Quirky factors make or break dating material

After learning her current Mr. Right Now has never had a sip of booze in his life, Michelle Provencher evaluates dating deal-breakers.

After learning her current Mr. Right Now has never had a sip of booze in his life, Michelle Provencher evaluates dating deal-breakers.

Have you ever met a sexy somebody whom you surprisingly have a ton in common with, only to find out he’s actually a serial murderer – or has another bad trait along those lines, like talking during movies or breathing loudly?

The topic of this week’s session is the deal-breaker, or the one detrimental thing about an otherwise wonderful person that makes you never want to see that person again. I sadly had a run-in with one last week.

I knew I was going to like this guy when he told me we were going to a Mexican restaurant. (For the record, Mexican will always win out over other ethnic foods because of the melted cheese.) The conversation flowed easily from the start, and I was happy to discover we shared a mutual love of World War II trivia and Paula Abdul as a judge on American Idol.

But things took a turn for the worst when the drink menu was dropped. As usual, I ordered my margarita on the rocks, no salt. And he ordered nothing.

“Oh, I don’t drink. Never had a sip of alcohol in my life,” he said. He had made his confession to the wrong person.

In my head, my jaw dropped. I had a flashback to a different date where the same deal-breaking scenario went down: The man said his favorite color was gray. Instantly, I became disinterested. He might as well have said his favorite food was white bread and his middle name was Boring.

We all have our quirks – I sometimes rub sliced tomato on my face because I like the smell and it makes my cheeks rosy – but there’s only so much one can tolerate, and not appreciating libations was the Acme anvil that broke the camel’s back.

Like a bad reality dating show on VH1, the date concluded: I withdrew my novelty clock necklace, and we parted ways.

Once I was home, I cracked open a box of Sunset Blush Franzia and called my best friend to share the freaky-deaky news. Without missing a beat, he said, “You’re from different worlds.”
He compared it to people’s politics – as much as you may like the person, it’s something you just can’t ignore.

For example: If he were to join me at a bar he, unlike all my friends, would remember all the stupid things I said and would potentially recount them to me the next day. I can see it now: He would text me, “Did you know you accused a potted plant of giving you a dirty look, so you called it a whore and pushed it over?”

I recalled all the other deal-breakers I came across on the field – the guy with all the chest hair, the guy who has a son, the guy who asked me a clarification question while reading the Sunday funnies.

I can see you shaking your heads, group, but I’m not the only one out there with high standards. Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas of TLC now has her own dating show, What Chilli Wants, and she is notoriously critical of the men she’s set up with on her search for “the one,” i.e., he must not drink, smoke or eat pork.

Does a D-list celebrity really have the right to be so picky? Chilli hasn’t been relevant for about a decade. And since then she’s been in Usher’s “U Got it Bad,” music video, and that’s probably only because they were boning. (Side note: Can you believe they dated? If she were smart she would have clung to him like a scar to Harry Potter’s forehead.)

Group, is it too much to ask for a normal person with a great sense of humor who is taller than 5 feet 9 inches, doesn’t wear tight pants and orders a stiff drink? Maybe they’ve stopped making that model.

Truth be told, I’m considering holding out for Shia Labeouf. Why settle for anything less? He hasn’t responded to any of my love letters yet, but I just think he’s playing hard to get; I’d recognize it anywhere.

Michelle Provencher can be reached at michelle.provencher@temple.edu.


  1. This column really makes me laugh out loud. You should be writing for the Times not this Temple rag!

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