Day Seven: Four turn offs:
*I’m beginning to think this challenge is deliberately negative – four turn offs today and only three turn-ons tomorrow? Pfft.*
1. Smoking. My dad smoked four and a half packs of cigarettes a day when I was growing up. My clothes and hair smelled like smoke, I got sore throats and ear infections constantly – it was miserable. He had 40% of his lungs left when he finally quit in the final years before his death at age 59 from a massive stroke.
I’m now incredibly sensitive to smoke – I can smell it a mile off and if someone is smoking near me, it makes me cough and feel like I can’t breathe. This intensified after my oven caught on fire about 15 years ago – I set it to self-clean and it caught the insulation strip on the door on fire, sending billowing smoke through the house. I put it out myself and spent way too much time in the smoke trying to get it to clear. A quick breathing treatment at the ER and the doctor changed his tune from “double pneumonia” to “your lungs are clear, go home”. But I’ve had a tight spot in my left lung ever since and almost all physical exertion exacerbates the feeling.
So yeah, smoking is a hard limit. When Ohio instituted its state-wide smoking ban a few years back I was ecstatic.
2. Bigotry, racism, misogyny, misandry, and other assorted and sundry hatefulness. This is the sort of attitude that makes a person ugly to me. I lose any respect for people spouting such hatreds and will disassociate myself from them as fast as possible. Racist, sexist, homophobic, and rape jokes are not funny. Not ever. We can be better than that as a species, truly.
This is why I don’t go to family gatherings if certain aunts and uncles are there. It’s why I’m not close to my grandma. I choose to spend my energy on more positive things and people.
3. Arrogance. This one feels a bit hypocritical as I know I can come off as arrogant at times. But the task is to list turn-offs, which I take to mean, “things that make a potential partner undesirable”. I desire submissive men. This does not mean doormat or sycophant. It means someone secure in who he is and what he needs and wants. But that does NOT translate into arrogance. Removing ego from the equation as much as possible is what makes us vulnerable to others and is the only thing that allows true intimacy to take root and flourish.
What I mean by arrogance is the stereotypical “guy behavior” that is perpetuated in media today. Swagger and bravado, rudeness and crassness, bluster and boastfulness. In my book, a mature adult does not need to brag and bluster about to show he is “a worthy mate”. It’s all a bit “me, Tarzan; you, Jane” for me.
No thank you. Give me a man who is sweet and humble, confident and secure, attentive and kind.
4. Dishonesty. Yes, this is actually a turn-off, not just something I “don’t like”. If I allow myself to get close to someone, I have to be able to trust them on a very fundamental level. Someone who is dishonest – even about little things – is someone I will never be able to trust fully and that makes him automatically less attractive to me. My first husband was a master at minor deceptions. He’d lie/stretch the truth about things that didn’t matter to anyone. I trusted nothing that came out of his mouth after a while. Oddly, when it came to cheating on me, he was a horrible liar.