These 12 Rules Are Probably Why I’m Single — But I Refuse To Compromise

It’s important to know what you want and need in a relationship and not to accept anything less. That’s why I value dealbreakers — or as I like to call them, “things that make me see I’m worthy of more.” After being single for five years, I realized that sticking to my dealbreakers has saved me from a lot of unnecessary drama. Here are the 12 I’ve lived by for years:

  1. If he disrespects me, I’m out. An arrogant, nasty guy can become ugly in three seconds flat on a first date. The minute I see that he’s trying to make a joke about my looks or my personality traits (haha, really funny — you’re a douchebag) or he’s quick to criticize my life, I’m getting the check.
  2. If I get a whiff of cheating, I’m out of there. One of my biggest dealbreakers is cheating, but I take it one step further: if there’s a sign of cheating tendencies, such as ogling other women to the point where I feel uncomfortable or I’m dating a guy who’s too secretive about his life, I’m not going to waste my time because experience has taught me how this story ends.
  3. If he drinks too much or does drugs, goodbye. I dated a lot of toxic guys in my 20s who were addicted to drugs and alcohol and it’s made me into someone who can’t tolerate addicts of any kind. If a guy likes a beer on a hot day, that’s fine, but if he’s swigging bottles like they’re water, I’m going to get put off really quickly. As for drugs, any drug is a no-no for me. I don’t care if that makes me old-fashioned or a prude, I just don’t want crap in my life.
  4. I want more backbone than wishbone. After dating guys who were wishy-washy and didn’t really know where they were headed in life, it taught me how important a backbone is. When a guy knows what he wants and who he is, I find it so certain and sexy AF. Of course, a bit of a wishbone is awesome, too —  dreamers and artists are great to know — but they need to have strength of character and be realistic about life to keep me interested.
  5. If there’s no support, I’m supporting myself by leaving him. I’m highly wary of guys who don’t give support and encouragement openly and easily. This is because I’m a very supportive girlfriend, so I demand the same in return. I’ve also learned that if I don’t get that support, I need to give it to myself by leaving the guy. I won’t waste my time with a guy who doesn’t listen or who isn’t there when I’m having a bad day because he’s so damn selfish.
  6. If he won’t let me be myself, then he shouldn’t bother dating me. I don’t have the time or energy to pretend to be someone just so that a guy will like me. That’s so “’90s rom-com” it makes me want to hurl. I want to be able to be me, all of me, and feel comfortable putting my real self on show when I’m with a guy. Otherwise, what’s the point of being together if we’re both wearing masks?
  7. If he’s a party animal, he can party party without me. I’m an introvert, but I also like to be social sometimes. Party animals are another breed altogether, though. They want to hit all the hot spots in town and dance up a storm, then try to get through a work week on no sleep. That’s fun, but honestly, if a guy is dragging me to the club every weekend, I’m going to start getting tired of it. I want to be able to curl up with a guy and read or chat outside of a noisy AF club so we can get to know each other. I want to know more than his favorite song.
  8. Immature players need to GTFO. I’m done with immature, overly-emotional guys who play the victim in life, take no responsibility for anything and dump their dramas on me. Ugh. When did I say I wanted to become an unpaid psychologist? FFS.
  9. If he wants to have sex right away, he can find it elsewhere. If a guy wants to jump into bed right away, that’s a huge dealbreaker for me. It shows me that he’s only interested in getting to know my sexual side, without thinking that he should be learning about the rest of me before he expects sex. Come on, I want a gentleman, not a quick fling with a guy who’s incapable of having an intelligent conversation with our clothes on.
  10. Stage five clingers need not apply. It’s an ego boost when a guy is so into me that he wants to see me all the time and showers me with attention… if we’ve been dating for a while, that is. If all that is happening from date one, I’m going to feel creeped out. I don’t want a guy who’s all over me in the beginning because it makes me suspicious of his intentions. When a guy tries too hard, it makes me backtrack just as fast.
  11. If he’s still hanging with his ex, I’m focusing on my future alone. I don’t put up with a guy who’s still hanging out with his ex and calling her every day. It might sound harsh, but it’s just that such a scenario makes me battle to accept that nothing more than platonic is going on. To be honest, even if there isn’t anything, I’m going to worry that there is and that’s no way to start a relationship.
  12. If my gut says no, I listen. When I was single, I would sometimes go on dates with guys who seemed great but triggered something in my gut which told me to avoid them. I didn’t understand why until dating them some more showed me I should have saved my time (and mascara) by listening to my intuition. I learned that my gut is non-negotiable. I listen to it without fail, no matter who the guy is or how amazing he seems. My gut always trumps the guy.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.