In this lesson, I am going to be talking about deal breakers and dealmakers and how to avoid them when starting on your path to love.
In the last lesson, I talked about the choices we have. We have access to the world market. We no longer need to marry the boy or girl next door. In many cultures, there is less pressure to marry someone from the same community or religion, from the same class or background. We have access to meeting partners from all walks of life, all types, all leanings.
While it is not advisable to pick and choose according to who will be the like for like a perfect match, being open to difference is important as long as the basic morals and values and communications styles match, there will inevitably be dealmakers and deal breakers in a relationship. That is ok.
We do, of course, need to know what we want ourselves and who we are before knowing what will make or break the deal. And this comes with experience and awareness of yourself, which I will discuss in the next lesson.
But at this stage, if you are at the beginning of your love hunt or even if you are in a relationship and wanting it to be improved, it is important to establish what, for you, right now, is most important in your connection.
For example, do you want equality or chivalry, nurturing, or worshipping? Do you want commitment: a long term relationship or a free-flowing relationship without commitment? Do you want emotional availability or an unchallenging relationship that won't push you to go deeper? Do you want a person who wants a lot of time alone, or want to be together all the time, etc? And on the more mundane level, would you /do you object to a smoker or drinker, and if you have physical deal breakers or makers like a particular body type, will they last the decades, or will they really seem important three children later.
These are the core essentials, they say a lot about who you are, but they are non-negotiable. And these non-negotiables do change over time, but you need to be aware of what they are.
If you are entering a new relationship, especially if you have fallen in love, it is SO easy to overlook these, only for them to pop up later on like caged monsters that have been released to come in and cause havoc in your lives. Once your heart is open, and the love blind glasses are on, it is really hard to stand up for what you know deep down could ultimately destroy the relationship you are entering. And if you are in a relationship and there are deal breakers on the table, then consider whether life can go on with this person or if there is a way to create the space for these to change.
Here is a helpful exercise before you embark on your hunt for love.
Make a list of Your Deal breakers and your Dear Makers and talk them over with a trusted friend or family member. Look at whether they really are core aspects of your own needs and if they really are non-negotiable. Then write them on a stickie and put them on your mirror or computer, so you don't forget!
Just before I met my husband, I did this exercise. At the time, I was living in San Francisco, and we worked out that according to my list and the approximate population of the town, there would be less than a handful of men that met all the criteria, all my deal makers and deal breakers. And although the meeting of my husband was very random and felt like it was driven by destiny, it was so much easier for me to go into the relationship with full openness to the possibility of a long term connection knowing that he fulfilled my criteria and there weren't any obvious issues I was aware of at that initial stage that could compromise us. 24 years later, those deal makers and breakers still apply, and I believe the relationship has worked as a result. I knew I wanted someone who was authentic, who would come to live in the UK, who would enjoy being part of my family, who wanted kids, who was kind and loving, open to fun, travel, and adventure, open to self-development, who had a sense of humour, who had no serious habits or addictions and who knew how to support and protect. We were from completely different backgrounds, religions, countries, and interests. We shared the same morals and values, and although our communications styles were similar enough, they did need work, and over time we have been able to develop them to a more harmonious level. I was very lucky, but I was also ready and had worked enough on myself to know what to look for. This is what we are going to talk about next.