Adventures In Figuring Out My Deal Breakers

I dated my car guy.

On one hand this is fantastic! The relationship didn’t work but we care about each other, so I know he will never lie to me and only suggests work that must be done for my car. He is honest and kind. Hard qualities to find in a car guy.

Hard qualities to find in a guy, period.

On the other hand… oh, all the other hands that have objections.

Let’s just say he has a colorful past.

I learned about part of this past on our first date. It was a deluge of TMI. And the sad thing that I didn’t know at the time (but I had my suspicions) was that it was just the tip of the iceberg.

I will let your imagination run wild. Seriously, let it run really wild because you would not be able to make this stuff up.

But all of that baggage of scary stuff isn’t why we will never seriously date. I will not put myself in a relationship with a person that is so obviously emotionally unavailable.

I think I must have a soft spot for unavailable guys. I think I confuse it for independent. But this time it was so blatantly obvious and that is a deal breaker for me, so I keep my walls up.

I have to have someone that is willing to be vulnerable and willing to connect on an emotional level. That’s a must have. I am such a feeler (my Myers Briggs is an ENFJ, so yes, I feel my way through everything even professional situations), and if I cannot access you emotionally then what’s the point?

I do not recommend figuring out your boundaries while dating. It’s not really something that works in reverse. It’s a good way to learn things the hard way! I speak from experience, obviously.

Boundary setting  and deciding deal breakers didn’t happen overnight for me.  It seemed like every time I thought I had taken care of it, something else came up and it didn’t fit into my neat categories.

It took soul searching and checking in with myself to see how I felt. Was I happy or upset, was I worrying, did I feel unsafe? It seems to be a continual process.

But that doesn’t mean that the groundwork that has been set is useless. It makes it important, but not a comprehensive list.

It’s important to do this when you’re single, and here are some of the things I considered.

  1. What absolutely drives me crazy and I cannot stand having it in my life?
  2. What would hurt me or make me feel unsafe?
  3.  Do I feel like I want to fix or help something get better, that I would be responsible for someone else’s problems?

Deal breakers are major. They’re non-negotiables. What are some of your criteria for deal breakers? What are some of your deal breakers?


11 thoughts on “Adventures In Figuring Out My Deal Breakers

  1. I made list once of all my nonnegotiables and stuck it somewhere that I could read anytime I needed a reminder. (– “ie- no more guys who eat only fresh fruit and refuse to eat at restaurants ever)- and a lot of other practical stuff. It works!

    • Haha, that is a very specific non-negotiable but I totally agree with you! Vegetarian and vegan isn’t a problem but if you’re going to make some choices that aren’t healthy and it’s going to get in the way of an ordinary social life then we’re going to have some problems. You’re in LA, right? I imagine that you meet all kinds of people with crazy habits!

    • Thank you! We definitely learn as we go along (I’m ok with a dicey last, for example) but there are definitely things that we know about ourselves (I’m not ok with an alcoholic) that we can set as deal breakers from the get go. Thank you for writing!

  2. I know the feeling. Sometimes it’s difficult to remind yourself that “winning” someone’s feelings when they are emotionally unavailable is NOT a reward. People should love you, regardless.

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