretty easy to state on a profile that the person you are looking for needs to be employed, able to figure out an appropriate tip and not turn up in sandals and socks. For those who are less sure of a deal breaker until presented with the request for a personal medical history, suggestion that the second date be held at a nudist camp or a car radio tuned into smooth jazz, the situation can be a little trickier. But, think of it this way: you can always tuck these deal breakers away as fodder for the amusing stories that will inevitably be told after your current date wonders, "I have to ask you, why on earth did you write please do not respond if you have any interest in ornithology, whatsoever!"
Ellen Friedrichs is a dating advisor for MetroChai. To read more articles and tips visit our blog at http://nydating.blogspot.com/
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