“He didn’t listen to music.”
Recently I found myself telling a story to a group of friends in my kitchen. After wondering silently why people in social situations tend to gravitate toward the kitchen, opting for counters instead of couches, I launched into a classic bad date story. (Hi, I’m Liz, and I have an inordinate amount of bad date stories from my past.)
“He didn’t listen to music.”
My friends all stared at me, aghast.
“What do you mean, he didn’t listen to music?”
“I mean, he told me ‘music just wasn’t his thing.’”
Cue laughter, harsh judgement, and a whirlwind debate about music and its influence on societies here and abroad.
Needless to say, Mr. Nickelback-is-underrated and I didn’t work out.
This got me thinking about deal breakers. We all have them. I’ve alluded to them in older posts. Typically, if I liked someone enough, I could overlook past small infractions, like a consistently messy room, being a cat person instead of a dog person, really loving the Yankees, or not knowing how to cook. These were qualities or habits that, in the early stages of courting, could be forgotten after a good joke.
But some things are sacred. And concerning certain sacred qualities, sometimes there cannot be compromise.
So when do you know when to overlook and move ahead and when to throw in the towel and move on?
Here’s a list of deal breakers that will (hopefully) soften the blow:
1. Doesn’t read. Okay, so your favorite book is The Scarlet Letter, by Hawthorne. No one’s favorite book is The Scarlet Letter. What, did you read it on Spark Notes in high school? NEXT.
2. Doesn’t adhere to proper grammar. People will surely call me a snob for this one. But you know what? I don’t care. I can no longer hide my reactionary cringing when people don’t know the difference among their they’re and there.
3. Doesn’t think voting is important. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I’ve sufficiently ranted about citizen agency in previous articles. Let’s just say I think apathy is one of the most unattractive qualities a person can posses. Opinions are sexy.
4. Thinks I drink too much. Listen, I don’t, okay? While it isn’t necessary for my partner to imbibe (it’s pretty great that he does), I don’t think I would tolerate judgement for my moderate consumption. Plus, brewery tours? HELLO.
5. Doesn’t have or get my sense of humor. People, this is number one. I should have just made it number one, but it’s at number five nonetheless. Humor is the key to long lasting relationships (so I’ve heard.) If you can’t laugh with your partner at the small stuff, how will you ever get through the big stuff?
6. Hasn’t seen Lord of the Rings and doesn’t want to. Think about all of the references, jokes, and Sunday afternoons on which you’d miss out. Plus, this definitely wouldn’t be funny to them:
7. Doesn’t have a good relationship with their family. To me, family is everything. It’s typically not a good thing when an individual doesn’t have at least one strong connection to their family unit. Obviously I’m not looking for a latent Brady Bunch situation, but emotional availability tends to be pretty helpful. Extra points if you have pictures like this:
8. Doesn’t like Ketchup. I saved the most important for last. If you don’t know me, you wouldn’t know my deep appreciation for sauces. I love sauces. In fact, when I go out to eat, I tend to order extra sauces and condiments in order to have a variety of sauces from which to choose. I put ketchup on everything. One time I was caught and called out when I put ketchup on frozen veggie sausages. Look, it’s not like I ate them raw like a wild vegan animal from Los Angeles. Sometimes I simply eat food as a conduit to ketchup. *
*I’m a repeat offender with peanut butter.
Deal breakers are complicated for some and simple for others. Sometimes a deal breaker can be glaring you straight in your face but your infatuation renders it invisible. Other times you can have such stringent standards that before you know it, you’ve built yourself a tiny island of idiosyncrasies and no one can swim across any longer.
We all have them, though.
What are your deal breakers, Boston?