Warning: Dating these guys may be hazardous to your emotional health

Jessica Levco

Being a health care editor has made me exceedingly aware of societal behaviors. I analyze what people put in their grocery carts, study how people wash their hands, and remind everyone I know to get a flu shot.

Sometimes, my level of health awareness can creep into the dating scene.

For you millennial health care communicators out there, here are some personality traits you should avoid:

Smoking pot or cigarettes

Sparking up a joint or a bong is just juvenile behavior—and illegal. You could probably get away with dating someone who smoked every once in a while in college, but now that you have a full-fledged career, it’s time for the guys you’re dating to grow up, too. (And don’t fall for that “medicinal” malarkey without seeing a doctor’s note.) Give them some Cheetos or a lighter as a parting gift.

As for regular cigarettes, given all the warnings and real-life horror stories, anyone who started smoking after 1980—much less after the turn of the millennium—should have his head examined, as well as his chest X-rayed.

Poor hygiene

Did your suitor forget his deodorant? Can you see dirt under his fingernails? Does he brag about only brushing his teeth once a day, or cleaning his ears twice a month? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you know what you need to do: move on.

Obesity

Harsh as it sounds, it’s true: If you spend time with obese people, you’ll gain weight, too. Sure, it might be fun to have somebody to eat homemade lasagna and snickerdoodles with after a long day at work, but this activity should be shared with your girlfriends—not the guy you’re dating.

Mommy issues

You don’t want to date a guy who talks incessantly about his mother, in either a loving or scornful way. If you go to his apartment and there are hundreds of pictures of him and his mom—especially if he’s using a photo of Mama as a dartboard— don’t try to offer to help him redecorate or offer to make him his mom’s lasagna recipe. (See previous item.)

Someone who sleeps in a sleeping bag

It’s important to date someone who gets at least eight hours of sleep each night. This probably won’t happen if he doesn’t have sheets. (Pro tip: Don’t date people who are domicile-challenged.)

Drinking and driving

This one might seem obvious. It’s been drilled into your head to never accept a ride with someone who had too much to drink. But what happens if the person you go on a date with is literally drinking and driving—simultaneously? Unfortunately, this was the position I found myself a few nights ago.

Even though he might seem like a nice, mild-mannered guy who took you to a used bookstore for a date, it’s stupid to ignore that he’s got one hand on the wheel and another holding his Old Style. You have only one option at this point: Get out of the car. Fast. (Wait until it comes to a full stop, of course.)

Although the brand of brew really is immaterial, Ann Tracey Mueller, the co-editor for the website, chimed in: “An Old Style? Another sign you don’t want to date him. That’s just GROSS!!!”

Well, it’s not a 2005 Côtes du Rhône, certainly, but again, the alcohol is the primary issue here.

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