Dating Dealbreakers: What Are Your Ultimate TurnOffs?

By Doireann | September 13 2013 | 70 Comments

There has been an absolutely stellar Craigslist personal ad doing the rounds on the interwebs recently. It was written by an almost unbelievably preachy and narcissistic man who’s looking for love, but not just any love; love with a VERY precise type of woman.

ME = A very nice, mature , “gentleman.” with a higher college degree and education. I have my own house (not apartment), car, income, etc. I am of Middle-Eastern descent (Iranian/Persian). A professional man with a GOOD BACKGROUND. Better than 99% of what you will find, GUARANTEE #1.

YOU = Good girl for friendship and romance. You would be treated very well and nobody will treat you better (GUARANTEE #2). HOWEVER IN ORDER FOR THIS TO HAPPEN . . .YOU HAVE TO BE. . . “Worthy,” “Deserving” and “Reciprocate.”

I have no idea how I should interpret those inverted commas. But it made me wonder – what bat-shit criteria do I subconsciously apply to determine whether men are worthy and deserving?


This absolute prince among men lists having children and being over 27 as his deal breakers, before launching into a 28 item FAQ including some complete gems:

Asking questions is fine but “arguing” is NOT attractive. You have a right to disagree BUT if your intention is to “argue,” just do us both a favor and don’t contact me at all. Men, in general, are TURNED-OFF by aggressive or argumentative woman BECAUSE it is characteristic of a traditional “masculine” person and NOT someone feminine. Have you heard of the “Bitch” stereotype? That’s what I mean. When men date the opposite sex they don’t want to feel they are with another man but with a female. If this is your style, please DO NOT contact me because we won’t get along.

This “gentleman” is very VERY clear on what he’s into. He’s also willing to lay it all out there for the world to see, which is erm… very proactive. But I worry when we set these specifications we cut ourselves off from a huge portion of the population.

For those of us without the time and inclination to figure all this out in the form of an epic Craigslist ad, what are the real deal breakers? What traits would entirely put you off another human being?

  • I canvassed my nearest and dearest to ask what stringent criteria they apply to potential partners.
  • The best answers I got were the weirdest most arbitrary things; I have a friend who says she’d never be attracted to a guy who wore sunglasses on that basis that ‘They’re for twats”. Hmmm!
  • Another friend told me a woman had to be able to start a fire to be considered. Innnteresting!
  • Some women say ‘beards’ are their ultimate turn off; guys frequently say ‘fake tan’ or ‘too much makeup’. I think we all secretly have height and age restrictions, don’t we? Almost everyone I asked had something to say on the topic.
  • But I always find when I meet someone and start to fall for them, my list goes out the window. You really can’t control the people you find attractive.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to email a certain “gentleman”.

So do you have any specific deal breakers? And do you think it’s gonna work out with me and this guy!?

Life, Relationships & Sex, WTF , , , , ,

70 Replies to "Dating Dealbreakers: What Are Your Ultimate TurnOffs?"

  • Áine says:

    I’d not heard of the ad, I’m with my BF for nearly a year this time around and I’ve found that he ticks boxes for me I never thought I’d needed to have ticked or didn’t even know existed.

    A person is more than the sum of their parts, so I agree with you Doireann on this one, while you’re looking at turn offs you can rule someone out who could be an excellent match for you. Sounds like this guy is cutting off his nose to spite his face here.

  • Mopofcurls says:

    HEIGHT!! It’s the one thing that I would insist on – six foot mark. As for other attributes, as Aine said all that kind of goes out the window when you fall for someone. Himself is 6’5 :) Besides height, I don’t really think too much about anything else!!

  • Rebelette says:

    I used to say smoking was my number one deal-breaker…but the last two guys I’ve dated were smokers. Though they didn’t really reveal how big of a smoker they were when they met me!

    I know this is silly….but I think that a guy who wears those Moses sandals would be a deal breaker! What a total turn off! I hate feet…and those sandals just give me the creeps! :)

  • Aisling says:

    Oh my god! I SERIOUSLY hope that guy didn’t get a girlfriend from that ad. What a horrible control freak!

  • Aisling says:

    Meanness, I hate it. A man who’s mean with money or always moaning about it…

  • Shygirl says:

    Very hairy backs. And he has to have a great sense of humour.

    • Rebelette says:

      Oh yea…hairy backs…and hairy shoulders!!! Ugh! Though I’m not sure if that would put me off someone completely!

      Wow…my list is getting longer already.

      A friend of a friend is online dating at the mo and had organised a date with a guy. Before it he text her to say….”don’t bother wearing make-up for me on the date tonight….I don’t like it when girls wear make-up to try and impress me”!!!!!!!!! What a dope!

      • Áine says:

        What a twit, obviously your friend wants to make a good impression (or would have) but mostly would be making herself look her best for HER! What a tool box. Next please!!

    • EvieM says:

      Ugh, hairy backs, shoulders or chests…yuck. Also dislike men who spend more time in front of the mirror than I do.

  • candi says:

    pot smoker. Non lover of animals. BO.

  • Banjaxed says:

    What I want and what I get are two different things :-). Seriously though, my husband is blond and 6 foot and I never consciously went for that (especially since I’m 5 foot nothing). I’ve always loved dark hair on men but go figure. When you meet somebody and you click – all “rules and requests” go out the window!

    • salsera says:

      Couldn’t agree more. My type has always been skinny, tall rockstar-type with wintry colouring. My husband was 21 stone when I met him, has brown curly hair, and is 5 ft 8 and a half, with soft autumnal colouring. Not at all my usual type.

      (Annoyingly, he has got down to 18 stone since meeting me, just by cooking from scratch more and not eating takeaways, and I’ve put on two stone since meeting him).

      I used to have narrow criteria (has to be 5 ft 10 etc), but I’m just glad other women didn’t take my fella cos he was under 5 10. Women are such height fascists!

      There are three things that are non-negotiable for me, and they’re hard to find together. He must be funny, kind and very intelligent.

      It’s very easy to get two of these, but for me, three is the jackpot. It took me til 38, but I found them in one guy eventually. We got married last year and are happy out.

  • EvieM says:

    Am I the only one that automatically decided he meant blow jobs when he said “reciprocate”??

    Definitely meanness, and they must be tall. Kindness is a must, a good strong pair of shoulders, can’t be doing with sloping shoulders.

  • Debs says:

    When you fall for someone then dealbreakers become, silly things you used to find off-putting! In saying that, I am a tall girl so short guys just don’t do it for me!! 6ft tends to be cut off for me!

  • Rebelette says:

    I’m afraid I could also add really bad teeth to my list! I’m getting worse than yer man in the article!!! ;)

  • Annette says:

    Bad manners. A bloke who makes you cringe in public because he says inappropriate things that he should keep for his mates in the pub. Physically i hate any man who tries too hard with the whole male grooming and fashion thing. Being pretty is my area!

  • Annette says:

    ‘Gamers’. They’re just wasting a woman’s time by pretending they want to date. Often they’re in their thirties and would rather still happily spend a weekend playing COD in their pants than take a girl out.

  • lainey316 says:

    Annette my bf is a gamer (and doing a phd in it) and I’m off to a gamer’s wedding tonight with a gamer and his wife (admittedly, she is also a gamer) – they’re not all that bad! Some are, but not all.

    I had a list of preferred attributes – no LDR, proper job with proper money, born in same decade, bunch of other stuff – the boy (who is 10.5 yrs younger and lives other end of the country, and aforemetioned phd means f all money) ticked basically none of them. ‘gets on with my friends’ (many nerds) was the only one, because he knew them already! list out the window :D

    • Annette says:

      Haha! Maybe it helps if you’re also into the whole thing. But spending my evenings and weekends watching an almost middle aged man play Batman isn’t my idea of a great time;-) Just my experience:-)

      • lainey316 says:

        It does of course. I think Batman was just plain rude regardless of being a gamer. I had an ex who would do that, I would come down from Dublin and call in and he’d just keep on playing games, his mate (now my BFF) would call over and we’d hang out. Jesus, it was brutal. Current BF asked very nicely could he watch a bit of online gaming tournament (I had bits and pieces to do around the house anyway) and was very grateful but god, he’d never ever play games when I’m there & just expect me to sit around and watch it. It’s dreadful.

        Obv gamer couple play together or in the same room at least.

  • Moll says:

    Love this topic. I’ve recently tried online dating a few times and amazed myself with the list of ‘dealbreakers’ that I never knew I had (and don’t generally apply to ‘real world dating’). Basically, anyone who messages me in text speak saying things like “hey how u lol xx” will never be replied to (and there are a surprising number of them). The same goes for guys who message multiple times when I haven’t replied quickly enough, DEMANDING to know why I haven’t replied (er, it’s 10am and I’m in work?!). Atrocious spelling and grammar also put me off, as do really boring conversations. My heart sinks a bit too when I see guys looking for “normal, down-to-earth” women. Just seems a bit boring, no? I also tend to avoid beards, men who are very overweight, people who pose with other women in their profile pictures (wtf is that about? Is she your sister? Your ex? Your ma?)…it goes on. This despite the fact that I have gone out with guys who had beards, were overweight, were in photos with their sisters etc.

    Another thing – I have often fancied men who are around my height (5′ 9″) but tbh probably would be reluctant to date anyone considerably shorter. However, it seems like all the tall men go for shorter girls. What’s that about? My housemate is 5’1″ and was contacted by loads of guys who were 6′ +, whereas I mostly got messaged by guys in the 5’6″ – 5’10” range. Weird.

    Outside of internet dating, my dealbreakers are selfishness, bigotry and any sign of a controlling nature. Also the guys who say “oh I love strong women” and then do everything in their power to undermine you. Sigh. I think I’ll be single for a while to come.

    • Sunshine says:

      Oh Moll… Seems we have the same dealbreakers! I’ve tried online dating too and the txt speak, bad spelling drives me nuts. To the point that I think if I met a guy on a night out, I might have to ask him to produce a recent example of his writing… just so i can be sure he knows the difference between quite and quiet. I’m way more picky online: self taken photos in the bathroom mirror, top off photos, photos showing off biceps or huge tattoos, cut and paste messages, profiles that ask “is there anybody normal on here” or are derogatory or generalise all women in any way…the amount of profiles that say things such as “no moany/spoilt women apply”… just no. Saying that I’ve met a lot of nice men on dates once I weeded out the above. Just no spark with any of them…yet! :)
      Deal breakers off line, bad hygiene, no conversation/social skills (I used to be painfully shy so I know what it feels like, yet by the time you’ve reached your thirties you need to have learnt some small talk and be able to handle yourself appropriately in different situations)
      Your “strong woman” point really hit home with me. I had an ex once that used that line on me… He had done everything to knock my confidence and then seemed to get annoyed when he succeeded. I learned a lot from that relationship and was pretty shocked at how I was willing to hand over my confidence and self worth to a man (with pretty bad hygiene! ugh) to control. However I think I have more red flags/things I’d be wary about that outright dealbreakers…Anyway while I’m willing to compromise on lots of things…I’d rather be left on the shelf with a nice view of what’s going on than locked away in the wrong cupboard :)

      • candi says:

        I’d rather be left on the shelf with a nice view of what’s going on than locked away in the wrong cupboard

        Love this!

      • Áine says:

        I’d rather be left on the shelf with a nice view of what’s going on than locked away in the wrong cupboard

        brilliant, the best advice I’ve seen in quite some time

  • candi says:

    bad shoes is another like Cowboy boots.

  • Debs says:

    Dirty nails is one for me, if they’re not clean…what else isn’t!!

  • fififinx says:

    I don’t believe in looking out for the perfect person in anything except HR. It only ends in disappointment one way or the other. As for the advertiser above, seriously, creep much? Sounds like the kind of yeuch-bag who is going to end up with a lot of bits of women stored in zip-lock bags in his freezer after they have failed to meet expectations. Just reading the ad makes me feel uneasy. It can only be hoped that some (inverted commas) bitch (Inverted commas) prevents him from breeding. I’m off to clean my eye balls with carbolic soap

  • splodge says:

    Oh those ads are so awful..

    I’ve a good lot of things I’d prefer but I’ve ignored them over and over again cos people ain’t so easy to peg down – non smoker (current bf is one), my height or taller (half my boyfriends have been shorter than me – I’m 5’9 so can’t be helped).

    Apart from the obvious kinda no violent people, no racists, homophobes, or sexist lads the one thing I’ve always held is that any lad who can’t do his own clothes washing and make some sort of effort at cooking and cleaning are gonna annoy me way too much. Like I don’t expect guys to be chefs or even super clean but I hate it when they’ve never attempted these things themselves. I’ve met guys who’ve said their mothers/housemates/ex-girlfriends used to do all that stuff for them. I can’t even begin to process that kinda mind-set. lacking basic living abilities like.

  • Sunflower Girl says:

    I am 5ft 10 and always said I would NEVER date anyone shorter. 6ft is my absolute minimum requirement. However, saying that, I met a guy recently who is shorter than me and we really really clicked.
    He is cute, the funniest, smartest guy I’ve met in aaaaaaages and we get along great, so I think I am going to throw my rules out the window and hope something happens.

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