Over the course of my experiments with dating, I’ve learnt that the all-inclusive, give everyone a chance (albeit for the free booze/food/jewels/sandwich-toasters,etc.) approach does NOT work. In fact all it does is leave a girl feeling somewhat like a prostitute, generally disillusioned with men and FAT (all that free food/booze). It is for these reasons that I have begun to realise the importance of establishing deal breakers.
Deal breakers are those non-negotiable criteria that your future love interest must meet in order for things to blossom successfully. These are factors that can’t be overlooked and outweigh any redeeming feature a person may have. As naive, young things entering what we believe to be a daisies in the field world of romance, you’ll find the sweetest among us (those that haven’t become jaded through seeing grown-up relationships fall apart around them) often have this misguided notion that love will conquer all. At the end of the day, all any girl wants is a nice guy that is vaguely decent looking and isn’t a beater, cheater or someone who comes complete with a repertoire of STIs. Right? Wrong!!!
The truth is the more interactions one has with the opposite sex (obviously, having spent my teenage years at a girl’s only school, I was a bit slow on the uptake here) the more we become aware of qualities we can’t stand in a potential other half. Naturally, deal breakers vary from one person to the next and it takes a little bit of time for our fragile minds to come to terms with what these things are. In some cases, identifying a deal breaker is easy. For example, say you a member of the Klu Klux Klan then getting yourself a little bit of interracial loving would be a major no-no. So why waste your time exploring your underlying ethnic fantasies, if deep down you know ‘your people’ will never approve? In most cases however, we might need to do a bit of soul-searching before we know what will make or break a relationship.
When it comes to deal-breakers I think there are two problems that arise. On the one hand, there are people that refuse to acknowledge that something is a deal breaker despite history showing otherwise. For instance, if you’re a good Churchy boy who loves Jesus, you’d think it would make sense to date an equally Churchy girl who loves Jesus too, right? NO! That would be far too easy, instead you’ll keep dating Atheist/Agnostic/’Buddhist’ chicks, in hope that you might just be able to convert them to the way of Christ somewhere down the line. Not going to happen.
On the flipside, you have those that are so obsessed with their long list of deal breakers, that even the most dashing prince with a couple of PhDs and a wicked sense humour stands no chance. Take the lady who insists that any guy she dates must earn exactly the same as her, not more (I mean who doesn’t like a man who can afford to spoil her?!) or less (she has a fear of having to support a man and therefore would not even want to risk having to buy him a coffee). This lady also insists that any potential suitor not be overly educated (because him being well-read might lead to having to attend additional therapy sessions to cure her new-found inferiority complex). Now, is it really any wonder that this spinster is experiencing a 5 year sex-drought? Hmm….
Over to you dearest Rinsers, tell us what you think about establishing your deal-breakers in the comments below …