‘If he was ever an emo, that’s a deal breaker.’
‘If she has ever had any vajazzling, that’s a deal breaker.’
‘Bad fake tan, massive deal breaker.’
‘Putting a jumper on a dog. Huge deal breaker.’
You know the biggest deal breaker for me? Anyone who says the phrase ‘deal breaker’. To imply that any relationship could suddenly be ended by one particular behaviour or action.
It makes dating feel like a transaction. Instead of two people hanging out and having fun, it’s like you’re buying a second hand car. You’ve kicked the tyres, taken it for a test drive and all seems fine. But then you notice a southern cross sticker on the bumper bar, or fluffy dice on the revision mirror, and the deal’s off.
Forget that a sticker and fluffy dice can be easily removed. That they’re probably something to do with what the car was, not what the car is now. That the car has changed and is now ashamed of those things. That apart from a few surface imperfections, it really is a smooth running car with a solid service history and no major mechanical flaws.
We’ve all got things in our past that we’re not proud of. Things that if they came to light, are all likely ‘deal breakers’. Being photographed sleeping on a nature strip next to a pile of vomit. Standing too close to a fire and losing your eyebrows. Happy pants. Sporting memorabilia. Porn in the internet history. A Dan Brown novel. Souvenir shot glasses. Embarrassing hairstyles. Owning a Hanson album. Remember them? They’re still going. And the fact that I know that, is that also a deal breaker?
There are real deal breakers. Cheating on someone, along with other actions and words so horrible that they’re inexcusable. These limits are different for everyone, and when negotiating such heavy emotional territory, I think ‘deal breaker’ sounds too flippant. ‘When I found out those trips weren’t for business, and that he’s got a second wife and family. Well, totes a deal breaker. OMG FML.’
If you meet someone that’s perfect apart from one superficial aspect, and you’re prepared to rule them out as a prospective partner based on that, well I think that says a lot more about you than it does about them.
It also implies that you’re spoilt for choice. So you’re probably very popular and are too busy looking in a mirror, commenting on your photos and replying to endless Facebook friend requests to be reading this.
Incidentally, for me all three of those things are deal breakers. If they prove to be indicators of a largely vacuous nature, and a complete obsession with self. If not, and we can work around those and other menial differences, then things will likely be fine. That said I am 34 and single, so what the hell do I know?
Anyway, what happened to giving people a chance? For the most part, people probably do and ‘deal breaker’ is only an ironic throwaway joke. If you’re not joking, and are seriously using it to review dates and relationships, then stop it. You sound like a judgmental fool.