Five dating habits — cute or crazy

Two cats are OK, says writer, but having more may move you into questionable territory.
Have you been watching "Tough Love" on VH1? It took a few episodes for it to grow on me. Now, not only do I love the show, I may be harboring a secret crush on host Steve Ward.

I bring this up because a couple weeks ago, he had the ladies participate in an impromptu game show that he called “Cute or Crazy.” Not surprisingly, one contestant’s habit of letting her cats choose her boyfriends was dubbed “crazy,” while another’s Riverdance reenactment qualified as “cute.” Many of us have some behaviors that might be misinterpreted as kooky, when they’re actually just quirky. Take, for example, how I get livid if anyone dares to crack one of my magazines open before I’ve had a chance to browse through it. That’s perfectly understandable. Right To aid you in your quest for true love, I’ve compiled a list of behaviors and characteristics that can be cute, but sometimes graduate into the crazy. 1. Animal Attraction: Where pet ownership falls on the “special” spectrum is usually a question of quantity. One pet is fine. Even two is OK (though less so). Once you get into multiples, you start to scare people. The crazy cat lady cliché didn’t come out of nowhere. However, even if you only have one animal in your life, dressing Benji up like he’s your mini-me is pushing it. Sure, if it’s below zero, some breeds need a little extra wrapping, but no dog should ever don a tutu or a tiara. Not only is it undignified for your pup (who now secretly hates you), it screams, “I am a lunatic” to the world at large. Encouraging your dog to lick you on the mouth and/or addressing it in baby talk are red flags to people who might have previously considered getting naked with you.

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2. Toys In The Attic: Holding onto your cherished childhood teddy bear is one thing. A menagerie of stuffed animals crowding him out of your bed is just creepy. 3. Love Me!: Being open to new activities with the person you’re dating is important, which is why sitting through the occasional basketball game, even though you prefer hockey, shows you’re a good sport. However, turning up with your face painted in Knicks colors is trying way too hard. 4. The Nurturing Caregiver: When Niko brought Cathy back home to his somewhat sloppy bachelor pad after their pivotal third date, he was excited. She was cute, fun, and vivacious. He was definitely thinking girlfriend material when he left her a key the next morning as he headed off to work. When he returned home that evening, his apartment had been scrubbed clean and all the furniture had been rearranged. In the fridge, there were carefully labeled Tupperware containers full of food for the next couple days. Gulp. Stopping by with soup for your illin’ honey is one thing. Morphing into his mommy is quite another. 5. Background Research: Anybody who says they’ve never Googled their date is either lying or, well, lying. It’s natural to want to know where he went to college or what his favorite band is. When you get into the realm of tracking down his social security number and last five girlfriends, you’ve crossed over to the dark side. Come back towards the light!