Continuing a conversation about standards and expectations in a romantic relationship, there is at least one other set of rules we need to establish to get a fulfilling and happy relationship. After we know what we want, we also need to know what we don’t want from our partner. This list is called the deal breakers: specific things that can cause your relationship to fail due to habits, values, or behavior.
Step-by-step on developing your deal breakers list
Knowing what you don’t want from your partner is just as important as knowing what you want from them. It is worth taking the time to develop your list so that you won’t fall into a toxic relationship. Not only that the relationship won’t benefit you, but it also might cost you your safety, health, and well-being.
1. Ask yourself, what kind of a relationship you don’t want to be in?
For example, things that you absolutely cannot take? Do you not want to be with a controlling partner? Or with someone who is secretive?
2. Take the time to reflect on your past relationships.
Not only your romantic relationships, but also relationships with your parents, family, and friends. What are the things that you cannot stand about them?
3. Write and review.
Once you’ve done those things above, write your draft and review the list regularly.
Examples of deal breakers in a relationship
When you are dating someone or trying to determine whether they are the right person for you, start by asking the right questions. The purpose of asking questions is to evaluate your potential partner and see whether you can compromise with their personality and behavior. Some examples include:
- Do they have an incurable addiction?
Drinks, drugs, gambling, porn, anything. It’s obvious why.
- Are they a close-minded person?
If yes, you can’t argue with them, can’t compromise on anything. The ability to compromise in a relationship is essential.
- Are they being disrespectful towards people (especially from lower socioeconomic status)?
Take a look at their behavior, for example when you’re eating out (to waiters, ushers, etc). You don’t want to be someone who is rude and self-entitled and likes to exert power just because they can.
- Are they able to take a fair share in shared responsibilities?
It shows if they’re a team player and whether they can support you when needed.
- Are they a narcissist?
Are they lacking empathy? Do they think that their needs are more important than others? Do they need to be admired all the time? If the answers are all yes, you know what to do.
- Do they have a tendency of being manipulative/gaslighting?
Do they make you question yourself? This could also relate to them being a narcissist.
- Are they physically and/or emotionally abusive?
- Are they a fake person?
Let us know your list of deal breakers, and hope it helps you build a healthy relationship!