Deal-breakers

SINGAPORE - Breaking up is hard to do, as that Neil Sedaka song goes, but some physical or character traits might make you drop your paramour like a hot potato. With Valentine's Day on Thursday, SundayLife! asks artists and entertainers what are relationship deal-breakers for them.

Rebecca Spykerman, 28, actress, single

Deal-breaker: A man who stereotypes

Take note, potential beau of Rebecca Spykerman: She finds it "suffocating and limiting" if you put others in a box and generalise about them.

"Open-ness can't happen if someone keeps stereotyping," says the up-and-coming actress, who starred as Viola in Singapore Repertory Theatre's staging of Twelfth Night at Fort Canning Park.

She adds: "If I want to date someone, I'm interested in the person and want to know more about him. If he already cuts off that opportunity by judging everything around him, then where is there space to explore?"

She has never dated anyone like that and says she would call off a relationship with such a man. Her aversion to stereotyping is understandable, especially in the context of the insensitive comments she has endured because of her mixed heritage.

The Eurasian Singaporean - her dad is Chinese and mum is Dutch-Portuguese - says people often remark that she is "not a real Singaporean", whatever that means.

Or, she gripes, they immediately bring up the famed Eurasian dish and ask: "Is your favourite food devil's curry?"

The bachelorette, who last year parted ways amicably with her skydiving instructor-boyfriend of four years, says extreme physiques are a no-no when it comes to finding Mr Right.

She rules out dating guys who are "too skinny and small-boned" or "too buff".

That said, physical appearance is secondary to personality when it comes to choosing her mate. She is drawn to people who are positive and passionate about something.

She says: "I am usually attracted to a person based on his energy. If something turns me off, I completely shut off right away."

Oon Shu An, 26, actress-host, in a relationship

Deal-breaker: An inconsiderate person, someone who does not treat her as an equal, or a man with body odour.

"If he isn't sensitive to things that I like or don't like, especially in the early stages, there isn't much of a chance of that happening in the future," says Oon Shu An, of also-ran suitors who do not look out for her.

The Fly Entertainment artist plays the lead role of the Seeker in Incanto, Resorts World Sentosa's resident magic production.

In real life, she seeks respect in her relationships. "I can't date someone who doesn't respect me, my opinions, and what I do and vice versa," says Oon, who is dating a photographer.

She adds that the person does not have to agree with her on everything but should try to understand her point of view.

"It doesn't matter how educated or smart you are, you have to see your partner as an equal. A relationship without mutual respect is doomed."

Luckily, she says, only one boyfriend in her dating history thought she was not "smart or capable enough" for him. Of that relationship, she recalls: "After a while, I thought to myself, 'If I'm not good enough for you, why are you still with me?'"

On the physical front, she would steer clear of someone with body odour.

"I am very, very sensitive to smells and bad smells actually make me feel unwell," she says.

Having formulated her relationship deal-breakers "bit by bit over the years", she applies them to platonic friends too.

"It's a combination of me growing up and being more honest about what I want or don't want in my life," she adds.

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