The List: My Dating Dealbreakers
There are certain conversations you have under the influence of alcohol. Some are good, some are bad. In the latter category, we might have the "songs you must hear" conversation. "What do you mean, you've never heard of Shangri-Las? Oh my God I'll YouTube it," is, for example, when you know a good night is over. The other night, though, with barbecued steaks and chilled beers, I had a conversation that definitely falls into the former category: the what's-your-dealbreaker conversation. Dealbreaker? Oh, you know, the strike-out traits that would have you relegate a potential love interest to the negative pile.
It may seem crass, but we all have one, whether we admit it or not - a list of no-gos that take that would-be somebody from hero to zero. I couldn't have given you mine this time last week, because I hadn't thought about it, but a few beers later and here we are. I'll show you mine; show me yours in the comments!
I could never date a guy who wasn't online. Don't do Facebook? Barely email? Like to turn off your phone at the weekends? Sorry, dude, we're just not gonna make it the way we oughta.
I don't think I could get serious with a vegetarian – or, for that matter, a guy who didn't like cheese. I'm not even all about the meat, I swear, I just like a good steak every now and then, and there's very little to beat some chicken tenders after a tough Friday night on the town. I don't need to feel your animal rights judgment. Plus, I'd like to go on holidays to interesting places, and looking up the Arabic for "vegetarian" isn't exactly going to make my sojourn spectacular.
I couldn't go for a collector. You have a rare collection of Star Wars memorabilia in mint condition? Srsly, I love that shit in a friend, and I've even got an Ewoks pillowcase - but it's usually on my pillow, you know, under my head. Mint condition is for those people with the kind of mindset that results in investment in Albanian properties, and we all know where that leads.
I wouldn't even consider dating a smoker. As a newly reformed non-addict, I'm really judgmental, not to mention hyper sensitive to the smell of smoke. Having kicked mine, I don't want to deal with your bad habit.
Skinny jeans. I know, I know, I'm the fashion burd. But just because I write about it doesn't mean I live it, and I really don't want you to either. If they look as if they've been sprayed on and you haven't beamed in from the 1980s, you're on to a loser.
Are you a struggling artist with a part-time job as a waiter living in a bedsit with no running water? I feel your pain, honestly, but unless you're 17 – or James Vincent McMorrow – you're not for me.
Have you got a mad, crazy, impressive and time-consuming hobby? Do you like to climb mountains on the weekends and run two marathons a week – that is, when you're not busy base jumping or stunt biking? I think that is awesome, and in fact, I'd love to interview you for a feature, but I wouldn't want to get in the way of your busy schedule, so romance is out.
You know what else I'm picky about? (I know, I know, shock you.) Well I couldn't get fresh with a man I can contact via Hotmail. Or, worse, eircom.net. That shit is whack, dude, and you should know better.
Have you ever paid for sex? You know, handed a woman currency in exchange for the use of her body for a period of time? Well, hot dang, but you'd best believe you've been kicked to the curb. Men don't go to prostitutes for sex; they go to prostitutes for power, and if you need that kind of reassurance, we just ain't gonna mesh well.
How much do you earn? This might seem the most typical comment of all, but if you earn vastly less than me, forget about it. But if you earn vastly more? Also, forget about it. From experience, vast differences in earning power cause nothing but resentment, and I've had just about enough of that doled out to me for one lifetime.
Now, tell me, dollfaces! What are your dealbreakers? What takes your engine from hot to not? What melts your ice sculpture?
If you think I'm an awful snooty bitch at this stage, bear in mind: I haven't been on a date in approximately forever. The above list might have something to do with why, but I like to think it's more to do with my hilarity, something men just can't seem to cope with. And just in case you're losing faith, here are some of my serious boxerdroppers:
Prominent canines. Neglected to get those babies braced up? All the more delightful. There's nothing I like more than signature teeth, so if yours ain't perfect, gimme a call.
Do you wear Lynx? I don't care that you smell 16, I love the scent of remembered teenage angst. Brings me right back.
Men who walk to a beat. You know what I mean - you're walking down the street to your very own little drummer, bopping and sliding your way along. You don't care who's watching, you got a rhythm and you're walking to it. Niiiiice.
Can you do fancy bottle-opening things with a lighter, and flip a beer mat so you catch it in your mouth? PARLOUR TRICKS! Who doesn't love them? Not me anyway.
Do you own up to your bad musical taste? Have a bit of a penchant for Keane, of a Friday evening? Bit of Coldplay for a lazy Sunday? Like to break out the Bublé in the intimate times? If you can own it with a smile and a hint of pride, I think we'll do okay.
Now really, save me from myself and share your dating DOs and DON'Ts! (And please let's not get into the "I had a long list until I met my soulmate, then it went out the window!")