A GUY told me this week that he'd only date me, if I'd have a Brazilian (wax).
That might sound like 50 shades of superficial to you and me.
But, it's one of his dating deal breakers. And he's sticking to it.
It came off a discussion about the fella who dumped me because he realised I was too old to give him babies.
Yes, it was the most hurtful rejection of my dating life (see last weeks' story), but my ex is entitled to want babies. And I guess Brazilian guy is entitled to his pube-free policy.
We all have our deal breakers. Some are brutal. Or about being hairless.
It got me thinking about my own dating deal breakers.
On the trivial side, I once rejected a guy because he wrote "hehehe" in a text message. Yes, I know. Total b*tch move on my part.
But when he sent me the text to ask me out and he used the term "hehehe" (three 'he's', to be sure), he immediately lost any sex appeal he had, pre-hehehe.
I knew I couldn't go there.
I also can't be with a guy who looks like he's had more Botox than me. It's unnerving. I won't date guys with face tattoos for the same reason.
As the undisputed master of superficiality, comedian Jerry Seinfeld took petty deal breakers to the next level on his TV show. He dumped one lovely gal after another for the most frivolous reasons. Because she had man-hands.
Because she "shushed" him.
Because she ate her peas one at a time.
Turns out the most hilarious thing about Seinfeld is … the joke's on us. That kind of ridiculousness is happening right here, right now, in the real world of modern dating.
I know a man who won't ask a woman out again if he doesn't like the shoes she's wearing. No, he's not gay. Shoes are just one of his non-negotiables. Another friend can't date a guy with a Kiwi accent. It has the same effect on her as nails on a chalkboard.
A common modern day deal breaker is realising your new "match" looks nothing like their profile picture. Even if you try squinting. In a dark room. A deceptive profile picture can be grounds for automatic dismissal.
I'm sure we can all agree that these are all stupidly superficial reasons for rejecting someone. But what chance does anyone have of finding love if they allow that kind of shallow pettiness to get in the way. You might assume we relax our dating benchmarks as we get older?
The guy who told me to get a Brazilian is in his early fifties!
I tried giving him the lecture about how rejecting someone for something entirely natural is shallow minded; porn star fantasies at play. And how every woman has the right to do what makes her feel the most comfortable and confident with her most intimate 'ladyscaping' choices.
But he didn't care. It's Brazilian or bust.
In the forty-plus dating scene, we're clear about what we will and won't accept from a partner. We're all a little bit older (and questionably wiser) so we know there's no point trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
It may have taken me 40 plus years, but now I see the red flags early on. I also refuse to ignore them.
No more making excuses for his behaviour or wondering if I may have somehow misread the situation.
OK, the "hehehe" situation was petty. But in my quest for love, there are some behaviours that guarantee instant and unapologetic disqualification from any future romantic interactions.
If there's even the slightest indication that he's a user, an abuser, a liar, a cheat, racist, homophobe or misogynist, I'm outta there.
Rudeness is another no-brainer. If he's rude to me, the uber driver or the waiter, he clearly missed the memo on how to be a decent human.
Chivalry must not be dead. If he doesn't put me in a taxi or walk me to my car after an evening date, he's not a gentleman. And I won't see him again.
The three-day rule is bullshit. If he doesn't contact me within 24 hours of our first date (and he hasn't been abducted by aliens) I will assume he's just not that into me and move on. Next.
Love me, love my dog, or don't waste my time. When a man mentioned on our first date that he could never date a woman who allowed her dog to sleep on the bed, I called for the bill, stat. It doesn't take a genius to work out that a man who hates dogs and a woman who loves hers like the child she never had, are never going to make it down the aisle.
You might think some of my deal breakers are unreasonable. And that's perfectly OK.
One person's non-negotiable can be another person's 'meh'. I guess you have to believe there's a lid for every pot.
And that's why Brazilian guy and "hehehe" guy and, no-dogs-on-the-bed guy and I will all live happily ever after … with other people.
- Sami Lukis is a TV and radio presenter. Her podcast, Romantically Challenged, is available via podcastone.com.au or the app store. Her book, Romantically Challenged is available at all good bookstores. Continue the conversation @samilukis.