By: Devin Nishea
Deal breakers, we've all heard the term. What are they? Do you have any? If you do, do you stick to them or do you bend when someone you really want to be with comes along?
So...what are deal breakers anyway? I define at it as something you refuse to put up with from other people. You can have deal breakers for anything, but in this case, we're talking relationships. Before we go on, take a listen...
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The older I've gotten in these dating streets, the more I have come to adopt the policy of not wasting my time OR having somebody else waste my time. I can't tell you how many times I went along with things men would do or say, that I didn't necessarily agree with or like. All on the guise of, wanting them to be in my life that badly...being that phyne or being the "good guy" OR what I thought was the "good guy."
When I ended one of my past relationships, I sat back and analyzed everything that went on behind the scenes that led to its demise. One of the things I overlooked was him changing how he talked. For example, he would talk future tense when referencing us; then all of sudden one day I realized, he was talking more generalized terms. Like, "when I get married one day I want my wife to...", I was no longer the focus of the conversation. BUT, I overlooked it, chalked it up to overthinking/over analyzing and still held on to the relationship just to say "I got a man..." and honestly I didn't want to be by myself.
This is not a post to beat myself up, because I learned a lot from my past relationships and have grown just as much from them. Might I add, I'm proud of the woman I fought to find again.
I can recall before getting into that relationship, how I carried myself. I was the no nonsense type of woman. The woman that didn't put up with anybody's foolishness or foolery, especially a man I saw didn't value me or my worth. My mantra was, "If you're going to step to me, then you better step correct." Some saw it as harsh, but I was content being that way! But, something happened that I allowed to be chipped away piece by piece; until one day I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the person staring back. All I saw were pieces on the floor; pieces I didn't know how to begin putting back together. So, I stayed that way, broken...for years and sadly, I became comfortable in that brokeness. When I got the courage to walk away, I did just that and didn't look back. Eventually, I didn't feel bad about doing what was best for me and my situation.
This doesn't apply to ALL women, but some women will bend on their deal breakers with men because...he has a good job...he's a good guy...he's PHOINE...he made me laugh...the sex is/was good...the list goes on and on. But, ask yourself this question. Have you ever seen a man bend on his deal breakers? I haven't.
I've had someone tell me he couldn't consider being with me because at the time, I was living with my parents. But, what did I do? Continued talking to him, going out with him doing relationship things. My thought process? I thought (more like hoping) over time, he'd change his mind because he was a good guy, and I did all of what I thought were the "right things" to keep his attention. I was wrong. When I realized I was part of the rotation, amongst other things, I finally got tired and walked away. And there I was, reflecting again on why I settled and wasn't completely honest with myself and with him about how much more I wanted from him.
Fast forward to last year when a guy told me he couldn't consider me because I didn't fry chicken; AND HE WAS SERIOUS! LOL Ok, cool. This time around I didn't call him back. No love lost right? BUT, he calls me the next day and asked why I didn't reach out to him. I reminded him what he said the day before and that there was really no point in going forward since he was so adamant my not being able to fry chicken. I refused to waste my time or allow someone else to waste my time. Needless to say he was shocked & surprised by my response.
Ladies, when men say what they don't want. Chile, believe him! It's time for us to do the same. Be unapologetically honest with yourself, with him and walk away from the things that don't serve you and that doesn't fall in line with your values! Yes, sometimes it will mean you'll be by yourself; but think of it this way, you may be by yourself at the moment, but at least your life will be peaceful. That my dear is priceless. You won't be out here worrying yourself half to death, stressed out over a man (or woman) that doesn't value you.
I can't and will not lie, I have lived some lonely days and nights because of the things I will no longer tolerate. But my life is peaceful, I'm peaceful. There are some people who think I'm crazy for doing so; but my peace is so much more important to me than saying, "I have a man." I worked hard for this peace and I refuse to let just any ole body come in and disrupt it. I couldn't afford it before, but I really can't afford it now.
Now, I stand firm on my deal breakers like my life depends on it. Really, my life does depend on it. I have a daughter that looks to me daily. The last thing I want her seeing is her mom, dealing with a man's foolishness. What would it look like if I threw my deal breakers out of the window and settled just to have someone around? But, she must be watching (and listening) intently, because although a teenager, she doesn't take anything from anybody. My prayer is that she continues being that way.
So...if one of your deal breakers is not dating someone who smokes. Then why would you? I had to make that tough decision recently and I was a little pissed about it. For once I let my guard down and allowed someone try and hook me up (blind date situation); and after talking for a few weeks we decided to meet for dinner and on the actual date I found out he smoked cigarrettes! I hate everything about cigarrettes! I wanted to kick myself for not asking that question sooner.
I have a set of standard questions I ask upfront and "do you smoke cigarrettes" is one of them. I was a little pissed about it because he had a lot of good things going for himself and his life, but that one thing stood in the way.
When I first made the decision to start dating more seriously a couple of years ago, I evaluated everything about me and my life; I even wrote these things down in my prayer journal. After putting everything on paper about what I wanted versus what I needed in my life, I prayed over the list. The first thing I prayed for was the discernment I needed to see people for who they were really were. Meaning, being able to see through all the mess IF in fact they weren't being honest with me. The second thing I prayed for was not to settle on the things I wanted in my life. That called for me being even more honest with myself and the things I wanted because let's face it, one day I want to be married and I realized if I kept settling, I would probably never walk down the aisle.
Like the quote says that introduced this post, "settling is ghetto. Don't stop until you get everything you prayed for." If you think about it, settling is really ghetto, it's one of the worse things you can do to yourself. If you continue to settle, you might find yourself doing it for the remainder of your life; and who wants to do that? Not me chile!
I don't hide the fact I'm a woman of faith because I've seen what prayer can do; not only in my life, but also in the lives of others. I'm here to tell you (ladies AND gents), don't give up on anything you've prayed for; not only relationships, but life in general!
Remember, things you thought were a loss may not be an actual loss. Some things happened in our lives, to put us back on the right track to receive all the things we've previously prayed for.
Let's talk ladies and gents! What have you learned about yourself in regards to either sticking to your deal breakers or being lenient when it comes to them?
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