Sunday, October 14, 2012

Don't Compromise.. Unless it's in my Favor

I've talked a little in the past about the difference between dating as a grown-up and dating as a teen.

One of the many differences I've noticed- The Deal Breaker.

By definition, a deal breaker breaks the deal. True deal breakers aren't just pulled out of the air, or made up to be difficult. They are a product of our preferences, values, and tolerances.

Some women find body hair on a man completely revolting!
Hairy chest = deal breaker

Some men simply can't handle a high-maintenance woman.
Hair extensions, nails more than likely indicate a deal breaker

Some women are natural mothers and desperately want children.
Vasectomy = possible deal breaker

Some guys gotta have a girl as passionate about adventure as he is.
Home-body = deal breaker

The reality is that we all have deal-breakers, for every relationship, not just the romantic ones. We know on a visceral level when we have reached a limit.. and each time we come up against something we just can't cope with- that's where we discover our deal breakers.

The trouble comes when someone else doesn't like your deal breakers. They take offense, or get judgmental, or start calling names. There are broken hearts, frustration, anger, and tears. Sure, they love you and want you to be true to yourself. Some eventually accept where you are coming from, even insist you not compromise. But some insist that compromise is necessary for any kind of relationship, but only in their favor-
You're just as broken as I am...
Well, you're just being discriminatory...
But that's not fair- (insert some excuse for why it's unreasonable to ask that).

Credit
The thing is- trying to change deal breakers is easier than getting a tiger to change his stripes, but not by much. Changing deal breakers requires changing the very nature of the person- their bone-deep values, goals, and dreams.. changing who they are. Yes it can be done, but its not simple, easy, or quickly... and to be honest, its not really fair to ask someone to change like that.

What are your deal-breakers? What responses have you gotten to your own deal-breaker issues?

21 comments:

  1. I can tell over the past posts that you've gone through a breakup, and it's you that's done the breaking up. It's also fairly clear that you're either very bitter about the breakup, or you're not 100% certain it was the right choice.

    These posts to which I am referring (this one included) are all seeking approval and justification for whatever actions you took. They may very well be justified, and seeking confirmation from others this way is a very effective way of reassuring yourself. It takes a very astute person to see what's really going on and not just follow along with what you're saying.

    Many people have been in the same situation, myself included. It's very easy to just say our side of things (even if we're trying hard to disguise the complaint we have) and get approval from those we talk to.

    It would be interesting to see you write a post entirely from the other person's point of view. Try to explain their position, their arguments, their fears, insecurities, and feelings. This does three things; first, it's a great exercise to take off the blinders many of us aren't even aware we have (imagine if politicians did this!); second, it can be very effective at showing the other party that you do understand and you're not just stuck on yourself and only concerned with what you want (of course, if you don't really understand the other person, this will expose it); finally, it gives you a chance for feedback that is more useful in creating a complete picture of what really happened.

    Many people in recently ended relationships aren't interested in this sort of thing, though. I can understand if you're not. Emotions run high, logic runs low, you're far more interested in feeling comfortable with your decisions than you are in doubting them.

    I only mention this because it looks like it's still bothering you, at least to some degree. Maybe the timing isn't right for you to think about it this way, and if that's the case, I'm sorry for bringing it up. But take it from me that this can go a long way to helping you understand and sympathize with other people. It's too easy to be caught up in what we think and what we want and very easy to forget how this affects other people.

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    1. Eh, actually, I wrote this quite some time ago. Just getting around now to posting it. I'm good, moved on, and doing well.

      (BTW- Eric, don't get so full of yourself that you forget you're not all-knowing God.)

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  2. As I was driving to work, I was thinking about your last comment (starts w/"Ah, I believe..."). I think this issue is really about one of my few pet peeves- when people don't trust me to know my own mind and heart. Its happened in more than just romantic relationships (family, mostly). So yes it definitely rubs me wrong!

    In this most recent relationship, he knew going in what I wanted- I gave him the document that later became the Top 5 post rather early on. Yeah, its my fault that I let it get to the level it did. I fell in love with a guy who was long-distance (remember that post? Yeah)... and didn't realize the (magnitude doesn't quite seem like the right word, but its what I can think of at the moment) to which he wasn't quite as good a fit as I needed until I moved closer.

    So to answer your question, yes things were pretty dang serious by the time I called it all off.

    When it happened to me, it was quite different- I read a profile on the dating website, really liked what I saw, and contacted him. In his reply, he said I didn't fit, explained why. Like I said, I thought he was missing out and I thought his reason was dumb... but I knew I didn't fit what he wanted.

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    1. "I tried and tried to explain how I was to the other person right from the beginning." That's not a good sign. You didn't acknowledge their deal-breakers. Rather you insisted you knew better than they did. You were trying to push something that was iffy to begin with.

      Your story sounds terribly familiar. Pushing doesn't make something more likely to work out right... unless you're in labor, but that's another issue entirely as pushing is part of the process, but even then there comes a time to quit pushing and find another way.

      The reality is, a square peg may be a great peg, but it just doesn't fit in a round hole. I guess this post is about the frustration with people who aren't willing to acknowledge that reality. No, rejection isn't fun by any means, no matter which side you're on, and yes, it hurts worse when you're on the receiving end of it.

      Best wishes in working through your stuff. It takes time.

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    1. Open wounds bleed- that's just reality, no need to apologise. Just be more attentive to the description of the hole- square pegs may be great, but if the hole is round, its not gonna work.

      His dealbreaker was... well, I don't have children, can't.. (and yes its a sore spot. if you've read past posts, you know my childlessness is a huge aching hole in my heart.) and he was looking for a Mrs Brady.

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    1. If you remember the video at the end of my Top Five post (Shell Silverstein's Missing Piece Meets the Big O), a Piece can't do a whole lot as it is. It takes tremendous effort to even move when you're in that shape! What does a Missing Piece have to offer??.. and to be honest, it's not fair to expect someone else to knock off the corners and rough edges. See, that process is uncomfortable at best, and the one who is getting those edges knocked off tends to resent and dislike (dare I say, hate?) the one doing the shaping.

      That is NOT a position to put your Truly Fair in! Going into a relationship, expecting to (have to) change the other person is a perfect recipe for frustration, resentment.. and a really nasty breakup! Oooh, good idea, eh? Yeah, not my idea of a good time.

      If we take the analogy of the Big O one step further, consider this- once Missing Piece refines himself enough that he can move and grow in and of himself (made himself into an O), then he's fit to be matched up with another comparably-sized O with an axle.. and there's no end to what you can do with an axle!!

      Remember, chances are, every Big O was probably at some point some kind of Missing Piece. They've done it.. so can those who are still Pieces.

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