Know What Your Deal Breakers Are and How to Spot Them

Dating 101: Know What Your Deal Breakers Are and How to Spot Them

When you’re single, and hanging out with other singles all the time, there’s a lot of talk about what you want in that future partner. We all want to meet and date someone who is kind, attractive, sensitive, caring, smart, etc. Who doesn’t want these things in a partner? What’s more important is to know your deal breakers. How much thought have you given to the qualities you absolutely won’t live with, no matter the good?

See, the positives you’re looking for are pretty easy to observe in the beginning of a dating relationship. It’s safe to assume that you found something attractive about the person you’re going on that first date with. Either they made you laugh, had a killer smile, or dazzled you with their knowledge of how to grow orchids -and you’ve always wanted someone who could appreciate your love of orchids.

It takes longer to figure out someone is less attractive attributes, or at least, the ones that make you incompatible in the long run. Don’t wait until you’re completely smitten and more likely to overlook them. This is just asking for trouble. Be prepared and ask yourself the right questions.

Figuring out what would make a partner incompatible with you requires a lot of introspection. Know yourself first, and look at some past relationships. What made them work, what didn’t work? What signs were there in the beginning of the relationship that should have been clues to future problems?

For example, for me, I knew I could not ever live with someone who didn’t love to read. I live and breathe books, my ex-husband did not. It was a problem for me that he couldn’t appreciate my need to take time away from him to lose myself in a book. Next guy? No matter how nice, smart, or kind, if he couldn’t talk about what’s new in the bookstores, or tell me what books lay by his bedside table, I was out.

There were other things I knew would never work, possessiveness being at the top of my list. This is one of those traits that shows itself very subtly in the beginning of a relationship, so you have to be on the lookout. You have to be smart, observant, and take off your googly eye glasses every now and then. Remember the long term. Don’t kid yourself. One guy I dated for about two weeks seemed to be a great catch. He loved books, and was punctual and reliable, big pluses for me. Then one day I told him I was going to be unavailable for the weekend because my mother was coming to visit me from out of town, and I really wanted to focus on having fun with her. I told him I’d call him on Sunday night, after she left. Not a half a day into her visit he started calling me. He left six messages over the weekend, the last one ending with ” you’re harder to reach than the Queen of England”. When I finally called him back, he said he didn’t see how my mother visiting should be reason for me to not call him, and that in fact, I should have introduced him to her. Perhaps, he said, it wasn’t really my mother that was visiting. That was the end of that. He apologized, said it wouldn’t happen again. But you know what? If this guy didn’t know boundaries and how to back off two weeks into dating, am I supposed to assume it’s going to get better after six months, or six years? Since possessiveness is a trait I said I’d never be able to live with, I wasn’t taking any chances, and I cut my losses.

If you can figure out what your top three deal breakers are, you can avoid a lot of heartache later on. Those are what will ruin your relationship over the long haul, if you ignore signs of them in the beginning while you’re in the throes of passion.

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