GOOD

Ryan Britt

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Dealbreaker: She's the Wrong Kind of Smart

I’m not saying I could carry on a romance with a disembodied head who told awesome Goethe jokes. But books have to be there.


In our Dealbreakers series, exes report on the habit, belief, or boxer brief that ended the affair.

When I was 21, my love of books ended my first post-college relationship. My girlfriend was flabbergasted as to why anyone would read anything that wasn’t required for class credit; I was offended that she dismissed my love of the printed word alongside her previous boyfriend’s obsession with video games. To really put this in nerd terms: If you’ve ever seen that iconic Twilight Zone episode in which Henry Bemis’ wife defaces his books in an effort to break his “habit” of reading, this was similar. She was oppressive to the bookish. And she liked Reba McEntire.

After the breakup, I elevated my criteria for girlfriend material to levels rivaling Hammurabi’s Code. The contents of a woman’s bookcase had to at least be on par with her physical profile. Dating websites always give you pictures first, intel second, but some of us are turned on by brains, too. I’m not saying I could carry on a romance with a disembodied head who told awesome Goethe jokes. Nor is the possession of panties depicting Poe poetry an automatic win for a woman. But books have to be there.

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