While looking for a partner, we’re better off with a list of Deal Breakers than a checklist of expectations.
People in search of a partner are encouraged to create and have a checklist. We’re to include race, religion, political views, age, financial status, children, how many times married, if your family/friends would like them, education, their personal habits—the list can actually be endless.
These lists can easily become unrealistic. Most of us are rather ordinary people. These checklists can actually interfere with our attention on someone. We go on a date and, instead of focusing on the person in front of us, we’re sizing them up for THE CHECKLIST, not giving them a chance to show who they really are.
Perhaps a better thing to pay attention to is the Deal Breaker: something you are not willing or able to accept from a romantic partner. These are specific issues that are simply non-negotiable.
To give you an idea of how deal breakers are different from a checklist, I will share mine:
1. My relationship with God is very important to me and I need a man for whom this is also true.
2. I cannot be involved with a person connected with drug use, or someone addicted to gambling. If you have an addiction, our relationship will never come first.
3. If you have ever cheated on or abused anyone in any way (physical, emotional, verbal, sexual), it doesn’t matter what the circumstances were. To me these things can never be justified.
4. I need to be physically and emotionally attracted to a man. Having poor hygiene or appearance stops the physical attraction immediately. On the other side of the coin, a man that is emotionally attractive can become physically attractive.
As you establish your list of Deal Breakers, keep in mind that your goal is not to find the perfect human being. All humans are naturally flawed; expecting a person to be perfect is not only unrealistic but will likely lead to disappointment and loneliness. You are trying to find a person who will help bring out the best in both of you. You are not looking simply to satisfy desires. A relationship, to be healthy, must be about two people.
This post originally appeared on Divorced and Scared No More.
Photo by Steve Slater.