“Trust me – I’m a Chef…”

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Ah, the dealbreaker. That cringey, terrible moment when you realise that the threshold for what you think you can put up with in another human being turns out to be embarrassingly low.

Because it will inevitably be a low bar.

You won’t be knee-deep into your umpteenth date before discovering they think that women should never have been given the vote and that Hitler had some top-notch ideas. No. If you’re anything like me it’ll be something astonishingly, ludicrously minor that you didn’t even realise you had a problem with; like they never wear socks with shoes or they refuse to push the button at traffic light crossings. Suddenly you find yourself with someone slipping around in sweaty, barrier-less footwear, waiting ten hours to cross a road and you realise that this relationship may not be working out for you.

Back in the good ol’ days circa…before the advent of online dating, you would have to wait those umpteen dates before you encounter that limit.

But no more!

For all the terribleness that online dating can unleash into your life, there is one thing that it does exemplarily: dealbreakers can sneak their way front and centre before you’ve even finished scrolling down the profile.

“But Sam”, I hear you wonder, “that’s not reasonable – you need to be giving people more of a chance than that, you terrible curmudgeon, you!”

To which I say, do I though? Let my curmudgeonly attitude seep deep into your psyche so that you too may come to feel the same way I do. You know you want to.

Par Example (only read that in a French accent) in no particular order:

  • Anyone who spends any length of time on their profile telling you what they don’t want from you. Eg. “You better be wearing that filter when we meet or don’t bother coming.” (Actual sentence I’ve come across.) Yeah, because online dating is chock-full of realistic pictures of people. I’ve never used a filter in my life but every time I see a variation of this (and there have been many), I have to fight the urge to download snapchat and filter my friggin’ face off. I’m looking for a boyfriend, not a bawbag. Do one.
  • Gym pictures. Because, as I may have mentioned in previous posts, only monsters like the gym.
  • Emoticons as your sole form of communication in your profile. Anyone who says a picture paints a thousand words has never spent 17 hours trying to figure out if that emoji being used means someone likes vegetables or that they’re a potential sex pest.
  • Children in your pictures (particularly ones that don’t belong to you). If you love your kid/niece/nephew/random friend’s child, do them a solid by not putting their images in an open domain where anyone can get at them…
  • Selfies with Tigers or other drugged, endangered species. Pro-tip that is as useful in life as in dating: if you have to drug something to get away with cuddling it, you need to not be cuddling it.
  • Toilet selfies: Whyyyyyyyyyyyy???

See?  I knew you’d come around.

That being said, however, don’t count online dating out for the good solid mile-high bar it can set for dealbreaking. It won’t always be the toilet selfies you need to worry about.

Case in point: my friend recently regaled me with the bad dating story to end all bad dating stories. She’d been chatting with a guy online and it was all going stupendously well. And then one day she noticed that he’d changed his job from ‘manager at a designer clothes store’ to ‘chef’.

An odd thing, sure, but who doesn’t love a left-field, scrappy life-altering change every once in a while? Keeps you on your toes. Until it changed again. He bounced from ‘chef’ to ‘lawyer’ and she bounced from ‘mildly suspicious’ to ‘it’s time to google this shit’. And google she did.

Now, when you think about it really, the ideal online-snooping scenario requires you to be searching for at least a little while to find anything outside the standard ‘linked-in/facebook stuff, right?

Reader, this was not that scenario.

For lo and behold, the mere click of a button brought-up multiple mainstream news articles chock-full of the kind of information that documentaries are made of. It turned out he was neither manager, chef nor lawyer. He was, in fact, some guy who’d just been released from prison for a number of things relating to terrorism offences. Just to really round out the story, her housemate also managed to stumble across his profile on another dating app and guess what? Turned out he was actually a really nice guy.

LOL. Nah. He was terrible. Hated women and was saying all kinds of creepy shit.

So if you take any lessons away from our journey today, let it be these: always google, limit emoji intake and never, ever trust a chef.

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