Do you have dating deal breakers?
By: Zachary Zane
The worst piece of advice I’ve ever been given was “relationships take work.” In itself, this trite aphorism is relatively devoid of any true meaning. It’s like obviously relationships take work. Of course they all do. What type of BS advice is that? How much work?
Seeing that there must be some deeper meaning to this hackneyed proverb, I assumed relationships take a lot of work. Like wayyyy too much work.
What I was doing with my ex was trying to stick a square into a round hole, and instead of admitting that there’s no way it would fit, I would just say to myself, “Maybe I just don’t understand shapes. All I need to do is work harder! Because hey, haven’t you heard? “Relationships take a lot of work!”
It took me a while to realize that while relationships do take a lot of work, they shouldn’t take that much work. They shouldn’t drive you crazy. There shouldn’t be an issue daily.
And while there are tough patches in anyone’s relationship, for the most part, you should feel content with your boyfriend or husband.
If the majority of time is spent arguing, or questioning your relationship, that’s a big sign that maybe you two simply aren’t that compatible.
I’ve realized that there are two questions you need to answer in any relationship, that will help you assess if the guy you’re seeing is the right man for you.
That will help you assess if it’s actually a matter of incompatibility, or you’re just giving up too easily on the relationship because you’re too afraid to work through any problems.
Here they are:
1. What are my deal breakers?
You really really need to think about what your deal breakers are. Is not being driven a deal breaker? Is only wanting to have sex once a week a deal breaker? Is being socially awkward around your friends and family a deal breaker?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself. What you’re in essence trying to figure out with deal breakers, are “Could I put up with the long term? Is this something I need out of him? Or is this something I can change about myself?” Deal breakers are things you can’t (or have no desire) to change about yourself. They’re things that you need to keep the relationship healthy and able to go on long term. They’re things that he cannot give you.
With my ex, I wish I had given serious thought about what my deal breakers were from the beginning. It would have helped me avoid nearly a year of dating monogamous.
I would have realized that being cold and negative are indeed deal breakers. (I know, that sounds kind of obvious, but it was more complex that that.) It was something I tried to change my response to, when the truth of the matter is, I couldn’t.
Neither could my ex. If I had realized this sooner and come up with my deal breakers sooner, this whole tumultuous year long relationship could have been avoided. We both would have been happier if we hooked up a few times and then carried on our merry way.
But alas, I didn’t know what my deal breakers are. Instead I thought relationships “take work” and I attempted to work through something that was unfixable. In short, I messed up, and this could have all been avoided.
2 Are my deal breakers realistic?
Some gay men I know are VERY picky. If a guy doesn’t color his roots that’s an immediate deal breaker. Now this guy could literally be the most perfect, handsome, smartest guy in the world, but since he doesn’t color his roots, bye bye.
Needless to say, this is absolutely ridiculous.
Many men are looking for this type of perfect man that doesn’t exist. We all have flaws. We all have issues. The truth of the matter is Prince Charming doesn’t exist, and if you’re looking for him, passing by everyone else, you’re going to end up alone, surrounded by dozens of cats.
It’s all about finding the balance. You will always find things that your partner does annoying, disrespectful, or self-centered. The key is talking to him about it. Letting him know your frustrations. Seeing if it’s something he can work on. If it is, he should do it.
If not, and it’s simply an unchangeable part of his personality, then you see if it’s something you can work on changing your response to.
If it is, awesome, do it. But if it’s something he can’t change, and you can’t change your negative response to, then you need to ask yourself if this is a deal breaker? Will this drive me crazy?
If the answer is yes, you dump his ass.
Also, one last thing I would just like to mention: Never feel guilty for your deal breakers. This happened to me before. There was this guy I was seeing recently, and I really liked him, but I wasn’t super attracted to him.
It wasn’t that he was ugly or anything like that, but I just didn’t want to really sleep with him. I felt guilty and shallow for feeling this way. So I tried to force my attraction, and dated him longer than I should have. That was just silly of me.
I should have broken up with him sooner or just asked to be friends. It was indeed a deal breaker. I shouldn’t have felt guilty that I wasn’t super physically attracted to him. That’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.
So the next time someone tells you that relationships take work, punch them in the face. (Alright, maybe don’t do that,) but feel free to avoid his advice.
Obviously relationships take work, but each one is different, and each one requires a different amount of work, and a different time to call it quits.