Let’s talk about deal-breakers. We all have them.

Deal-breakers can mean different things to different people, so for the purpose of this article, let’s define them as criteria you use to disqualify a potential match before ever even meeting them.

We all have them, but they’re not all created equal, we’ll talk more about Boundaries and Barriers in a bit.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of dealbreakers (in no particular order) that I’ve heard consistently over the years. Some might seem silly to you, but they are quite serious to another person. 

  • Divorce
  • Career Type
  • Religion
  • Political Affiliation
  • Dietary Restrictions
  • Body Shape
  • Height
  • Zodiac Sign
  • Education Level
  • Smokers
  • Cat Owners
  • Children
  • Distance
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Virginity
  • Age

We once had a client refuse a date after learning his match was lactose intolerant. I know a woman who has a strict no Geminis policy. I could go on for days, but you catch my drift.

The first step to getting over some of your more trivial deal-breakers is to write out a list. Take some time to really mull this over and create a comprehensive list of all your must-haves for a potential match.

You’re the only person who will ever see this, so don’t be afraid or ashamed, just be honest.

It doesn’t matter if they’re big or small. Just add them all to the list. Don’t worry, we will whittle it down later. 

Boundaries & Barriers

Now, it’s time to separate your deal breakers into two categories.

Boundaries are good things; they keep us safe and allow us autonomy to rule over our own being.

Barriers on the other hand, get in our way and keep us from achieving our goals. They act as metaphorical roadblocks to our success.

For instance, rejecting a long distance relationship because you know you need Physical Touch and Quality Time to be happy—that is a Boundary. 

Excluding anyone who doesn’t reside within a 5-mile radius of your front door is a Barrier. You’re needlessly shrinking your pool of potential matches to a minute scale, making your Matchmaker’s job impossible.

Keep in mind, a lot of this depends on you and your situation as much as the other person. Let me give you a couple of examples.

I will not date anyone with a cat.

  • Boundary: if you have a severe allergy
  • Barrier: if you just prefer dogs

I will only date Catholics.

  • Boundary: if you’re a practicing Catholic
  • Barrier: if you haven’t been to mass since you were a child

I will not date someone who has children.

  • Boundary: if you don’t have or want kids
  • Barrier: if you have kids from a previous relationship

Now, I want you to reflect on your list. Organize each one into either the Boundary or Barrier column.

Breaking Up with Your Deal-Breakers

Next, I want you to rank your list of Boundaries in order of importance. Then, do the same with your Barriers.

Those Barriers are starting to seem a little less important now, huh? Some of them may even feel kind of dumb. That’s a good thing! That means getting over them is going to be easier than you thought.

Starting with the lowest-ranked Barrier, think through each of your deal-breakers. Go deep. Make another list of pros and cons for each if you need to. Ask yourself the following question:

If you met the single most gorgeous guy on the planet tomorrow, and he possessed a myriad of positive characteristics, would this one single thing eliminate him in your mind as boyfriend material?

If the answer is yes, then you’re not ready to let go of that deal-breaker just yet. That’s alright, some of us are just pickier than others. But it’s important that you know that about yourself and have patience with your Matchmaker. 

If the answer is no, or even maybe with a qualifier, then let’s see if we can work through it.

Is there an underlying reason for your deal-breakers? Try to get to the core of your desire for wanting or needing that specific trait in a partner.

Maybe it’s not that you have to date a Catholic, but just that you desire a partner of faith and a good moral compass. Perhaps you don’t necessarily need someone with a graduate degree, as long as they’re intelligent and ambitious. 

Your Matchmaker will be able to shed some light on your particular situation and teach you how to increase your scope of potential matches.