What is The Deal Breaker in Your Relationship?
- Author Mountain Peak Copywriting
- Published June 18, 2023
- Word count 1,353
How many of you had an idea in your head when you were young of Prince or Princess Charming? Did you imagine eternal love, love at first sight, unending romance?
Maybe some of you did. Maybe a lot of you did. I honestly can't remember and knowing what I know now, I find it hard to retrospectively look back on the person I was then.
We grow up watching Disney films or cartoons or reading books, all of which paint mostly positive pictures of romance, marriage and lifelong love. Maybe there’s an evil sea witch or sorcerer to conquer first but love always prevails. If your parents are happily married, or at least not unhappily married then there is no reason to suspect the above of not being true. Our introductions to love and relationships as children were fluffy and ethereal. You absorbed the messages from films and books almost subliminally. So maybe it was from those points that your subconscious expectation for a future Prince/Princess Charming was planted. Especially if like me you grew up in the 80s or before when there were only 4 channels on the TV and no internet. It was very easy for my parents to control what I was exposed to.
As you got slightly older, maybe you started to watch soaps, or maybe Friends, maybe you watched some of your parents' programmes or sneaked some of their videos to watch at a friend's house. Essentially it gradually becomes apparent whilst still at a pretty young age that this notion of perfection in a relationship does not exist, even where the couple are deeply in love. Though the emotions and behaviours thrown up by these programmes and films are still by and large too complex for a tweenager to understand.
My parents were very strict about what we watched. No soaps, no Friends, age appropriate films. I went to a girls school where I knew of no separated parents and I had very little to do with boys until 6th form where I started hanging around with a different group of girls. They were all very well to do and they had a lovely group of male friends they'd grown up with or through local sports clubs and then friends of friends. I was quite naïve and a bit of a late developer as a lot of my friends were, with no interest in boys at all until I was at least 17.
Through 6th form, university, travelling and beyond I discovered flings, one night stands, relationships and all of them were very far from perfect. But at no point did I sit down, look into myself and think about what qualities in another person would bring out the best in me and make me happy. I don’t think I knew or even cared at that age. A lot of it was based purely on looks and situation. I did have a deep seated belief that a man should treat me as my dad treated my mum and I had the usual notions of what constituted conventional romance.
By the time I met my husband, aged 24 and a half, I knew that intelligence mattered to me, someone who was a bit different and someone who could drive. (yes really). My husband satisfied the first two criteria. I was preoccupied with looks, excitement, a challenge and living in the moment. But I was 24. It became clear very quickly, literally from the first date that there was nothing conventional about my husband. He was unpredictable, volatile, fiercely intelligent and trod his own path. He was also charming, generous, challenging and pushed me to challenge myself. All of which my 24 year old self, for the most part, was drawn to.
Fast forward through our 13 year relationship, marriage and breakup, I now have a very definitive list of what I believe will contribute to my relationship compatibility and expectations within a relationship. Personally I want someone who mostly shares my interests, someone who is kind, compassionate and patient. Intelligence is still very important as well as self sufficiency but instead of unpredictability now, I want reliability, predictability and tolerance.
THE DEAL BREAKER
I have an immediate deal breaker in any new relationship and I also know there are a lot of aspects of myself I need to work on to ensure my next relationship is a positive experience.
My deal breaker is aggression. Lack of impulse control, anger issues, temper and inability to deal with pressure. These are non negotiable.
Here are my top 5 relationship tips for both relationships just starting out and those which are wavering;
1.Define your deal breakers. This is from the perspective of people who have been through divorces/long term relationship break downs; potentially with children involved. It could be;
Unwillingness to accept your children into their life and vice versa
Lack of empathy/compassion
No sense of humour
Lack of shared interests
Only you can define what your deal breakers are.
Communication (corny and generic I know). Based on what you have both been through you need to be very upfront about what you both want at a very early stage.
Ask yourself what makes you happy - what are you looking for? Write it down if need be.
Take things slowly. It’s likely you’ll both have been through a lot. Messy divorces and break ups, custody battles and damaged children are potential obstacles you will have to overcome. Are you ready in yourself for a new relationship? I started to move into the world of internet dating before realising I wasn’t ready. Make sure you’ve taken enough time for you and thinking only of yourself and your children before you start taking on someone else’s baggage.
Do some soul searching in yourself? What went wrong in your last relationship? It’s easy to blame the other person but look into yourself as well. Are there things you could improve or learn from?
RELATIONSHIPS WHICH ARE ON THE EDGE OF A SPIRAL
Define to yourself why you aren't happy and what you want to change. Ask him/her to do the same. Try and identify what has gone wrong. Has your deal breaker ever been broken?
Agree roles within the relationship and stick to them. This can be chores or childcare or work or night wake ups. Often resentment and bickering can build because one parent perceives they are pulling their weight more than the other.
Question whether you still have the same outlook in life. If you are both still on the same page regarding what you want out of your life, relationship, children, careers, then there is plenty to fight for. Are you still physically attracted to each other?
If you’ve had children then admit to yourself the extent of the impact the children have had on your relationship. Don't feel guilty. This won't apply in all cases but I think, whilst children can be wonderful, they also place immense strain on a relationship. Talk to each other about how you've been feeling since having children. Carve out time together even if it’s just one night a month or an occasional weekend away. I fully appreciate this isn’t always easy especially if you don’t have family nearby but can friends help or a babysitter? Sit down and really talk to each other.
Do you still complement one another? Is one of you a leader and one of you a follower? Is one of you fiery and the other placid, is one of you high maintenance and the other laid back. Your personalities should complement one another.
All relationships are obviously different but I know the above will be what I try and put into place going forward. I know what I am looking for and I know how to spot the warning signs as the slow poison of resentment starts to build. It’s about starting your new relationship on the right foot or fighting for the relationship you already have.
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