Are You Too Picky or Wisely Not Settling?

by Amy on March 27, 2010 · 5 comments

Are tighty whities a dealbreaker?  Cell phone holster?  Soul patch?  So says this hilarious new book, 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won’t Be Dating or Having Sex, by Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle.  You can even download ecards on the book’s website.

As the Queen of Picky myself, I can’t help but offer my own two cents on this topic.  I once had this argument with a married friend who insisted there is no such thing as a dealbreaker.  “That’s why you’re single,” she declared, as many of my married friends do when I reject a potential mate for such things as spending our entire lunch date slapping at a fly in anger, or asking me for two dollars to buy a beer because “I owe him” after he bought me one.  Or my biggest dating obstacle: Poor spelling (a/k/a inability to distinguish “your” and “you’re”).

Granted, perhaps I can be a mite picky, but I wholeheartedly disagree that there are NO dealbreakers.  I like how the book rates qualities on a continuum from “red flags” to “kiss of death.”  I’ll add another category: “get over it.”  The challenge, thus, lies in the categorizing.  I suppose how you categorize potential dealbreakers, and if you can learn to do it with good reason, mark the difference between “settling” and “no one’s perfect.”

Here are some examples of how I might categorize a few classic potential dealbreakers:


  1. Smoking
  2. Cheapskate
  3. Never owned a pet, never wants to
  4. Speedo
  5. Inability to laugh at life (or my jokes)


  1. Rude to restaurant servers
  2. Fails to hold the door open for you
  3. Spends all of his time at the gym…
  4. …or playing videogames
  5. …or watching TV shows set in space


  1. Hair loss
  2. Political affiliation
  3. Neat freak
  4. Has kids (at my age I’m well beyond being able to cite this factor as a dealbreaker)
  5. Tells bad jokes

Now it’s your turn.  What are your dating dealbreakers?  Are you unreasonably picky, or are you wisely not settling for less than you deserve?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Donovan March 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I don’t have too many dealbreakers. There are a few things I prefer, but beyond that, it’s all about chemistry.

Kiss of Death:
1. Irritated by chivalric gestures (I can’t change who I am)
2. Smoking
3. Opposite religious/political views (Too many potential problems)
4. Humorless

Red Flag:
1. Rude to people in service industry
2. Sloppy living space/appearance
3. Shallow
4. Clingy/lots of baggage

Get Over It:
1. Excessive vanity/narcissism
2. Low self-esteem
3. Has kids

I don’t feel I’m unreasonably picky. Honestly, this list still leaves a lot of potential Good Ones. The trick is to find one that’s single and available.

Amy March 28, 2010 at 11:34 am

Interesting that you rated vanity something you can live with but clingy not so much. Irritated by chivalric gestures might be a blog entry in and of itself! Want to write it?

Maria March 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Kiss of Death:
-Rudeness towards restaurant servers
-Talking about Ex-es. Stop it, my ears are bleeding.

Red Flags:
-Fixation with his car/body/videogame system
-Tattoos (“something stupid I did during spring break senior year” versus “Mermaids just really speak to me, and so does the one on my arm.”)

Get Over It:
-Dislikes country music. Not everyone likes it, I guess (or so say the guys I’ve dated).

Angelique March 31, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Kiss of Death:
Excessive Drinker

Red Flags:
Rude period

Get over it:
Has kids

Daniel March 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Well, all I can say is that it’s different for everyone. You might miss out on some great guys. I’m not sure it’s wise to put “wearing a speedo” in the “Kiss of Death” category but being rude to waiters/waitresses in the “Red Flag” category, as you might miss out on great guys (any European, as a matter of fact) who find nothing wrong with speedos, but are extremely friendly and nice to waitresses. Don’t you think it would be smarter to put “being rude” in the Kiss of Death category? After all, wouldn’t you prefer to date a great guy who can be convinced to stop wearing speedos but will be rude to you all your life? Personally, I find it hilarious that speedos are viewed with such contempt in America while at the same time people consider it ok, or even attractive, for a guy to wear shiny tights while playing football… ;-)

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