How many relationship deal breakers do you have on your list? Do you even have a deal breaker list? What about your now-dating teenage children, do they have a deal breaker list? Do you and your dating teenagers know and openly discuss what a relationship deal breaker is?
Ask yourself: What are the things that you simply will not accept or tolerate in your relationship or marriage? What would you do if:
- Your spouse or partner cheated on you? Would you call it quits to the relationship, or would you stay and try to work things out?
- Your spouse or partner became physically, emotionally or mentally abusive towards you? What would you do?
- You discover your spouse or partner is addicted to gambling, drugs or alcohol? What then?
We all have varying personality quirks or habits that can sometimes become irritating to our significant other, whether in a dating relationship or a marriage. Since none of us are without flaws, it’s important to not allow trivial irritations or minor personality flaws to cause the breakup of a relationship, otherwise none of us would ever have a relationship.
Some people can tolerate, put up with and forgive certain things that may occur in relationships from time to time, and manage to maintain a healthy and happy relationship, while others may not be able to forgive those very same things and decide to end the relationship. It’s important to determine whether or not you’ve really gotten a bad deal in the relationship, taking necessary steps to fix the problems before they get out of control. Some people are a bit more “trigger happy”, ready to slam the door and holler “hit the road Jack!” at the first hint of trouble.
Relationship deal breakers are also known as “non-negotiable boundaries” in relationships, where compromise is not an option for a relationship to continue. Determining what your personal deal breaker boundaries are before entering a relationship or marriage can save you tremendous heartache and years of regret. If I knew then what I know now, things would have turned out very differently with my first marriage. Nevertheless, I have six awesome, now-grown children that I am truly blessed to have in my life.
After my divorce in 1993, it took me a few years before I would even consider dating again. To put it mildly, I was deathly afraid of winding up with the same type relationship I battled so hard to get out of. Spending a few years focusing my attention and efforts on raising my children on my own, and discovering the “real me” again, I was able to build my self-respect and self-esteem back to what is reasonable for anyone, never to be lost again. Doing so allowed me the opportunity to develop my own non-negotiable relationship deal breaker list, which I have adamantly stuck to ever since:
- I will not tolerate infidelity.
- I will not tolerate physical, mental or emotional abuse.
- I will not tolerate addictions to alcohol, drugs or gambling.
- I will not tolerate attempts to control my personal, political or religious beliefs.
Once a non-negotiable relationship deal breaker list is created, whether mentally or written down, it’s important to find subtle ways of letting it be known what you will or will not tolerate in a relationship or marriage. I don’t believe it’s necessary to hit anyone upside the head with a “frying pan” in order to clearly establish your relationship boundaries with a potential mate or partner.
What is on your non-negotiable relationship deal breaker list? How have you verbalized your list to your significant other?