Here at IMAGE HQ, we've found ourselves talking a lot about dating, online dating and the likes of Tinder of late. Some of us loathe or love the idea of the modern day digital hook-up, while others still long for the romantic 'we bumped into each other whilst dashing for the train, spilling coffee over each other and it was raining and then he shared his umbrella with me as our eyes lingered for a moment long enough to know he was the one I was going to have babies with' stories. But what we seem to have in common, is our dating deal-breakers. Behold, the Irish guide to dating deal-breakers.
1. The biggest of all dating crimes, where our male counterparts are concerned, is footwear. If you've got a face and body carved by angels, a CV that boasts charity work and other philanthropical pursuits, yet you're wearing mid-wash flared jeans over black, shiny loafers (and it's TUESDAY), then you're as good as dumped before you've even gotten anywhere.
2. Your clothes in general. DO NOT dress like it's 2004. If you want to channel some retro vibes, go a little further back than the early noughties when the general theme was just 'awkward'. Dad-sized blazers that hang off you like it's your first debs have no place in your wardrobe in 2015. Nor do jeans a la Channing Tatum in Step Up.
Would we be okay with Jamie Dornan's 2004 get up in 2015? No.
3. Scabiness. This goes for both men and women. If you're the type to whip out the calculator, post date, to work out who owes what to the very last pedantic cent, you're toast. At least just do things in rounds. If he offers to pay for the meal, you make sure to get a few cocktails afterwards.
4. Another instant deal-breaker is when a date shows even the slightest hint of a bad attitude towards others while on said date. Snappy with waiters? Rude? It was nice knowing you. Nothing is more off-putting than a total disregard for other human beings.
5. They don't like dogs? If you're allergic to our canine friends, we can probably forgive that (though the prospect of a life spent avoiding dogs so as to ensure you don't start sneezing is not so exciting), but to dislike them? No, baby, no. Dogs are all about loyalty and trust and affection. What's wrong with you?
6. Food. This probably won't be as widespread a deal-breaker as ugly shoes, but a passion for food is paramount. Eating is one of life's greatest pleasures and if you can't enjoy a meal together, what can you do? If your diet consists of beige food and you consider anything beyond chicken to be 'exotic', you'd want to sort out your palette, stat.
7. How you eat said food. Close your mouth, godammit. And yeah, chew louder while you're at it.
8. Text Speak. Again, this might only apply to a select few but these days, it's all about the texting. Chances are you're going to endure several Whatsapp conversations before you actually get to meet up, and if the sentence structure is weak, the lack of grammar is appalling and there's little more to the conversation than 'what r u up 2?', we'll have fallen asleep before you've had a chance to send us a crying face emoji.
9. Dancing. If you flat out refuse to dance (parties/clubs/weddings, etc.), you're the antithesis of craic. Whether you CAN dance or not is irrelevant, it's all about intent. We couldn't date anyone who doesn't do dance floor. Even if you look like this, we'll find it endearing.
10. You go in for the kill too soon. Do not attempt a premature kiss. This writer remembers one particular date - in broad daylight - during which he pulled into a garage to get petrol, reached across to my seat, unbuckled my seatbelt and attempted to get his mack on after just a half hour into the date. Shudder.