While watching a "Millionaire Matchmaker" marathon today, I was reminded of an important dating tidbit that I consider the foundation for finding true love, and that most people forget about or ignore: DEALBREAKERS.
Everyone looking for a healthy relationship with a future should make a list of dealbreakers. A great example is, "Does he/she want kids someday?" If you want kids and your partner doesn't, run! Chances are your partner isn't going to change, and forcing him/her into a situation will only cause resentment.
You may think, "The relationship is going well. Who cares? This is just one little thing." But it isn't just a little thing. Dealbreakers are dealbreakers for a reason, and refusing to stick to your guns will make you want to shoot yourself in the foot somewhere down the road.
So what are my dealbreakers? I think my dealbreakers are pretty universal and represent much larger issues. And these are things that definitely should have warranted breakups in the past. But unfortunately, I lacked self-respect.
My Man Must-Haves:
1. Must be in an exclusive relationship with me. Some girls like to use the old, "but I don't want anything serious either," to which I say, pleaaaaase. We're women.
2. Must openly love me. This doesn't mean "I know he does. He's just afraid to say it." This means he's not afraid to tell me, tell others and show me.
3. Must want to get married and have kids someday. I'm not 16 anymore. I want to be with a man who wants a family. Does it mean we need to go elope in Vegas tonight & have sex with reckless abandon? No. But I'd like to know there's a future.
4. Must celebrate Christmas. This dates back to my religious Missouri roots. And the fact that I love Christmas trees. This is why my string of Jewish lovers never worked out. (And the fact that they worked on Wall Street, which is another dealbreaker in my book.)
I have more must-haves, but these are the vital ones that represent my human needs and values. A shallow dealbreaker list (e.g. "Must be a doctor and own a timeshare in the Bahamas") is damaging to your love life and means you're way too picky. So make sure your list is legit.
Some of you may be thinking, "but you're wrong. Jimmy Joe & I are perfectly happy even though he never wants to get married or have kids."
Well, tell me how you feel about this in a few years when your fertility levels are dangerously low and all you're left with is a promise ring from Jimmy Joe, who has left you to marry another woman. I don't have statistics on this, but people who say they never want to get married usually do tie the knot-- with someone else. Harsh? Perhaps. But this is the problem with us women. We put our own wants and needs aside and then whine when we get hurt.
The moral of the story is, refusing to obey your dealbreaker list will always end up being a heartbreaker.