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 which your Boundaries v. 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 a 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.


Handle Rejection Like a Boss

How to Handle Rejection Like a Boss

The first step in learning how to handle rejection like a boss is to reframe the way you talk about and think about rejection.

You did not get rejected. Your proposal was rejected.

If you proposed going on a date and they declined, that’s okay.

If you proposed taking your relationship to the next level and they ghosted, that’s okay.

Unless you shared way too much information and downloaded your life story, they barely even know you. They are more or less a stranger, so don’t let them define you. Allow their disinterest or disapproval to roll right off your back.

Even if you proposed marriage and they ran away crying, it’s still going to be okay. 

Rejection is not a reflection of you or your character.

Don’t Take it Personally

It wasn’t a good match, but that doesn’t mean either of you are bad people.

Even after a few dates, you don’t know someone well enough to make a full judgement; that’s why we always encourage our clients to give each match a minimum of three dates.

It is likely there are a number of both external and internal factors that contributed to the rejection. And you probably have control over little to none of them. For instance, maybe they’re already in a relationship, or they just got dumped.

Neither of those things have anything to do with you. It’s not that they don’t want to date you. They don’t want to date anyone. If you learn to handle rejection like a boss, it won’t negatively affect you.

There’s a good chance it’s not even about you. Don’t spend your time worrying about things that are out of your control. On the other hand, you should be open to listening to their reason rejecting you as well as any respectful feedback. 

Feel the Feelings

A study at the University of Michigan using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans, found that rejection actually activates the same parts of the brain as physical pain.

According to Dr. Winch, this suggests an evolutionary advantage to experiencing the pain of rejection.

"This phenomenon is a legacy of our hunter-gatherer past, when we lived in nomadic tribes. Back when a person couldn't survive alone without their tribe, "rejection served as an early warning system that alerted us we were in danger of being ostracized—of being voted off the island."

If someone reacts to your proposal with abuse or threats, if they try to belittle or degrade you—just get out of the situation as quickly and safely as you can. All that should do is prove you don’t want to be with someone who behaves that way. Don’t spend a moment of your time worrying about them or their issues.

I truly hope that hasn’t been your experience. And if you’ve ever rejected someone’s proposal in that way, shame on you.

Just because your rejection wasn’t abusive, doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Take some time to sit with your feelings

Work on Yourself

Dr. Guy Winch is a psychologist and the author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts.

According to Dr. Winch, the best thing to do after a break up is: make a list of all the negative qualities or bad habits that you didn’t appreciate about your ex. Whenever you feel sad or lonely, every time you get the urge to call, read through the list.

This will also help you to manifest positive traits in your next relationship

It’s important to be strong in your self-esteem and confidence, otherwise every superficial interaction will have undue influence over your well-being.

On the other hand, you should be open to listening to their reason rejecting you as well as any respectful feedback. Reflect on the situation. Did you make a remark that made them uncomfortable? Did you listen to your best friend’s well-intended but bad advice?

You can own your part of the rejection, and accept responsibility without getting into a negative self-talk mindframe. 

Next time, you’ll be able to handle rejection like a boss. 

In the words of Ariana Grande—

Thank you, next.


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.


frustrated man

Professional Matchmaking: How to Never Get Ghosted Again

If you have spent any amount of time in the dating scene over the past few years, chances are you have heard of the ghosting phenomenon. Hopefully, you aren’t guilty of ghosting anyone, and likewise have not been the victim of a ghost. At Executive Matchmakers, our priority is helping you find genuine, lasting love, so you never get ghosted again.

Did you know that over half of today’s daters have first-hand experience with ghosting?

What exactly does it mean to get ghosted?

Ghosting is the sudden, unexpected cease of all communication from one party within a relationship. Although the term is new, it wasn’t born through dating apps, and it isn’t a new concept.

I assume you have heard the cliché of a father who went out for cigarettes and never came back—that guy ghosted his whole family. It’s not specific to romantic relationships either, we all know a guy who ditches his friends whenever he gets a girlfriend.

The most common form of ghosting can be explained by the following scenario:

You matched with a woman online and shared a number of pleasant chats. You ask for her number and eventually to meet in person. After a few dates and weeks of FaceTiming, she suddenly stops responding to your texts. She dodges your calls, and bails on your weekend plans. You assume she’s caught up in work and give it a week or so before you start to worry. Eventually, you ask her what went wrong, but you get no answer. You’re then left wondering if you did something wrong, she met someone else, or even if she died. 

This is an emotionally painful situation to find yourself in. You may have been the perfect gentleman and said all the right things, but she just didn’t see a future with you for one reason or another. Unfortunately, she was unable to communicate that to you—so she ghosted.

It’s really important to remember if someone ghosts you, that behavior says more about them than you. It’s about their discomfort.” -Dr. Jennice Vilhauer

Why do I keep getting ghosted?

I’m a firm believer that most negative behavior stems from a basis of fear. When humans are afraid, they respond with either fight, flight, or freeze. Ghosting is a combination of the latter two. The ghost freezes communication because she’s afraid of the outcome if the relationship continues, and she flees from the situation in order to avoid difficult conversations or unwanted outcomes.

Fear isn’t the only reason women ghost though. Maybe she’s busy with her career or her family. She could be going through a rough time, either mentally or physically. I think we can all agree, COVID-19 has thrown everyone into a bit of a crisis. Maybe she met someone unexpectedly or an ex came back into her life. And there’s the hardest pill of all to swallow: she’s just not that into you.

But what is she afraid of?

Perhaps it’s a fear of rejection. A sort of get them before they get me first approach. People with this method of dating are not in the right mindset for a long-lasting, committed relationship anyway. Someone who has a pattern of leaving before they get left, will never stay long enough to work through the hard stuff that life tends to throw at us.

One of the most common fears that cause women to ghost is the fear of retaliation. We have been socialized and trained to play nice and never offend a man’s ego. Because of that, some women were simply never taught a polite but effective way to turn down a man’s advances.

How many comedies play off of a woman’s inability to kindly reject a man who buys her a drink at a bar, when she’s clearly not interested in him? There is more truth in that than most of us would like to admit.

Unfortunately, there is a darker side to this fear of retaliation. And that is the very real threat of violence and abuse women have historically experienced at the hands of men with bruised pride.

If the woman who ghosted you has been a victim of or a witness to abuse in her lifetime, try not to take it personally. She probably has a level of fear that revolves around her interactions with men, and ghosting feels like a safer alternative.

Is she too busy or just lazy?

Honestly, does it matter? Whether she’s hustling in her career working 80-hour weeks, or has been on her couch in the same pair of sweatpants all weekend—the fact is she hasn’t made time for you in her life. She may be actively ignoring you, AKA ghosting, or she may just have a mile-long priority list that doesn’t include you.

Will one scenario sting less than the other? I doubt it. It hurts when someone you were developing feelings for doesn’t reciprocate, no matter what the circumstances are.

That being said, I’m a proponent of second chances. If she reaches out with an apology and a valid explanation for being absent, why not give it one more date? That is if you still see potential in the relationship, of course.

How do I never get ghosted again?

Well, there are no guarantees in life, but matchmaking is a smarter, safer way to meet people.

The use of dating apps has created a lot of lazy daters. We pick up our phones and sometimes getting a date is as easy as ordering a pizza. If we don’t catch the other person’s attention within a few messages, they get bored and move on to the next app. We have thousands of possible matches in our pocket. We may give it a few dates, and if that person doesn’t blow our mind, we start swiping again.

It’s all pretty indicative of where we are as a society in terms of instant gratification.

But there is good news! There are alternatives to the monotony of endless swiping, texting, and eventual ghosting. There are better, safer, more efficient ways to date in 2020. At Executive Matchmakers, we have years of experience matching like-minded singles who go on to happy, healthy, long-lasting relationships.

The main reason that ghosting is so prevalent in recent years, is because we’re meeting complete strangers at an unprecedented rate. Previous generations met their mates through mutual friends, family members, church, work, and school. They typically had at least one other person in common with their date. 

Take the following situation for example:

Let’s say your Aunt set you up with a young woman from her church. If you were rude on your first date, or you completely disappeared on the woman, it’s likely that she will complain to your Aunt about your behavior. Your Aunt would then hold you accountable and you would face consequences. 

When you date strangers from the internet with no mutual connections, there is little to no accountability, and people feel free to behave in ways they probably wouldn’t if their Aunt was privy to the situation.

People are less likely to ghost if there is an additional person they have to answer to...like a matchmaker.

Your personal matchmaker will not only work to match you with your ideal partner, but she will also follow up with you and your matches to provide her expert coaching and advice. Our priority is helping you find genuine, lasting love so you never get ghosted again.