Some of us are good at seeing perfection in others or making the honeymoon phase of a relationship last. But most, if not all, will eventually recognize their prospective or current partner has flaws. Whether it’s on a first date or a second anniversary, quirks and shortcomings eventually make themselves known. Most of the time, we can forgive these imperfections. Sometimes, they can be as frustrating as they are endearing.
How many times have you heard a friend say, “Oh, he’s never on time,” with a roll of their eyes, “It’s just the way he is,” with a smile of irritated affection. But there are certain flaws or behaviors that are so egregious they can mean the end of a relationship or the abrupt termination of a possible one. We call these the “deal breakers.”
For one person, it might be something as small as the way a person dresses or laughs, for another, the kind of jokes someone does or doesn’t tell. It could be that she talked all the way through a movie or his Myspace profile still says “single” after a year of dating you. The potential list is endless, so to make things easier, we’ve isolated five major categories and the top deal breaking behaviors. Now you can see what a deal breaker is for you.
Of all the categories, this is probably the most superficial, but as crucial as any. First impressions are a huge factor in dating, so a lot of deal breakers occur on first and second dates. High on many lists is poor hygiene. There’s no bigger turn-off than excessive body odor. Some people are just as turned off by too much cologne or perfume. In addition, most people, whether they like it or not, make judgments about others based on how they dress. One woman knew she wouldn’t date a guy because all the clothes he wore were too small for him – (as catty as it sounds) – short sweaters and pants were deal breakers for her.
This is the category where the highest number of deal breakers fall. Number one on this list: infidelity and behavior related to infidelity, such as secrecy and dishonesty. Another top deal breaker in this category is abuse of any kind – physical, emotional and drug. Smoking is a growing deal breaker in the United States. Also high on the list in this category is controlling or obsessive behavior.
People have all sorts of requirements when it comes to personality… “Must love to travel, cook or hike”… “Must have a good sense of humor, love dogs and long kissing sessions.” You get the drift. Common deal breakers when it comes to personality include the following: no sense of humor, lack of ambition, dislike of animals, close-mindedness, self-absorption, materialistic tendencies.
At first, a person’s views, values and beliefs might not seem like that big a deal, but they really are something every person should be aware of when it comes to romantic involvement. These are the qualities that underpin the big choices we make in our lives. Faith might not be an issue while dating, but if things get serious, it can become one. If you eventually choose to have children, your partner may want to raise them in their faith, and not yours. Will you be alright with this? Faiths like Scientology or Mormonism may require that both people who marry practice that faith. Political views can also be a factor. Some conservatives and liberals are able to overcome their political differences and can accept canceling each other out at every election. But if the difference is going to be a source of serious tension and argument, it can be a deal breaker.
Every person has different needs and desires, and it’s important in any relationship to allow intimacy time to grow and develop. Even still, there can be hurdles that even time and patience won’t cure. High on the list of deal breakers is lack of physical intimacy and lack of sexual reciprocation. Or, not having the same level of ongoing sexual desire.
It’s important to know what your deal breakers are. They can help guide you toward the right person and protect you in tough situations. But it’s also important to look at the whole person. Often, a person can make up for one flaw by being strong in another area. A tendency toward self-absorption might be made up for in generosity to others. A bravado in social situations might be made up for by great emotional intelligence in private. Part of finding true love is when both people acknowledge each other’s imperfections and love each other regardless.
Do you know what your deal breakers are? Try making your own list.
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