Six People on Their Ultimate Dating Dealbreakers
Normally, it's a good idea to keep an open mind when dating. We all have a cousin, friend, or roommate who found love in the last place they expected to find it. Those stories linger in the back of your brain on a first date. It makes you wonder if the person in front of you sipping an IPA with messy hair and kind eyes could be the one. You can overlook some flaws—his stale breath or her questionable style. It's nothing a mint or a quick trip to H&M can't fix, you reason.
But sometimes no matter how open-minded you are, certain dating behaviors are totally unacceptable. Once discovered, it's impossible to move forward. In fact, the thought of continuing with the date or conversation is out of the question. That in mind, we asked people what behaviors would automatically disqualify someone from their dating pool. Here's what they said.
Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Kyle LaBonte, 29
I identify as pansexual. I use gender neutral terms for myself (they/them). If someone doesn't 100 percent respect and encourage my gender non-binary identity, they're cut. I recently had a relationship for the first time that really encouraged me to embrace who I am, opposed to just tolerate it, and it changed things a lot for me. I felt happier, more comfortable, more celebrated––things I always felt were missing but couldn't put my finger on it.
I realize I present very masculine most of the time (mostly for safety reasons, sometimes due to laziness), and some people might find it easier to just default me to male, but a good measurement early on as to how much energy someone is willing to put into me is if they respect that identity and make me feel comfortable about it. Bonus points if they proactively tell their friends what pronouns to use, etc. On the flipside, if someone exhibited any amount of queer bashing, that would be an immediate no from me.
There was one occasion where the guy made me trek to a bar in Brixton (I'm based in north London), turned up 15 minutes late and was quite happy for me to buy him the first drink. I was still besotted, of course, and it's only now I look back that I realize he was an inconsiderate dick.
When it comes to dating apps, the biggest turnoffs would have to be: making racist jokes (someone asked "If I go black, will I go back?") and photos with dogs and no blurb on their profile. It's not hard to convey a bit of personality, people.
Lauryn Ashley, 26
I identify as pansexual. I really enjoy and am attracted to all people. For me, it's imperative we have an intellectual connection. I can find you very physically attractive, but if we can't connect deeply on an intellectual and emotional level, I have nothing for you. I suppose in that way I also identify as sapiosexual.
Honesty is key. Plain and simple. Honesty is a hard line for me. I think it's so very important to be honest even when it's difficult, as it shows a modicum of respect when trying to build a potential long lasting relationship. Without it, you've surely lost my attention.
I'm bisexual, but I like women more than I like men. I like guy guys a lot, but obviously they're not interested in me. I'm also a trans woman.
There are things I might not like, such as bad breath or poor taste in music, but I can let it go if I really like somebody. Smoking is worse, but if I *really* like the person, I can let that go, too. I don't have a lot of hard-and-fast deal breakers. I guess if somebody was into crystal meth, or they were a neo-Nazi, or if they were a neo-Nazi with a meth habit, I'd have to let them go. But then again, I don't think a neo-Nazi would want to date me in the first place!
One time when I was still a boy, I went on a date with a very attractive girl who found a phone at the bar and asked the bartender if she could hold onto it, since it was a nice phone. The bartender took the phone, because she knew who owned it. Perfectly reasonable, right? But this girl got *so* angry that she threw the rest of her beer can at the bartender! I felt like I was out with Courtney Love. But I was attracted to her, so stuck it out anyway. I guess I'm willing to put up with a lot more than I think!
Desireé Luckey, 26
I identify as queer/bisexual. The number one disqualifier for me is a person who does not share similar values regarding human rights. I consider myself to be progressive, and I would not want to date someone who does not share similar ideologies. We can certainly have different opinions on many issues, but I won't debate the humanity of others, their right to exist, and my beliefs regarding the ways in which we should support marginalized individuals. To me, those aren't opinions; they are basic standards of being a decent human being.
Susan Sando, 32
A general lack of good personal hygiene is the number one thing that disqualifies a man from my dating pool. Specifically, not washing his hands after using the restroom. Bad bathroom habits are supremely disgusting to me. I'm more than a bit of a germaphobe, so bad personal hygiene is a huge turnoff. Wash your hands! Don't be a garbage human being! Do you really think I want to be around you, touching the same things you touch after you used the restroom and didn't wash your hands?
Unless they're awful people, I can't stand it when a man is disrespectful toward his parents/family. That's majorly indicative of how he treats just about anyone else, so if you can't even be kind to the people who gave you life, how great of a guy can you really be?
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