“Don’t you ever for a second get to thinking you’re irreplaceable.” -Beyoncé
Deal breakers – the one, two punch you did or didn’t see coming. By definition, a deal breaker is a factor or issue which, if unresolved during negotiations, would cause one party to withdraw from a deal. By experience, it’s the things you see as fundamentals for your future that you can’t and won’t compromise on. Breaking up is never easy, but on the rare occasion, it’s crystal clear the path you need to take.
When I was in my early twenties, I was insecure and always felt like I needed to mold myself to my partner’s wishes, thoughts, and ideals. I was just happy to be with them and thoughts of longevity weren’t as prevalent. Like many, I was young, carefree, and rather fickle about my partners. As I enter the final sprint of my twenties and see my thirties dawning before me, I only think about longevity. Somewhere around my late twenties, there was a self-actualization that occurred within me. Those things I was insecure about? The love for all things nerdy like Harry Potter and Disney? My desire to constantly please my partner and agree with them? My body image issues? Those are (mostly) gone. I have so much more self-love and self-awareness entering my thirties. Which means that fostering a relationship is so much harder, or it seems so at least. It wasn’t an instant “Ah Ha” moment of acceptance, but an ease and confidence developed alongside my maturity. I guess what they say is sort of right. You get older and you give less fucks about what people think of you.
I’ve been seeing someone for a few months now. We’ve gone out. We have plenty in common and a healthy respect for the things we disagree on. We’ve hit a few bases. We’ve had fun and talking every day is sincerely a pleasure. All the great things that come with the honeymoon stage of a relationship.
Here’s the thing, we somehow missed a very important conversation along the way: deal breakers. What are our deal breakers? The things we see as soft limits and absolute hard limits. We’ve circled this topic several times, but never fully addressed it head on. I thought we were on the same page and any differences like my beliefs, and his lack thereof, were surmountable. What a rude awakening I was in for.
Things like religion and kids are two things I won’t budge on. Both are exceptionally important and not mutually exclusive for the future I visualize. As forthright as I thought I’d been, I guess I wasn’t clear enough, or maybe the honeymoon stage was just feeling a little too good to delve deeply into that aspect. Yet now I have, and we’ve hit a brick wall known as an impasse. Although it’s difficult to say goodbye, I need to do it. The strength of my convictions should be stronger than any potential chemistry I’m experiencing, right? My experiences have taught me that these hard limits, or deal breakers, are not things to be taken lightly. As I worked up the nerve to ask him such a personal question, I primarily worried about his desire for having kids; never did it cross my mind that how the kids are raised would be a deal breaker. As a devout Catholic, the strength of my relationship with God and my faith can’t be easily broken. I don’t seek validation from others nor do I need someone to be have Faith with me. My relationship with God is just that: mine. However, I do need a partner that at least accepts the fundamental pillars that make up who I am. My guy loves kids and can’t wait to have them. He just never wants them setting foot in a church or being around religious people. The absolute opposite of what my fortune-telling, crystal ball says when I look towards my future. My kids WILL go to church and be surrounded by the loving and generous people that I see on a weekly basis. I’d been honest from the jump: religion is super important to me. How did we end up discussing a topic that I thought was a non-issue? That’s just a small example of the huge conversation we had. It’s the rule, not the exception, that people won’t compromise or change on these details.
In that same vein, investing more of my time seems like a waste. It sounds cold, but I’m merely trying to be realistic. How do we go on from here? The very things that I love and cherish are deal breakers for him. Platitudes and immediate acceptance could lead to resentment, and yield the same result: breaking up. So again, why invest more time? This shiny bauble known as the honeymoon stage is looking rather dull after our very frank conversation.
Deal breakers and breakin’ up. It’s fucking awful, but worse still, is losing something you’ve always wanted in your future. Don’t apologize for what you want, and don’t be afraid to keep searching even when it’s challenging to let go of something.
Until next time,
Girl in this World