Relationship Deal-breakers & Expectations: A Sad College Experiment

Earlier this week in my health class my professor decided to split the room up, boys in the front and girls in the back. The topic and “experiment” for the day was to have us work in a group to make a list of relationship “deal-breakers.” Once done, we would have the opportunity to openly question the opposite sex on any quality or behavior that struck a chord.

Well, let me tell you. My chords were being struck on both sides of the fence. I understand people have turn-offs, but overall I was feeling a little sorry for the people in my classroom. Besides myself, who kept quiet in the group conversation (as usual), all girls agreed these were not acceptable qualities or actions in a potential partner. As for the guys, same. Hey, I’m a professional eavesdropper… is that a turn-off? Not to mention, prior to this activity my professor asked who in the room was currently in a serious relationship, myself and a married man raised our hands. Hm, time to re-evaluate for some, I’d say.

Anyway, I ended up taking notes on what each side of the room had written (for blog purposes, of course). Here are some that stood out the most.

Deal-breakers/expectations for a girl when dating a guy

  • Must have straight teeth
  • Has to be tall
  • Cannot get arrested nor have been arrested
  • Needs to have money
  • Cannot have children
  • Has to be a family person
  • Must love pets
  • Loves to travel
  • Cannot smell bad
  • Not allowed to have other female (straight) friends

Granted the age of the girls in my group likely ranged from 18 to 23 years-old, there’s no reason for any of them to be so shallow. Or is there? What if a potential boyfriend has it all, you’re almost at the point of making things official when voila! He has a friend who happens to have a vagina… and she doesn’t like other vaginas. Or what if he just doesn’t like pets because he’s allergic, or what if he doesn’t have money because he’s putting himself through school, or what if he just so happens to have a crooked tooth?

When the class went back and forth arguing about these deal-breakers and expectations, I remember one question that stood out. A guy asked, “What about being tall? I’m short. Does that mean no one can find me attractive?” He wasn’t smiling. He genuinely seemed upset. One girl responded, “It’s just what we like,” clearly speaking for the entire group. I felt embarrassed.

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Deal-breakers/expectations for a guy when dating a girl

  • Has to have a nice ass
  • Cannot wear too much makeup
  • Needs to have money
  • Has to have a newer car (’05 and newer)
  • Can’t be a “ho”
  • Cannot have other male (straight) friends
  • Has to be in shape
  • Cannot drink excessively
  • Has to be into sports
  • Nails & waxing are a must

To be shallow in my own sense, none of those guys had any right to feel so confident in looking into the eyes of 20 girls and telling us we had to have a nice ass and have money in order to be considered date-worthy. We were told not to act promiscuous but when questioned in turn about the rules of their own promiscuity, the guys said it was different; they completed made the age old double-standard come to life before our very eyes.

None of the girls disagreed with the fact that wearing too much makeup would be a deal-breaker. I mean, would you purposely avoid a girl if she had a nice smokey-eye? Lord knows I love my makeup. Staring across the room, I realized that by requesting all potential mates to be in shape, with perfectly manicured nails and a nicely waxed bikini line meant that it was clearly a description of their dream girl.



Not at one moment did anyone mention

loyalty, honestly, dedication, hard-working, intelligent, caring, fun, adventurous, loving.

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8 thoughts on “Relationship Deal-breakers & Expectations: A Sad College Experiment

  1. That would have been an interesting class, but what was the point of the activity? Did the prof follow through with a “this was the aim of this experiment” comment?
    Can imagine it would have left a lot of people who have the same ideals as you (and me) feeling pretty depressed about the state of the human race…

  2. This was very interesting. I am far from worrying about any of those things. I do keep my self together though. First, for my assessment of self worth and what I like. Secondly, married for 46 years and very happy. We (husband and I) have changed a little, due to aging. Neither of us look our age (as told to us by others). I’m with you though in the shallowness that the class had. The important things that will carry a relationship weren’t even mentioned by the guys. The superficial outlook, hopefully, was due to a lack of maturity and not an assessment of what they truly think will be the link and core of keeping any relationship together. I extend this same thinking to women also. It sounds like the lack of understanding on both parts about Real relationships and what keeps them going.

    Great post Sarah. Interesting blog post.

    Check out All About Home on WordPress

    Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  3. Interesting post…but infuriating at the same exact time. I work with a lot of people who are in their late teens and early 20s. I’ve learned that intelligence, honesty and kindness are no longer traits that are valued. What can he buy me? How hot is he? Does she have a nice rack? With hard economic times, parents have been spending less and less time with their children, holding them to standards and teaching them values. Not speaking of everyone, of course, but I’ve seen this trend. Schools are focused on teaching only what’s on the standardized tests and fail to instill (and show the importance of) a love of learning. Working in a jail, I actually booked a 20 year old who didn’t know how to sign his name in cursive. WTH. Wake up kids, there are things in this life that are more important than that hottie with a body who cant read at his grade level but is driving his mommy and daddy’s Camero. Try some self-love and respect.

  4. Both of the results are interesting. But, I guess, most men like a light make-up but hate it like hell, if it is too much. No-one likes to kiss a pot of chemistry.Here, the easy to have girls are the ones wearing too much make-up and perfume or the 50+ women.
    Thank you, Sarah, for sharing this experience with us. It helps me (us men) to understand a little bit more of you women.

  5. Wow – I’m not too much terribly older than you, but I don’t recall knowing people this shallow when I was in college. It seems that these kids are gearing up for lots of disappointments in relationships and lots of loneliness.

  6. wow – glad i was not in that room. i would have lost it. on both sides. granted, i am almost 41 years old, married and a motherd. but i honestly can not remember a class full of shallow people in my when i was that old. maybe i have selective memory? otherwise, what is going on in this world?

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