Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dating Deal Breakers

I haven't been communicating with anyone on eharmony lately, because almost all of the matches they've been sending me lately have made me run away in terror. Okay, well, that's not entirely true. But I have been cringing a lot when I read the profiles and look at the pictures, and that's not really a good thing, is it?

I'm thinking of switching back to when my membership expires, but I like the way that eharmony works. I like that I don't have to comb through a bunch of profiles, and that eharmony just sends me the matches. I like that I haven't gotten any creepy e-mails from creepier guys. I also like that they don't have the IMing feature on this site, because when I was on okcupid I kept getting IMs from guys who kept "suggesting" stuff to me that included four-letter words.

Maybe I should just take a break from dating. But I'm 29, which is practically 30, which means that soon I'll start talking about mortgages, which means I'll have to buy a house so that I can get a mortgage, which means that in eleven years I'll be 40 and start saying things like "When I was YOUR age", which means in 21 years I'll be 50, which means that eventually I'll be auditioning to be in one of those skin cream commercials, which means that in 31 years I'll be 60, which means that everyone else will be visiting their grandkids while I'll still be single, which means AHHHHHHHHHH!!!

My experiences with online dating thus far have made me come up with a list of "dating deal breakers", as in "things that make me go, 'GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU LOSER!'"

1. Condescending: I once went on a date with a guy who insulted me at least five or six times during the course of the evening. He put me down because he was making six figures and I was making minimum wage. He made comments about how I didn't dress up enough for our date. He got mad when I interrupted him at one point during the conversation, and then refused to go on with what he'd been saying until I apologized. When I refused to go out with him again, he blamed the bad date on my behavior.

2. No physical attraction: He doesn't have to have the body of a physical trainer. (Although I will admit that I did, um, go out with a personal trainer. But it wasn't because of his looks! Really! I, um, only cared about his mind!) After all, I definitely don't have the figure of a trainer either. Most of the guys I've dated have been pretty cute, but I'm not with any of them anymore, am I? On the other hand, there has to be some physical chemistry. And call me superficial, but if his man boobs are bigger than my chest, it's not going to happen.

3. Dishonesty: What bugs me about a lot of the online dating profiles that I've seen is that a lot of the guys lie about themselves. I once went on a date with a guy who ended up looking ten years older, twenty-five pounds heavier, and three times balder than he did in the pictures on his profile. (I'd like to say his personality made up for it. It didn't.)

      It's one thing if he's older and bald; that's not the problem. But don't try to pass yourself off as someone you're not, okay? Guys will often describe themselves as "physically fit" (even if they definitely don't look that way in their pictures), but what that usually means is that they expect the girls to be physically fit. Also, guys will often claim to be younger than they actually are. I don't have anything against older guys. But if you claim to be 30 but it's clear that you're in your 40s, don't lie about it. And yes, some people do look older than they actually are. But I've found from experience that some people just lie about their age in order to get more dates.

4. Cheapskate: Although Millionaire Matchmaker is the one reality show that I watch regularly and actually like, I wouldn't want to actually be on that show. Not only because Patti Stanger would find about fifty things to criticize about me, but also because the millionaires on that show fail to impress me. A guy doesn't need to plan a dinner at a five-star restaurant or a thousand-dollar-a-day spa in order to make it a great date. (If anything, I think that'd be putting too much pressure on both of us.) I'd be just as happy eating pizza and going bowling if the guy was nice and we had chemistry. And besides, most of the guys on that show are jerks anyway, and all of their money doesn't make up for that.

   But on the other hand, I wouldn't want to date a guy who's a total cheapskate. I once knew a girl who said her date took her to a Mexican restaurant but wouldn't let her order any food; he said they could just eat the free chips and salsa. I don't expect the guy to pay every time; I'll offer to pay for at least some of the dates. But it's another thing altogether if the guy is cheap or cheats business owners.

   I was at a coffeehouse yesterday, and I saw a guy come in and take up a table for more than an hour, but he didn't buy anything. He just came in for a place to hook up his laptop for free, and it bothered me that he wouldn't spend a few bucks on a cup of coffee for the right to an empty table. I tried to picture myself going on a date with a guy like him, and I couldn't.

5. Inconsiderate: I wouldn't want to date someone who's always telling me about the fun things he's been doing with his friends without inviting me along, or who only calls me when no one else is available.

     I also wouldn't want to date someone who's insensitive to my feelings, the kind of guy who thinks it's okay to wait for several weeks after our first date before he calls me again (and yes, this has actually happened more than once). It's like, when did this become okay? I figure if I don't hear from him within a week, then I probably never will hear from him. (And yes, I have made the first phone call after the date before. But that's not the point.) But it's not okay to call me several weeks (or months) later and expect me to still be waiting for you, as if I'll say something like, "Oh, you finally called me! I KNEW you were the one!"

I know you can't choose who you fall for; it just happens. (Except wouldn't it be easier if we could just choose?) But I think it's okay to make a list of deal breakers, because it helps me figure out what I don't want. And I don't want a guy who possesses any or all of these personality traits.


  1. The paragraph that begins with, "Maybe I should just take a break from dating. But I'm 29, which is practically 30..." is hysterical! No pressure!

    I think your standards are fine. Maybe it will happen when you're least expecting it. In the meantime, it's good that you're trying.

  2. Dude, the guy you described in #1 sounds like world's biggest tool.

    As for the looks thing...I agree that there needs to be some chemistry but I also think people can sometimes rule someone out for lack of chemistry a tad too quickly. Keep an open mind and you might be surprised what develops over the course of getting to know someone better.

  3. I swear, from what little I know it sounds like most of the men on online dating sites are total bottom feeders, and the women are forced to put up with about 10 of THEM for every 1 hapless decent dude.

  4. i agree that a list a deal breakers is perfectly acceptable.
    it keeps you from settling for someone you're not that really into, right?

  5. That first one sounds HORRIBLE and definitely belongs on the dealbreaker list. I can't believe he would treat you like that, or that ANYONE would be treated like that on a date!

  6. Hi Theresa,
    It'd be nice if it happened when I wasn't expecting it. I'm going to keep trying, but I'm thinking of taking a break for now.

    Hi Rebecca,
    That's true. There have been some guys I've met who seemed to become even more cute because of their personalities.

    Hi Margaret,
    Sometimes it feels like there are more than ten. But hopefully I'll meet someone decent someday.

    Hi mi,
    You're right. I'm not willing to settle for someone I'm not into, because it wouldn't be fair to me or the guy.

    Hi SassyGirl,
    My regret about that date was that I didn't walk out the first time he insulted me.

  7. The dishonesty and the cheapness used to bother me the most. I hate it when a guy would tell me he was divorced and then I found out he'd only been separated for, like, 2 months or something. Or he'd say he had no kids, then end up with five.

    Come on, boys. Seriously.

  8. Dead on, perfect. I honestly think this post should be your entire Info section on should you rejoin. Try it...if it works, let me know, I have a few Dating Dealbreakers of my own, as you know! Remember my Mr. Braves Fan? He had 17 pictures (not an exaggeration) of men on his Match profile. I say "men," because only one of them was actually him. I sat down with a friend of mine after the date and showed her his pictures and said "I didn't go out with this guy, or this guy, or this guy..." I just don't get that deceitful approach. Eventually, to be successful at online dating, you're going to have to meet in person, and lying about pictures especially, the cat is eventually going to be out of the bag.

  9. Nothing shouts cheapskate like going to a restaurant & not ordering food! Wow! :)

    Too bad about the condescending guy. I have a feeling you were in a rush to get home.

    Sure hope you find someone you're compatible with!

  10. Hi Talli,
    Dishonesty is so annoying. I wish guys like that would just tell the truth. (And lying about five kids? Wow.)

    Hi Melanie,
    Jeez, I can't believe that out of 17 pictures he only had one of himself! I hate when guys will post pictures of landscapes or their pets but they are nowhere to be seen in the pictures; why even post them on the profile?

    Hi notesfromnadir,
    I was definitely in a rush to get home, and he got mad about that. But I saw no point in prolonging the date. And hopefully I will find someone who I'm compatible with. I just wish it was easier.

  11. LOL your paragraph that starts out "But I'm 29..." I have totally thought that/felt that basically word for word! I so know how you feel (except I'm 25...but still). I understand all the pressure.

    I've never tried online dating. It kind of scares me. But given the slim pickings in real life, it seems like it could be a viable option. Hmm...

    Hang in there and good luck! :)

  12. Hi Catherine,
    Thanks! Despite my stories about online dating, I'd encourage you to give it a shot. The key is to exchange several e-mails with the guy first (but try to meet him within a couple weeks or a month after the first e-mail), and then make the first date in a public place.

  13. Really enjoyed your blog, and I’m glad to hear that you like the way eHarmony works!  

    Interpersonal chemistry is a Must Have for many of our members.  But chemistry can’t always be determined from someone’s profile.  So I encourage you to communicate with more of your matches.  You may find you feel more of a connection with some of them once you get to know them better!

    Our Advice site has great articles on a variety of topics about dating and relationships, so I invite you to take advantage of this great free resource:   

    And I also invite you to follow me on Twitter @eHarmony_jack.  I wish you all the best. 

  14. i'd love to try you know of any decent free ones? i can't pay too much (or at all preferably) for one.

    thanks for the input, girlie