I once had someone tell me that having “deal-breakers” in dating meant I was boxing myself in, being too picky. I disagree. The art of the “deal-breaker” is that it is just that… it includes the things that are so important to you, you are not willing to compromise. We talk about compromise in relationships a lot, because of course, compromise is extremely important. However, I do not believe a person should compromise their beliefs or the things they hold dear to them just to “make it work” with someone.
Where did that saying even come from? “Make it work.” That is a terrible saying. It might apply to a workplace relationship, or a sibling relationship…. those you really should try to “make work,” but a romantic relationship? Don’t think so. In my opinion, the person you spend your life with should be someone you don’t have to try so hard to “make it work” with. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know relationships are work, but a relationship should not begin with the words “let’s make it work!”
Earlier in my life I made a huge mistake. I fell in love with someone and in order to “make it work,” I started compromising things that made me who I am. I tried so hard to make our relationship work that in the process, I lost myself. It took me a long time to understand what had happened but when I was able to piece back together the parts of me that had been lost, I had a huge realization. First, that I had no one to blame for this loss of self except me. I am the one who let those pieces of me go, no one forced me. And second, that as wonderful as it is to be in love, we cannot lose ourselves in love. In the process of falling in love, it is so incredibly important to make sure we are still being true to ourselves.
This brings me back to the idea of deal-breakers. In the beginning stages of meeting someone and getting to know them, I believe it is okay to have those few things in the back of your mind that are SO IMPORTANT, they are parts of who you are. It is okay to be picky. It is okay to give yourself permission to have standards. I mean, if you are truly looking for the person you will spend the rest of your life with, I can’t think of any other more appropriate situation in which to have standards– deal-breakers– can you? Everyone will have different things that they consider their deal-breakers. What I might hold dear to myself is likely to be completely different than what you hold dear.
What do you want? Go ahead, have a few deal-breakers.