Last week, we dealt with the “Emotional Manipulator” and “Arguing vs. Fighting.” (click here to read). Part II, begins with…Deal-breakers
Relationship deal-breakers usually consist of things like smoking, drinking, drug usage, children, bad credit, criminal record, no college education, inadequate money, undesirable physical attributes, religious differences, etc.? This list is in no way an exhaustive list or a suggestion that these are even justifiable deal-breakers. It’s up to the individual to make those determinations.
But before entering the relationship, did you clearly articulate what things were non-negotiable? This is one of the primary reasons you don’t want to rush into a relationship and allow your emotions the chance to engage. There is groundwork that needs to take place beforehand. You both should go over your non-negotiable list before moving forward. Far too many times, people rush past this vital step, opting only to focus on things that don’t lend themselves to potential conflict, avoiding any subject matter that may disrupt the “good times.”
This is a huge mistake. After the emotions are engaged, it’s very difficult to part ways even after you have clearly identified a deal-breaker. Your vision becomes cloudy, you make excuses, and you choose to ignore what would have been much easier to walk away from earlier. The sooner you address the non-negotiables, the better. When you don’t and let the relationship run its course, the relationship will likely crash and burn—and those deal-breakers you first ignored will quite often play a role.
So whether you’re just dating or at a roadblock in the relationship, I suggest looking at these deal-breakers to decide whether to end the relationship or stay the course.
Do the two of you have spiritual differences?
Is the relationship causing you to grow? Does it add to you in ways that transcend the superficial? Is your interaction with this person stimulating your mind or just your body? Body stimulation will not provide the foundation that is needed to build a strong relationship on. Are the two of you on the same page spiritually? In relationships, it’s important that you’re building your foundation from the same blueprint. Popular culture have bought into the idea that conflicting beliefs will not cause problems.
But I disagree. Our beliefs are what govern the course of our lives. We make major and even minor decisions based upon the tenets of our faith. This can easily cause conflict when we hold opposing values on certain issues based upon our foundational beliefs. This can run the gamut from how children are raised to how certain holidays are celebrated if they are celebrated at all. When the differences cause conflict and rob, rather than feed the spirit, it’s time to part ways.
Do the two of you have differences in values or behavior?
There is no justifiable reason that one should have to explain the behavior of their mate. If you find yourself making excuses for your mate’s behavior, your relationship is already in trouble and you’re choosing to ignore it rather than make the hard decision to end the relationship if this is a constant behavioral issue. In another instance, this could also identify a difference in values, which is still a problem. How do you reconcile this difference? Which one of you should yield to the other? These are decisions that have to be hashed out if possible. Depending on the severity of the concern and how committed each individual is to their way of doing things, this may be something that can be worked through with patience.
The failure of many couples is in taking the “let’s see where this goes” approach to dating then, having to make the very difficult decision of whether to end or continue on once these real life issues/concerns are no longer avoidable. It hurts too much to continue the course from one poorly chosen relationship to another. A lesson learned is the best use of the “teachable moments” provided for you by bad relationships.
BMWK, how do you know when it’s time to throw in the towel?