There Must Be 50 Ways

A friend of mine, Liz, got divorced around three years ago after an almost 20 year marriage. She started dating again after a decent interval and has been seeing a man we’ll call Rick, for about 8 months.

The other day she broke up with Rick because a couple of weeks ago they ran into Rick’s ex-wife and Liz couldn’t get past the fact that the ex-wife was very, very not good-looking. Liz feels a little stupid about this as a reason for breaking up with someone with whom she’d been having a good relationship.

I pointed out that Jerry Seinfeld broke up with tons of women for much stupider reasons:

  •  One had “man” hands
  • One ate her peas one at a time
  • One wore the same dress on every date
  • One was exactly like Jerry and he couldn’t handle it
  • And then there was the one who had once dated Newman. The similarities are obvious.

Did my pointing this out make Liz feel any better? I doubt it. She really misses Rick, but is repelled by the idea that he was once ‘with” this Newmanesque wife – and for a long, long time.

Anyway, we ended up trying to think of other reasons we might dump somebody that wouldn’t ordinarily be considered deal-breakers. We eliminated stuff like criminal activity and the top five reasons people usually break up:

  • One person finds someone else/is unfaithful
  • The relationship becomes toxic because of substance abuse or physical abuse
  • They just get bored of each other/fall out of love
  • They want different things from life and no longer have a future together
  • There is a breach of trust that cannot be mended because of lies/secrets, etc.

I once broke up with someone I’d been seeing a short while because he told a completely inappropriate joke at a party – not once, but several times even after I and other friends told him the joke wasn’t the least bit funny and was, in fact, highly offensive. He didn’t get what we were getting all upset about, even when we talked about it the next day.

I’d break up with someone if they started smoking or doing something else that was stupid and reckless like driving drunk.

Speaking of eating peas one at a time, XUP Jr.’s boyfriend eats his meal one item at a time. First he takes a piece of whatever the protein part of the meal is. Puts it on his plate and slowly eats it. When it’s all gone, he takes (for instance) one piece of potato. Puts it on his plate and slowly eats it. Only when it’s all gone, does he take a spoonful of carrots and puts them on his plate and slowly eats them.

Anyway, Liz dumped a guy on their first date because he was almost half an hour late to meet her and had no excuse except “time got a way from him”. And he only said that after she pointed out that he was late. She left the restaurant before they’d even ordered.

What might be a deal-breaker for you that doesn’t fall under one of the usual five categories? Or, what’s the most Seinfeldy reason you’ve ever dumped someone or had someone dump you?