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Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

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« In Which We Die Alone Apart From The Cats »

 Turn Me Off


I recently made a giant list of turn ons and turn offs in a notebook. You know, in case I forget some. I’ve been told I’m going to die alone, and I accept this as an entirely real possibility. But modern romance is hard. Being in constant contact via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, texting and very rarely an actual telephone call makes it hard to not completely get sick of someone or immediately see what glaring social flaw they have that is the reason for them being single.

Things I have broken up with/almost broken up with boys over:

Breathing loudly while eating

Truth be told, breathing loudly while eating was only one of this guy’s many major problems. I overlooked many of them because he was a Brazilian god who worked in my campus restaurant and used to talk about amazing directors when he served me. But when I look back on the couple times that we had sex and the couple more times that we went out on real dates all I can remember is him huffing and puffing while he shovelled sushi into his mouth. Now, heavy breathing while eating sushi is sometimes very rarely but sometimes understandable, because, when I’m mowing down on an inside out California roll, I also have a bit of trouble chewing the whole thing and swallowing in one bite. Sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating. So going for sushi on a first date isn’t ideal. I gave him a pass.

Another time that is perhaps more telling was when we ordered pizza and he was sitting there, across the table from me in his parents’ basement. This was early in my college days and most people I knew lived at home. And living at home is far preferable to living with your ex (which, unless you’re a god damn Adonis, is also a deal breaker). So I didn’t judge him super harshly for living at home. I judged him for what happened after we opened that pizza box.

I took two bites of my pep and cheese when I distinctly heard wheezing. I checked again to see if he was running a marathon in circuits around the couch and the 1970s TV. He wasn’t. He was just eating pizza and wheezing. Needless to say, I put my half slice down, walked up the stairs and never came back. I couldn’t even bring myself to break up with this guy in person after a couple months of dating.

Bringing me to a party and ignoring me for a few hours

I met this hottie at a bar. Let’s call him Rick, because that was his real name. We went to the same college and we shared a penchant for witty banter and dive bars. He had a perfect face and perfect hipster hair cut, a range of incredible tattoos and a body that could only be described as delicious. The best part was you couldn’t even tell he had an incredible bod because it was always hidden under his amazing sweaters and t-shirts. He was like my own private playland. He even brought me up to a friend’s cabin at the lake after knowing me for about a month and asked me to be his girlfriend on a long walk. Sometimes hipsters breaking down a wall is just too precious for words. How did it end in disaster?

We went to a party and he spent the entire evening chatting up his far less attractive than me friend of his. I get this, and I’m a secure girl. But there’s a limit. There’s a couple hour limit. Once you’ve reached that limit, I throw back shots with some locals and walk up to the guy with the DSLR camera on his shoulder who’s looking all sorts of mysterious with his incredible glasses and crooked hair cut and I ask him if he wants to leave the bar and go skateboarding at 1AM. This will work. It always does.

The next morning I will return to our cabin, pick up my things, you will apologize profusely to me and even cry! Yes. It happened. All of it.

And you know that guy that I ended up leaving with? We dated for two and a half years after that night. Based on how easily I come to despise the men I find myself on dates with, it’s good to know my drunk rebound game is on point.

Telling me many women thought he was gay


Being bad at sex and/or a subpar kisser

Subpar kissing is grounds for immediate dismissal. Subpar sex can sometimes be disguised as awkward sexual chemistry at first, and I have been guilty of keeping men around for way too long that are just bad at it. I will never do this to myself again. I would rather die alone.

Embarrassing myself in front of them

This is one thing that the men in my life cannot control. I occasionally break up with men because I’ve embarrassed myself so badly in front of them I can’t imagine ever showing my face to them again. This dealbreaker is reserved for guys that haven't already fucked it up in some other way; they are otherwise known as perfect for me.

Ethan (which is not his real name, because frankly, if you’re dating me, you want your identity protected) was exactly that kind of guy. He could wax poetic about Sartre and actually knew which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles plotline went with which sequel. He gave me a moleskin notebook on our second date and also thought we should wait to have sex. I ate that shit up.

All this to say, within about three weeks I was all sorts of hot for an incredibly handsome Irish bartender who (and this is perfect) was also a substitute teacher. There was not a single thing I noticed about this guy that I didn’t absolutely love. One night, after a few hours of dancing and drinking at the pub he worked at, I got way too drunk. My girls bounced to a club, and I bounced with them. Except when we got to the place it was all electrosynth club music so naturally I strolled right out of there and headed back to my usual haunt.

Trying to go back into the bar I was originally at to meet up with my ride home proved disastrous. I guess I couldn’t communicate my desire to come in clearly enough, because they actually had to go get my guy from the bar to tell me to basically get lost.

No matter how perfect your guy is, no matter how brilliantly handsome, witty, quirky and apparently inexplicably hot for you he is—if he works at your favorite bar, just don’t do it! You will end up drunk, outside the bar, telling him you never want to see him again because this situation is just too embarrassing for you. And you will have a third degree shameover the next morning.

Oh and in case you’re worried this story ends up with me in a gutter, they actually eventually let me in. I found my ride, made my way to another bar with my crew, partied for a few more hours and held it together. But the damage with my famous bartender was done. He now has all of the hand in our relationship because he actually took me back.

Telling me to put something down in a louder-than-normal voice

If you’re yelling at me over putting down a bag of fast food on your coffee table because you haven’t eaten in t-minus 2 hours, you can safely assume you will not be taking off this incredibly cute summer dress that I’m wearing.

Being a Republican and/or conservative

I don’t like to take sides, but if you don’t believe in universal health care I just cannot bring myself to sleep with you.

Texting me “hey” and/or “hey what’s up”

You can do better than this. And if you can’t, there isn’t a girl in the world who wants to know you. It should be noted that texting “What are you doing right now?” or “How is your day going so far, holmes?” is perfectly acceptable.

Things I would break up with boys over:

  • A bad smell. Any bad smell.
  • Sucking at grammar, colloquialisms or idioms.
  • Wearing socks during sex.
  • Bad shoes. Short pants. Either or.
  • Using a Bluetooth headset.
  • Acting weird about things that aren’t weird and other versions of trying to be cool.
  • Trying to be “wacky”
  • Having bad facial hair.
  • Saying monogamy is boring and other obvious statements that make me think you might have an STI.
  • Telling me you don’t like my haircut. For reals. I will cut a bitch.
  • Trying weird sexual stuff without ASKING first.
  • Judging me for indulging in pop culture (this includes top 40, house music, blockbuster movies, vampire tv shows, reality tv, perezhilton.com and anything else I didn’t mention but is occasionally awesome).
  • Asking to have a threesome. Do you know what I hear when you ask this? “I would like to fuck another girl, have you watch and you be okay with it. Can we arrange that?”
  • Owning a cat. That is ONLY yours and that you bought yourself.
  • Spooning me like a girl. I mean fuck, if our toes are touching, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Buying me useless things.
  • Being too old for me and trying to compensate by acting younger. Being too old for me on its own is okay though.
  • Being good friends with a bunch of bitchy girls. You know they are, and I don’t even want to get into it.
  • Not liking to cuddle. What are you, a sociopath?
  • Baldness. I’m really sorry about this one. But I’m really not.
  • Getting mad at me when I can’t figure something out. If we’re going to be together, you’re going to need to exercise your patience bone while I try to figure out how to get out of the fucking corner with my gun pointed towards the ceiling in Call of Duty.
  • Only caring about sex or not caring about sex at all. This is perhaps more troubling, and makes me very suspicious.

I’m actually totally okay with living a solitary existence. Can’t wait.

Teghan Beaudette is a contributor to This Recording. This is her first appearance in these pages. She is a writer living in Ottawa. She blogs here.

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"Animal (Peter Bjorn & John remix)" - Miike Snow (mp3)

"Let's Call It Off (Girl Talk remix)" - Peter Bjorn & John (mp3)

"Lay It Down" - Peter Bjorn & John (mp3)


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Reader Comments (65)

Thorough and amusing list, although I would have to say that this article was made perfect by the appearance of Nick and Lindsey. Well done.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarina

can I subscribe to your newsletter, dear

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercyle


March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSam

The first Nick & Lindsey screencaps are adorable. Then it all goes awry... such is life. Great article!

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Morris

Yikes. You are a perfect new contributor to This Recording. This post exhibits the ideal blend of smugness, glibness and callow, youthful know-it-all-ness, egocentrism and unvarnished and unquestioning self-regard that is, for me, the hallmark of this site.

Unless it was all a very sly self-parody, or super-meta critique of the kind of creepy, casual vanity exhibited by the author "character." I.e., maybe you would consider dating someone who, or example, might have some perfectly reasonable objections to universal health coverage. In that case I take it all back.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDB

Alternate title to this post: How to Spot a JAP.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlert


March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOMG

I'll ruin my self-esteem just to get with you, girl.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHotDude

High maintenance...

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbrian

DB: You're right. This article was quintessential in it's self-indulgence. However, I find it delightful that your post is written with the same smug attitude that makes this site what it is. I mean, you're spot on. Absolutely. Careful though, your pompous critique of this pompous article might cause a catastrophic rift in space and time and end all existence as we know it.
Finally, I hope the author eventually finds some one. That is, she shouldn't be alone sexually because her writing alone is masturbatory enough.

March 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNA

be nice to the new girl. she's smart... right?

March 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteroptional

I hadn't had great sex until I had sex with a bald guy. Beware gangly pouty boys, they's tha wurss.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterca

Larry David is reputed to be an incredibly caring lover.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralex

This piece is really funny when you're not just being mean. 99% of the things you mention are choices men make, bad choices. Being bald? Not a choice. It just makes you kind of a dick.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTheDLC

I would have deal breakers too, like if a girl were narcissistic enough to write dumb shit like this in a notebook. Actually wrote it down in a fucking notebook! I'd tell her to go fuck a bartender.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersolaris

I will now dedicate my life to an attempt to exemplify all of these qualities simultaneously.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

dating articles always bring out the commenters I didn't know we have

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

I agree completely with all of this! Good job. The only one I'd budge on is baldness but only if he was insanely hot and included extra good stuff like a motorcycle or something.

April 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

dudeskis, need i remind you of the standards women are held to in order to be "date-able." everyone has their own set of deal-breakers -- being selective about who you choose to commit yourself to emotionally and physcially with does not make you entitled or smug.

this list is one woman's list. and everything on it (at least the top part) is impressively universal. nothing snotty about dumping somebody for being a bad kisser, yelling, or ignoring you in public. i'd also like to note that i've been scorned for chewing with my mouth open (by both women and men that i've dated) and i do think it makes me a disgusting human being. trying to change that.

May 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlily

I'm come to accept I'll die alone, so welcome to the club! Drinks for all!

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbrt

We have similar enough taste that I would like to request that if you need to reject anyone for the sole crime of baldness, please point him in my direction. Especially if he's got broad shoulders, stubble, and a little bit of a belly. I love a big bald dude.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMollie

If I move to Canada will I be able to be this picky? New York is terrible and you would thank your lucky stars to meet someone who doesn't smell, and put up with all the other stuff

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterleti

This totally cracked me up! I think your list is completely justified... even though my boyfriend uses bluetooth and likes to be little spoon. My real dealbreaker is bad teeth and a lack of desire to change that. I've had grown men start wearing their high school retainers again.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterderomanticize

who really knows the truth?

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterarcenio

I'm a bit puzzled why do you have such a list? I mean we are all dorky and goofy inside. If the guy isn't abusive physically or mentally and is attentive then where is the malfunction? Everyone has bad breath and everyone has little foibles that appear as strange.

June 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJust a guy

Ah, the Sassy Bitch gambit. Has it ever worked? It must have, or else why would people keep doing it?

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCT

Their are people in the world who have never been given a reason to second guess their excessive pride and belief in their right to scrutinize others. These people are almost always unimpressive in every way except the power they have taken over others by shaming them. They need to be given a reason. They need to be told instead of lied to about how great they supposedly are. Don't tell a girl she's so great and "sweet" because she looks good. It takes away their awareness of reality and makes them worthless to a person with a soul. Facial features lie about whats inside. Don't let your knees and backbones buckle under the weight of your attraction.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhmm

In other words you won't be so picky when you have a clearer view of yourself and have a humble self-awareness. It's what makes a person kind and worth spending time with. Some people find vulnerability attractive.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhmm

Anyone have a bucket for the drool produced by those last few comments? lulz

June 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermercy

My guess: all above are bald.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterroosevelt'sbackbone

Wearing socks during sex.

This is an accident and I'm sorry. This is a subconscious reflex. Because I hate my feet and all feet.

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Nelson

bitch needs to calm down.

July 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterx

your list is a turn off to all guys

July 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdude

This is satire, right? Please tell me it's satire.

August 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterp0nd

Your are the perfect female version of Tucker Max. I thank you for the hilarity!

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

That's it, I'm done with men and I'm running away with you, chica. PS. Know what's the worst? The open-mouthed dudes that smile and laugh (especially is they've got one of those nasal, snorty laughs) mid-chew. Those noises are restricted for half-conscious moments when one is startled awake by one's own snore.

Oh, and dudes that sigh when they pee.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRaisin

Hemingway? Wrote about grunts who'd been shot or who'd watched guts get spilled over piles of dirt between two trenches.... Faulkner? Slaves. He wrote about slaves, their mental and physical rape by America the Perverted, and other such sunny tales of folk with plain ol' retardation. Morrison? Rape...Jim Crow...and slaves. Joyce? Endless poverty and de facto enslavement for the Irish. I might give you some Woolf mush points...minus the rebuke to centuries of female subjugation, or surgeon's-scalpel focus on language. But hey, great you time to write a cute tart list; shout-out to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles plot-lines included at no xtra charge.

Sorry. I'm lashing out because I'm unemployed.

August 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBored

Your article started out great, and quickly descended. I feel like the next ten items would have included "Owning a Beach Towel" or "Not Wearing Green on St. Patrick's Day." Sorry, Teg, but if a dude made a list this arbitrary, he'd be held down and have "Commitment-Phobe" tattooed on his forehead.

August 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBaldy McBluetooth

Bald is beautiful. Actually, variety is beautiful. Have fun with those unrealistic standards.

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

This is one of the most amazing things I've ever read. I agree with EVERY ONE of your bullets about things break up with someone for. Spot on. Especially the cat one. And the baldness.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie

I can't believe someone accidentally admitted to wearing socks during sex.

I don't understand why everyone can't have their likes and dislikes. For example, I enjoy a healthy command of the short fiction of Clark Ashton Smith.

September 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterAlex

"I don’t like to take sides, but if you don’t believe in universal health care I just cannot bring myself to sleep with you."

That's ok. I understand that with all the diseases you've picked up, you're desperate for heath care.

I'll stick with healthy people, instead.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Q

hilarious but impossible to have all of that and whats wrong with having a cat

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJosher

You had me until cat ownership. "Oh yeah, he was the perfect guy. He wasn't bald and he had fantastic shoes... too bad he owned a common pet!"

Well-written and funny, though.

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoland Z

this is really great. i agree with 98% of what you wrote. i am currently dating a guy who does some of these things and i just didn't see it was so annoying until i read this and hung out with him after. thank you for showing me the light.

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermel

I was wondering if you had considered ever trying to solve the problem that was disturbing you, or for you every single disliked thing is a dealbraker or a "shit you ate up". Have you just once tried to - God save us - talk about it? You know, guys are human beings who actually can think, not some pair of shoes you take or leave... :P

By the way, I don't intend to be cruel, but I hope with all my heart you'll die alone (or ended up with a terrible human being who fits your expectations)... because if not, that means guys want the girls like you... and that would be just sad.

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZsazs

I nearly cried after I read: "Only caring about sex or not caring about sex at all. This is perhaps more troubling, and makes me very suspicious." So darn true.

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHarriet Greory

I'd probably break up with you for having the name Teghan.

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaFe

No matter how cut your summer dresses are,
you're gonna end up single And with a bunch of cats.
No boy could endure such a bitch.

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthejoneses

girls that menstruate.
I'm really sorry about this one, but I'm really not into this type of girl.

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergross

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