Avoid The Dater With All The Deal Breakers


Name: Rebecca
State: CT
Age: 43
Comment: Hi. I am back in the dating pool for the first time after finding out I have HSV-2. Putting myself out there on dating sites feels like false advertising. I’m going to meet up with a really interesting guy for the first time next week who has no idea I have herpes. Obviously this isn’t something you put in your dating profile. I would welcome thoughts about this.


I feel like I’ve answered this question numerous times, so I’m going to direct you here to read what I’ve said on the topic of when to tell someone and how.

As for the whole “false advertising” issue, EVERYBODY who has an online dating profile partakes in the act of false advertising. I can assure you that the large majority of online daters have something that they don’t tell you about in their dating profile. Like:

  • They’re unemployed
  • They have bad credit
  • They cheated on their ex
  • They’re an alcoholic
  • They’re horrible in bed
  • They haven’t had a relationship in several years, if at all

Yes, I know. None of these are as bad as the dreaded STD. None of these are things that people might use as a reason to break up with someone or blow them off. Right.

Nobody is morally obligated to reveal the fact that they cheated on their husband or wife. Funny, right? If this issue is morality, then you’d think infidelity trumps sexuality. That’s an adorable mixed message. Alcoholics get to be anonymous. But not someone with herpes.

Here’s what I think. I think people don’t want to know the truth. They want to be told a sanitized version of the truth.

Here’s the really funny thing. How many people would dump their partner if they learned he had cheated on their ex? I bet there’s a ton of people out there who would rationalize that one.

People could manufacture a back story for their past and most of you wouldn’t be the wiser. It’s not the idea that someone might “taint” you or infect you that bothers most people. It’s the idea that their partner with an STD is admitting to a “flaw.” That deprives the person they tell from believing that they got somebody untouched or “better” than other people’s partners.

Everybody, especially someone who has struggled to find a relationship, wants to believe that that person they found is “better” or at least “as good” as everybody else’s.

That desperate girl who couldn’t get past two dates with a guy doesn’t want to know that that dude that she finally got to stick around has actually scared off every other woman with his clinginess or neediness. She wants to believe that she’s the only one with whom he’s fallen for so hard and so fast. Guess what? She’s not. She just didn’t have any better options. Same goes for that guy who needs to believe that he planted that flag on his woman’s vagina and no man has gone there before him. Certainly not on the first date.

We certainly don’t want to acknowledge the real truth. That being that all those times our friends told us we could do better, we actually couldn’t.

If you’re going to have a deal breaker, make it something that is actually going to prevent you from getting hurt in the long run. Like smoking. That could actually kill you. Stop making stupid things up to use as an excuse to dismiss someone. Things like:

I usually don’t date men who don’t dance. It shows that they are not creative, take themselves too seriously and don’t know how to let go. And above all, it gives me an idea of how sensual they are since it is about moving your body and enticing the other person. Plus, if he can lead, it’s a great way for me to surrender to his arms without it being awkward. Men who don’t dance don’t interest me; they sound very boring and sexy at all. – Cricri

And this ridiculous piece of nonsense:

The only thing the OP did wrong was to schedule both dates on weekend. Saturday night for a 1st internet date??? What a waste! Those things should happen on Tuesday-Wednesday. Thursday, Friday and Saturday should be reserved for guys you’ve already gone out with. Scheduling a 1st day on Sat looks kind of desperate actually – shows you don’t have better otions or life. – Downtown Angel

The people who have the most ludicrous of deal breakers are usually the ones most flawed. They’re competing in some imaginary race, running around the track lap after lap and getting absolutely no where.






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10 Responses to “Avoid The Dater With All The Deal Breakers”

  1. Nia Says:

    I’ll be frank here: I can’t “catch” alcoholism (which also is a deal breaker to me too); and the idea that I could be infected with a life long, no-cure disease is…a pretty big deal to me. I’ve dated men who are divorced, with bad credit, who make half of what I do, men who cheated on their partners, who had physical disabilities, and all sorts of other “flaws”. I don’t doubt that the majority of the population is squicked out by the idea that their partner is “less than perfect” but for me, it really IS physical.

    Also, the reason people don’t “have” to mention they cheated on an ex (or were convicted on being a scofflaw for parking tickets, or have unpaid student loans, or whatever) is because most of that’s the past, it’s an isolated incident, and they have the power to avoid repeating that–and it doesn’t, for the most part, affect the partner. The STI/STD is current, it’s ongoing, and it affects the partner *now* and *in real life*.

    I can control my credit, my alcohol consumption, my cheating, etc. A partner who has those flaws is not going to “transmit” poor credit to me. He CAN transmit an STI or an STD.

    However! If Mr. Wonderful in every possible way had an STI we can work with it. It’s not ideal. But relationships are about compromise and getting that “80%” of what you wish for, not perfection.

    My deal breakers as of now are:
    Untreated addiction of any kind
    Serious criminal past (I mean felonies, multiple convictions, actual jail time, etc)
    Children under the age of 15
    Conservative political views (including racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc)
    Major Lifestyle differences (such as he wants to live on a remote, rural homestead (this is sadly, painfully popular where I live) or he works as a bartender, etc)

    Almost anything else I can work with.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4


    • fuzzilla Says:

      Agree w/Nia.

      Also the dancing thing is silly, but I suppose if a woman really digs dancing, she can place it high on her must have list if she’s just ridiculously hot and tripping over great, datable options left and right. The “eww, Saturday and not Tuesday” thing is just looking for things to bitch about, tho.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1


    • Parenting Says:

      I agree. Something incurable, even if its nonsense like herpes, seems to require a different level of commitment from some people than a character flaw or a bad habit. Its like they have to decide that they like you enough to risk lowering their own market value.

      I also agree that no one is telling you about their alcoholism, bad credit or any other medical issues. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I wouldnt be handing out my medical history to every cute guy who bought me a drink. Everyone who is sexually active is responsible for taking precautions.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0


  2. Eliza Says:

    It’s very subjective in my view. One’s person dealbreaker may be someone else’s trivial annoyance. Some people will say “well, he doesn’t have to smoke around you”…but it’s a dealbreaker for me…and I actually tried to overlook and did try to date a smoker. It was on his breath. Did he take an Altoid to mask the odor? Probably not often enough. And besides, the stench was on his clothes…and I have upper respiratory issues…can’t be around smoke. Will deal, if need be…but it’s best to stay away from it. Yes, some issues are ongoing, and not easily left behind. We all have a past, and things we would rather keep to ourselves…and sure, it’s only fair to air our dirty laundry – if it would impact the other person, but I wouldn’t say it should be expected to be disclosed on a first date or on a profile. An STD is something that can be worked around, but some of us, sure, it’s a dealbreaker as it’s a health concern, not a matter of taste or style or lack of dance moves! All that can be learned, improved or modified. Some matters are irreversible and are there to stay.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1


  3. Speed Says:

    I used to be irritated by women who listed paragraph after paragraph of deal-breakers and demands (some quite strident) on their Match.com profiles. Moxie’s site brought me to the realization that those women were actually doing me a huge favor, since I didn’t have to waste time messaging them or responding to their messages.

    Everyone has demands and deal-breakers, which or may or may not make sense and can evolve over time (mine certainly have). For me, the important thing is how and when these are expressed. For example, I think it’s great to write about participating intensively in athletics if that’s a big part of your life: pics of you training, and so on. It implicitly says you are looking for a fit guy, and if I were fit like that (I can dream!), I would be intrigued. On the other hand, if you write, “I’m in top shape, so please no fatties!” I think it would be a turnoff, even if I were an Olympian.

    From this site, I learned that you don’t have to be “open to everyone” in some New Agey, PC way, but there’s a nuanced, sophisticated and effective way to communicate yourself, your deal- breakers and partner requests. And to likewise be effectively read by your target audience.

    This is all Moxie 101.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0


  4. Laura Says:

    The problem with the dancing example is not that she doesn’t like guys who don’t dance – to each their own – but the ridiculous rationalization of it all. What is wrong with just saying “Hey, I love dancing and do it all the time, so I want to be with someone who enjoys it too”?
    The other thing about date scheduling is literally among the stupidest things I’ve read lately. I swear some people should do everyone a favour and just admit to themselves that they don’t really want to meet/be with someone.

    I don’t think STDs really relate to that, though. I don’t think they’re sign of a character flaw or anything and I absolutely don’t judge. It can happen to everyone. It’s just that it something that will very likely have not just hypothetical but a very real, direct, lasting physical effect on me. And so I want to be informed before I take it any further.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1


  5. Eliza Says:

    If someone can barely meet for coffee, due to them working 6 days/nights a week, and they happen to live more than 1 hour away by car? Sure, it’s a dealbreaker. Unless one is looking exclusively for a cyber chat, and nothing more. But being able to meet in person, is necessary to establish some repour. Any type of relationship requires mutual time and priority in order for it to get off ground, and to maintain a level of interest. Again, everyone has their own dealbreakers. But I can’t see developing any type of bond by merely texting continuously. It’s impersonal for one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0


  6. James Says:

    Agree and disagree with this. First of all a STD is serious business. This is along the lines of smoking or even more so in the category of so called “deal breakers.” I dont need to remind you all that if you contract this from a another person then it is permanent, as in the rest your existence on this planet permanent. Think about that for a second and let that sink in. Simply put it has to be disclosed. When? I dont know, you’ll have to figure it out. But what I do know is a long and truthful conversation is in order with whoever she pursues. Much of the general public would consider someone with an STD as non dateable. What the OP needs to find is someone who really likes her for who really is and can see past it. A deeper meaningful connection with someone who is willing to lay it all down is what its gonna take. Or just someone who doesn’t care about getting an STD. I wish her the best of luck. There are guys like that out there, believe me. Yes, I know Im stating the obvious here.
    I would agree trivial things like whether or not you like chocolate ice-cream or can dance are very insignificant compared to matters like the one I mentioned above. Deep down inside though I believe we all want the raw truth, because with out that what do we really have at the end of the day? A bunch of white lies and fronts? Life is too short and dont settle for anything less. Being single is better than being in a relationship you dont what to be in. Everyone thinks the grass is greener. Well guess what? Sometimes its not. Find someone who is on the same about about all of this and away you’ll go. The reason why we read this page is because its a lot easier said then done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1


    • Parenting Says:

      Except nearly one in 4 have herpes. That means that most of us have slept with someone or several someone who had it and no one told us anything. Its herpes not lepracy. Lets not send her off to the herpes colony.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6


  7. HarryC Says:

    Some time ago I was considering a long term relationship with someone who had HSV-2, I found the following article helpful when thinking about this issue. You might too.


    Having herpes is not a crime. It is likely that there are plenty of people who have it and don’t know.

    In my situation, we ended our relationship for other reasons not related to this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0


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