Bullshit | 50 Shades of Deal Breakers

If you’ve been following along for a minute, you’ll know that I started off 2020 engaged and planning a wedding to a guy I thought I’d spend forever with, only to get dumped the weekend before what would’ve been our wedding day in September. And if you haven’t been following along, that’s pretty much the gist of it.

SO, now that we’re all up to speed, let’s talk about life as a single gal for the first time in almost a DECADE! To cope with the overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and rejection (as ya do when your heart gets discarded like yesterday’s trash), I did what any almost 30 year-old with a broken heart would do . . . online date . . . and lots of it . . . in the middle of a global pandemic.

In fact, my first date after almost eight years of monogamy was on said cancelled wedding date and it was glorious . . . ly awful, but it’s okay. He was really nice to look at for three hours and he even asked me out on a second date, which I politely declined . . . but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I’ve been told that “the best way to get over someone old is to get under someone new,” and while I’m not quite *there* yet, I have been dabbling in the realm of dating. For reference, before this latest breakup, I had had a total of THREE first dates in the last eight years (two of which resulted in longterm relationships, and the third was an unremarkable first date between the other two).

It’s been quite the whirlwind to start dating again, but after a few months of underwhelming small talk with strangers on apps, lots of terrible first dates (both socially distanced in-person, as well as virtual Facetime ones), and some “totally decent but we didn’t keep dating” dates, I wanted to add a little pizzaz to my current dating experience.



I was on Tik Tok and came upon this guy who was talking about all of the bullshit that’s involved in online dating. IF YOU’RE READING THIS AND BLISSFULLY IN A RELATIONSHIP, CONSIDER YOURSELF BLESSED. But just incase you’re wondering what it’s like for the rest of us poor, unfortunate souls (hope ya got the Disney reference): online dating, dating of any kind, but especially right now during a pandemic, sucks ass.

It’s a lot of “what’s your favorite food,” “I’d bang you right now,” and “do you think the virus is scary enough to prevent us from meeting in person” kind of crap.

Or maybe that’s just been my experience . . . but from the guys I’ve gone on dates with recently and asked what kind of messages are landing in their inboxes, it’s a lot of surface-level banter that never materializes into anything more . . . which can be extremely frustrating . . . because if we’re being totally honest, I don’t really care if you like pineapple on pizza. If it’s that much of a deal breaker, I’ll just get it on my half (or on my own damn pizza).

SO, in order to weed through the matches to better optimize time (and energy), the guy suggests deviating from the standard “hey” or “hi” or “you’ve got a great smile.” Instead, he says you should ask your match right off the bat:

“Tell me something about yourself that’s normally a deal breaker.”

This kind of a prompt is totally unexpected. In addition to the shock value, it can also can give you an opportunity to delve a little deeper from the get-go, rather than 20-30 messages in (if you even stay talking that long).

So that’s exactly what ya girl did.

Keep reading.

It gets wild!


Intrigued at the possibility of answers this question could illicit, I thought I’d give it a try . . . so over the last few nights, I swiped like I normally would for guys I’d *actually* be interested in getting to know (aka I didn’t swipe right for every single profile . . . tbh, it was probably less than 20% if we’re keeping tabs).

Then, if the other person swiped for me and we matched, I messaged them the question.

No introduction.

No backstory.

Just wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

Of the profiles I messaged, I’d say more than half responded back before the match expired (they only have 24 hours to respond).

From those matches and replies, these were some of the responses I received, plus some commentary from yours truly in the brackets. It’s not stuff I actually said to them, but if I was narrating this little experiment, this is how it’d go:


1. “I like to smoke weed occasionally to relax. Maybe even a cig if I’m out and drunk enough.” – Luis {Okay, everyone has vices, cool, this could be a deal breaker for some people}.

2. “I have a son?” – Daniel {Yes, kids (currently in existence, as a possibility in the future, or not wanting any ever) could definitely be a deal breaker for some people, especially as you get older}.

3. “Well I like country music riding horses shooting guns and anything outdoors ya know hunting fishing and loving everyday. Hbu darlin?” – Chuck {Tbh, I liked most of his response, minus the lack of punctuation, but it was the “darlin” that made me unmatch lol}.

4. “People who like cats or dislike dogs. They could just leave as quick as they walk in the door.” Holden {I don’t know why he’s letting stray cats into his house…}.

5. “Ha thats a very difficult question. What if I don’t have any deal breakers. I used to smoke a lot of weed actually ha, something girls that don’t smoke aren’t a big fan of. I have stopped completely tho haha.” – Terry {Okay, another one about vices, but good on ya for quitting if it makes you happier/healthier}.

6. “I’m bisexual. Your turn.” – Colton {Okay, you like both girls and boys, that’s cool; that could definitely be a deal breaker for someone}.

7. “I’m not getting married unless she signs a prenup and a postnup” – Jared {Dang, opening with the big guns. We got into a discussion about assets and how many beach houses he had lol}.

8. “Well there are a couple that come to mind. Inability to connect on intellectual issues, no sexual chemistry, and varying ideas of how to spend free time. What are some of yours?” – Nathan {Didn’t really answer my question; kind of like answering a question with a question}.

9. “I like to enjoy hash and marijuana like most people enjoy a glass of wine after a long day. Now it’s your turn.” – Oskar {Another one about weed}.

10. “I work on a fishing boat so I’m gone a lot for 8 months out of the year. I also chew.” – Ryan {Vices and physical distance, both understandable deal breakers for some. Cool cool}.

11. “Uhh let’s see…the deal breaker about me is prob that I am a gunner.” – Cody {Yeaaa buddy, we’ve got a kid in law school!}.

12. “I’m a Dom, I’m here looking for a Sub. Let me know if that’s something you’re interested in.” – Johnny {Oh hellloooo, 50 Shades! His profile literally said nothing about this, but at least he was upfront about what he’s looking for}!

13. “Well sometimes you have to reaaaaally spell stuff out for me. What’s yours?” – Shane {Uhhh, thank you, next}.

14. “That doesn’t seem like a great introduction haha. People probably think I’m loud haah that I have a loud voice. Idk. What about you?” – Jesse {Weak}.

15. “Tattoos. HBU?” – Anthony {Understandable deal breaker for some . . . and then we got into a fun discussion about his different pieces}.

16. “I have a droid so messages come in green.” – Cam {Actually? Apparently a girl did break up with him for not switching to an iPhone while he was dating her . . . lol}.

17. “That’s a good question. I don’t know if I have any deal breakers. If you had cats, I’m very allergic. That has been a deal breaker in the past.” – Sam {Poor guy; allergies can’t be controlled}.

18. “Oh wow, I love the opener. Gets you thinking a bit. Well, I just finished school for holistic nutrition. Some might consider that a deal breaker, but I never project on people. We all have our own paths. Yourself?” – Jeremy {Good point about careers being deal breakers for some; this guy was cool and knew a lot about using food as medicine}.

19. “Hmm well I want kids but I want more dogs than kids lol. I don’t think it’s a deal breaker but I moved back in with my parents to help them out watching their place while they travel. Sadly COVID ruined their plans like everything else but I live in their pool house and it’s been amazing seeing my family more and saving money while paying off debt. So up to you if it’s a deal breaker lol.” – Douglas {He was such a cool guy . . . I’m all about the house full of dogs}.

20. “Whenever I have bad news for someone I usually delay it or try to ignore it.” – Stephen {Interesting . . . I could definitely see avoidance as a deal breaker, but at least he acknowledged the behavior!}.

21. “Wow putting me on the spot right away hahaha. The one I would say maybe a bit needy but I’m definitely working on it. And I think it helps this is the longest I’ve been single so I’ve definitely been trying to work on that and myself more. What about you? (10 minutes later) Hope I didn’t lose you with that one lol.” – Christian {Um, the follow up question came off a little . . . needy?}.

22. “I don’t know, I can’t answer for anyone.” – Steve {Zero stars}.

23. “I guess it depends on the person but I voted third party in the election lol lot of people have told me I’m an idiot for that but idc.” – Eric {Politics can definitely be deal breakers for some people}.

24. “I’m only in town for a week.” – Rick {Lol, yes, distance can be a deal breaker}.

25. “Mmm good question. I’d say there have been a few deal breakers with religion not being important in my life. How about you?” – Hayden {Oooh, another type of deal breaker is religion (or lack thereof)! Definitely not the first guy to tell me about being dumped for not being religious enough}.

26. “My inability to backdown and I hate leftovers. How about you?” – Nick {The first part was serious, in that he liked to be argumentative . . . the second was about something I said in my profile about eating leftovers for breakfast lol}.

27. “Normally it’s the fact that I don’t want to have kids. Great opening question.” {I asked a follow up question as to why, to which he replied: “I don’t like children. I don’t have any kids. I believe that they are an unnecessary burden on one’s life that eliminates the possibility of spontaneity. What’s your best dad joke?”}. – Aaron {Wasn’t sure how to respond . . . he doesn’t like children, but he likes dad jokes. Can you have one without the other? Asking for a friend}.

28. “I suppose a deal breaker for some is that I still enjoy building Lego sets.” – Raf {Definitely not a deal breaker in my book haha}.

29. “Wanting my next partner to be on the same kink level as me.” – Evan {Appreciated the candidness . . . turned into a fun conversation about him wanting his next partner to be cool having sex with another dude while he watches, which is the first time I’ve heard someone wanting two dudes and one chick, but to each their own!}.

30. “Not wanting kids. Smokes. Not kind to the the waiter.” – Mikey {Children, vices, and you’re an asshole . . . but at least you were honest? Next}.

31. “On here. I’m just looking for nsa. A lot of people aren’t interested in that. When I’m in a relationship it’s because I don’t want kids or marriage lol been the reason me and my exes have broken up. What about yourself.” – William {Well, when you put “looking for a relationship” but then message “nsa,” I can see how people might get confused…}.

32. “I smoke a healthy amount of cannabis and I love magic mushrooms. But I’m very productive. You? lol.” – Stephen {Again, vices, but this time he added positive connotations to the substances like “healthy” and “magic,” which made it seem like he was trying to reframe the implied deal breakers in a positive light}.

33. “You don’t like coffee. Can’t have that.” – Julio {He took the question to refer to his dating prospects, but he was serious, he dumped a girl for not liking coffee}.

34. “I am more on the introverted side, easy going, live an active/fairly healthy lifestyle, adventurous, and maybe nerdy…don’t read as often as I would like lol…and you?” – Gabriel {Not necessarily all deal breakers, but I know varying levels of extrovert/introvert can impact a relationship}.

35. “Hey gorgeous! I guess I’d have to go with smoking at work or out on the boat. What about you?” – Justin {Another one about vices}.

36. “When I bring up that I enjoy playing video games and watching anime in my free time is normally a deal breaker. Which is understandable, but it doesn’t bother me.” – Myles {This probably depends on what your partner thinks about the hobbies – do they play or watch as well? How much time? Do you do these things in lieu of spending any/some/all time together}.

37. “Poor communication is probably what most people would say.” – Daniel {Well, at least he was honest}.

38. “Takes a long while to be emotionally available.” – Craig {Okay, you probably shouldn’t be dating, sir}.

39. “Haha maybe not into passive aggressiveness, got to tell me straight.” – Ben {Makes blanket statement that girls are passive aggressive . . . meh, next}.

40. “I work a ridiculous amount for about 6-8 months and hike the remainder of the year. What about you?” – Javier {Another career-based one; understandable, work schedules and availability can definitely be deal breakers}.

41. “Ohhh coming out swinging. Hmmm. Probably that I’m not currently looking for anything terribly serious.” – Buddy {Update your profile to say that, buddy}.

42. “You asked a tough question. Haha I’m still trying to figure out what constitutes a deal breaker with me. Maybe if I had an example from someone else…okay, I was too nice. Apparently that was a deal breaker. What about you?” – Mauricio {Examples? This isn’t third grade . . . }.

43. “Um, well this might be a deal breaker but I really want to hook up with you like tomorrow. I don’t have COVID, thanks for that icebreaker” (followed by his phone number and “text meeeeeeeeee”). – Rohan {Slowly vomited in mouth and silently unmatched}.

44. “Wow so many to choose from, let’s see…I’ll go with I initially come off as shy but that usually changes quickly. Is that a deal breaker? haha.” – Paul {Not necessarily a deal breaker, but another one about introvert/extrovert compatability}.

45. “Ha that’s easy. My job, the *military branch* and I can’t blame people. It’s a tough job to deal with at times. What about you?” – Carter {Career-related, understandable, especially in the military where deployments can be for the better part of a year}.

46. “Hmm for me, I can definitely be a dork at times so if someone can’t handle that and my lame jokes it probably won’t work. What about you? Also nice question!” – Johnathan {Define “dork”}.

47. “Acting the expert when one is not in fact at all such an expert in category “X.”” – Kord {Alright, so you’re a smart ass. Not the worst quality, but probably not the best, either}.

48. “Idk if it’s “normally” a deal breaker but I don’t really like country music. What about you?” – Kyle {Aw, Kyle, that might be a deal breaker for me! But, I mean, my profile picture you swiped on was of me in a cowboy hat lol}.

49. “I did drugs to the point of insanity and had a mental breakdown over 10 years ago. And that’s why I don’t drink or do drugs anymore. What about you?” – David {Holy cow, the honesty! But it’s this kind of a response that will either send someone packing in the other direction or intrigue them to keep talking. I did the latter!}.

and last, but certainly not least . . .

50. “I have COVID, but dgaf. Wanna get drinks tonight?” – Craig {Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the sweetest message in my inbox. HOW COULD I SAY NO? Oh wait, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and he literally said he has the potentially lethal virus people have literally been trying to avoid . . . like the plague. No thanks, next}.


Overall, I think this “experiment” yielded better results than I could have anticipated. I expected things like vices, politics, and religion to come up . . . but I didn’t quite expect guys to be so forthright about sex preferences and other “shocking” revelations right off the bat.

That being said though, I really appreciated the candidness and it set the groundwork for some very unfiltered conversations. Other guys were more reserved or didn’t answer at all, and that was a-okay! I think it’s all a matter of personal preference.

When I told my sister about the Tik Tok video, she suggested I ease into the question after exchanging some pleasantries . . . but then again, she has the patience to talk to a guy for three weeks before he asks her out and if a guy doesn’t make a move on me within a week or so, I’m onto the next one without any hesitation.

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to approach dating . . . I’m just looking for someone a little more assertive and unabashedly themselves these days. Or maybe it’s my ovaries talking as they slowly turn into dust . . . she jokes, but she’s also spent the last eight years in longterm relationships that disintegrated faster than a bath bomb at the mention of “commitment” and “marriage.”

I think the biggest takeaway from my little social experiment is the following: I had more in-depth discussions with guys who were open to answering the prompt honestly, compared to guys who didn’t take the question seriously, or who didn’t answer it at all.

SO, while I know this approach may not be for everyone, if you’re bold enough to try it, I promise you’ll be *pleasantly* surprised by what could unfold. I was also told by a number of matches that I stood apart from inboxes of emojis and “hi, ur cute.”

I will say, sending the question as my first “introduction” did cut down the number of guys who messaged me back. Like I said earlier, about half responded at all . . . normally I’d say my return rate it’s closer to 75 or 80% (but that’s just from my experience these last few months).

Dating burnout is definitely a real thing and even though this started out as a fun “experiment,” it yielded some interesting conversations, and better yet, some dates with guys I might not have talked to otherwise. With 2021 right around the corner, what better a time to put yourself out there than right now? The answer is always “no” if you don’t ask, and I’d like to think for the right person, what were red flags for an ex might be red roses to them. I mean . . . I’m all about the country music listening, lego building, green bubble texting dudes.

Let me know if stuff like this interests you and if I should do more targeted prompts to dating prospects in the new year!

Until Soon,


Author: 2LWithIt

Spoonie Adventures in Books, Beauty, & Bullshit I'm a twenty-something year old recent law and business school grad living with a chronic health condition. Follow along on my shenanigans.

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