There are pretty straightforward dealbreakers: Someone who beats, abuses, mistreats you or anyone else in his or her life. Someone who hates gay people or any other race or creed besides his own. Someone who has unaddressed substance abuse problems (note I didn't say who ever had substance abuse problems). But anything short of a strong value-centered issue, I think you're crazy to rule out. You just don't know. So don't pretend you do.
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Choose a Wild Card
So when I coach people who are looking to start up or ramp up their dating lives, I tell them to consider at least ONE wild card. This means anyone you might not perhaps usually consider. Maybe he's under 6'0 or an artist or divorced. Or maybe she's a curvy blonde lawyer with a kid when you'd only dated tall, rail-thin brunettes.
I didn't say you have to build a life together--but you can meet for a drink.
And despite what you may think about divorced people with kids, you could fall head over heels for one. I did. For years I dated a divorced dad--and wouldn't change that for the world. I learned things that I take with me into relationships with single and divorced men alike. (More on why men with baggage are well worth exploring.) I'm continually challenging my own dealbreakers, and if you were smart, you'd do the same.
For instance, if you'd told me a few years ago I'd be dating a young musician from Bushwick who sleeps on an air mattress and doesn't own a toaster, I might have rolled my eyes and said "yeah no thanks." And for a moment that would make me seem all world-weary and wise. But what I have instead is someone who excites and intrigues me, someone who is bite-your-fist sexy and incredibly fun and fulfilling to spend time with.
Take that, dealbreaker.
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