If You’re A Grown Woman, Don’t Date A Guy With These Issues

By the time I turned 33, I was done dating boys. I was probably a bit late to the party on this, but when I finally realized that there were specific guy dealbreakers on which I wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) budge on as a grown woman, I stuck to them. Why? Because, as a grown woman, I deserve more — and so do you.

  1. He doesn’t have a job. I feel like this should be a no-brainer but for some women, it isn’t. If you meet a guy and he doesn’t have a job, run. If he says he’s just “in between jobs,” you should still run. Once you he gets comfy with you picking up the tab, he’ll never get a job.
  2. He still refers to his guy friends as “bros.” A guy who still use this word to describe his friends is the same guy who wishes that college never ended because that was the highlight of his life. You don’t want to be with a guy whose thinks his heyday was when he was 21 and doing keg stands six out of seven nights a week. (This particular type of guy probably uses the word “chillax” too. No thanks.)
  3. He doesn’t have any books. There’s something extremely disturbing about a human being who doesn’t own any books. I actually dated one of those people very briefly and it definitely explained his inability to comprehend basic conversation. To quote John Waters, “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t screw ’em!” Enough said.
  4. He’s a struggling artist. It doesn’t matter if he’s a struggling musician, struggling painter, or struggling photographer because “struggling” anything is a total dealbreaker. Unless, of course, he has a “real” job but he just “struggles” on the side because deep down he really thinks he’s going to be the next Justin Timberlake. Bless his heart.
  5. He thinks sexist, racist, and/or homophobic jokes are funny. Nope. No way. This isn’t just a dealbreaker, but something that should have you throwing dinner rolls at his head before storming out of a restaurant. You have no place in your life for hatred, ignorance, and intolerance — it’s like a cancer.
  6. He lives at home. Although unfortunate things can happen where people have to move home for any number of reasons. However, if he’s a little too comfortable living at Mom and Dad’s, don’t stick around. Once a guy gets used to his mom doing his laundry, picking up after him and cooking him all his meals, the chances of him moving back out are zero to none.
  7. He has a substance abuse problem. As someone who’s dated an alcoholic and a drug addict, I can attest to the fact that this isn’t an experience that anyone — especially a grown woman — wants. While there’s nothing wrong with drinking like a fish sometimes, something we’re all guilty of doing when we want to let loose, substance abuse problems are a totally different situation. It’s also something you can’t compete with because he’ll choose the substance over you every time.
  8. He’s not sure what he wants to be when he “grows up.” While there’s nothing wrong with being unsure about your future, there’s something completely terrifying about a grown man still talking about “when he grows up.” As a grown woman, you should see that this is terrifying and a big sign that he probably doesn’t have a clue as to what he wants to do because he doesn’t want to grow up. Talk about Peter Pan complex.
  9. He talks badly about your friends and family. When it comes to talking smack about your friends and family, only you get to do that. We all talk crap about our judgmental sister, our nosey aunt, and that one friend who can’t keep a secret if her life depended on it — but because you love them, you pretty much have that right. If a guy who clearly doesn’t have any such a right has the audacity to talk crap about the ones you love most, send him packing.
  10. He’s a cheater. While there’s no scientific proof that “once a cheater, always a cheater,” if you find out a guy is a cheater — as in, has cheating in his past — that’s a dealbreaker. You do not, under any circumstances, want to give him a chance to cheat on you too.
  11. He doesn’t have a savings account. It’s one thing to not have a savings account when you’re in your early 20s just trying to get by and living paycheck to paycheck, but once you become a grown woman, you should have a savings account. This also means that any guy you date should have a savings account too. Even if there’s only a couple thousand bucks in there, that savings account should exist.
  12. He plays childish games. From waiting to text you (even though you know his phone is most definitely in his hand 24/7), to flaking on plans, to acting all aloof (which you know is totally an act), you don’t have time for this BS. It was fun at 23 or 24; hell, maybe it was still fun at even 26, but childish games are a dealbreaker and a half once you finally reach full-fledged adulthood.
  13. He’s the jealous kind. Although jealousy can seem charming at first — oh, he loves me so much he’s jealous that guy just smiled at me — it can also spin out of control and become violent. Even if it doesn’t turn violent, you don’t want to have to answer 30 questions every time you go out without him because his jealousy doesn’t allow him to trust you. It’s going to feel like a prison.
  14. He can’t properly take care of himself. A guy who can’t cook at a least a few meals for himself, who hasn’t changed his bed sheets in months, who doesn’t brush his teeth on a regular basis, and who lives in a pig stye so deep in madness and trash that you’re scared to touch anything, isn’t the guy for you. What he’s looking for is someone to fill the role of maid and mother; two roles you don’t want.
  15. He makes you feel like crap. Whether he makes you feel self-conscious about your looks, doesn’t support you in your professional or personal journeys, makes passive aggressive comments, or simply makes you second-guess anything and everything, he’s a walking dealbreaker. As a grown woman, you want a guy who’s confident enough in himself that he doesn’t need to resort to putting you down. You need (and deserve) a man who’s going to walk beside you as a partner and not make you walk behind him because of his own inferiority complex.
  16. He doesn’t hear you. It’s one thing to listen; anyone can do that. But it’s a whole other ballpark to be able to hear someone when they speak, like truly hear each and every word that’s coming out of their mouth. If a guy only listens but never hears a damn thing you say then, as Beyoncé would say, “To the left.”
  17. He’s not invested in your sexual pleasure. I’m not going to beat around the bush (pun!) here: If a guy is too selfish to make sure you orgasm each and every time you have sex then that’s a blinding dealbreaker. Sure, you can finish yourself off with your fingers or a toy, but a guy who’s selfish in bed is going to be selfish in all other areas of life, too.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.