Knowing your Deal Breakers

deal breakers

Over the course of my experiments with dating, I’ve learnt that the all-inclusive, give everyone a chance (albeit for the free booze/food/jewels/sandwich-toasters,etc.) approach does NOT work. In fact all it does is leave a girl feeling somewhat like a prostitute, generally disillusioned with men and FAT (all that free food/booze). It is for these reasons that I have begun to realise the importance of establishing deal breakers.

Deal breakers are those non-negotiable criteria that your future love interest must meet in order for things to blossom successfully. These are factors that can’t be overlooked and outweigh any redeeming feature a person may have. As naive, young things entering what we believe to be a daisies in the field world of romance, you’ll find the sweetest among us (those that haven’t become jaded through seeing grown-up relationships fall apart around them) often have this misguided notion that love will conquer all. At the end of the day, all any girl wants is a nice guy that is vaguely decent looking and isn’t a beater, cheater or someone who comes complete with a repertoire of STIs. Right? Wrong!!!

The truth is the more interactions one has with the opposite sex (obviously, having spent my teenage years at a girl’s only school, I was a bit slow on the uptake here) the more we become aware of qualities we can’t stand in a potential other half. Naturally, deal breakers vary from one person to the next and it takes a little bit of time for our fragile minds to come to terms with what these things are. In some cases, identifying a deal breaker is easy. For example, say you a member of the Klu Klux Klan then getting yourself a little bit of interracial loving would be a major no-no. So why waste your time exploring your underlying ethnic fantasies, if deep down you know ‘your people’ will never approve? In most cases however, we might need to do a bit of soul-searching before we know what will make or break a relationship.

When it comes to deal-breakers I think there are two problems that arise. On the one hand, there are people that refuse to acknowledge that something is a deal breaker despite history showing otherwise. For instance, if you’re a good Churchy boy who loves Jesus, you’d think it would make sense to date an equally Churchy girl who loves Jesus too, right? NO! That would be far too easy, instead you’ll keep dating Atheist/Agnostic/’Buddhist’ chicks, in hope that you might just be able to convert them to the way of Christ somewhere down the line. Not going to happen.

On the flipside, you have those that are so obsessed with their long list of deal breakers, that even the most dashing prince with a couple of PhDs and a wicked sense humour stands no chance. Take the lady who insists that any guy she dates must earn exactly the same as her, not more (I mean who doesn’t like a man who can afford to spoil her?!) or less (she has a fear of having to support a man and therefore would not even want to risk having to buy him a coffee). This lady also insists that any potential suitor not be overly educated (because him being well-read might lead to having to attend additional therapy sessions to cure her new-found inferiority complex). Now, is it really any wonder that this spinster is experiencing a 5 year sex-drought? Hmm….

Over to you dearest Rinsers, tell us what you think about establishing your deal-breakers in the comments below …


  1. while it is important to have deal breakers, balance is needed in setting them, like you said to insist that someone make a certain amount of money in this day and age in this economy may not work out as successfully as one would like. Many factors come into play there, so balance is needed on that one. Physical abuse is a big deal breaker for me, no if or buts about it. There is no place for that in a relationship. I don’t even like horse play or play fighting with your spouse for fear it gets carried away and someone gets hurt then it turns ugly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Agreed. But things like physical violence are unlikely to be seen at the dating stage…it probably only becomes apparent when things start to settle down and your in a relationship.

    I’m still figuring out what my deal breakers are at the moment and they are constantly changing. But I think its important to date someone who is on your intellectual level or higher… this doesn’t necessarily mean they need to have a PhD but at least be well-read enough to give you some intellectually stimulating discussions/banter. If you want to discuss hot political topics, art, literature, etc and he just wants to talk about football then its going to get pretty boring, pretty quickly.

    Also, I think its important for people to have passions. Things that define who they are and that they will do regardless of whether they are in a relationship or not. Can’t stand those Ivy types (see zlotybaby’s post) that’ll follow you around like a love sick puppy and try to do whatever you are into, just to be with you.


  3. I’ve written about this before but I think the best way people can do to figure out their deal-breakers is first make a list of deal-breakers, potential deal-breakers, and must haves and then then separate it down to Yes, No, and Maybe. Don’t be afraid to make a long list of dealbreakers, just make sure they are weighted accordingly. Employed and Not Abusive….very high weight. Likes cats, well, that might be a maybe or a yes, depending on the person, and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I actually went through a similar thing with my online dating experience. When I first started I would date any woman who would grant me the pleasure of joining me on a date. It got exhausting until I took a break, narrowed my focus from “any woman” to “any woman that fits into these criteria” and it helped me go on a lot better dates. It’s not foolproof, but it definitely helped me save some time by not going on dates with people I would NEVER click with.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the good thing about limiting your choices a bit is that you can put a bit more time and effort in to the few people you might actually be interested in. I’ve actually been spending more time chatting to them before actually deciding to meet them…but I am still finding it a long, arduous slog and its only 2 weeks on the new approach 😛


  5. I totally agree with what you’ve written. I must say I’m tired of some of my friends who say that they absolutely won’t date a person who and then end up dating a person like that. They often tend to lie about the importance of the deal breaker and say that it was quite idealistic to set it in the first place. Then when the relationship doesn’t work out they’re surprised (really?) and refuse to take any responsibility for what happened.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess sometimes we get carried away. Some people just want to be loved/in a relationship so much so that they disregard the importance of deal breakers. I think its OK to put the deal breaker aside if you just want a short-term fling with a hottie, but as soon as things get serious you need to go back to your list.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s fair enough. I would go as far as saying that political party affiliation is like religion and easy to make a deal breaker out of. They way I see it, if he really really like liked me then he could do some research and come around to my way of thinking on religion/politics 😛


  6. While I did not meet any suitable suitors in Vancouver, I have to say that the two years I have been in Cape Town has made me miss their open-minded attitudes. I now know that closed-minded attitudes are a deal breaker. The TIA perspective drives me up the wall. Because, yes I am aware that “this is Africa” but that does not mean it is a place incapable of positive change and growth. It is also not an excuse to continue beliefs that infringe on people’s human rights, like the right to love whomever you want, regardless of race or gender. Of course, I draw the line when an adult inappropriately loves a child, but who doesn’t?

    So that is a long way of saying my deal breakers are homophobia, racism, classism, and a pessimistic outlook on South Africa. This includes sarcasm and jokes that poorly attempt to hide one’s real views. For instance, on a date, when a guy who claims to be okay with GLBT people, but then makes jokes about gay guys in the bathroom, it’s done; additionally, GLBT people can and should have children in they want! Just because the gender might not match with the traditional association of husband and wife, doesn’t mean that they can’t love, support and raise healthy and happy children. I don’t expect my future match to have exactly the same views as I do, but they should be in the same ballpark when it comes to human rights.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey you !

    Good deal breakers you’ve got there. Although this open-minded thing is often hard to find here in the Mother City. I find in many cases, there is some underlying racism/classism here…some people just hide it better than others.

    CT is certainly a slightly odd place, especially for me coming from London Town. I guess that’s why I find myself gravitating towards the internationals, but then that opens up even more problems.

    Eeek !

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi RBU.
    I agree there needs to be a balance, I too have found that being too broadminded at the start led to me racking up a cricket score of first dates and a sense of being jaded when I should have been more discerning. I’m not surprised to hear about all the free meals as most South African men I encountered on my travels in London in the 90s lagged a good few years behind their UK counterparts in terms of seeing us as “the little woman” to their man the hunter / provider role. Sadly, nowadays in Non-Dublin Ireland, fresh out of recession, when you date fellow broke, single parents most first dates involves splitting the bill – the price of equality eh 🙂 So enjoy all the free meals ! I wrote in my previous post about acceptable deal breakers versus a checklist, but right now I’m taking a break from searching for My Long Term/ Mr. Right and have done a complete about face and joined Tinder just for some fun with Mr. Not right but hot right now. ;-). Being a woman I reserve the right to change my mind!
    FiveSSSSS, Cork, Ireland.

    Liked by 1 person

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