When you first start dating someone, there are a few specific clues you could recognize as red flags. Nobody is perfect, but there are few characteristics and behaviors that should absolutely be deal breakers for you. Below you can find the Dating with Dignity List of Deal Breakers in Relationships so you can decide if you should hang on to your man or let him go.
Contrary to popular belief, these deal breakers don’t include things like “he never wears matching socks” or “I didn’t like the way he combed his hair.” Instead, a true deal breaker is something that’s truly non-negotiable, such as:
1. Not being supportive.
If the man you’re dating doesn’t ever back you up, then it’s time to re-examine your relationship. Did you decide to switch careers and go from being an attorney to an interior decorator because it’s actually your passion and you’re good at it? Good for you, Dignity Dater!
However, if your boyfriend laughed, made a passing comment about the “next” little hobby you’ve taken up, or barely looked up from the baseball game when you announced your big change, consider him to be NON-boyfriend material.
Does he only have criticism for the book of poetry you’ve been working on in your spare time? Did you ask him for help with putting together a small going-away party for your best friend, and he just brushed you off and told you he would help you later? Sounds like a dud to us.
Part of being in a relationship is being able to support each other and help make each other’s lives better! If your guy doesn’t support your passions, your practical actions, or integral things in your life, it’s time to cut him loose.
2. Not committing.
This can fall under one of two types of relationships. Either this is a guy you’re seeing consistently but who is not really your boyfriend, or it’s a guy who’s your boyfriend but you’ve been together for some time and it seems he’s not taking any steps to turn it into something more long term.
In the first scenario, he is not really your boyfriend. Yes, it’s true. He’s not really your boyfriend. If a guy is getting girlfriend privileges from you but is not your boyfriend, he’s likely to keep it that way. If you’ve brought it up and your guy is still not man enough to decide he’s ready to define your relationship, he doesn’t deserve to be with you.
Even worse, he may question your needs and desires, minimizing your need for a commitment. If he does this and it makes you believe, even for a second, that you are in fact too needy, please run for the hills!
For the second scenario — a guy who’s your boyfriend — consider this: have you been with your man for 3-5 years (or more) and he seems completely comfortable in the position you’re in? That’s fine and dandy.
But if he’s not moving in the direction of marriage or a more long-term commitment and that’s what you truly want, it may be a time to see where he stands on the position of marriage. If you haven’t had that conversation yet, it’s better late than never. If he tells you something like he’s never getting married or that he just can’t seem to see himself as a husband, it might be time to cut him loose.
3. He’s in a relationship with someone else.
Okay, ladies. Please don’t whisper under your breath, “Yeah, duh. Of course.” Why? Because we know that some of you are justifying why it’s okay to date someone who is unhappy in a relationship, on the verge of separation, almost divorced, or leaving her any day.
We know this may well feel like the best relationship you’ve ever had. And while it’s true that most people come with some baggage, you just have to make sure it’s carry-on and not checked!
If the man you’re dating is still with his wife or in a relationship WITH SOMEONE ELSE, but he loves you and wants to be with you, he just has to wait until it’s truly over. If you’re dating someone who isn’t fully available to you, you’re making yourself unavailable to someone who truly deserves you. And you deserve the best.
If you have more questions about deal breakers in relationships, think about scheduling a personal consultation with Marni.