Let’s Talk About Deal Breakers
So, earlier last week, I decided to go out on a date. I met this guy that for the purpose of this article we`ll refer to as JORDAN. I met JORDAN at the law library of my school. He asked me out on date and then later on that week, I found myself at Dave and Busters playing field hockey against him. I thought everything was going well until he uttered the words that made my heart sink into pieces:
“ I just want to let you know, I have a child”
Through my ears, I could’ve sworn he was saying:
“ Babymomma + Child Support + Step Mommy + I Have Sex Raw And I Don’t Pull Out “
Even though the last thought is tempting, it’s the fact that he created a child from it, and that my friends is a deal-breaker.
Thus, this brings me to the topic at hand, deal-Breakers and Compromise.
A critical element of any happy relationship, situationship, friend with benefits, or whatever most people choose to be in, is that the partners are not only compatible, but have those traits that make spending time with them worthwhile. The biggest way that a potential couple sabotages their prospects for long-term happiness is by getting involved with an incompatible partner. The damage this error in judgment causes is two-fold: first it prevents the relationship from progressing in a happy and healthy way. Second, while in this deteriorating relationship the couple is prevented from pursuing and connecting with better matches. The reality of the situation being that, you choose it.
Although I will be concentrating on potential romantic relationships in this post, this idea can be extended to business relationships and friendships alike. Few people actively choose their families, but as adults even with close relatives, it is up to us to only maintain healthy and productive interactions and distance ourselves from destructive influences.
A large part of compatibility comes from mutual sexual attraction and interpersonal chemistry. While this is enough to spark the initial interaction, for any relationship to remain healthy and happy in the long run it’s important that in addition to chemistry all partners are also compatible in many other ways. One of the ways to ensure that your values are compatible with your partners’ is to evaluate your date’s qualities against your personal list of deal-breakers.If a deal-breaker is discovered, the relationship ends right then and there. There is no discussion, and no “compromising.”
Every time you go on a date with the same person after a deal-breaker is discovered, a cute kitten dies.
While following your deal-breakers will prevent some relationships from forming, this is not a loss. Those relationships would eventually end and will bring with them a lot of unhappiness and despair, at best.
Deal-breakers allow us to select better partners, and because of that they help us live happy and fulfilled lives. While compromising allows us to understand that while we are not a fan of a specific habit, trait, or hobby, we are a willing to be okay with it for the purpose of not coming off as being one sided or a selfish prick.
Why spend the next ten years fighting about whether to go on a two week trip or if you want to have a threesome? By following our deal breakers we can choose more compatible partners leading to fewer disagreements, less fights, a reduction in major misunderstandings, and more happiness for you and your partner.
When presented with a list of deal-breakers, many people get wishy-washy and bring up a point that relationships are not built on the basis of my-way-or-the-highway. These people will say that healthy relationships require a lot of compromise, negotiation and accommodating other’s values and preferences. To further complicate things, one person’s deal breaker is another’s “nice-to-have.”
To all those concerned about deal-breakers preventing compromise, here is a no-nonsense way to distinguish the two: Whether you want to have children or date someone with kids is a deal-breaker. Giving your partner head so you can please him for a change, before he goes down on you is a compromise. I know that for me, at my age, being with a man who has kids is a deal-breaker versus attending a car show with a man who loves cars is more of a compromise. I like cars, but if I like you, then I should take some interest in what peaks your happiness.
When coming up with a list of your personal deal-breakers, it is important that you don’t get too caught up in a long list of “nice-to-have.” Getting a man with a BMW is a nice to have, but if he`s driving a Honda, then why complain? At the end of the day, he`s not taking a bus, so be blessed. Your deal-breakers
should be based on your values, your expectations and your needs in a relationship. Not what you think would be great, but you know that a potential match might not deliver on or have immediately.
If you have not spent a lot of time considering your values and expectations of your partner, making a list of what is unacceptable to you will help you with clarity around this. Also, please don’t add things that you yourself aren’t sure about right now. Your core values will remain consistent throughout your life and it is compatibility in that area that deal-breakers help to ensure.
To help get you started, here is a list of my personal deal-breakers from a few years back. If I discover any of these in the early dating stages, this will prevent the relationship from progressing any further. Thus, this will help with you understanding what you should want out of a relationship and what your ideal half should embody.
Habitual smoking (of anything)
A kid or kids
Not having a personal hobby or passion
Not being able to hold a solid conversation
Not being emotionally available/always closed off
Seeing self-improvement in general as a waste of time
Insulting myself or anyone around me
Disrespecting me or other’s peoples time
Lying about anything big once, or consistently about little things
Considering education or learning unnecessary/unimportant
Unwillingness to try new things
Dislike of outdoors (hiking, camping, swimming, open water)
Inability to make important decisions on their own behalf
Lack of sexual intimacy
Establish your boundaries and someone that truly respects them.