Decoding Dealbreakers

March 3, 2010 at 11:22 am | Posted in Dating Tips | Leave a comment
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Tristan Coopersmith is the author of MENu Dating: Taste Test Your Way to the Main Course– a single girl’s guide to falling in like, falling in love and falling into bed. Check out her book in retailers nationwide, online and on her site: http://www.menudatingonline.com. For musings on dating, follow her on twitter: @tristan_coop.

He’s cheap, he checks out other women, his breath smells, he won’t go down on me, he takes longer than me to get ready, he answered the phone during a movie, he lied to the host and said he was a doctor to get a table, he’s too negative, he’s too positive…. And the list goes on and on and ON! No wonder singledom is lasting well into our 30s – our dealbreaker list is longer than a line to get into a Justin Bieber concert. Now, don’t get me wrong, as you know by now, I am a champion of choosy, but in the MD lab, I’ve been wondering if perhaps we are decoding our relationship red lights improperly. Could these dealbreakers be more than meets the eye?

All this talk lately about settling raises the age ol’ question among women, “Am I too picky?” Your mom will say, “Yes” before you finish asking the question but she as we know has an agenda. Your BFF who last saw you with a trade down will say, “No” because she is your #1 fan and think you can do better. Well here’s what I think. When it comes to creating your dealbreaker list, you have to look beyond the surface to see what the non-negotiable is representing because it is deeper than it appears.

For example, my friend Shara 86’d a guy because his emails were full of typos. Upon further examination, what she didn’t like about him was that he wasn’t conscientious. Eliminating a mandidate because he has shitty grammar is being impulsively and unreasonably picky, but eliminating one because he isn’t conscientious when that is an attribute you value, that is being insightfully and reasonably picky. Christina ended it with her guy because he was a freelancer. Turns out freelancing represented instability to her and she needs someone with a secure paycheck, insurance, 401K, etc. Danielle peaced out Jeremiah for always interrupting her but it wasn’t because it was so rude (that’s fixable), it was because the interrupting was an indicator of how self-interested Jeremiah was in what he had to say, never in what she had to say.

So when you are looking to red light a prospect, don’t ask, “Am I being too picky?” ask, “Am I being insightfully and reasonably picky?” Dig a little deeper to dissect the real reason you are ctrl-alt-deleting him, otherwise it is a wasted experience whereby you haven’t learned anything significant about your wants/needs, not to mention once you uncover something you’ll have a much stronger defense next time you go up against your griping mother.

Live and love largely,
Tristan

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