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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