Sunday, September 25, 2011

About Deal Breakers

It was decided that this month’s topic would be relationship deal breakers. It’s a little different, but at least this will serve as a useful guide for any potential suitors crazy enough to even try. Incidentally, this particular topic was deemed way too controversial for publication on the collaborative site. Nevertheless, I’m posting my two cents on it here anyway. En Garde! :P

The Big Five

5. You’re unattractive

Everyone seems to have a different idea of beauty and ugliness, in addition to placing assorted degrees of significance on the matter. I am someone on the more superficial end of the spectrum, and that means outward appearance really counts for something. Although I realise this as being rather unfair and shallow, accepting a mate based on good looks is what nature always intended as a measure of gene quality. There would also be trouble further down the track without physical attraction anyway. So there.

Despite this point sounding horribly petty, I’m not that unrealistic about my standards. The relevant criteria for an outwardly attractive male are as follows: 


- Symmetrical facial features
- No oddly exaggerated features which immediately stand out
- Large eyes
- Not overweight
- A head of natural hair in good proportion to the face 


- Passable dress sense
- Minimal facial and body hair
- Good personal hygiene
- Taller than me
- Well mannered and behaved

See? It’s not so complicated. I have seen commuters on public transport who are more attractive than celebrities. In fact, I have an aversion towards actors and the like.

4. You smoke, drink alcohol or use illicit substances

In particular, the substance abuse point is the equivalent of an instant fail. Smoking is something I don’t tolerate either, largely for the obvious health reasons. Blowing toxic smoke in a passing person’s face is also just unpleasant and rude. Although alcohol consumption appears to be widely accepted, I personally don’t see any justification for it. The idea that anyone would willingly waste money on something which causes vomiting and loss of motor control makes absolutely no sense to me. In addition, I find that alcohol both smells and tastes awful. If I have managed to live a perfectly content life without any of these ills, then I expect the same from you.

3. You dislike cats

As far as I’m concerned, if you still don’t like cats even after months of living with them, there is something intrinsically wrong with you. I do not believe that anyone who truly loves cats can be an entirely bad person. If that statement doesn’t apply to you, it could be that you actually belong with a dog person. However, if you don’t like pets at all, then I’m afraid you may be irreversibly hollow inside. Nothing can save you from the abyss that is your life then. Refer to the enclosed questionnaire for self-categorisation. (No pun intended.)

2. You lie

Lying leads to deception, which in turn results in backstabbing. This point also extends to keeping your word and not breaking promises. You certainly don’t want your only partner in life sneaking around and hiding unfavourable secrets from you, just as you don’t want to be stuck with someone you can’t depend on. As a wise old master would say, you are no longer a man if your word is worth diddly-squat.

Apart from the serious lies with malicious intent, there are also those which some people believe are necessary to avoid consequent anger or sadness. Such ‘excusable’ fabrications may not only surface as outright untruths, but also through withholding vital information from the other party. This less treacherous form of lying may be beneficial when dealing with friends or overreacting family members, but it shouldn’t really have a place in serious relationships, especially not with regards to major issues. 

Lastly, the more minor type of lying is the seemingly harmless ‘white lie’ which is usually reserved for glossing over trivial dilemmas. I believe a better way to deal with these situations is to use clever language and selective words. Failing that, you can always either try to change the subject or soften the impact with gentle humour and a positive spin. 

1. You cheat

It’s an ultimate expression of betrayal which eternally taints the person who commits the act, and a true irreversible sin of the flesh. When people cheat on their partners, they are no longer respected as humans. To me, they become nothing more than feral dogs awaiting extermination. Such is the depth of my disgust towards it, I’m afraid.

The main reason why the issue of infidelity is placed here as the major deal breaker boils down to my belief that a guy and a girl cannot be good friends, without one or both parties yearning for the relationship to become more than purely platonic. This is particularly true when one or both of them are physically attractive, even if at first those wishes are subconscious or repressed. I have always been mindful about this issue, even before I got around to watching When Harry Met Sally. 

Due to this concept, a certain degree of distance or restriction is required between friends of the opposite gender. The universal rule would have to be that no other person should know more about you than your partner. Unfaithfulness is the only issue that I believe can shatter a relationship beyond full repair at a moment’s notice, so you would be wise to tread carefully around it. 

My perception of disloyalty may be taken too far, which probably means I would get along well with the possessive yandere types. Essentially, if you put anything or anyone else above me, there’s going to be some degree of resentment. It might not even be immediately conscious, but someday a bitter cannonball is going to strike you in the face if all that resentment accumulates. This unusual quirk rules out a great number of candidates. Those who put their family, work, friends, hobby, or religion markedly first in life will all ultimately lose out. It may be an unfortunate hurdle for some, but at least it works well if both partners feel the same way.

The Obvious Ones

Varying Intellect and Poor Communication

Not speaking the same language is a major problem when it comes to a well rounded relationship. How is the other person supposed to know the full extent of how you feel or what you want? A similar predicament presents itself when one person uses big, fancy words the other cannot comprehend. Some folks seem to be happy with just someone who shows them unconditional affection and never leaves. This arrangement isn’t for me, as I think such a role would be far better suited to a dog. Well, of course in my case it would be a cat.


Laziness leads to many other major problems. Lack of employment, no money, a layer of garbage over the floor, overall resentment and poor hygiene. It’s worse when you have two lazy people under the same roof, in which case your home is guaranteed to look like a junkyard. I admit that I am lazy myself to a certain degree, leaving boxes of stuff around the perimeter of rooms and allowing the sink to pile with dishes. There’s that sort of general ‘messy’ laziness and then there’s terminal laziness. The latter kind is when your one ambition in life is to selfishly scratch your arse and drool, forcing your unfortunate partner to work twice as hard. This point may be slightly influenced by the traditional gender roles stereotype, where the man’s duty is to earn income, fix stuff and squash bugs.

Lack of Honesty

Closely tied to lying, lack of honesty is more about conveniently not mentioning things that you know your partner isn’t going to like. A partnership should promote transparency and rational discussion to diffuse any disagreements. I think you should be able to understand another person’s point of view if you listen to their explanation, instead of always believing they are wrong about every aspect. You should be able to comfortably talk issues through with your partner rather than resorting to avoiding conflict by hiding information.

Bad Chemistry

I mean this in three different ways. There’s literal bad chemistry, where you find that the other party reeks of B.O or naturally secretes a deterring aroma from their pores. Deodorant is your only hope, otherwise you either have to learn to love the odour or move on. 

Then there are uncomfortably awkward interactions through speech or physical contact, which fail to improve with time. You know those people who you just want to escape from as soon as they open their mouths anywhere near you? And those other people who make you shudder or send a creepy crawling sensation down your spine? Yeah. Avoid them.     

Finally, there are personality and core value clashes. Sometimes differing personalities can complement one another, while at other times the two parties have trouble getting along. Generally if the presence of another person irritates, confuses or makes you feel left out, it’s poor chemistry. Note that this may change depending on other factors, such as the number of people in the group. A large variation in core fundamental values and opinions between couples inevitably causes a breakdown sooner or later.

Lack of Honour and Respect

Basic courtesy and respect for one another is both essential to a relationship and desirable for positive everyday interactions with those around you. You should always respect your partner and feel proud of their achievements. Be careful not to sacrifice your own integrity or dignity during a relationship, and never let your own opinion of your partner plunge to one of fear or contempt. Remember that pity is not respect. Both parties should strive to treat one another fairly and considerately at all times. 


This is referring to extremes in opinion, personality or actions. These can be both positive and negative, either dedicating too much energy to something I find trivial, or detesting the same thing to an abnormal level. Examples may include politics, religion, and sports. I personally do not care for extremes, as I find they manifest more in people with quite extroverted personalities who find it difficult to listen to reason or compromise. There are others who prefer this trait though, deeming it a sign of an outgoing, passionate and headstrong individual. 

Being Passed Around

I realise that it is considered fairly normal these days for some people to go out every week and sleep with a different partner each time. I don’t necessarily look down on those who happily choose this lifestyle, but it certainly isn’t for me. Or for anyone I might closely associate with, for that matter. The idea of being intimate with so many strangers makes my skin crawl, and would send my perception of self-worth plummeting into the ground if I went about it. I suppose it probably doesn’t help that I majored in Microbiology, with all the STI cultures in the laboratory I dealt with and whatnot. I’m aware that it’s just my overcautious paranoia, but I always wonder if people who sleep around realise just how many different samples of bodily fluid they have collected by association. And from which weirdos they came from. 

Lack of Compromise

There are people who are stubborn, and then there are those who unreasonably demand to have everything their way. This behaviour is selfish and will result in bitterness from your partner over time. Sometimes you are wrong. Sometimes you have to meet each other halfway to be fair. Deal with it. Admit when you’re wrong, maybe even apologise without being pressured into it. Don’t start a war over not getting something how you want it all the time.

Being Stingy

I know what you’re thinking. You think I want enough riches and jewels to fill a football stadium. You think I want millions of dollars collecting interest in an offshore account somewhere so I can use $100 notes as kitty litter. Haha… No.

Although I’m not against all these impractical material goods (after all, regular kitty litter is damn heavy to carry), I’m not nearly that greedy. I’ve lived below the poverty line, so I can easily survive on a limited budget. Money only becomes a problem when you end up struggling to make ends meet. Credit card debt and frequent loans are a very bad idea in my book. At the bare minimum, all you need is a roof over your head (rent/mortgage), an internet connection, utilities and food. This should be simple to cover on an average double income.

What is vital is being able to live a comfortable life, without constantly stressing over how you are going to generate enough money every month. There should be enough spare cash left over each week to afford decent gifts for special occasions, emergency repairs, general medical costs, new appliances, and extra furniture if required.

The stingy part comes in when you insist the microwave is fine even if it is ready to explode and burn down the house at any given moment. Don't complain that basic gifts are too expensive if you are only obligated to get one three times a year, and instead try to find joy in making an effort for someone dear to you. Not wanting to pay for meals, eating like a hobo, stealing packets of sugar and paper towels from fast food joints to save a buck, and trying to feed the cat canned soot are all going too far on the stingy scale.

It’s fine to split things 50/50 if you both used around half each. Admittedly, the traditional male breadwinner stereotype means that valuable brownie points can be earned by a man who offers to pay more in the name of chivalry. There are good reasons why males with financial security are prized, and most of them are linked to the sacrifices brought about by childbearing. I also think the head of the house is expected to shoulder more of the responsibility to provide and protect the rest of the family. Both genders are generally expected to return to work soon after the arrival of a child nowadays, in accordance with the high cost of modern living.

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