Recently I've read a few articles about certain pop-cultural items that would make someone un-dateable. I don't believe any of them are universal, though if they are then we've hit upon one of the reasons I'm still single (normally I blame my looks and personality). I did find while working in a used bookstore, slogging through piles of people's books, that I had created my own list of books that would, at the very least, raise some dating red flags.
And before people start jumping down my throat, telling me that I should be glad people are reading at all, I agree – it's great that people are reading actual books. However – knowing myself and my personality there are some books that would put a halt to me, BookWench, persuing a serious relationship with someone. And, if we're all being honest with ourselves, we all have literary or film or music deal-breakers, or warning signs. I'm just wench-y enough to form a list and put it online. I'm also fully aware that there are chunks of my library that would put some people off of dating me. (According to most of the articles I've read my signed Palahniuks and vintage Hunter S. Thompson books make me untouchable.)
So here's MY list, with reasons-
- Anything by Tucker Max – I'm past the phase of my life where I date this type of guy.
- Anything by a Fox News Personality/ Extreme Conservative (i.e. Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter)- Because as much fun as intense political debates are, that's what I do with my family when we've all had too much to drink and need a good cry. It is not a great foundation for a romantic relationship, unless you're James Carville and Mary Matalin.
- I Am Legend – This one is not an immediate deal-breaker, but it will cause some concern, and a need for me to dig a little deeper. I learned through experience that if a guy is a little too on-board with Matheson's idea that women are the root of all evil and will cause the downfall of civilization, we're going to have some problems. If they just like post-apocolyptic vampire stories, then we'll be fine.
- A Library Composed Entirely of One Genre – I understand that most people have a genre that they enjoy the most, but if all you ever read or ever plan to read are mysteries/ sci-fi/ philosophy/ obscure novels about the War of the Roses, I worry that the topics of conversation are going to be similarly limited. It's like only wanting to eat one kind of ice cream for the rest of your life, where's the fun in that?
- An Overwhelming Number of Religiously Conservative Books- This mostly applies to things like The Surrendered Wife, or extremely evangelical books, not all things religious or spiritual. Again – wildly dispirate views on religion rarely lead to a strong relationship.
- No Books at All –
These are the big ones, but there are plenty of others that would at least start a serious line of questioning, like 50 Shades of Gray, or Twilight (Especially since I date men. Men reading these books and dating women are either trying to hard or unaware that they don't really like women. Or they just have deplorable taste in books, still a cause for concern.) I'll give passes on popular, mindless fiction if everyone acknowledges that it's not a great work of literature, but if you try to convince me that Dan Brown and James Patterson are two of America's greatest authors, we're done. Making this list may make me seem mean or judgemental, which I am, but I feel like it will also help me avoid future dating disasters. Maybe to balance it out I'll start a list of things that make someone super-date-able, or at the very least, fling-able. Maybe it will start a new series – the softer side of BookWench.
"It's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record
collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party."
- Nick Hornby