I am fussy when it comes to romance. I didn’t used to be, which often led to tears, humiliation, and swaying drunkenly in my darkened bedroom after midnight, cigarette in one hand and wine bottle in the other, singing “Someone Like You” through sobs (note: I am tone deaf). I mean, I still do all that but in a much happier way that involves more S Club 7 and less Adele (unless it’s “Skyfall”), and doesn’t make my roommate worry that I’m going to slit my wrists in the bathtub.
Based on these past experiences, I’ve been able to compile a list of romantic deal breakers that, at face value, is completely superficial. But bear with me; these seemingly insignificant little things at the start of a relationship can often be indicative that something’s not quite right. And while there are some glaringly obvious deal breakers (is “Team Breezy”, often questions why you are not in the kitchen either making dinner or bringing him a beer, is a wanted serial killer etc.), there are some things that can slip by unnoticed and come back to bite you later. You’re welcome.
Sleeps on a mattress on the floor
New rule: the second I walk into a dude’s room and he has a mattress on the floor (box springs are acceptable) I’m turning around and walking straight back out, especially where said mattress is barely recognizable under a pile of clothes, bongs or pizza boxes. If a dude doesn’t care enough about himself to sleep off the ground, how much can I really expect him to care about me?
The awfulness of this is also protracted age; whereas a mattress on the floor might be forgivable in your early 20s, when you’re nearing 30 it’s really time to start considering getting some furniture. If I decide to stick around post floor mattress reveal, then I probably have absolutely no one to blame but myself for anything that happens next, including coming back a month later to find the sheets still haven’t been changed.
Rides a skateboard
Firstly, Avril Lavigne. Secondly, anyone over the age of 17 wearing baggy jeans and a backwards cap while riding around on a piece of wood with wheels looks like a dumb tool. I once went to a party in Bushwick where the apartment owner had skateboards all over the wall as “art” and projected skating films against the walls for the entire party. For a second I thought I’d figured out time travel and had found my way back to 1999 and the skate park around the corner where we used to play spin the bottle after school. Pro-skaters are vaguely forgiven for skating etc., but only if they’re really rich and don’t refer to things as being “dope”.
Is in a “band”
I know this is going to sound pretty rich coming from someone who has to tell people in bars she is a “writer”, but nothing makes me cringe like hearing a dude is in some crappy band after hours. It reeks of Friday nights in empty, dingy bars in suburbs that are hard to get to, “supporting” an experimental electro R&B fusion band made up entirely of skinny Jewish dudes who are way too committed to their “sound”.
Walks through doors before me
Excuse me, but what happened to being polite? The only times a man I’m dating should walk through a door before me is when there’s a fire and his arms are full of babies and kittens he’s rushing to save, or if I’ve specifically asked him to walk in front so I can check out his tight little toosh. Ancillary to this, he should also always open the door for me; but that’s more of a practical thing because I am small and a lot of doors are very heavy and I get embarrassed when I have to push with two hands.
Waits 3 days or any other arbitrary amount of time to text after a date
OH MY GOD WHO IS THE BOSS OF YOU, A FUCKING MAXIM MAGAZINE ADVICE COLUM? Text me or get out of my life.