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dating deal breakers from MSN
February 3, 2005
1:01 pm
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September 24, 2010
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Ex to excess
The man who babbles on and on about his last girlfriend is sure to douse romance. Maybe she was saintly as Mother Theresa, gorgeous as Cindy Crawford or evil as a blood-sucking vampire. Whichever one it was, these guys can't let go of the past and it's a huge turn-off. Donna recalls one date who fielded 18 calls from an enraged ex during dinner. "He actually left the table for half an hour to 'calm her down' on the phone," she said.

Socially clueless
If a guy can't muster up even a minimum degree of smoothness and social grace, he's outta there. A deal-breaker for Jenna was when her date showed up in clothes that looked like he'd worn them to sleep — in the back of a van. "If I spent money on dry cleaning, he can at least look like he's been somewhere near a laundromat in the last month," she said. Or how about the guy who chatted at length with Deborah's cat and even wanted to bring Fluffy along for the date? Afterward, he left several messages on Deborah's answering machine — all for the cat. "I refused to let the cat call him back," she said.

Attention, please
For Mary, a top deal-breaker is "looking around the room while I talk, and not caring about what I say, what's on my mind, or what I feel." Caren agrees. One date asked her what she'd like from the movie snack bar. She requested popcorn and raisinettes, and he returned instead with nachos, saying "I thought you might like these." Caren's response: "Huh? Check, please."

Holiday spirits
When a guy indulges in more Christmas spirits than he can handle, we're likely to go running for a cab. Gwen remembers the guy who had too much to drink on their second date and started singing "Havin' My Baby" to her. "Needless to say, there was no third date," she said. Men who bring us to an office party where we don't know anyone, get stinking drunk and abandon us to slow dance with slinky co-workers also earn a quick ticket to the curb.

Cheap, cheap, cheap
Dawn was underwhelmed by the guy who brought her to a restaurant, read the menu, and blurted "Sheesh, this place is expensive." She's not the only one who measures men by how gracefully they handle finances early on. Kathy was surprised when the fellow who had asked her out didn't reach for the check. She handled the awkward silence by offering to pay her half. He accepted. "Then he asked if I could put in a few more dollars since 'he didn't have any singles,'" she said.

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