I have said this many times, and I address it in my book (Sweeten the Deal) ad nauseum, I was a one date wonder, and I was okay with it. Many of my friends told me I was too hard on people. That I didn't give them a chance. That everyone has issues and you just have to deal with it. These friends were expecting me to lower my standards to "give him a chance." Hmm. And even weirder, when I came across a deal breaker, many of these friends advocated it again. "Well, maybe it was a fluke. Just wait and see."
There is a fundamental problem with this line of thinking. The problem is this: when you settle, you value yourself, who you are and what you want less than you value the idea of a relationship. You begin to fall into the category of "I just want a relationship and you will do" thought pattern. This is bad. I mean, really, really bad. And I will tell you why.
1. This is bad for you. You should never make a conscious decision to lower your standards. You are already setting yourself up for resentment and anger. What you think you can let go of or overlook eventually becomes a glaring reminder of what you actually wanted.
2. This is bad for the other person. Imagine it. Would you want to be the one someone settled for rather than THE ONE? Of course not. And neither would anyone else. I firmly ascribe to the idea that the minute you know this one is not for you, you tell him.
3. This is bad for your friends and family because they will really want to ask, "What the heck are you thinking?" and if they do, you will stop talking to them because you really don't want to hear what you secretly already know.
4. This is bad for your kids (if you have them) because you are modeling behavior that can be learned. Do you really want to be the one who teaches them to settle and to accept things they know they don't want? Families tend to follow the same patterns, so let's set a good one!
Here's the thing. Everyone does have issues. But we get to decide which ones are still within healthy limits and which ones are not. You are obligated to give yourself permission to have standards and not feel bad about it. After all, and everyone needs to write this one down: it is better to be alone for the rest of your life than to be with the wrong person.
Once again: It is better to be alone for the rest of your life than to be with the wrong person.
Say it. Believe it. Mean it.
And as for deal breakers. Well these are the big things that should end a dating relationship immediately. These are individual. For me they were things like, treating my kids poorly, addiction, etc. And when these happen, they have to break your deal. No question.
Once again: Your deal breakers must actually break your deal.
Say it. Believe it. Mean it.
This post first appeared on sweetenthedeal.com. I invite you to visit the site to find out more about my book Sweeten the Deal: How to Spot and Avoid the Big Red Flags in Online Dating.