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Understanding Deal Breakers In Dating

Updated: 23 hours ago

Deal Breakers in Dating

What Are Deal Breakers In Relationships?

Deal breakers are behaviors, traits, or issues that are so unacceptable or incompatible with you that they become non-negotiable reasons to end a dating relationship. Common deal breakers include dishonesty, infidelity, abuse, addiction issues, polarizing differences in values/life goals, lack of effort or respect, sexual incompatibility, and views on major life issues like marriage, children, or finances. Essentially, deal breakers are the lines you won't let a partner cross.

How to Understand Your Own Deal Breakers


Identifying your personal deal breakers requires deep self-reflection. Think about your core values, boundaries, needs, and vision for an ideal relationship. What ethical standards are non-negotiable? What behaviors would you never tolerate? What lifestyle differences are too difficult to reconcile? Here’s how you can identify your personal deal breakers:


Reflect on Past Relationships: Look back at your past relationships and consider what didn’t work for you. Think about any recurring issues that led to dissatisfaction or the end of the relationship. Were there specific characteristics or behaviors that made you uncomfortable or unhappy?

Define Your Values and Needs: What are your core values and needs in a relationship? Anything that starkly contrasts these might be a deal breaker. For example, if you value transparency and honesty, then secretive behavior could be a non-negotiable for you.

Evaluate Your Boundaries: Define what boundaries are essential for your emotional and physical well-being. Deal breakers often cross boundaries that you find unacceptable. Understanding where you draw the line helps in maintaining these boundaries firmly.

Consider Your Deal Breakers in Practical Terms: Some deal breakers might be practical, like geographical distance or readiness for a relationship. It’s essential to identify if these are temporary obstacles or permanent issues.

Ask For Feedback: Sometimes, it’s helpful to talk to friends, family, or a dating coach about your relationship expectations. Other people can offer different perspectives on what might be reasonable or unreasonable expectations and help clarify your thoughts.

Is It Possible To Overcome Deal Breakers?

Overcoming deal breakers requires a mutual effort, a lot of communication, and often, compromises from both partners. Here are some factors and strategies that can help individuals or couples navigate and potentially overcome deal breakers:

1. Reevaluating Importance

  • Perspective Shifts: Over time, what one considers a deal breaker might change due to personal growth, new experiences, or changes in life circumstances.

  • Assessing Impact: Sometimes, by evaluating the real impact of a deal breaker, people might find it’s not as critical to their happiness and relationship satisfaction as initially thought.

2. Communication and Coaching

  • Open Dialogue: Frequent and honest communication can help clarify misunderstandings that might make a trait or behavior seem like a deal breaker when it’s not.

  • Professional Help: Dating and relationship coaching or individual therapy can provide tools and guidance to manage or resolve underlying issues contributing to potential deal breakers.

3. Compromise and Flexibility

  • Negotiation: Partners can sometimes negotiate around a deal breaker, finding a middle ground that respects both people’s needs and limits.

  • Adaptability: Being flexible about certain expectations can allow room for partners to grow and adjust behaviors that might be deal breakers.

4. Behavioral Changes and Effort

  • Commitment to Change: If a deal breaker involves changeable behavior (like poor communication or certain habits), a genuine effort by the partner to change can resolve the issue.

  • Support and Encouragement: Supporting a partner through changes or challenges (like managing financial habits or improving social skills) can help overcome potential deal breakers.

5. Acceptance and Understanding

  • Deep Understanding: Sometimes, understanding the reasons behind a partner’s deal-breaking behaviors or traits can lead to acceptance, especially if those reasons involve unchangeable aspects like past traumas or inherent personality traits.

  • Choosing Battles: Deciding which battles to fight and which to let go of can make some deal breakers seem less critical in the context of the entire relationship.

Understanding your deal breakers involves a mix of self-reflection and experience. It’s vital to communicate openly about your expectations and boundaries from the beginning. If you encounter a potential deal breaker, consider whether it’s something that you and your partner are willing to work on. If it’s a real obstacle, it may be best to walk away, preserving your well-being and leaving room for a more compatible relationship.


Anna Morgan Coaching Deal Breakers in Dating

As a transformational dating coach,  I specialize in guiding men frustrated with dating apps' superficiality toward finding meaningful love and real connections. I offer 1:1 coaching sessions and empowering dating profile pictures for successful online dating. Contact me and schedule a free discovery call. See you on the bright side of dating!

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