The ‘no’ moments

Real-life stories of what’s triggered a break-up
Couples tend to split up when they find they’re arguing constantly, when they realise they’ve grown apart, or when one party is caught cheating. But sometimes it can be smallest, silliest thing which makes us realise the relationship has reached the end of the road. Here are some real-life tales of caution from broken relationships…

Her stingyness
‘A girl I used to go out with would quibble over every penny on the bill when we went out for dinner, even though she earned a good wage. She talked about money all the time, which I found unattractive. I gave her the benefit of the doubt until I stayed at hers one night and was presented with economy-range jam for breakfast in the morning. I knew we weren’t compatible from then on.’ Stuart, 30.

His hands
‘When I grasped his hand in bed and realised it was smaller than mine. Soft skin and delicate fingers are all well and good, but when your boyfriend’s mitts are more ladylike than your own it doesn’t do much for your own sense of femininity.’ Laura, 20.

Her reading tastes
‘I went on a few dates with this girl who only read misery memoirs and thought novels were boring. The closest she came to reading a novel was labouring through One Day – the most unoriginal choice in the history of the world. I’m afraid it was a bit of a deal-breaker.’ Darryl, 24.

His clothes
‘I had a ‘no’ moment when a lovely ex turned up to see me wearing pink cords.
We were young and let’s just say I thought he might have had a bit of sexual experimentation that needed to be done without me in his life. I had suspected this for a while but we got on so brilliantly I ignored it. When he turned up in those it really made up my mind that I needed to let him go.’ Maddy, 33.

Her drunkeness
‘When she fell asleep naked on the toilet, narcoleptic style, and couldn’t be moved! She was drunk, and the kind of girl who embarrassed me a lot so finding her passed out on the loo in the middle of the night was the last straw.’ Toby, 23.

His gifts
‘When he gave me Russell Brand’s My Booky Wook for my birthday. I thought the gesture was sweet, but I also thought, ‘This guy doesn’t know me at all.’ I do have an appreciation for mainstream popular culture but I try to be a bit more highbrow in my reading material, and I thought he would have understood this.’ George, 31

Her snobbery
‘I knew I had to dump my ex when I heard her refer to the clientele of a club as ‘a bunch of oiks’. I later realised she was only joking, but I never felt quite comfortable in her company from this moment on as I always saw it as a sign that she was too posh for me.’ Freddy, 34

His boring hobby
‘I once had a boyfriend who insisted I sit in silence on a riverbank for hours while he waited for the fish to appear and he wondered if we were compatible when I refused to pass him a handful of live maggots out of a jar for bait. The final straw was when he left the maggots in the fridge. I let him off the hook…’ India, 43.

His eating habits
‘An ex-partner told me that he never cooks more than one portion of any dish because he can’t control his eating and would demolish everything in one go. I have enough problems with my own greed. I don’t need a boyfriend with the same issues too.’ Dawn, 29.

Her chat
‘One of my ex-girlfriends was quite happy to go on for ages about which was the best bus to get from X to Y, as if it actually passed for stimulating conversation. I ended it because I couldn’t handle that level of chat for much longer.’ Chris, 35.