I have worked with thousands of clients over the years who tolerated issues in their relationships because they never learned to identify their "dealbreakers" (an exercise in my professional guide, The Pathway To Love Workbook And Guide).
This is an easy task for most people. You may think you know what you can or cannot tolerate in a partner, but it can be difficult to remember these dealbreakers — especially, when you're head over heels in love. Then you find yourself settling on people who simply are not the best match for you. You deny, rationalize and pacify the realities. It's not just you — people do it all the time. Wonder why?
Once you've declared a certain behavior or trait a dealbreaker, your integrity is at stake. So is your relationship. This is the pressure you have to contend with once you've identified that dealbreaker. No one likes to face the real possibility that loss is imminent. No one wants to have a broken heart. But in the end, your personal power and well-being are what counts. Ignoring deal breakers will only cause ongoing heartache and pain. So here are my suggestions on how to navigate this delicate issue as your relationship develops and becomes more real.
1. Identify your top three dealbreakers. Understand that your list is a work in progress. Your dealbreakers may (and probably should) change as your relationship unfolds and develops with the person you love. What you thought was a dealbreaker at the start of your relationship, may not be one at the relationship's end and what you never considered to be an issue may become a real issue in due time.
2. Decide if the trait is truly a dealbreaker. When an issue comes up in your relationship that elicits concern and pain, take the time to determine if the behavior or trait is truly a dealbreaker or not. Look at the issue from all sides. Be objective and seek objective opinions from others.
3. Be subjective. You may understand an issue, but if — in the end — it continues to cause you sufficient pain, then all the understanding is moot. You may understand why your girlfriend can't control her spending, but you may be simply unwilling to live with the financial consequences. Or you may understand why your husband has angry outbursts and know that it has nothing to do with you personally, but you're still be unwilling to live with the emotional impact.
4. Don't apologize for your dealbreakers. There are no right and wrong dealbreakers. There are only behaviors and traits that don't work for you. What someone else may be able to tolerate may be something that you can't. Each relationship is unique. Honor your dealbreakers. If you've spent time contemplating on what makes this a dealbreaker for you and have looked at it from all angles, you have done your due diligence.
5. Honor yourself. Have the courage to suffer the loss. Have the courage to feel the heartbreak, humiliation, disappointment, hurt and fear. Be willing, able and prepared to walk away. Honoring deal breakers takes courage. But in the end, not only will you be better off because of doing so, your relationship will be as well — which leads me to my final point. Keep reading ...
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