Let’s Make a Deal: Dating Dealbreakers
When I ask daters what they are looking for in a mate, I usually get answers like “someone nice, “a good person,” or “someone with a good heart”. Great answers, but probably not truthful. When I follow up by asking what their deal breakers (dealbreakers) are, the responses begin to sound a lot more convincing.
A deal-breaker is something that you feel you simply cannot live with or accept under any circumstance, that causes you to break off your relationship with a potential soulmate. A deal-breaker can be just about anything, from height or hair color to previous marital status or medical history. It doesn’t matter how insignificant or ridiculous it might seem to you. If it’s a deal-breaker for the person you’re involved with and you fit the description, be prepared to say goodbye.
It’s imperative for you to know what your deal-breakers are. It’s even more imperative to evaluate each of those deal-breakers to determine if they are realistic to your individual situation. This is one of the hardest things to do, because you often have to accept realities that contradict how you view or think of yourself. You also have to decide how long you are willing to remain single in order to remain true to your criteria for a soulmate.
Two of the most common deal breakers for guys are appearance and age. Let’s deal with appearance first. You must be physically attracted to your mate. If you’re dating someone that you’re not physically attracted to, you should move on. It’s that important. However, if you think that you are only attracted to gals that look like models, you are mistaken. It’s simply not true. I guarantee that I can show you a woman who you will be physically attracted to who does not meet your fantasy physical criteria. Of course she’ll need to match some basic, realistic, guidelines and you might actually have to get to know her for at least a few minutes, but you will be attracted to her.
I’ve seen it happen many times; guys committed to finding the hottest gals falling for the not so hot gals with winning personalities. Were they physically attracted to these gals? Of course they were, or else they would have never remained with them. So what changed? They stopped trying to fulfill a fantasy and started living their reality. While their buddies are finding flaws in potential mates, they are enjoying married life and building families. The irony in all of this is that many of the gals that were so hot in their single years don’t look the same ten years and three kids later. So all that time is being wasted searching for something that probably won’t last, and in truth, won’t even matter anymore. If you’re one of the guys I’m talking to, think about what I’m telling you, and reevaluate your appearance related deal-breakers. That doesn’t mean forget about attraction. It just means get out of fantasy land and live in reality.
I’ll share a personal story with you. It was my freshman year at YU and I had just returned to my dorm room from what I think was my first real date (no, I never dated in high school). I won’t tell you the girl’s name, but I remember it clearly. I went to speak to my dorm counselor, a wise fellow a few years my senior who I looked up to as a “man of the world”. His name was Abe Pikus (Abe, if you’re out there, please get in touch! I haven’t seen him in 20 years). I told Abe about my date, that I had a nice time, but that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go out with her again. “Abe,” I said, “she’s really nice and I think I like her, but she’s just not a 10.” Abe responded with words that I will never forget. “Arnie,” he said, “neither are you.” WOW! Abe, you changed my life with those deep, wise words, for which I am forever grateful. Guys, do you get the message? When you’re evaluating your appearance deal-breakers, take a long, hard, honest, look in the mirror. Are you such a hot item? Then maybe you should get your expectations in line with your reality.
Now, about the age dealbreaker. The message is the same as the appearance thing. I know guys in their forties who will only date gals in the twenties or maybe early thirties — up to 32. Now, there’s nothing wrong with dating much younger gals, but there is something wrong about making that a deal-breaker. Many, if not most, gals in their 20’s to low 30’s do not want to date guys in their 40’s. I’m not saying it’s right, it’s just the way it is. So, while you search for your young fantasy gal, you’re wasting precious time during which you could be happily married and building a family. At this rate you might not live long enough to enjoy those ten kids that you dream of having with your 27 year old baby factory. You might just wait a bit too long. Look in the mirror again and be brutally honest with yourself. Are you still willing to hold out for your youthful dream-girl, or do you think you might be open to dating someone a bit more mature?
Ok gals, it’s your turn. All the age stuff I just told the guys applies to you as well. It’s ok to date a guy much older than you. Age alone should not determine whether you date someone or not. It’s about the person, not the number.
One of the most common dealbreakers that I’ve seen for gals relates to career or financial status. I’ve seen so many gals pass up great guys because they felt they were not financially stable enough or in the right career path. Some of them are still waiting for their doctor or banker, over ten years later. Ironically, many of the guys they passed on are now happily married fathers with honest jobs, who support their families in dignity. Some are even wealthy. All the gals had to do was to look inside the heart of the guy and see his potential, but instead they simply focused on the present and saw someone who didn’t, and never would, live up to their fantasy image of a husband. Gals, there’s much more to happiness than money or social status. A good, healthy, marriage is not dependent on what goes on in the office, but rather on what goes on in the home, with the family. Yes, gals, there are standards and limits…I know all that. But gals, please don’t choose your soulmate based on them. You could end up regretting it. Manage your expectations.
If you guys and gals need help in determining and managing your criteria and deal-breakers, please contact me. I can help.
Next week I’ll talk about some deal-breakers that are real, and cannot be overcome. Stay tuned.
What are your dealbreakers? Are they realistic? What are your thoughts on the subject.
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