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When it Comes to Relationships, Should You Have Deal Breakers?

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If you go out looking for a man who fits exactly the image that you have in your head, you're going to be sorely disappointed when you don't find him.

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If you’ve done any kind of dating in your life, then you will either have these yourself or have come across someone who has relationship deal breakers.  Why do we have them in the first place?  Presumably, we have relationship deal breakers because we have lived through past experiences and we don’t want to end up back in that same boat.  But, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to end up with the same type of person, regardless of how strict your vetting process is.  A relationship deal breaker might also be things like geography, wanting to have kids or even political beliefs.  Can we, and should we rule out possible matches based on deal breakers?

In short, the answer is no because it means we’re not looking at who the person is.  If your deal breaker is that everyone you date has to be a Democrat, what happens if you meet an amazing Republican?  Can that type of relationship work?  Absolutely.  To start, you’re painting everyone with that same brush and you’re making the assumption that there’s something wrong with all Republicans.  Or that you don’t like all Republicans because of a past experience.  We can’t apply that to every situation.  If your ex cheated on you, do you assume that “all men” are cheaters? And don’t get me wrong, because I’ve been there myself.  It’s an easy trap to fall into, but it’s not always the way to go.

People’s expectations are entirely too high, and we expect to be able to get everything on our wish list.  I mean – tall, dark, handsome, with a good job, raised right and athletic is not necessarily something that everyone can achieve.  But does that make a person any less of a match for you?  Not at all.  When I was dating, I often thought that I should have higher standards for myself.  That certainly sounds awful, but I would go out with men who were clearly not what I was interested in.  I guess I was of the mind that I needed to see what was out there.  If I’m being honest, I didn’t really know what I wanted either.  I had just come out of a 7-year relationship, and I was more interested in figuring out who I was than focusing on a relationship.

That said, I did meet a couple of guys who had deal breakers for me.  Needless to say that I didn’t stick it out with those guys because I didn’t want to have to fit into their ideal of a perfect partner.  Maybe I thought I wouldn’t be able to live up to it, but I also didn’t like the idea that I had to.  When you’re thinking about relationship deal breakers, you need to focus on the big picture rather than specifics of what you want in a partner.  For example, a big picture deal breaker might be – does he have a job?  If the answer is no, it’s ok for you to exclude him from the dating pool.  I’m not saying you should rule him out immediately, but it might speak to a larger issue.  If it’s that he has to be 6’0″ and look like a linebacker, then you’re going to be upset when the package doesn’t match what you’re looking for in terms of values.

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