Relationship deal-breakers: Why I won’t date you


In relationships there are deal breakers (like substance abuse) and then there are deal breakers (like “she has too many wind-chimes”).

I used to work for an animation company with a whole lot of awesome people. They would give us lunch and we would have riveting conversations – like the one about deal breakers, petty ones. I think Ben started it. Ben has an aversion to girls who collect kitsch dolphin ornaments. I can see how that would be off-putting. Someone else won’t date someone if they have ugly feet.

I have another friend who has a list of qualities that if possessed, makes someone undatable. – Less petty deal breakers, but still a bit petty. The list is long, really long and she is really single. I too have a (much less long) list like that. I won’t date someone if:
  • He lives more than three highway off-ramps away (You don’t get the status of being in a long distance relationship because technically you can see each other if you really want to, but what a schlep!)
  • He’s an investment banker, an accountant or has an occupation that requires him to wear a combination of collared shirts and chinos (the pleated kind – ew).  
  • He drives a bakkie.
  • He supports the blue bulls or is overly fanatical about any one form of sport.
  • He has crap taste in music.
  • He overuses the words “like”, “bleak” and “epic”.
  • He hates the beach but loves the great outdoors and most especially the bush (with all it’s heat, bugs, and rarely spotted wild animals from the luxury of a big expensive car that breaks down a lot, or worse, from the non-comfort of like hiking or camping – gross!)

And yet, when I stop to reread this list I have broken at least two, okay three, of these rules already (But one of the guys I dated by accident, okay? …I do that a lot.)

In the interests of keeping things shallow, my petty deal breaker is stupid tattoos – or at least tattoos that I deem ‘stupid’. And yes, this is coming from the girl who wants to get a tattoo of a belly button in the middle of her back. (Steal my idea and die!) I do think that tattoos are hot but if you have barbed wire around your biceps, I’m sorry but I’m busy Saturday. I was once told by a colleague that this other guy that worked in our studio (not the animation company) had his eye on me (creepy) and then went on to ask me on his behalf how I felt about “body art”? That was his line, his lead-in, his intro. It wasn't just that he had tattoos, it was that he clearly felt that they defined him. Yeah, he was right. – They defined him as someone I wouldn't be interested in. When he came to introduce himself to me he had, wait for it, wait for it …flames, FLAMES, going up his wrists. (I’m sure his car probably had matching ones.) That’s so hot right now! …and now …and now …and …now. I also met someone who has a plug socket tattoo – really? Why? And not the fancy 3D kind that mess with your mind, more like three circles. I’m sorry, but I’m just not into you, you just don’t turn me on, I don’t feel a spark (…okay, I’ll stop now).

So yeah, tattoos are hot, but only if they will be as profound, meaningful and decorative in 40 years from now and the concept is not going to date – that’s if it’s smart to begin with (so not you, flame boy). And yes, my second belly button will still be hilarious when I’m seventy, shut up!


People who may possibly share my sentiments are these guys. You've probably heard the song before but play it again – it’s rad: 



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Sharon Waugh

Sharon is a writer, cruise ship entertainment host and freelance unicorn wrangler, living it up on the high seas. She also likes to photograph a plastic lawn flamingo in exotic locations because it seemed like a good idea 10 years ago and 53 countries later, it’s probably too late to turn back now.

 Sharon greatly dislikes reading “travel blogs” by people who are just rephrasing press releases or composing lists like “15 ways to travel the world for cheap”, specifically formulated for SEO, with absolutely no evidence that the writer has ever left their bedroom. (This is not one of those blogs.) Sharon also dislikes bigotry and referring to herself in first person, apparently.

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