no first date

Apropos of this discussion, sparked by my surprisingly controoversial anti-Buffett dating stance, I have now been asked to write an article for a magazine about the things people consider an absolute no-go when it comes to going out with someone even once or twice.

So share your thoughts below (add a comment) and if you are willing, I may include your thoughts on the topic in my magazine piece.

Is it bad breath? A certain item of clothing? A body type? Bad underwear? Liking a type of music or movie that you hate?

What can't you get past when considering whether to take a potential romantic interest up on an offer to go out (or stay in)?

-- Katie


Anonymous said...

You can include the 'no -breasts bigger than your own' comment I made before if you like.

No 'corner-cleaner' cowboy boots unless he has some other wonderful qualities I can't live without. Same goes for smoking cigarettes.

No obvious sexism--and if I find out about it later, he's out!

Bad breath is more of a turn-off than a little B.O., but a lot of B.O. is a no-go.

No open shirts and gold chains; lots of any kind of jewelry and cologne are 'no's.

Living at home with mom and/or dad had better have a believable explanation, such as helping them 'cause they're ill or something.

No NASCAR fans. Sorry, just can't handle it.

A job, school, or some other way to spend his days besides video games or watching TV is a MUST.

Anonymous said...

how about being an asshole? thats usually a deal breaker. everything else is just optional.
no wait....I think a deal breaker for me would be gung ho attachment parenting.

Dewi said...

In order of seriousness that would eliminate a date or an authentic friendship with anyone.

1.) Voted for Bush (an irreparable character flaw)
2.) Anti-choice
3.) Homophobic
4.) Makes racially disparaging comments
5.) Disrespectful to his mother
6.) Republican
7.) Uninterested in Art, literature, Jazz and Classical music, generally uncultured about the arts.
8.) Doesn’t read The New York Times
9.) Does not enjoy traveling
10.) Unadventurous
11.) Does not like City living
12.) Watches too much organized sports on TV

Anonymous said...

Well, yeah, anonymous asshole, I would never go on a date with you. Want to know why? 'Cause you're an asshole and you missed punctuation in grammar school.

katie allison granju said...

Here are mine:

-No Jimmy Buffett

-Must not like music I hate because music I hate puts me in a cranky mood, meaning I wouldn't be much of a fun date anyway, you see?

-Must not be a temperance fanatic. Actually, if a guy doesn't drink at all, he might not be a good fit for me. That would be a real red flag.

-No cat lovers. Better yet, no cats.

-No cheap-ass polyester sheets

-Must not read books like "Purpose Driven Life" or "Seven Habits of Cheese Movers"

-Republicans can be okay if they are hilarious, smartass, libertarian types like, say, P.J. O'Rourke. I like a good argument with a supersmart, superfunny, sardonic Republican man. I do not like hanging out (as a date - not necessarily in general) with sort of straight-up Republican guys. Of course, liberal guys who take everything waaaaaay too seriously all the time can also be boring in their own way.

--Must be somewhat athletic and in relatively good shape. Doesn't have to be football. Lacrosse, tennis, surfing, running can all work. But no couch potatoes. Liking horses or willing to at least go with me to horse events sometimes would be a big plus.

-I like guy-guys. OK, more specifically, I find myself involuntarily attracted (not a conscious decision, just what I find to be the case in chemistry/attraction, which is what we are discussing here) to guy-guys. I am a little eeeked out by guys who say they have no male friends ("All my best friends are women. That's always been the case.") or never go out drinking or to a game or whatever with their guy friends. He should like women too (and me in particular), but I find that men with zero men friends aren't often my type. I mean, I have girlfriends. He should have guy friends - preferably some dating back to high school and college. That speaks well of a guy.

--I do not like men who pay me tons of compliments all the time in the very beginning. One or two well-placed compliments are way sexier than effusive gushing. Then they mean something.

--I like having men take my arm or put their hand on my back when entering and leaving cars and restaurants.

--I like men who ask me what I want and then order for both of us.

--I am picky about what men wear. There aren't too many deal breakers with me with clothes, but there are a few. The obvious ones, of course, like gold chain and earrings et al. But I also don't like any pleated pants. No white sneakers.

-Boxers -- all cotton, particular fit. No briefs.

katie allison granju said...

I thought of a few more no-first-or-second-date deal breakers:

-Any guy who says he opposes abortion is out with me

-Guys who complain about ex-wives or the mothers of their child(ren) are a no-go

-Guys who talk about themselves incessantly are out, as are guys who grill me early on. First and second dates should be mostly about witty repartee.

-Must get cultural allusions pretty easily and organically

-Must not believe kids need to be "toughened up" or worry too much about "spoiling" children. Men who say they definitely plan to/do spank their children are unlikely to be my type.

Anonymous said...

wow, ten out of twelve Dewi.(I love my mother and I think people can do better than put people in a box by what their gene pool is) Guess I'm not your dream girl. Thank God.

katie allison granju said...

Eeeek - I meant to say above that I DO NOT like men ordering for me in restaurants. Not that I do like it.

Anonymous said...

So what's up with the "favorite guy in the moment", the one with the camaro? And why does he get to have a cat?

Dewi said...

I would like to add to my list.

A wicked sense of humor is very important.

Inkwell said...

I think you'd have to cut guys some slack on the pleated pants thing. Most of us don't realize how stupid they look until it's pointed out (as with most male fashion issues). By then we have so many pairs of them in the closet we have to wear one once in a while.

I don't know if you were looking for ideas from a male point of view, but here are a few of mine (irrelevant now that I've married the girl of my dreams):
·Any piece of clothing or jewelry with her name on it larger than 3"x3"
·All her friends are exactly like her
·She uses "omg," "lol," "imho,"
"rotflmao," or ASCII art in emails
·She can't leave the house without make up.
·She won't listen to any of my records because she's "never heard of any of those guys."
·She actually uses the advice she reads in Cosmo or Glamour
·She: "Oh my God, Ayn Rand's
'Fountainhead' changed my life!"
Me:"Check, please."

Anonymous said...

you know if most modern people in your age group are so frickin superficial its no wonder you have such a poor track record in marriage. save one lone comment about lack of same sex friends (which to me seems to be a red flag about some maturity issues) all these are really superficial things. I mean you cant work around a cat or differing tastes in music? and come on...who cares what someone is wearing? and if Katie thinks that a mans willingness to let a woman murder a baby in her womb means he is a choice candidate..well .....
I guess he has probably been pussy whipped by the women in his life that this is something you dont dare state your opinion on or you become lunch. either that or he is a cad who sees the obvious benefit in it for him...all the sex, none of the responsibility and if she DOES get pregnant you can just cop to the pro "choice" slogan and use her own words against her to get rid of the "problem".

katie allison granju said...

Me, on the topic of abortion. Read it here:

Anonymous said...

Oh so painfully intolerant! At least Katie allowed for funny Republicans (but only of the libertarian variety), while Dewi views differing political views as a character flaw. Views different from one's own = character flaw? This from a bunch of folks whho are clearly "liberal". Any of you ever look up "liberal" in the dictionary? Here's part of the definition: "...and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded."

Pretty much nobody on this site qualifies under that definition.

Most of what is posted here is so shrilly shriekingly intolerant it's hurts my teeth (and, yes, I may have to quit coming back for that reason, and leave all of you to stare at your own navels, while you bash people who wear pleated pants, as though that somehow matters at all, in any way).

katie allison granju said...

I don't want to BASH men who wear pleated pants. I just don't want to be their girlfriend...or wife...or probably even their date.

C'mon now, back to my original questions, Mr/Ms Anonymous: Isn't there ANYTHING about a potential date that is a major turnoff to you? Anything? You would just agree to go out with ANYONE who asked you?

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't even go on a date with someone who wears pleated pants? How ridiculous is that? Using pleated pants-ness as an indicator of possible life-compatibility is risibly shallow. You see that, right? You would avoid even dating someone, who, based on facts you don't know, and now won't ever know, because he happened to be wearing his lone pair of pleated pants that day?

Are there things about women (It's Mr. Anonymous to you...) that would cause me not to want to continue dating them? Sure. Are there compatibility issues that have arisen between me and women that I've dated? Well, duh. Of course. In many cases, I've ceased dating women who shared my (of course superior to everyone else) tastes in music, movies and cars, and approaches to parenting, because we didn't get along. In other cases, I've carried on long-running, fascinating relationships with women who have tastes in certain areas that I find appalling (as I noted, my wife, with whom I am very much in love, watched the Bachelorette. I happen to believe that Reality TV is a Sign of the Apocalypse. And yet, we overcame this all important (not as important as pleated pants, but you get the idea) relationship stumbling block, and have been happily married for allmost five years.

My point is (and continues to have been), that using something as shallow as Jimmy Buffet or pleated pants to close off the opportunity to get to know somebody better is just plain dumb, in addition to representing an appalling level of cultural superiority/smugness. And to denigrate ("character flaw") someone whose ideas are different from your own, even in something as simple as music, or as important as politics, is the antithesis of liberal (which you clearly claim to be).

katie allison granju said...

Drew C., is that you? Are you Mr. Anonymous? If so, I'll happily call you that. All you had to do was ask ;-)


Anonymous said...

Rather than attempting to guess my offline existence, how about some engagement on the substance of my points here?

If you write this article for a magazine, without acknowledging how ridiculous hating Jimmy Buffet or pleated pants is, then it ends up as just another "sassy" how-to article, which could run in Vogue or Cosmo, and which mostly only contributes to the total sum of misery in the boy/girl universe.

katie allison granju said...

Ah ha! I was right.

OK, I'll engage. You know I like to argue.

I am not saying that I do not want to be FRIENDS with people with these certain traits/preferences/whatever.

What I am saying is that I find that I am not romantically attracted to them. There is unlikely to be that initial hmmmm...

There is a big difference. And I don't know about you, but you cannot MAKE me feel that certain whatever for somebody. It just has to be there.

Of course, I have been attracted to many people --all my life -- who are unsuitable husband material for other reasons. Pleated pants have nothing to do with that. I am ONLY referring to that initial chemistry thing that makes me hope someone will ask me out a first or second time, and if we are together, hope he'll decide to kiss me rather than hope like hell he won't. (Those dates are the pits)

Do you see what I'm saying? The distinction?


Anonymous said...

hey, Mr Anonymous, I like you. the only ideological issues that would be no gos were not sharing my faith (because the bible prohibits being joined with unbelievers not to mention the problems it causes when you go to raise your kids) and being pro choice. I am sorry..I cannnot abide a man who thinks that except for the most dire health reasons that its a good thing to support women in thier "right" to kill their unborn children. not to mention that most "pro choice" men I have encountered really are pro choice because of the bennies for them: problem pregnancy, no problem, you just turn the pro choice girlfriend/wifes own views on her so that she does the "responsible" thing and gets rid of the "problem" no thanks.
aside from that its all character issues.
I would have to say someone with personal or family of origin problems/issues that are not only unresolved but shown no interest in resolving. a person who hates their family of origin and has not come to peace and closure with that is going to be trouble.
someone with an active addiction or who has only been sober a short while. (again, bad news)
someone with serious anger management issues.
if one has kids or is interested in having them, someone who hates kids and/or wont make the effort for kids that are not biologically theirs.
evidence of serious selfishness.
any major character defect I have somehow missed. and icky clothes and liking non arty music are NOT character defects.
thats about it. nothing as shallow as pants or shoes or music. all serious issues. and women gripe about men who have breast size at hte top of the list. eesh.

Anonymous said...

I would have to add that knowing what I know about attachment parenting I would be very wary of a guy who was gung ho on it. because people who are gung ho on AP wont compromise on parenting and they will just wear down/bully the other person into it and eventually divorce them as "abusive" if they refuse to give in.

Anonymous said...

OK, two things here - first off, Ms. anonymous - if you're going to agree with me then you have to have to cut down on the venom. It gets a bit poisonous in here when the name-calling gets going.

And as for "the initial hmmmm," Ms. Christopher Granju (sorry, couldn't resist), what do pleated pants, or Jimmy Buffett, have to do with chemistry? Chemistry is biology, and biology trumps even our fiercely held preferences. If the spark is there, then it will overcome even the Dread Duoble-duo combo of Jimmy Buffet plus pleated pants. And if it's not there, all of the simpatico in the world (including someone who leads protests against Jimmy Buffet and/or pleated pants) won't produce it. Which has been my point all along (he says with an exasperated sigh) - using something like clothes or music to decide whether or not you get to know somebody better doesn't make any sense. And by your own logic (it's about the spark), those things aren't even relevant. As I noted in my most recent post...if you right this article as a collection of the dislikes of a bunch of like-minded cultural snobs (go read dewi's list again - in addition to no dates, also no friendships with the cultural failures on her list either), then it just adds to the misery in the world. Women will find validation in your writing for ignoring poor pleated pants guys, even if they were meant to be together. Everybody loses. Superficial pigeonholing wins, substance loses.

Anonymous said...

you are far too kind Mr Anonymous. I came here because of the parenting stuff but Katies general smug stupidity about just about everything totally validates everything I have suspected about attachment parenting. these poor people who pick up her book because they are too afraid to think for themselves on how to parent and would instead rather another amateur do the job for them. if the half of them only knew the shallowness and smallness of the vast majority of her thinking on other issues they would not take her parenting thoughts anywhere near as seriously. the rest of them are all just Katie clones who deserve each other if it werent so pathetic. note aside...on secret lives of parenting experts, Spocks own kids hated him. he was apparently a very very different person in private than in person. words of caution to those who read parenting books. take it with the biggest grain of salt you can

katie allison granju said...

My kids actually DO hate me. In fact, these nasty "anonymous" comments are actually my children going incognito.


Anonymous said...

geez...I guess everything is just a joke to you Katie, an opportunity to pat yourself on the back about how truly funny you think you are.....

Bill said...

I have to jump in here. I don't know if I will parent the way Kate does, and as she knows, I am not certain about some of her views in her book, but I do know her children and whatever she's doing, it's working.

Her three children are incredibly polite, friendly, interesting, athletic kids and I've heard many other people I know say the same thing about them.

They are also obviously well-adjusted and close to both their mother and father, as well as various relatives who always seem to be around --they have a big clan of cousins and uncles and aunts.

So if the proof is in the pudding, attachment parenting sure seems to be working in that family. I don't meet many middle school boys who look me in the eye, shake my hand and always say "yes sir," but Kate's son does.

My two cents.


Anonymous said...

I loved Katie Granju's book. When I was a new mother three years ago, it really helped me figure out my own way of doing things.

I also heard her speak in Georgia in April and she was so smart and funny she blew me away. She also was nice enough to hang around after and sign books and answer any questions anyone had about what she said. Her speech was about the importance of allowing kids to work hard and to fail and how important that is. It was great. I would definitely go hear her speak again. I buy her book as a gift all the time.

No one says you have to like her book or her articles or her blog or that you have to think she's funny. Why you want to continue reading and commenting when Katie's writing that you say isn't your cup of tea makes no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

I suppose one could ask Katie why she surfs around at conservative sites so she can snicker about how stupid she thinks they are.

Anonymous said...

It's not shallow of Katie or any other woman to have opinions of what she finds attractive or not. Everyone's standards are different. Everyone's tastes are different. I would not agree to go out with a man who, say, said he hates dogs. Does this make me shallow? No, it makes me self aware. There is no way I could date someone who hates dogs, so why agree to even one date?

Anonymous said...

Hey, anonymous - what if you're dog-hater is perfect in every other way, but hates dogs because he's allergic to them? Or his baby brother was killed by a rabid pit bull? No way you could ever have anything in common, over one issue? That one issue defines the other person so completely that no further research is required, or even allowed?

And hating dogs probably does start to rise to the level of serious character defects (active drug addict, currently in prison for a violent felony, etc.), although without context, perhaps not, and I will allow for a distinction between those issues, and something that SIMPLY DOES NOT MATTER, like Jimmy Buffett, or pleated pants.

Mr. Anonymous

Anonymous said...

you are right Mr Anonymous. My husband and i have had massive differences over pets yet we have managed to work it out. and I have met a lot of animal lovers who are major jackasses in other ways. I think you look at what is truly important (active addictions, bad history, thousands of dollars of debts..etc etc)and then what you can compromise on. I suppose someone whose lifelong dream is to live in Maui would be a bad bet for someone who cant stand the heat...however it might be more because teh parties involved are too rigid rather tahn the specifics of the situation.
I know plenty of people who have got rid of beloved pets because of a loved ones allergy (of course via the online world I have also been exposed to selfish assholes who demanded their loved one get painful allergy shots just so they could keep that which really is thier most important love object)
Might I add another disqualifier: obvious immaturity.
I think a lot of people have so much trouble in relationships is because the surface issues which they find so entertaining and amusing and which stroke their own ego are the very things which make the person a very bad bet for a long term relationship.
a lot of people want a clone of their own least on the stuff about themselves they are most filled with pride on. then they wonder why the relationship ended so poorly when they were so busy looking at the guys taste in music and clothes and home decor that they failed to notice he had a roving eye.

Anonymous said...

I am attachment parenting my baby and it's working out great. I am happy, he is happy, my partner is happy. I also saw Katie Granju speak once, while I was pregnant and she was great. People who rant about her book must not have read it becaus all through it are disclaimers saying that parents should take what works for them from the book and ignore what doesn't. One other thing I like about Granju's writing is that she is a mom, not a male doctor but a mom with real kids at home. Her essays are also very self depraceting. She pokes fun at herself and admits her own failures as a mom. That makes me feel good because I know I make mistakes. It is nice to hear that her kids are nice.

Anonymous said...

its interesting most people who write parenting books have nice kids. even those with diametrically opposing "theories".
either someones lying or whether you wear your baby or let them cry it out or whatever is just not all thatimportant in the big scheme of things.

Anonymous said...

How in the world can you possibly make such a broad statement like that, that people who write parenting books generally have nice kids.

Although I do not know Ms. Granju, I love her book, so that is not what I am disagreeing about. I am just wondering how many parenting writers you would have to know personally to make such a broad statement. How many people who write books about parenting have you met their kids?

Anonymous said...

they all claim to have nice kids and they all have people who step forward and say they have nice kids. I dont know anyone who has written a parenting book (thank God) but this is the face you get when they promote thier books. although I have heard, posthumously..Dr Spocks kids have come forward and said that behind closed doors he was not a nice man. nothing like you would get from his books. apparently he was a control freak. makes you think long and hard about taking parenting advice from someone you do not know whose writing and self promotion skills may far outstrip their parenting skills. heck even the wicked Mr Ezzo claims to have nice kids and has people who supposedly know him and back it up. maybe by hook or by crook his kids DID turn out nice. who knows. ortheir maybe the reality is that their kids suck and they just have a bunch of yes men/women who feed these comments to the press.

rich said...

Hmmm. A discussion of dating turnoffs becomes a debate over parenting styles. The dating world has certainly changed; I'm not ready to talk about kids and raising them until the 5th or sixth date at the very earliest and here we are talking about it before the first hypothetical date!

Pace yourselves, people!

It seems to me that your question has two parts; What attracts us in the first place, and what behaviors terminate that attraction. So, addressing these in order, first, what attracts me:

1. Ok, let's get the obvious out of the way; there has to be some physical attraction, but here's the surprise, it's not entirely or even mostly based on looks. It's more important how you feel about how you look. Unless you are truly, deeply, unattractive (in 42 years on the planet, I've met only 2 people who fit that description) a happy heart and a pretty smile is all it takes to transform a plain woman into a pretty one.
To be sure, an attractive appearance works for the short term, but for the long haul, like any person over the emotional age of 12, I'll take the plain woman with a good heart over the gorgeous b*tch every time.
Getting into specifics, the smile is where it all starts, followed by the eyes, and then finally the figure.

2. Attitude and intelligence. No shrinking violets for me. I am a strong, opinionated man; I want a woman who is equally strong so I don't have to worry about holding back.

3. A good sense of humor. I'm always joking, always. It drives my children crazy sometimes. You don't have to laugh at every joke I make, just recognize that they are jokes and smile from time to time. If you can crack wise yourself, even better.

4. Creativity. I write; I do woodwork and turning; I publish books; I knit; making things out of nothing is a big part of who I am (which might also explain the 6 kids) and it's something I want to share. I'm not particularly artistic; I'm more of a craftsman.

5. No clones. If a woman is exactly like me, what good does that do either of us? It wouldn't be a relationship; just onanistic narcissism. She should have her own interests and friend and respect that I have mine.

6. Musical. I like it all, almost. Everything from the Beatles to Beethoven, and most of the stuff in between. If I haven't heard it yet, I will get to it eventually. XM radio has become my best friend in the car and at home. There are whole worlds of music I haven't heard. So my lady friend will have to enjoy a wide array of music, or get used to me walking around with headphones on.

7. Open-minded. When we stop learning, we start dying. The only way to keep learning is to look for new experiences. They come from travel, starting new hobbies, taking classes, in general just getting out into the world and living. If she's afraid to try something new, or refuses to think in a new way, she's busy dying instead of living.

Ok, now you know more than you ever wanted to know about what I look for in a date; now, what are the deal breakers on the first date?

1. No smokers. Sorry, I know this is somewhat shallow, but if I wanted to lick an ashtray, I would. A kiss should always be something you look forward to, not dread. By the same token, no alcoholics, drug addicts, or drug abusers for that matter. If your life is too tough to face without chemical assistance, then you don't need me adding complication to it.

2. Ease up on the makeup. I've been out with some women who have troweled more goop on their face than I use when hanging drywall. Ladies, the natural look is much better. Besides, all clich├ęs aside, personality, not camouflage, gets you a second date. I used to live across the street from a girl who swore her future husband would never see her without her makeup. That kind of insecurity is a tremendous turn off.

2a. As a corollary to number 2, pass on the lipstick. This isn't a real deal breaker, but kissing slimy lips just doesn't get it done for me. It messes with the proper amount of friction.

3. If you have a preference, express it. I am not a mind reader; nor am I instantly cognizant of your personal encyclopedia of body language within the first 5 minutes of our date. That takes a minimum of 2 weeks (or 20 minutes if we engage in a little hanky panky!*grin*)

4. Comparing me, whether favorably or unfavorably, to herr last date/boyfriend/husband. In fact, mentioning them on the first date is very dangerous and should only be attempted in the most dire of circumstances, such as, "Look out! My crazed ex-boyfriend is right behind you with a gun!" I'm not naive; I know that during our date she is actively comparing me to every man she's ever gone out with. I just don't particularly care for a running commentary on how the scoring is going. I'll know how the date went based on the goodnight kiss at the end.

Or the lack thereof.

5. Using the words "marriage," "relationship," or "children" in the context of "us" on the first or second date is a sure fire way to end the evening early. While I am dating to find a long term partner/wife/significant other, I'm not going to commit in the first two hours we're together. That takes at least 4 weeks (or 20 minutes if we engage in a little hanky panky!*grin*)

6. Testing me. I'm not a lab rat. If you want to know something about me, just ask; I'll tell you. I'm a very intelligent man; set me up, try and trap or trick me, and I'll pass your tests with flying colors, tell you exactly what you want to hear, then drop you like a dead fish wrapped in yesterday's newspaper.

7. Lying. Don't be what you think I want you to be. If you're acting, it will show. And if it doesn't, are you really prepared to keep the act up for 20-30 years?

8. Rude behavior. This applies toward me, and to the people we come into contact with. What works at a backyard barbeque isn't what works at a symphony. Get mean with a server or an usher, and that shows me that eventually, you will turn that temper on me, and with 6 kids, I have enough folks griping at me. Even if there's no chemistry, and no chance of a second date, there's no reason to be hateful or nasty about it and make the evening unpleasant.

9. Anyone I date must know how to carry themselves in public, and will automatically behave appropriately in whatever situation we're in, whether a backyard barbeque or a symphony concert.

And that's about it. Just about everything else is negotiable. Including the 20 minutes of hanky panky!

katie allison granju said...

Well Rich, that's why you would never want to date me. I love lip gloss. I am, in fact, a bit of a lip gloss addict.


rich said...

Well katie, like I said, it's not a deal breaker...Good technique can take care of the gloss fairly quickly!*grin*

But by virtue of the wide array of music I like, I'm sure to like something that makes your skin crawl, so I guess we're destined for the whole friendship thing...Alas, the world will be a more desolate place for the loss of our potential romance!*grin*

Besides, one Carville-Matelin style coupling is probably all this country can handle!

BTW, do you know how they define a mixed marriage around here? A Ford fan marrying a Chevy supporter.

Take care!

Anonymous said...