Breaking Up With Your Deal Breakers

Breaking Up With Your Deal Breakers

Today I want to talk about breaking up with your deal breakers. The term deal breaker can refer to a lot of things, so for the purpose of this article, let’s define it as criteria you use to disqualify a potential match before ever even meeting them.

I’ve compiled a list of deal breakers (in no particular order) I’ve heard over the years, both understandable and ridiculous. 

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

I once had a client refuse a first date after learning his match was lactose intolerant. I know a woman who has a strict no Geminis policy. The list could go on for days. 

The first step to breaking up with your deal breakers is to write out a list of all your perceived deal breakers. Take some time to really mull this over and create a comprehensive list. You’re the only person who will ever see this, so don’t be afraid to list even the deal breakers you’re ashamed to admit.

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

Boundaries v. Barriers

Now, it’s time to categorize your deal breakers into Boundaries and Barriers. Boundaries are good; they keep us safe. Barriers on the other hand, get in our way and block us from achieving our goals. 

For instance, rejecting a long distance relationship is a Boundary—excluding anyone who doesn’t reside within a 5-mile radius of your front door is a Barrier.

There are people who have been in COVID lockdown for a year now. With facetime and Zoom, long-distance will soon be an extinct deal breaker anyway. 

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 item on your deal breaker list into either the Boundary or Barrier column. After you decipher your Boundaries and Barriers, you can start breaking up with your deal breakers one by one.

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 trivial now, huh? Some of them may even feel ridiculous. That’s a good thing! That means breaking up with your deal breakers 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 a beautiful woman tomorrow who possessed a myriad of positive characteristics, would this one single thing eliminate her in your mind as a possible mate?

If the answer is yes, then you’re not ready to let go of that deal breaker just yet.

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

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

What if it’s less about you needing to date a Catholic, and more that you desire a partner with 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. Both of those things alone can broaden your pool of potential daters significantly. 

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


Dating After Divorce

Dating After Divorce: How to Prepare for a New Chapter

According to researchers, divorce is the second most stressful life event one can experience. Preceded only by the death of a loved one and followed by a health crisis. Dating after divorce can be equally stressful if you’re not prepared. 

The first thing you should consider is how dating has evolved tremendously over the last decade. Tinder came on the scene in September 2012, followed by Bumble in 2014.

So, chances are things will be very different from first dates you’ve experienced in the past. Gone are the days of buying her flowers and picking her up at her front door for a first date

When to Get Back Out There

Unfortunately, I cannot definitively say when someone is ready to start dating after divorce. Every relationship is different; every person is different. Only you will know when you’re ready; move at your own pace.

Your friends and family will encourage you to move on and play the field. They mean well, but you know yourself better than anyone else does. Trust your gut. It’s okay if you’re not ready. 

You should wait until your marriage is officially over, including all the legalities: separation of assets, custody agreements, alimony, etc.

If you are emotionally over your ex, but the paperwork isn’t quite dry, I would advise you to just put off seriously considering another relationship for those last few months. 

Things start to get messy when you start something new without tying up all of your loose ends first. 

Secondly, ask yourself—is it really another relationship you want? Don’t fire up the dating apps just because you’re feeling a bit lonely on Sunday evening. Are you looking for validation in the form of shirtless bathroom selfies or are you truly ready to open your heart and life up to another person?

When a marriage dissolves, so does the dream of a life together. You planned forever with someone; imagined growing old with her. Then, suddenly it’s all gone. You have to take the time to mourn the loss, just as you would a death.

As painful as it is, let yourself experience the grief. Don’t try to mask it with new women—that will only delay your healing.

After about a year, most people feel ready to move on. But you should still expect some intense feelings to pop up from time to time. Trauma has a way of doing that. Allow yourself to have those mini meltdowns. It is a natural part of the healing process and it means you’re one step closer to dating after divorce.

Use this time alone to learn about yourself. Reflect on your failed marriage. Will you do anything differently next time? What characteristics will you look for when you’re ready to start dating after divorce? 

What to Expect When You're Dating After Divorce

It’s normal to struggle with how to step out of the husband role and into the boyfriend position.

This woman has not made a commitment to you yet. You have not stood in front of God and your loved ones to say vows. You are not her husband.

Let me say that one more time—you are not her husband.

Maybe someday you will be her husband, but don’t rush it. Don’t force it. Relish your time as the boyfriend. Learn about yourself, your partner, and how you fit into one another’s lives. Use this time to see if she is someone you could spend forever with.

Don’t use intimacy to manipulate the situation. Some people use physical touch with multiple partners as a way to escape their emotions. Others combine sex and monogamy in an attempt to make the relationship progress more quickly.

Both usually end in disaster.

When you’re used to being one-half of a whole, it’s very difficult to learn how to be on your own. It’s a lonely process full of self-doubt.

There will be women who seem perfect for weeks and they will disappear out of thin air. This is called ghosting.

Try Something New

I would wager you learned a thing or two about yourself during your divorce that you didn’t know before. I challenge you to continue doing that. Expand your horizons. Try new things. Work on yourself. See a therapist. Start a new hobby.

Explore your deal breakers and really discern if they are things you need in a partner or just preferences you want. Go out with women you normally wouldn’t consider.

Give personality and common interest your primary attention, and make physical attraction a secondary criteria. Science has shown that attraction grows over time. Our brains release a cocktail of happy hormones whenever we are around people who make us laugh and feel good. 

The more time you spend with that person, the better she looks.

You may find that you’re attracted to women who look nothing like your ex. Trauma has a way of doing that too.

Trust that if your Matchmaker suggests someone, there is a definitive reason that the two of you were paired. This is your chance to meet all different types of women from various backgrounds and cultures.

Give it a shot. I dare you.


Reflection

Reflection: The First Step to a Great Life

We rarely take time out of our day-to-day lives to really dig deep and check in with ourselves. So, that’s exactly what I want you to do right now. Take a few deep breaths, and spend some time in reflection. Think about your life, decisions, relationships, triumphs and trials. 

What life lessons helped shape the person you’ve become? What is most important to you as we move through this new decade? Do you have any hopes or dreams? Are there plans you can implement right now to start moving the needle in that direction? Is there a bad habit you need to quit? Do you want to fall in love? Get married? Start a family?

Now, the good news is you can start manifesting these things and making bold changes to achieve your dreams right now

Reflection and Response

Change doesn’t come easily. In fact, it often goes against our very nature, but it’s a necessary part of life. After you’ve completed a thorough evaluation and reflection of your life thus far, it will be easier to make concrete plans for a better future.

What needs to fundamentally change for you to make room for love in your life? Maybe there’s an ex you need to let go of, or a heartbreak you haven’t fully healed from. Perhaps, 2020 just beat you down a few too many times.

COVID-19 has certainly been a worldwide wake up call. Life is short. Now is the time to be brave, bold, and confident enough to take those first steps. Your matchmaker can help you nurture the positives in your life and create a solid foundation for you to find love.

Make this Year Count

Step outside your comfort zone and make this year worthwhile. We only have so many trips around the sun, don’t you want to spend them living your dreams? 

Do you have your eye on someone new? Is there a colleague you want to get to know better? Valentine’s Day is only a week away; gather the courage to send them a card or small gift

If you’re in the early stages of a new relationship. you don’t want to overwhelm your partner by going all out before they’re ready. Open a dialogue, ask them what they think of the holiday and what sort of expectations they have surrounding it. Share your feelings as well, you’ll avoid a lot of awkwardness and embarrassment this way.

If you’re single, gather your single friends and go do a fun activity like Ax Throwing or Top Golf. Host a dinner party or game night. Try to avoid places where couples are likely to be engaging in public displays of affection. If you send yourself flowers to work, the last thing your self-esteem needs is to witness a proposal occur at the next table over.

Stay in and spoil yourself with your favorite take out and a nice bottle of wine. Treat yourself to a day at the spa. Self-care is your first line of defense. 

Many of our single clients report feeling excessive loneliness when they don’t have someone to share Valentine’s Day with. But, I have an insider tip to bring you a bit of peace and solace.

You’re not alone; a lot of people who are in happy, healthy, long-term relationships also hate Valentine’s Day.

Often, this happens because one party desperately wants to celebrate it, but the other party perceives it as a frivolous, made-up holiday. This leads to conflict and disappointment. I always coach my clients to shower your partner with love and affection regularly, not just when you feel a sense of obligation.

Whether you’re happily loved-up, completely alone, or exploring a budding relationship, Valentine’s Day can be stressful. No matter how you choose to spend it, afterward, do a little reflection and make a plan for how you hope to spend the next one. 


Relationship Resolutions

Relationship Resolutions for the New Year

I think it is safe to say we are all more than ready to say goodbye to 2020. But now is the time to really reflect on your year and start to develop a plan for 2021 and beyond. How do you want to work on yourself? What sort of relationship resolutions do you want to put out into the universe?

The only true control we have in this world is over ourselves and our actions. You can’t change other peoples’ behaviors—only your own. Therefore, any real change starts from within.

Whether you want to develop a healthier work/life balance, start a new exercise regimen, or meet the love of your life next year, you need to start putting in the work today.

Improve Upon Yourself & Good Things Will Follow

When was the last time you treated yourself to a #NewYearNewMe makeover? Updating your style and trying out a new look is a great way to instantaneously give your self-confidence and self-esteem a boost.

Everyone feels better after a fresh haircut or a day at the spa.

This is not all about physical beauty or conforming to society’s standards, it is about doing something for yourself that makes you feel good in your own body, even if that’s just a massage.

Self-care is a continuous cycle of positivity everyone should make time for in their life. When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel better about yourself, it can have positive impacts on every aspect of your life.

The Law of Attraction is a theory that says, 

We attract that which we give off.

It is sort of a reverse Golden Rule. If you put good things out into the universe, good things will come to you in return. And as I stated earlier, you can only control yourself, so it’s up to you whether you give off positivity or negativity.

If you’re done reading The Five Love Languages already, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, is a great book for anyone interested in diving deeper into the Law of Attraction.

One of the key points of the Law of Attraction is manifesting the things you want out of life. This can be done in any way that works for you: meditation, prayer, vision boards, spreadsheets, you can even do it in the shower or during a run. 

Relationship Resolutions

Is it your heart’s desire to fall in love this year?

If so, it’s time to get busy. In addition to taking the practical steps, like hiring a matchmaker, and creating a dating profile, you should start manifesting love right now.

Put real time and effort into thinking about what you want out of a relationship. What type of partner do you want? And more importantly, what type of partner do you want to be?

Write it all down. Make a list. Develop a mantra or a mission statement. Put your goals on your bathroom mirror or map it out on your office whiteboard. Post it somewhere so you will see it multiple times a day even if it’s only for a few moments. 

During these manifestation exercises, think critically about the dating criteria you have followed in the past. Have any of those things changed? Are you open to dating someone with children now even if you weren’t when you were younger?

Examine all of your deal breakers. Can you overcome any of them?

Instead of shutting yourself off to anyone shorter than six feet, focus on things like intellectual and emotional compatibility.

Take a deep look at your dating history, especially in the areas that you feel have failed.

Perhaps 2021 is the perfect time to put your dating life in the hands of a professional once and for all. We want to help you fix whatever is broken in your love life. Sometimes that means we will push you to try something new, because what you’ve been doing is not working. Trust that we always have your best interests at heart. 

Studies show it takes at least three dates for the average person to feel comfortable enough to open up and show their true authentic self. This is why we always urge clients not to write someone off after the first date

What are your Relationship Resolutions going into 2021? We would love to be part of your journey and help you reach all of your goals. What are you waiting for? Take the first step toward forever.


Feeling Lonely

Are You Feeling Lonely or Are You Just Alone?

One can be standing in an arena full of people and still be feeling lonely. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. On the other hand, you’re capable of feeling completely fulfilled even when you’re all by yourself

Today, I want to focus on providing strategies that will help you achieve the latter. 

According to Psychology Today, long-term feelings of loneliness can have the same physical impact on the body as smoking or obesity. Extended social isolation can even lead to PTSD, anxiety, and addiction.

It's Okay if You're Feeling Lonely

As we move through the Holiday Season, I want you to be mindful of your emotional state. Studies show people are more likely to suffer from depression during this time of year. And recently single people are particularly vulnerable to feeling lonely and hopeless.

When you’re used to being one-half of a whole, it can be difficult to learn how to be your own person.

You’re used to having a partner and having help. You used to negotiate chores and manage a household, but now you’re stuck doing everything by yourself.

It’s okay to feel frustrated and inadequate for those few moments, as long as you know that’s not actually true. You have to love yourself first and foremost. 

When you have a moment of weakness, allow yourself to exist in that moment. We often run from uncomfortable feelings, but I encourage you to sit with them for a beat and examine the root. These moments are a natural part of the healing process and necessary for learning how to be by yourself. 

Focus on Being Alone

If you don’t have children in the home, your newfound silence can feel deafening. An empty house can be the loneliest place on earth if you’re not careful.

It’s important that you learn to find security in the silence. Sit with it. Explore it. Whether you call it meditation, prayer, or quiet time, science has proven that dedicating time to silently focusing inward has phenomenal health benefits for the brain and body.

Use this quiet time to learn how to be happy alone. Learn how to be comfortable in your own presence. Fall in love with yourself. Engage in self-care. Finish all those projects you’ve been putting off. Do something that’s good for your soul, like volunteering or donating to a good cause. Try a new hobby. Reach out to an old friend. Start a new healthy habit.

Instead of dwelling on what’s missing in your life, fill your time with positive things.

Getting Back Out There

Whether you’re fresh off a tough break up or you’re dealing with the death of a spouse, or the heartbreak of divorce, putting yourself back out there is scary. 

It can feel like a lonely process full of uncertainty and self-doubt, but you’re not alone. Our team is dedicated to helping you navigate this journey as comfortably as possible. In addition to our proven matchmaking skills, we can provide one-on-one coaching, expectation management, and professional advice.

Reflect on your previous relationships and dating habits. What will you do differently next time? Consider what, if anything, led to the destruction of your relationship? How can you keep that from happening again?

What is it about dating that keeps you up at night? Have these hard conversations with your Matchmaker.

If it has been more than 10 years since you’ve been single, be prepared for some changes to the dating scene. Online dating and dating apps have really affected the culture and attitudes of a lot of daters. Disappearing acts like Ghosting are unfortunately a common occurrence in the digital dating space.

However, people are less likely to engage in poor dating behavior if there is a Matchmaker or other third party involved.


First Date Fears

How to Fight the First Date Fears: 4 Expert Tips

I can promise you this: every client I have ever consulted has concerns and anxieties surrounding the First Date. The most important thing to remember early on, is to remain present. Stay in the moment and just enjoy one another’s company. This is the easiest way to combat any first date fears. 

First things first. Take a deep breath and relax. When people get nervous, they talk too much. Just remember, your specially-trained matchmaker is here to help coach you through every step of the process. 

Goodbye first date fears!

Don't Put Too Much Pressure on the Situation

I often hesitate to even use the word date for a first meeting between matches. Meeting is really the better word. Date has a romantic connotation, and while matchmaking is obviously a service for people seeking romance, it would be unrealistic to expect every single first date to end in a love connection.

We can eliminate some of those first date fears simply by omitting the word date. First date fears often occur because people put an enormous amount of pressure on themselves, their date, and the situation. Some go into every encounter with the opposite sex hoping it turns into marriage and a white picket fence. Others are so picky they will write their date off in the first five minutes for something trivial.

Both of these approaches are incorrect.

Let’s think about it from a business perspective. When you were a novice in your career, you didn’t go into every single job interview expecting to not only get the job, but to retire from that company. Alternatively, would you turn down your dream job because you didn’t like the break room? 

Do Focus on the Positives

One thing I tell all of my clients going into a first date is to find three things you like, appreciate, or enjoy about the person. That’s it. Just three. But by focusing your efforts on finding positive traits in the person sitting across from you, you can overcome the silly things that put you in a negative headspace.

So you hated his shoes? If you’re really looking for lasting love, overlook the shoes. Does his lifestyle align with yours? Do you have similar goals in life? Did he make you feel safe and special? Did he match your sense of humor? Was he charming? Kind? Handsome? Punctual? Try to focus on the things about him you would like in a partner, even if you know he’s not a fit. 

Do Take Note of the Negatives

In addition to making a concerted effort to find value in your match, it’s equally important to gather information about the things you don’t like. Especially if those things enter into deal breaker territory.

If you learn she has a pet you’re highly allergic to, that’s probably not going to be a long-lasting relationship. But now, your matchmaker will know to screen for that before making any future connections. 

Take mental notes to reflect on later. Everything that happens between the two of you is data and information that will be helpful to your matchmaker in facilitating your next match. Sharing three positives in addition to all the reasons you know he or she is not The One with your matchmaker will help us in our search to find you love. 

Even bad dates are good dates, because you learn what you don’t want, and so does your Matchmaker. We use each and every interaction to fine-tune your profile, so that we can find someone who ticks off your most important boxes.

Don't Mentally Move in

We’re all human. After a few great dates with a high-quality woman, it’s nearly impossible to keep the day dreams at bay. The thoughts silently slip in, “Could this be what I’ve been searching for? Maybe she’s The One.” This is where I urge you to pause and set realistic expectations. 

There is nothing wrong with these thoughts. Dating can be and should be fun. It’s natural to have hope that this develops into a relationship filled with love and trust and acceptance, and all the things that Maslow told us humans need.

I want my clients to get butterflies and feel excited about this process, but I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I didn’t tell you to remove your foot from the gas pedal, and just take it one date at a time. 

Allow love the opportunity to grow and develop naturally without any unnecessary pressure or stress. Stay present throughout each date, give it your undivided attention, gather data, and don’t get in your own way. If you are able to do all of this, you can overcome any and all first date fears.