First dates are up there with anal fissures when it comes to fun but they must be endured. (How else do you get to the sex?) Unfortunately, deal breakers often occur during those initial encounters making any future unlikely.
Take my date last weekend…please. He was a nice enough guy. Good-looking, above average intelligence. We went for brunch at a local outdoor restaurant. Sitting in the autumn light, we sipped mimosas and looked out over the ocean. Good so far.
Then the dreaded small talk ensued. I hate small talk. Weather, current events, what-do-you-do-for-a-living crap. Deadly dull. But I know, it must be done. (How else do you get to the sex?)
“So Peter, what kind of music do you like?” I asked with feigned enthusiasm.
“Heavy metal for the most part…like Dokken.”
“Dokken? What do you mean, Dokken? “It’s an 80's metal band.”
“Oh, I’m aware of them. They’re from the 80’s and have a shitload of hair. I just never…oh never mind.”
“What? You never what?”
“I never heard anyone mention Dokken as a favorite band before. That’s all. Like, the first band on a favorite list.”
“Well, who would you mention?” “I don’t know…any band other than Dokken?” I responded with a nervous laugh.
We quickly changed subjects but somehow Dokken loomed over us the rest of the brunch. They might as well have been at the table, guzzling my mimosa and whipping their over-processed hair in my face.
While Peter and I never had a second date (shocker, right?) it got me thinking about the Dokken Factor. Anything that makes you say, “Sorry cowboy, this is so not going to work.”
Listen, I don’t think everyone should be just like me. Musically, I have some effin’ nerve. I’m a 70’s pop addict of the worst variety. Phil Collins? Hall & Oates? Toto? ELO? Supertramp? Styx? Barry Manillow…oh yeah, I’ll go there. Bring it on, bitches. No shame.
So I get it. It’s fine to have differences in taste. It adds a playful tension. But differences as great as Dokken? That’s an unbridgeable gap.
My ex-boyfriend is a huge movie buff. He began to date this chick who didn’t like black and white movies. They gave her “the creeps.” I broke it to my ex that they stood no future whatsoever. He agreed and relationship was quickly dissolved. The Dokken Factor, clearly at play.
An old friend of mine had been dating a man for a while when she confessed to me he never went down on her. He told her early on that it just “wasn’t his thing.” (And no, it wasn’t a hygiene issue. And anyway, please, as if men are some sparkling clean specimens.) Dokken factor strikes again. Au revoir, pussy hater.
After seeing a movie in the city one night, a homeless crazy dude approached my date and I, yelling and wielding a pipe. I scared him off (by acting crazier than him, my go-to technique in those situations). I looked around for my date and there he stood, curbside, applauding my performance. Applaud this, Dokken Factor.
Some deal breakers turn out to be dealmakers. I dated a Christian guy and we managed quite well for some time. As long as he wasn’t pushing his God thing, I had no problem. When we kissed, “Son of a Preacher Man” would soundtrack in my mind. The idea of sullying his Christian goodness was ultimately a turn-on…who knew?
Sometimes false deal breakers are distancing excuses in disguise. My friend Paul finds his fun, vivacious girlfriend too hippie because she doesn’t like to wear shoes and wants to “touch the earth” as much as possible. I told him that while maybe a little gross, it was not a Dokken Factor but more of a pet peeve (because they get along beautifully otherwise). They’re still dating and she’s still barefoot a lot. C’est la vie.
Clothing, while not a deal breaker, can certainly be deal altering. A man who constantly dons a baseball cap can dampen my interests (unless you’re a professional baseball player, then don away). Wearing sneakers all the time, a turn-off. With black socks? Extra bleh. T-shirts emblazoned with big logos…corporate lackey. Put out a little effort. Be my eye candy sometimes baby.
Still, I try to stay open to as many types as possible. While I may never fall for a metal-loving pussy-hating Budweiser t-shirt wearing Christian who thinks old movies are creepy, at least I can give him a shot, right?
Because you never know what someone can bring to the table. He might like Dokken but go down on me like a champ. And in the end that’s all that really matters.