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Rules of Engagement

Instant killers of the dating world

By Keenan Cronyn, Kellie Rowe          Posted: 04/16/12 11:16pm         

When you’re out having a wonderful time on a date with someone, they’re saying all the right things and you think it really could go far, was there ever something you suddenly noticed that instantly canceled it all out?

With the loss of Josh as my co-pilot for the blog, I had to recruit a new man to add to my pizzazz on the blog — Keenan Cronyn.

He’s a designer here at The State News who knows his way around the dating field and has a new perspective to share with our readers.

So, without further ado, welcome to the new Keenan and Kel.

This week’s topic: deal breakers.

Deal breakers are little things — often physical, sometimes personality traits — that you realize you just cannot deal with.
My new pal Keenan and I laid out our top three deal breakers, what are yours?

1. Oral Hygiene
As someone who has spent many years with a mouth full of metal, I know firsthand the importance of nice teeth. I’m one of those people who skips on the way to the dentist and spends hours in the mouthwash aisles, so isn’t it natural to expect my man to do the same? Maybe his teeth aren’t perfectly straight, that’s fine. But please, please brush your teeth. Bad breath or oral hygiene isn’t usually something you notice immediately, but when you do … Oh, it’s a deal breaker.

2. Immaturity
As I highlighted in my last blog, there is no bigger turn off than a guy you’re afraid to take out in public. If I’m worried he’s going to make some sort of public disturbance or embarrass me in hopes of being cute and playful, I’m not going to have a good time. Sometimes we try to laugh these off on our dates and chalk them up to being rare instances, but for me, the more they happen, the more I’m planning my escape.

3. For lack of a better word, stupidity
I’m a woman who appreciates men who are intelligent. I’m talking someone who’s witty, cultured or can at least laugh at himself once in a while. I have always been someone who picks brains over brawn — ask my mom, she never fails to point that out. So guys who are unable to hold a conversation, or when they do, it’s always about themselves, are just not my cup of tea. I love teasing my guy and if I’m forced to stop and either repeat my statements or “dumb it down,” it just ruins the chemistry.

With the absence of Josh Mansour, I’ve been asked to fill in. As the second most eligible bachelor in the office, behind Josh of course, I was a natural replacement.

For my inaugural post we’re discussing a pretty important piece to the puzzle of a successful relationship. First off, it’s important to note that I’m probably one of the pickiest dudes out there. I’m not looking for a princess and I don’t have a dream girl in my head, but my list of deal breakers is longer than a thanksgiving grocery list.

It also is important to note that when you’re looking at a relationship, there are going to be plenty of things that might bother you about your woman, but you have to decide what is simply too much to put up with.

My choices are three pretty ambiguous ideas, however, they’re probably my first and most important three.

1. Be engaging, be an individual
This one’s easy. Do you remember in high school on the first day of school when you’d go around the room and your teacher would ask you to say your name, your year and something you like to do? If you were that girl who said “hanging out with friends,” we’re already over.

I love a woman who can expand my ideals. Having simple, predictable interests or hobbies is a killer.

One of the coolest parts of a relationship is being able to learn from someone and try new things. If you don’t have interests or passion for something, what am I going to learn from you? How can you expand who I am?

Similarly, individuality is an expression of confidence. If a girl can’t be exactly who she wants to be one hundred percent of the time, then who is she? I don’t want to spend half our time together stroking a nonexistent ego, I’d rather embrace your personality for all that it is and learn from it.

The fact of the matter is, if you’re a simple person who can’t engage me, show me new things or be your own person, we have no business being together.

2. Don’t show up if you’re not going to put yourself together
Every time I’m picking you up for a night out I’m going to be clean-shaven, my hair will be on point and I’ll be dressed clean head to toe. I expect the same.

Throughout the course of a relationship there will be relaxed nights on the couch with a blanket and sweats, but if we’re headed out somewhere for a night on the town or whatever it may be, put yourself together.

It’s a sign of mutual respect when you can put on makeup, put on a fresh outfit and your hygiene is in order. If I care about you, I simply want everyone to see what I see in you. I will always give you my best, and all I want is yours in return.

3. Sense of humor
This actually might be the most important deal breaker. One of the best moments in a relationship is being able to share a laugh. We may come from two different places and backgrounds, but it’s imperative that we can smile and enjoy a laugh out of something similar.

Going hand in hand with this concept is each party needs to be able to put a smile on the other’s face. If you can’t make me laugh, we’re going to have an extremely dry, business-oriented relationship. Though essentially the ultimate goal of any relationship is a daily routine and reproduction of other humans, I want to be entertained in the interim.

An instant killer to this concept is a combination of bad stories and bad jokes. If you’re going to ramble on for the punch line or try to tell me a story with no climax, don’t even open your mouth.
A relationship should make you smile on bad days and highlight the best moments with a big smile or a hearty laugh. Without that, you’re just a complacent, mildly interesting friend at best and that is no place to be when aiming for a budding relationship.

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