Deal-Breakers, Tolerances and Boundaries
Trust me I’m no expert when it comes to dating and have had my fair share of broken hearts on the battlefield. However, I’m no idiot either and finally learned a few lessons from my mistakes.
Since then I have developed my own philosophy of dating that I especially wrote for my ladies, but feel any gender can benefit. It’s not that God chooses who He will and will not bless with a good partner, it’s up to you to understand what kind of person you are as well as the kind of partner you need.
There’s a difference between understanding your personal needs from a relationship standpoint. We all want someone to be honest with us and that should be a given. Dig deep and know what you need to feel secure whether that is consistency, stability or even affirmation. It is important to add these elements to your standards during partner selection. You must understand your deal-breakers, tolerances and boundaries.
I cannot express to you enough how important it is to understand what your deal-breakers are. My mother and friends criticized me for years because I did not have a set list. And throughout those years I found myself in the craziest relationships that literally went against every fiber of my being. Some of them even brought out my worst traits! I always said I’m like a chameleon and can adapt to any situation and will accept people for who they are, but it’s not always necessary to blend in with flames from hell.
Having deal-breakers doesn’t mean you are being narrow-minded and shallow, it simply means you love yourself enough to protect yourself from things you don’t want. If you know without a shadow of a doubt that you cannot deal with cigarette smoke, then why on earth would you entertain that person? I remember watching a snippet on Oprah where she said if you don’t like short men, then stop dating them! It’s not wrong to have preferences unlike this world will lead us to believe. Your deal-breakers are unique to you. There are no rules for what should and should not become deal-breakers. Stop forcing yourself into relationships with people who violate each and every one of your deal-breakers on a regular basis. This is why courtship is important because it allows you to understand people and where they fit on your list before you fall head over heels. If you do this, you can save yourself a lot of heartache from the jump. On the flipside, if you don’t have a list you will force yourself to deal with any and everything and will always fall for the okie-doke.
These are a little bit different from deal-breakers because they are the extent to which one can endure something they do not like. Using my same example above, let’s say you have decided that cigarettes are a bonafide deal-breaker. Maybe you are willing to tolerate them if they don’t do it in your presence or have expressed interest to wean themselves off. Your tolerance of this is your prerogative. You must follow your own desires because you don’t want to be that person who tolerates any and everything. If cheating is on your list of deal-breakers then why tolerate someone who displays those behaviors? Some things are not worth the heartache and pain. And trust me I know much of this is easier said than done, but when you get tired of ramming your head into the same brick wall, you will eventually change your mindset. Stop forcing yourself to tolerate people’s bad behaviors and habits you don’t like because you don’t have to.
These can be viewed as the dividing line between what you are willing to deal with and tolerate. Those things together become your boundaries. It kind of has the same concept as moderation. You must truly know yourself and be in control to understand where you draw the line. Perhaps you have allowed yourself to deal with someone who you simply tolerate, but when they cross a particular line you have to be strong enough to enforce your rules and possibly wind up by yourself! For example maybe you were once an alcoholic and have a higher tolerance for those who drink. But if that person shows up at your job completely wasted potentially costing you your livelihood then it needs to addressed and not ignored. You have to be strong enough to fight for your own happiness and sense of mental homeostasis.
These principles do not translate into you not working out problems with your partner. That is what’s wrong with relationships today, people flee at the first sign of controversy and don’t try to work it out. No relationship is perfect and each has their own downfalls in some fashion or another. However, I do believe there are certain areas that should not be an issue such as trust, faithfulness, loyalty and respect. When you think you have found the love of your life you should not be arguing over who they slept with the night before, period. Matter of fact, it shouldn’t be an issue at all because if they loved you they wouldn’t hurt you. At the end of the day I have always been taught that things just shouldn’t be that hard. When you find that relationships are impossible to work, then you must accept that they probably were not meant to be.