Not the common ones, but real ones nonetheless
I’m not talking about common deal-breakers. We all know about common deal-breakers — shit like:
Picky eaters. Bad travelers. Poor hygiene. Poor grammar. Bad in bed. Major differences in religion or politics. Major differences in wanting or not wanting kids. Disagreeing on cats vs. dogs. Being rude to waitstaff or mean to animals. Being a Patriots fan.
You know — shit nobody wants to date. Here are some that are less common — but are still 100% serious.
Chronophobes — people who make “time” their enemy
There are two major types. Often people are both, but it’s worth dividing out:
“Days and weeks move too fast.”
It’s amazing how many people continue to use it as an excuse, because:
Everyone has the same 24 hours!
People who can’t manage their time without coming to pieces emotionally are sad, scary individuals who, frankly, are failing at life a little bit.
“Years move too fast.”
Again, this truly morbid soul is someone who wakes up every day wondering “where did it all go?” or “life is too short.”
To these people, I offer the reminder:
Time moves on whether you like it or not.
Making enemies with time is like making enemies with air or any other integral part of the universe. You wanna sit there and watch it tick by and busy yourself with feeling dead about this, that’s on you. But you’re dying at your hand more than time’s.
Without time, there would be no growth, change, progress — evolution.
Without time, we’d all still be in the Middle Ages — not even that. Without time, there would be nothing.
People who are anxious about time have much, much different values than I do, and frankly it’s probably a bigger impasse than differences of religion. I don’t just tolerate time — I value time. I understand time, I use time, I love time. If you’re in conflict with time, then you’re not using it well enough.
People who make time their enemy are lost, and I just can’t with them.
Selfish eaters — people who won’t share their food
I have a theory and it goes:
People approach food the same way they approach sex.
I know 2 or 3 women who are incredibly selfish eaters — like getting pissed if you grab a fry from their basket of chicken fingers, and labeling, hiding, hoarding or otherwise “safeguarding” food at home — one roommate kept an entire fucking birthday cake to herself even though she couldn’t eat it all, preferring to let it go bad rather than share (“this is my cake — you can have cake on your birthday.”) And when I stop and consider which women in my life think “penises are gross” and never talk about even having sex, much less enjoying it, it’s the exact same 2 or 3 people.
All the people I’ve slept with are easy-going and generous with food — and all of them have been light-hearted and generous in bed. I obviously haven’t slept with everyone I’ve shared a meal with, so I only have so much data, but that data is pretty damn consistent. And it’s consistent across everyone else I’ve ever asked. (Except, of course, the women who don’t share — they don’t want to discuss sex at all. But the dudes who’ve slept with them do — and they agree too.)
If, in our economic state, you’re choosing food over your partner, there’s something wrong with you. It’s just food.
At this point, I’ll deliberately grab a fry off a date’s plate just to feel him out, and I’ll offer a bite of my food just to send a message: I share. And you’d better, too.
Opposite but similar to the selfish eaters are “repressed” eaters — people who never seems to actually enjoy food. It’s usually women, and it’s women who idealize conventional femininity, loosely translated as an arms-length, stiff showmanship. Never indulgent or genuine sensuality. A woman who wouldn’t dream of losing herself in tiramisu, much less in you.
I once attended a house party hosted by one such woman. She “loved” cooking, so had a massive spread of home-made dishes on every surface of her and her husband’s gorgeous custom kitchen. Seeing this, I asked, “which dish is your favorite?” And she answered, “oh god, no — I never eat any of it.” And then she whirled off in her 1950’s skirt, to the watchful eye of every conventional man in the room. But I’d put good money on her having a similar level of “sincerity” and “engagement” in bed.
They say never trust a skinny chef? I say never trust a chef who doesn’t lick her own fingers. And never fuck someone who doesn’t share their food.
You can believe I’m wrong if you want. But when you start dating that dude who snaps “get your own!” when you try to grab a fry and then later finishes before you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Blamers — people who make excuses rather than take responsibility
People who are victims of their own life. People who whine about completely normal everyday shit happening to them. People who “can’t possibly” with their own existence. People who refuse to assume agency.
If a dude rolls up 15 minutes late to a date and walks in with excuses rather than a simple, sincere apology, it’s a huge red flag. If there’s a fallout in communication on where or when we were supposed to meet, and he doesn’t offer to accept some fault, it’s a huge red flag. If a dude rear-ends someone or hits a parked car and actually blames them rather than himself, it’s so big a red flag you should get out and walk. (Fun fact: both of these really happened to me. Same dude, no surprise.)
Because if people don’t feel responsible for their everyday lives, they’ll never feel responsible for anything. Every tough conversation you try to have will be met with defensiveness; every hardship will fall on your shoulders alone. No thank you.
Here are a couple more that are even more specific:
“Sensors” — people who only see the literal
When it comes to Myers Briggs, you are either a sensor or an intuitive.
Sensors value what exists or has existed. They like other people, convention, “what people do,” and the societal markers put in place — they watch for “when” to do things like get married and have kids. They value tradition, they like facts, they’re good at trivia. They’re literal, black-and-white, and bottom-line. They don’t want to change the world and they don’t understand the people trying to do so. In fact, they’d prefer the world stay more or less the same, thankyouverymuch.
Intuitives value what’s possible. They brainstorm and problem-solve, or they’re artists. (Here is where sensors chime in brightly: “I solve problems! I’m analytical!” And the real intuitive does that sad, slow nod. Like “yes dear — of course you are.”) Intuitives don’t base their lives on “what people do,” Intuitive-rationals want growth and change more than anything else. Intuitive-feelers honor their personal values. (And again, the sensor is chiming in “I don’t care what people think!” or “I have values!” And again, the intuitive is sad-smiling like, “of course, dear. Of course.”)
Sensors very much consider what’s “weird” versus “not weird.” Intuitives do not give a fuck.
An intuitive can pretend to be a sensor — can “play” sensor, especially when socializing with people they don’t know that well, in circumstances that call for small talk and convention. But a sensor cannot pretend to be an intuitive — at least not for long. Some sensors think they are intuitives, because they have a blind spot to the real differences. No intuitive confuses himself for a sensor; they can discern the dividing line.
I dated a sensor for five years. I didn’t realize until I dated an intuitive after him just how soul-crushing dating a sensor is. There are always two dialogues going at any time: the one you’re able to have, and the one you’re trying to have. There’s what they’re actually picking up, and then there’s the scattered pieces of everything they keep leaving on the table because they don’t see it. The hardest part is that all those pieces are the most important things to an N, and the saddest part is that when the N finally breaks it off, the S will never fully understand why.
Brits — people with the British accent
To be fair, I didn’t feel this way until I traveled abroad in London. I might’ve even liked the accent before I went — I don’t recall. But one thing’s for sure: after enduring every British man’s idea of “flirtation” (which entails them approaching you and interrupting whatever you’re doing with a series of insults, negging, and crass behavior) for a few months, the very sound of the accent sets me back on my heels.
This is a “me” thing, though. If you’re into Brits, be my guest.
In fact, if you’re into any of these things, be my guest — obviously. Just don’t say you weren’t properly warned.