We’re all searching for our dream person when we’re looking for someone new. Granted, the people we find might not fit the ideal – they might not share that fascination with astronomy, or they might carry a torch for Jewel’s music – but we’re willing to overlook the little stuff and see the big picture.
Until That Line is crossed. The Something, big or small, that means that the relationship isn’t even worth pursuing, because the mental acrobatics you’ll have to perform to even look at that person the same way are just too strenuous.
I have some half-joking dealbreakers – stuff that comes up in conversation with friends, where I laughingly say, “I could never date a person who…” Music is one of the big ones that I always mention. A few years ago, my eardrum ruptured, and I couldn’t hear out of it for a week or so. As my hearing slowly returned, I still had fluid in that ear, so the pitches I heard with that ear were altered. This meant that when I heard Christmas carols for the whole holiday season, I heard them in two keys at the same time. I was miserable.
So, what if I dated someone who was completely tone-deaf, and loved to sing? Is that really a dealbreaker? What if the person was wonderful in every other respect? Most of the time, I think I’m joking when I say it would end the relationship, and it seems silly compared to a lifestyle choice like smoking or, I don’t know, petty theft.
But at the same time, I know that might be something that could chip away at me, slowly drive me nuts. Maybe I’d be doing myself and potential future dates a favor if I’m honest from the beginning. At the same time, I guess I won’t really know until I’m in that position (thankfully, my guy has a musical background).
Other dealbreakers might seem insurmountable, but in the context of the person, they cease to mean as much. Maybe you have an undying hatred for Tyra, and a potential girl loves Top Model. It’s sort of her guilty pleasure, though, and she’s so awesome that it seems silly to let that hangup get in your way. Soon, you learn to break out the iPod and the laptop when she’s watching her show, and you’ve even convinced her to give old episodes of Canadian Top Model a shot. Hey, Tricia Helfer is a Cylon, after all.
When you’re making your profile and perusing those of others, it’s not a bad idea to honestly assess your own dealbreakers. This doesn’t mean you need to go into them, or, God forbid, list them on your profile! Nobody wants to read about what you don’t want. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a relationship.
Oh, and remember: you’re not looking for a clone! Half the fun of relationships is adding to your own knowledge, and getting introduced to new music, movies and activities that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
So if that girl has never seen Battlestar: Galactica, and she loves Reaper, don’t fret. Who knows? You might both discover something new (unless she’s tone deaf – then, run for the hills!).
So, how about you? Do you have dealbreakers? Have you ever discovered one wasn’t really that important?