If you missed Part 1, read it here (that post also contains a bit about how I compiled these lists).
Before I get into men's dealbreakers, here’s a quick observation: When I asked women, answers came pouring in at warp speed, and followed common themes. But most guys weren't initially sure they even had them. Like it's the wild, wild west out there. But upon further thought, turns out they were finicky in ways women just aren’t. Here you go.
Ladies, Here's What Makes Men Call Off the Chase:
10. The Party Girls
“Anyone out until 3am every single night. What are you doing? Do I need to keep up? And who are you out with? It’s either your lush, animal-print wearing roommate that clearly has a drug problem or… other dudes. I’ll mostly skip this trainwreck.”
“Anyone who’s a regular at Morris Island.”
9. The slobs. The racists. The one-piece bathing suits.
Also: Too much make-up. A girl with the same name as my mother (“Most recently, I had a girl with the same first AND last name.”). Anyone who buys me a sweater vest or “man capris.” More than one cat. The girls who use the left lane exclusively. Big Cruella deVille fur coats. Covers her mouth, with every bite, every time she chews. Pagans. Any girl with shorter hair than me.
8. The Girls Who Haven't Grown Up
“Remember the scene in Wedding Crashers when Vince Vaughn’s girl covered her ears and starting stomping her feet at the reception? That was a movie and exaggerated, but that’s what I’m talking about.”
“Pouters and whiners are no good. Just say, ‘I don’t want to do that,' and let's move on.”
"The ones who can't really navigate ups and down. A crisis every day, a rant to their friends every night about how awful something/someone is/was."
"The view that 'everything always happens to her.' Her boss cuts her the least slack, her roommate hates her because she's beautiful—that kind of stuff."
7. The Facebook Open Book
In the last post, women reported wanting a slow drip of information rather than a deluge of “I’m this, I’m that.” Well, seems the men can deal with hearing it all right up front—at least, they didn’t say differently. What they don't want is to learn alllllllll about you via 169 Facebook and Twitter posts a day. “Ugh, it’s raining AGAIN.” “Off to work, then it's the weekend!” “My OB/GYN appointment went awesome… LOVE my doc!” This is the best way to zap the mystery factor and replace it with constant chatter, all in one fell swoop. Or 169 of them.
“I had a girl FB friend me who posts at least 12 updates daily about nothing at all. I imagine her as the human version of our Vassa Parrot that won’t shut up…”
6. Conversational Annoyances
Men are pretty black and white, clear-cut, cut-to-the chase, so they prefer our reactions to them be the same. They don't want too much of anything....
“Too much silence. I don’t want to have to carry the whole conversation… I’m bored just thinking about it.”
"A girl who can’t deal with any ‘awkward silence’ during a date.”
“Not laughing… at anything.”
“Laughing at everything, but never really laughing. I want a genuine laugher.”
“Responding to a comment with a cross-eyed look instead of explaining why they think I am wrong.” A few men responded that cryptic or judgmental looks during conversation, without a follow-up explanation, are extremely irritating.
5. The Stingy or Entitled Ones
I was out to dinner with a good friend of mine and her husband recently. When the check came, he and I both reached for it. He took it and laughed. He said, “That was always the key when I was out there dating. I always just wanted ‘the reach.’ I didn’t like the girls who didn’t budge, who didn't do the reach.” Granted, some men feel strongly about paying. But always? Is that realistic?
“If I’ve taken her on multiple dates and she never offers to pay, I don’t like that.”
“Don’t sit idly by every time the check comes. It's okay a few times, but not every time. These aren't dinners with your dad.”
4. The Crazies
If there’s one unfortunate stereotype about the way women get when they’ve got it bad for somebody, it’s that they can come off a little nuts. The unfortunate part, of course, is that there’s some truth to it. Even as a girl, I know this firsthand, thanks to a closet lesbian who fell in love with me in college. The pursuit that ensued was like none I've ever experienced with even the most eager dude. This was straight out of those old Roadrunner cartoons. Where they’re running so fast, their legs spin in a circle? Letters, phone calls, “I was just in the neighborhood” pop-ins. Of course, none of this made her crazy. Breaking everything in her dorm room when she thought I blew her off for someone else did. (Disclaimer: I really didn’t know she was gay—I don't catch on quick sometimes. Even when she took me home to meet her parents, I thought it was a Thelma and Louise-type deal, two young gals hitting the open road…. No. I think even her parents were secretly laughing about how dumb I was.)
Back to guys. Granted, some can get a mere whiff of chemical imbalance, and it’s like a rush—sort of a self-punishing challenge. But mostly, the normal guys have a form of Psycho Sonar. If they sense a trace of it, they head for the hills.
“The one who thinks you’re dating because ‘This is what God wanted for me.’ Clearly that’s crazy talk.”
The “serial caller” (each of which she can justify as totally necessary).
The girl of unlikely coincidences: “Oh my gosh, I didn’t know this is your favorite bar/grocery store/place of employment? I had no idea.”
The amateur fortune teller: “I can tell you’re perfect for me—I just feel it.”
Some guys said “any tattoos at all” are non-starters. Others limit it to face and neck ink, or “anything else that appears to have originated in prison.”
2. The Ones With Baggage… And Other Soap Opera Drama
I didn’t get a single response about walking away because of a child, or several—the kind of baggage they really don’t want? Drama.
“You can’t be still married.” Yes, I know… it isn’t going well, you’re not right for each other, you never were, he doesn’t look at you anymore. It’s cool. Call me when that marriage thing is taken care of.
“Baby daddy drama.”
“Restraining order issues.” This includes legal restraints either for or against you.
“Any unfinished business that ends with us climbing out a window in our boxers, facing down a large man or dog, or having someone show up at our work to tell us something we didn’t know and would rather not deal with.”
Related item: “She can’t have a straight ‘emotional friend’ of the opposite sex who she freely discusses our relationship with.” Let’s call a spade a spade: It’s not just highly annoying. it’s a hook-up waiting to happen.
1. The Picky Eaters
Remember how we felt about men and their money? That’s pretty much the same way they feel about us and our eating habits. Times a million. They say eating should be a pretty simple behavior. Fun, even—the easy part of the date. But apparently, we have a nasty habit of turning their date-night highlight into a nightmare. Here’s a few examples:
“Picky eaters are maddening. Or anyone always on a diet.”
"Let's just... eat. Not wonder about where the cow came from or what it ate, how much mercury's in the fish, if there's anything 'less messy' to choose from. It's food. Eat it."
"Anyone who starts a sentence with, 'Oh, I only eat... blank.' (Sigh.)"
“I don’t want a vegetarian. Or vegan (obviously).” (I once overheard a conversation that “what’s really frustrating is that when you find a restaurant that you think is suitable for your organic-vegan date, upon her review, she decides it doesn’t have enough options. Where do we go from there? Do I spend a week planning for one date? Can we just eat?”)
“When nothing on the menu is quite right. Sometimes even the salads on the menu don't fit. 'Can I get this but with avocado instead?' I don't want any part of that....”
BONUS DEALBREAKER QUOTE: "Anything over $200 an hour."
BONUS DEALMAKER QUOTE: “Make the first move. If you wanna see me naked, then let's get naked. I'm up for it, but I don't want to offend the classy lady sitting across from me. It's the 21st-century for crying out loud, and sexual frustration causes more problems than Al Qaeda.”
See you next week for Dating Dealbreakers, Part 3. We'll hear which turn-offs cross gender lines. Meet the animal haters, heroin addicts, the lushes, and so many more.