Once, in my not-too-distant relationship past, I had a guy pull a Ted Mosby on me. For those of you not well-versed in How I Met Your Mother, the Urban Dictionary defines “doing a Mosby” as “telling someone romantically involved with you that you are in love with them, completely out of the blue”. For Ted, this was on his first date with Robin. Her reaction was to freak out and call a stop to the relationship – leading to the rest of the definition: “… making them be completely repelled by you in any romantic way”.
My fellow let it slip after only a couple of dates but, unlike Robin, I didn’t freak out and it wasn’t the end of the relationship. I chose to laugh it off. We’d both had a bit to drink and it was in the heat of … the moment… and I knew that it was accidental and that he didn’t really mean it, so I let it go (with some gentle mockery). He was pretty embarrassed, but he apologised and we got over it. I figured it was really just his way of saying that he really liked me and was enjoying himself. No harm, no foul.
When I told one of my besties this story recently, she said, horrified “I wouldn’t even have bothered to throw his jocks after him as I shoved him out the front door. Total deal breaker”. She followed up by saying that a premature “I love you” was up there with being rude to her mum, excessive back hair or a drug habit.
Everyone has relationship dealbreakers, it’s just whether they’re acknowledged or not. Those things that you just can’t abide in a potential partner. Some of them are pretty universal: infidelity, lying, non-existent personal hygiene, abuse, wanting to control your every move. These are things that no one should accept in a mature, equal relationship.
Outside of the big ones though, deal breakers can be very personal. My deal breaker list really only has three things on it: shorter than me, bad teeth and saying “I voted for Tony Abbott”. Now, I have nothing against guys who are under 5’6” or who weren’t blessed with perfect dental genes (or the thousands to pay an orthodontist to replicate them). But when I look at my man, I want to look up at him. And when he smiles at me I don’t want to be thinking of Austin Powers or Cletus from the Simpsons.
While researching for this article, I came across the #icantbewithsomeone hashtag on twitter, which presented some fascinating deal breakers like “not having a freaky side”, “never gets mad at me”, “goes to church” and “has a big top lip and no bottom lip”. People want what they want…