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Dating Deal Breakers: 3 Ways to Know if It’s A Flaw or A Dating Deal Breaker

Dating Deal Breakers
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“The Bachelor” is back, and as I sat watching (outside and six feet apart) with my husband and our favorite Man Panelist, Chris Gillis, we couldn’t help but begin to instantly see dating deal breakers (red flags) flying everywhere!

In fact, the vast majority of dating advice centers around make sure that you can easily recognize those dating deal breakers so that your Nike’s are already on should you need to run for the hills.

10 Common Dating Deal Breakers

1. Communication

Communication is critical for any relationship to grow and thrive. So, one of the biggest dating deal breakers out there is communication-related. Poor communication or sometimes lack of communication is a major hurdle that brings even the most enthused daters out there to pull the brakes, simply because it signals lack of interest. At the other end of the spectrum, but equally problematic, is over-communication. Ever had a date who will not stop talking about themselves? Not giving you room to speak? Always interrupting you with more stories about themselves? Yeah, we all did. While it’s perfectly understandable why you’d want to bolt right away, it might be their nerves that is making them do all this talking or they might be just eager to impress you.

2. Unreciprocated Attraction

Another major turn off happens when the connection is one-sided. Ever felt your date is acting a bit too cold from his facial gestures, body language or tone of voice? Eyes wandering away from you, keeping their answers brief and showing little interest in what you have to say. This behavior signals that they might not be that into you. They might be hanging out perhaps thinking that you’re good on paper while waiting for a better catch to come along. While it hurts a lot when we’re on the receiving end of that rejection, it’s perfectly normal and it happens more times than you can possibly imagine. Just think of the many dates you’ve been on and you felt the same way about your date (no chemistry on your side). Don’t beat yourself up, and move on! The one for you is still out there.

3. Words and Actions Do Not Align

Inconsistency is a not only a deal breaker, but a major red flag. When someone says that they’ll call you a certain date and they don’t, they plan an outing and never show up or even apologize later or when they shower you with attention for days or weeks in a row only to ghost you later, it’s time to grab your Nike sneakers and run for the hills!

4. Your Values Do Not Align

Connecting on a deeper level is critical for any serious relationship. A common mistake that many people fall into is confusing values and morals with qualities. Qualities could be something like a 6 foot man with broad shoulders, while “values” refer to how you choose to live your life and what you aspire to become. This could include, honesty, hard work, adventure, safety, security, love of knowledge, love of life, etc. If you haven’t already, identify your values before getting sucked into the dating world and get crystal clear about what values you can’t negotiate.

5. Dishonesty

When a date exaggerates some aspects of their lives and/or emits other important details (like having 2 ex wives and kids, for example), it tends to be that nail in the coffin for many and for perfect reason. While we tend to present ourselves in the best light initially and omit saying our deepest darkest secrets all at once which would also send people running by the way, lying, deliberately hiding information, or pretending to be someone else other than oneself signals that this relationship is not going anywhere.

6. Different Intentions

Having different intentions as to why you’re dating falls under “your values”, but since it is a critical point, it’s better to discuss it in details. If you’re looking to get married down the road, while he is opposed to being tied down, you can not force him to change his mind and drag him to the altar. The same goes with having children. While it happens to some very fortunate ladies out there that the man they’re dating suddenly has a change of heart, it is rare. If you realize that he’s not onboard with your intentions, then he’s not your guy.

7. Disrespect

When your date is acting rude to you, overly criticizing what you say or do, or being rude to the staff, it gives you an idea of your future together. Unless you want to live your life with a self acclaimed critic, it is time for you to kick him to the curb!

8. Lifestyle Mismatch

Differences in lifestyles could also mark the end of the dating game. If your date smokes while you have a strict policy against smoking, parties too much, or is a couch potato while you’re an athlete, AND he’s showing no intent of wanting to change his lifestyle, then you might not be a good match for one another.

9. Lack of Accountability

Someone who plays the victim and is constantly blaming the universe and those around him (his ex, his parents, his boss, etc.) does not only send his dates running away and screaming, but they also signal a lack of accountability and responsibility for their choices, which ruins any chance for a successful long term relationship.

10. Energies Do Not Align

When things are going good and then are brought to a sudden halt, we sometimes blame it on a certain incident, while the main culprit is actually our energy. There are two main types of energy, feminine and masculine energy, with the former being affiliated with females and the latter with males. While there is a lot of controversy surrounding this issue, let me assure you that being in your feminine energy does not entail changing the awesome you. It has to do mostly with what you radiate to the world from the inside out. Pretty much the same goes with men and masculine energy with the difference being that while masculine energy radiates reason, stability, assertion, strength and confidence, while feminine energy radiates emotions, intuition, generosity, creativity and receptiveness. If you find that the initial spark quickly fading, it might be that your energy did not align with his, because in the case of energy, opposites do attract!

A Dating Deal Breaker or Not A Big Deal?

Now, that you’re familiar with the top 10 dating deal breakers, it’s time to ask yourself this: Is it really a dating deal breaker or are you just being picky

We usually embark on a search for that perfect “One”, ruling people out by combing through personality traits big and small to make sure that we find someone who is “flawless”. Underneath it all is the unconscious belief that if he is ‘flawless,’ then I will be emotionally safe and avoid being hurt, disappointed and lost. Not only is that not true, but you end up ruling out great guys. The important thing we forget is that everyone is human, and while it’s important to be aware of the qualities and relationship dynamic habits that simply will not mesh with yours, unnecessarily focusing on flaws, also known as ‘ruling him out,’ is the antithesis of loving unconditionally and can make it difficult for others to love you. 

3 Ways to Know If It's Just A Flaw or A Dating Deal Breaker

In order to train yourself to be more open-minded, be discerning without being picky, and open yourself up to true love with the right guy for you, here are three simple guidelines to help determine if the flaw you’re examining is a dating deal breaker or no big deal…

1. It's in Direct Conflict with Your Values

Dump “the list!” If you’re ready to look for serious love, you must have a clear and solid grasp on the values most important to you and what you would expect to be reflected in a life partner. Remember, values are not characteristics. For example, “smart” or “tall” is a characteristic. “Curious” or “Adventure” is a value. Get clear on five values that you want your partner to share with you. For example, if you value health or fitness or a certain eating plan, requiring he eat that exact way or have a six pack may end up putting you in the picky zone. Instead, focus on what it would be like to both share an overall value on health knowing that the behaviors he has might differ than yours over time.

How to tell if it's a dating deal breaker or not?

If your man’s aversion to religion clashes with your religious upbringing and plans to continue that practice, what could be considered a minor flaw in one relationship becomes a deal breaker in yours.

2. It's Affecting Other Aspects of Your Relationship

A flaw will be nothing more than a teeny tiny fly in the ointment that is your relationship. A deal breaker could start out as an undesirable quality in the early stages of your relationship, but will manifest itself in more serious ways. For example, if he leaves things to the last minute or doesn’t pay attention to details, decide if one of the values he has, for example, ‘learning and growing as a person,’ could be something you leverage to work through those behaviors. Over time, a man who wants to learn and grow, will take steps to make adjustments and improve in those areas. Remember, according to the Gottman Institute, one of the foremost research organizations that focuses on what creates happy and fulfilling relationships, 69 percent of HAPPY couples have challenges that are perpetual. Distinguishing between which are the most important will be crucial to your ability to rule in versus always ruling out.

How to tell if it's a dating deal breaker or not?

Even though partiers and non-partiers can easily co-exist, nocturnal habits that influence your level of trust and ultimately leave you feeling insecure about the relationship give your concern legitimate weight.

3. It’s Detrimental to the Future of Your Relationship

Ripple effects aren’t just limited to the present moment. A flaw that can be overlooked won’t seriously affect the future of your relationship, but a deal breaker will make a future with this person nearly impossible. For example, does he not value family but you have three kids that require time and attention? Does he avoid difficult conversations and avoid therapy or a workshop like the plague, while you are committed to always working on yourself and your relationships? Getting clear on how different values will undermine your ability to create shared dreams is important to identifying whether or not it’s a deal breaker or just part of the pesky sixty nine percent.

How to tell if it's a dating deal breaker or not? 

If your fella enjoys a couch potato Sunday here and there, his lazy habits can be forgiven and even endearing. But if he’s constantly glued to the TV to the point where his job and ability to provide for you and your future family come into question, you have a valid problem.

Bottom Line

Looking for a partner who is “flawless” is a huge mistake that high-quality women make when looking for a high-quality guy. It will give you a sense of feeling in control but it will also leave you perpetually single. Instead, be open to evaluating if it’s just a flaw or if it’s an actual dating deal breaker, and you’ll stop missing out on opportunities with quality guys who could be a perfect fit for you.

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Marni Battista is a certified professional dating and relationship expert specializing in helping high achieving women find love.

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