Turn Me Off
by TEGHAN BEAUDETTE
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.
"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)