Decoding Dealbreakers 2


Decoding Dealbreakers 2

The topic of dealbreakers just can’t seem to be broken these days so we might as well keep talking about it until we feel we’ve satisfactorily decoded what it all means. Since we’ve been conditioned to believe that there is “the one” out there for us we owe it to ourselves to evaluate each guy that comes into our lives with discriminating thought to see if he qualifies for this esteemed position. That’s just plain logical if you believe you deserve gold medal love – the question stirring about lately though is “Does that perfect guy really exist, or should I just settle for “Mr. Good Enough”? By now you should already know where I stand on this (if not see: Decoding Dealbreakers 1 and If Relationships were an Olympic Sport) and although I don’t believe that Cupid has cruel intentions thereby making true love so impossible to find such that there’s only one possible perfect pairing out there for you, I do think that evaluation of relationships and of self is all a necessary part of the process (In MENu Dating I call it “manalysis”) to uncover what will eventually be the necessary ingredients for a healthy, form-fitting, supremely rich and satisfying relationship… and no, you shouldn’t settle for anything less until you arrive at just that. 

All that said, I think the way we’re viewing dealbreakers might be a little bit off. Instead of looking at your non-negotiables list – the things you can’t live with, and the things you can’t live without, as attributes for acquisition, concentrate on how your dating criteria makes you feel


When I think about my own list of non-negotiables, several criteria pop to mind. I needed to be with a man who is hardworking because I like the feeling of being proud of someone and feeling inspired by someone equally ambitious. I needed to be with a man who is affectionate because I like the feeling of being adored. I couldn’t be with a hermit because I like the feeling of discovering new places with someone I love. The list goes on and on and on. 

Whatever your own criteria is (needing someone with money because it makes you feel secure, refusing to be with someone who has kids because you like the feeling of being a number one priority), thinking of it in this way will help you better understand your relationship needs. Instead of developing an arbitrayr list, you'll begin to understand why you need what you do. As you explore your mate options, you’ll be more open minded (which is a good thing!), willing to delve a bit deeper to uncover if your emotional needs can be met by a potential mandidate, as opposed to not considering someone or prematurely writing someone off based on narrowly defined black and white criteria.  

Remember, dating is meant to be a journey in self-discovery, so welcome the process. Dig deep – explore your needs and don’t settle until you meet someone who makes your body, mind, heart and spirit feel enormously fabulous! 

Live and love largely,

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Tristan Coopersmith

Marriage and Family Therapist

Tristan Coopersmith, M.A. MFTi

Location: Hermosa Beach, CA
Credentials: BA, MA, MFTI
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