heartWhen it comes to dating, we women have all sorts of deal-breakers. I have a friend who won't date a guy if he smokes certain cigarette brands. Odd, right? It's not the fact that he smokes that irks her, but rather which ones. Well, to each her own, I say. I have certainly had my fair share of reasons for turning a guy down. I'll never forget one relationship that crashed and burned for something I never saw coming.

One spring day, I happened to meet a guy I'll call Mike. By all superficial appearances, Mike seemed great. He was cute, witty, and most importantly, seemed really into me. I thought, "Jackpot!" Even better, he said he was studying to be a chef. How cool is that? Things started off well enough. Our dates were fun, sweet outings along the lines of picnics or hitting matinees. I thought, "What an old-school romantic." Well, that's what I thought anyway. Turns out, our sun-filled, afternoon dates were hiding a deep, dark secret.

Of course, I didn't know it at the time. After seeing each other for a few weeks, I started to get suspicious when I realized we NEVER ventured out at night. NEVER. I'd suggest a late dinner, and he said he liked to eat early. A concert? He wasn't a fan of anyone playing. And forget about hitting a club like the rest of the people our age. He wasn't into that loud, hectic scene -- or so he said.

Needless to say, I was sure he was hiding some double life. I went through a litany of two-timing scenarios. He was dating someone else. He was dating someone else I know. What if that someone else was a man? Oh, my gosh, he is bisexual and he is hiding his male lover from me. Finally, during an evening time phone call -- the only kind of interaction I had with him after dusk -- I confronted him. I wanted to know what the hell was going on. "Why can't we go out at night?" I whined. He tried to change the subject. When that didn't work, he gave me some lame excuse about studying and getting enough sleep for his morning classes. I called bullshit, of course.

Finally, he'd had enough of my incessant pestering and blurted out, "Look, I'm on tether, okay!" There was a long, silent pause in the conversation as the wheels turned in my mind. "Tether? Do you mean HOUSE ARREST?!" I said. Of course the next thing out of my mouth was to ask what in the world had he done? The answer? Armed robbery. More stunned silence.

I am a bit embarrassed to admit this -- but that was the last time I ever spoke to him. I know some people would say that makes me a terrible person. And believe me, there are times I have felt guilty about cutting things off so abruptly. But to be frank, I was more than a little freaked out. I wanted to probe him for details -- who did you rob? Did you use a gun? Did you have a partner in crime? None of which I asked. I just made up some lame, awkward excuse about why I had to get off the phone and that was it.

I was young and at that point in my life, this was not something I knew how to deal with. The really pathetic part? I probably could have dealt with him being a two-timer, better than a criminal. I just didn't feel comfortable dating someone who had committed a crime like that. Oh well. I hope Mike is doing well and eventually found a girlfriend much more understanding than I ever was.

Would you break up with a guy if you found out he was a felon?

 

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