The Dealbreakers

So if you’ve never emailed me before, you probably don’t know about the fun game I play called “Three-line advice.” This is basically when people send me their problems and, if they aren’t long enough/interesting enough to merit an entire post of their own, I email back my advice in three lines. This effectively solves the problem at hand, fixes the askers entire life and allows me additional precious, precious minutes to watch videos of puppies on Youtube.

One of the questions I get asked a lot is whether or not a certain behavior is an automatic dealbreaker. My standard answer is that if you have to ask the question, the answer is no. When you encounter a real-life dealbreaker, it’s like seeing a crumple-horned snorlack: you don’t need to have encountered it before to JUST KNOW that’s what it is. And YES, that was a Luna Lovegood reference because Luna is my girl. We would totally hang out at Hogwarts.

Anyway, the following are a list of things that make me screech “THAT’S A DEALBREAKER, LADIES!” as loudly as is socially acceptable. These are written in a light-hearted way, but I’m actually very serious about most of them. Don’t be fooled.

It occurred to me that maybe I shouldn’t write these down, because you can’t talk about what you want in a relationship without talking about your deepest inner self, and my deepest inner self can be…creepy. Telling the internet that you don’t have a lot of feelings is not exactly world’s best personal ad. I wondered, could it be that this blog is preventing me from getting laid? But then I realised my problem is more likely to be the velvet turban I insist on wearing. Never mind.

Here they are: my dealbreakers.

1. You can’t spell.

Listen, I’m not an unreasonable girl. I have a touchscreen phone and I know that mistakes–and autocorrect–happen. But dude, it’s 2011 and an awful lot of our communication happens via the written word: email, texting, Facebook, Twitter. Being unable to spell simple words isn’t cute and it can’t be blown off by saying “so what?” anymore. If you can’t make yourself understood in writing, I have serious doubts that you’ll able to do it anywhere else. Next.

2. You’re too touchy.

Despite what you may have read in Cosmo, not all women love to be held for hours and hours. In fact, some of us get uncomfortable with hugs that last longer than ten seconds. If you’re a guy who can’t let his girl walk past him without grabbing at her hips to pull her in for a lingering, intimate kiss…well, you’re looking at the wrong girl, because that shit is ANNOYING. Just fucking chill out; I’m trying to walk across the room, and it’s hard to do that with you getting all grabby.

3. You are jealous/needy/insecure.

I bundle these three traits into what I call “The Wiener Triad,” because dudes who are jealous, needy and insecure are WIENERS. Dudes who get bent out of shape because you have friends, dudes who never want to let you leave their side, dudes who can’t get a boner without asking how it compares to other boners…gross. Don’t be a wiener, dudes. Be happy when the girl you like has a life she likes with people in it that she likes. It doesn’t mean you have competition; it means she’s awesome.

4. You aren’t Spock.


I am a reserved kind of person. If you are a constant hot, seething mass of changeable moods and rapidly fluctuating Special Feelings, we’re not going to understand each other. I know that it’s important to talk about feelings in a romantic relationship, and I’m fine with doing that in a calm, rational way. No yelling, no melodrama, no saying one thing and thinking something else. If you are reading this and thinking “BUT ALLE, WHAT ABOUT FIRE? WHAT ABOUT PASSION?” then you understand nothing about my Vulcan ways and are instructed to head for the door.

5. You take advice from men in goggles.

We all know what negging is and I speak for my entire gender when I say we’re not into it. If your idea of flirting is being mean, you’re in the third grade. Grow the fuck up.

6. You’re a damned wuss.

If you like me, make a move. If you want to date me, ask me out. Do not sit around, stewing yourself into a ball of resentment as to why I don’t notice you, it must be because you’re such a Nice Guy and clearly I don’t want a Nice Guy because all girls want jerks, blah blah blah. You know what I want? A dude who is self-assured without being an asshole, and actually likes himself enough to believe that girls will like him, too. Who can take the initiative to talk to someone that he likes, rather than waiting for her to realise what’s been in front of her all along. Because LIFE IS NOT A ROMANTIC COMEDY. Here’s the thing: making the first move is the easiest part of any relationship. If you think asking someone out for coffee is hard, wait until they tell you they have cancer. See? Perspective.

7. You don’t get it.

This is the hardest to define, but…just get it. Get me. Get the dumb jokes and the quoting and the clothes and the hair and the fact that I can’t walk in a straight line without tripping. Get the trashy TV and my love of pop music. Get that homesickness is a part of me so real it may as well be a limb. Get that I don’t say things I don’t mean. Get that I don’t need saving and that I’m not going to save you. Get that right now I’m running the twelve times table in my head for no reason. Get that I’m going to be this way until I die and you won’t change me, not now, not ever.

8. You’re not hot.

You can’t bone someone’s great personality. Just saying.


9 thoughts on “The Dealbreakers

  1. #6 – reminds me of one of my peeves with dudes, the man who keeps his ball sack in his mother’s purse. Look, yes she is family, love her etc. but when mama is still ever present as in buying him underwear, telling him what to do and her opinion comes before mine when we are trying to make major decisions about OUR life? Hell to the no.

    (thank jeebus my husband has his in the right place)

  2. I love number four. I tried to explain to my boyfriend just how hot Spock is and why, he just didn’t get it. Good thing “not getting it” isn’t one of my dealbreakers. Actually, it probably is, but for bigger things than what’s so appealing about Spock.

  3. I’m sort of just being deliberately provocative with this question, but I also think I’ve got a kernel of a point here: Don’t guys do #5 in order to learn how to stop doing #3 and #6? I mean, if one of your rules is that guys can’t show insecurity, and another one of your rules is that guys can’t be scared to approach you, then do you really have a right to complain when the guys you’ve rejected for these reasons start studying pick-up? What else are they supposed to do, commit suicide?

    1. None of these are rules in the sense that men must change themselves in order to conform to them. These are personal preferences that say as much about me as they do about the guy.

      I don’t think that men turn to pick up artists to get over their insecurities, or to cure a lifetime of not being confident. That’s called therapy and it takes years, not a weekend seminar with a five thousand dollar pricetag. These guys look for a quick fix, which is given to them by dudes who prey on the vulnerable. Pick up artists don’t teach these men how to improve themselves, or even like who they are: They teach them how to manipulate women into sleeping with them. It’s not even close to the same thing.

      So in short, yes. As long as guys in bars keep approaching me with nasty comments and failed attempts at being “cocky/funny,” I have a right to complain.

      1. You’re talking about Mystery and negging and all that crap. Yeah, those guys are dicks, but the media concentrate on the worst of it for the sake of sensationalism. Most books about “How to be Better with Women” aren’t about insulting drunk girls until they go home with you; they’re about overcoming approach anxiety, realizing that rejection isn’t the end of the world, learning the ways that women and men talk differently so you can understand women better, etc.

        Take it from me: no guy is born smooth enough to just go up to a pretty stranger without fear (unless he’s a sociopath, and I’m assuming you don’t want to date sociopaths). The “confident” guys you like are actually guys who are *skilled at pretending not to be nervous.* And you have to learn that from somewhere. Maybe if you’re lucky you learned it from your dad or older brother, but some us us had to learn it from books. Anyway, all I’m saying is: if someday you’re dating a guy you like and you find a book about picking up women hidden in his drawer, don’t get too mad, because if he hadn’t read it, he never would have been able to approach you in the first place.


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