We’ll never forget that morning-after scene from Boomerang in which Eddie Murphy, as foot fetishist Marcus, pulls back the sheets on his date’s toes—and it’s hammertime. Game over. Hey—we’ve all got standards. This month, we explore with singles which words, behaviors or characteristics indicate that an interested person will not get a(nother) date. Too many (or too few) tattoos? Baby daddy drama? Nicotine-stained teeth? We asked men and women:
What are your dating deal breakers?
She said …
A deal breaker for me is when a man lacks ambition. I am a business owner and community activist. I have to have a man with equal or more drive. I am fine with a man who has a 9 to 5, but I need him to have something else going for himself; I need a man who isn’t afraid to dream. Therefore, complacency is a definite deal breaker for me.
—Keisha Pickett, 32, Tampa, Fla.
One man I dated was habitually late. The only time he was ever punctual was when I lied and said something started 30 minutes earlier. That was a ploy I successfully used for a couple of months until he realized I was manipulating him, which led to another “discussion.” He couldn’t understand how being late cost us money, added stress, inconvenienced others and was not a good habit to have. I thought he was the ONE. We had so much in common. We talked about everything, enjoyed the same activities and outings ... it was great. At first I ignored the problem, then I would mention it every so often, and finally, it became an issue that I brought up regularly. This led to talks, then discussions, which ended in arguments. Eventually, I had to let him go because he couldn’t respect my feelings on the issue.
—Shannon Mouton, 43, Washington, D.C.
The behavior that makes me say no thanks to another date is if a man becomes aggressive when it’s time to say good night. If he wants to end the evening with heavy petting or invites me back to his place, it’s a dating deal breaker.
—Jen Campbell, 36, Washington, D.C.
He Said …
A deal breaker for me is when I try to touch a woman or get sexual with her she backs off. I’m not saying she needs to have sex with me on the first date, but if I’m flirting with her and put my palm on her leg and she moves away, then she will not hear from me again.
—Name withheld, 31, New York City
My No. 1 deal breaker is a woman who doesn’t own up to her mistakes. I dealt with such a woman recently. She messed up, and I called her out on it. She owned up to it eventually but admitted that she might do it again in the future. I told her that she and I would not work out. I won’t tolerate someone who continues to repeat the same issues. A woman who does this is no longer making mistakes, she is simply testing me, and I don’t like being tested. No normal person does the same undesired actions repeatedly unless he or she is doing it on purpose.
—Name Withheld, 24, Hampton, Va.
I wouldn’t date a woman who doesn’t show authentic interest in going out with me—one who acts as if she’s dating me as a favor. I also steer clear of anyone with a bad attitude (e.g., arrogance or ego) and women who act like they are single when they’re attached.
—Michael, 29, Atlanta
Deal breaker No. 1: finding out she has an STD. Deal breaker No. 2: finding out she is on the “boot list.” In Chicago, if you have three unpaid parking tickets, your car will be booted by the authorities. Being on the list is a good indication that she can’t manage her money.
—Darnell Palmer, 40, Chicago