When is a Deal Breaker Really a Deal Breaker?

When it comes to dating, most people have things that they consider deal breakers, things about the other person that you can’t get over and therefore end the potential relationship. Most of the time these deal breakers are identified within the first one or two dates and you simply initiate ghosting protocol.

I am not advocating for ghosting. I’m a firm believer in sending a to the point text that I spent ten minutes writing and editing with the help of my sister or girlfriends.

But let me explain.

The Moaner

Sometimes ghosting is simply easier and less awkward than telling someone that the passionate moan they let out when you kissed goodnight after the second date was the reason there would be no date number three.


And that the sound was so unexpected it triggered an out of body experience where you were watching yourself from above and you could see that your lips were barely touching at the time of the moan.

Especially since you have no poker face so when the sheer volume of the moan instinctively made you pull back, the look on your face was pure horror.

So you pretended that you had to rush to your train even though you were both standing on the platform and the train hadn’t even come to a stop yet…

That moan was a deal breaker.

I’d like to note that this date was two or three years ago and there were other things I should have at least considered:

  • He was over a half hour late to meet me
  • He basically followed me around a museum for three hours
  • When I asked if he was hungry, he said he had already eaten and he was not interested in me finding food.

Obviously I was annoyed and hangry. Needless to say, neither of us ever reached out and we did not go out again.

The Cheater

I went out with another guy around the same time as The Moaner. While I will admit that I initially approached the wrong tall black guy with hipster glasses, despite it being our second date, that was not the reason the date turned sour so quickly.


We had chosen to meet at a restaurant attached to a bowling alley to play bar trivia. He looked up the answer to the second question on his phone. In an attempt to discourage him, I said “it’s just trivia”. He responded and said “it’s just trivia”.

After that he simply began to look up the answers on his phone and not even ask me what I thought he answer was. I spent the rest of the game texting one of my friends about how horrified I was and even at times telling him I knew the answer and then deliberately giving him the wrong answer. I managed to prevent us from winning but we still got second place and a $50 gift card to come back and bowl.

When we left, he offered me the gift card. Now, I love bowling. Soooo much. But I didn’t feel right about taking it. I faked a smile, told him we could use it next time, and gave him an awkward hug before quickly walking to the T stop. I couldn’t stop thinking “if he cheats on trivia, what else would he cheat on?”

He texted me a week later.

And I responded telling him I didn’t see us working out. Somehow he turned it into a sexual thing and sent me five more texts asking if I wasn’t attracted to him and why. I clearly remember saying “that’s not what I said. Best of luck.” Which of course is basically code for don’t text me again.

He found me on Facebook a few months later and sent me a message telling me he wasn’t sure why we didn’t work out and saying he wanted to give it another chance. It went to my spam and almost a year passed before I saw it.

But what were the deal breakers, really?

When I had told a guy friend of mine about both these guys, he thought I was crazy for not going out with either guy again just because they moaned or cheated at trivia. It made me doubt my decisions at the time. But I shouldn’t have.

With The Moaner it is possible that the moan wasn’t the real deal breaker. Maybe it was the sound that broke the deal’s back, but I do think that there were some things on that date that were concerning:

  • By being late, he did not value my time
  • Following me around meant that he lacked confidence in his own decisions
  • Not even offering for me to get dinner could have meant that he was not a considerate person

With The Cheater, the main deal breaker was that he was dishonest. But thinking about it, based on his behavior on the date:

  • He did not value my contribution
  • He did not respect me enough to not cheat even when I was clearly uncomfortable and made it known
  • He was not considerate to the other people playing
  • He did not understand or care that what he had done was wrong

And based on his behavior following the date, he was extremely insecure and could not take no for an answer.

And I want none of that.

I’m not saying a guy’s height or job or whatever can’t be a deal breaker too, but the ones that really matter – the deal breakers that are really deal breakers – are the ones that go against the characters you’re looking for in a potential significant other.

And the deal breakers that are really big (like signs that he’s racist, sexist, or controlling), those are red flags.

I’ll get to those later.


8 thoughts on “When is a Deal Breaker Really a Deal Breaker?

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