Deal Breakers: Everyone Has Them

As published on Thought Catalog on December 3, 2014.

Everyone has them. That one thing about a person that you just can’t get past. That tipping point in a relationship where you think, “Oh my God, why am I with you.

I’m talking about those people you start dating and then a couple weeks in, you really question your own judgment and possibly your drinking habits. Maybe it’s a personality glitch that you don’t see at first, or maybe you see it right away and decide to bypass it. Whatever it is – you are aware of it and It. Is. Over.

In an attempt to be completely transparent, here is a (moderately) short list of reasons why I have stopped seeing guys this past year:

  • He hated driving in my car.
  • He was crying naked in my bed when I got home from work.
  • He had a gigantic Jesus fish tattooed on his bicep.
  • He would refer to me as a ‘real peach’ or ‘sweetheart’.
  • He kept sending me texts that were meant for his mom.
  • His favorite book was from his 9th grade curriculum.
  • He had no idea who Drake was.
  • He would only order milk when we went out to dinner.
  • He thought he was funnier than I am. He wasn’t.
  • His go to karaoke song was Don’t Stop Believing by Journey.

But, my personal favorite which is actually one of my roommates deal breakers: He wanted to name his daughter Amy.

And you know what. All of these things don’t mean shit. I didn’t end relationships with guys solely based on any of these things (except for the naked guy in my bed… seriously, what the fuck, man). I think that most deal breakers can be overlooked by other qualities – that is, if you care to look. And everybody does this.

The amount of times you hear people reason away their own reasoning is astounding. “We have so much fun together that I almost forgot his entire room is filled with action figures.” Or, “My attraction to her was so powerful that I don’t mind that she voted for McCain.”

Another example; My roommate once said that she would never date a guy without a beard. For her, being clean shaven is a deal breaker. But, sure enough she finds guys that she likes despite their naked faces.

To keep this somewhat gender neutral, my best friend says he wouldn’t date a girl who consistently ate off his plate without asking.

Another guy said that he doesn’t really have any deal breakers and that he just needs a girl to keep up with him. At first, I thought that this was kind of a lame response since he drinks gin and tonics and wears polo’s.. must be really hard to keep up with all that.  But, after dating a bunch of different guys since then, I get it. I’m learning quickly that there are certain lifestyles and personalities that just will never work out. No deal breaker necessary.


So many people have lists for what they are looking for in a partner. Lists of what they want, what they don’t want, things that they absolutely will not compromise on, etc. In my personal experience – if you like someone enough – those lists get thrown out the window.

Gin-and-tonic-polo-wearing guy was right. All those aforementioned ‘deal breakers’ are just something that people use as a defense mechanism when dating. What everyone is really looking for is someone who recognizes their flaws but in no way sees them as a reason to end their relationship.

To be fair, if most guys had a list of traits that they were looking for in a girlfriend, I would not even come close to qualifying. I am well aware of my flaws. I just feel like I hide them better than most.

  • My type of working out consists mostly of walking my dogs around the park while drinking a 24oz Twisted Tea.
  • My diet is mainly Swing Thai, Chipotle and cheap wine.
  • My phone is dead more than it’s charged.
  • My cousins call me ‘the black cloud’ because weird, unlucky shit always happens to me.
  • My idea of cleaning is shoving all of my newly washed clothes into my closet.
  • My unpaid parking tickets add up to more than my rent… for an entire year.
  • My sense of both direction and time does not exist.

Deal breakers aside, I am just looking for someone who can handle All. Of. This.


And if you think you’re picky – check out this guy’s long list of requirements for girls that will leave him forever alone.

– J


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