Are You Tired of Dating? Ready for a Relationship?
Stay Focused on What’s Actually Important to you with this Dating Deal-Breakers Checklist
Complete this Checklist Before Going on Your First Date
Some people really enjoy dating, but most do not.
It’s nerve-wracking to meet new people and have no idea how it’s going to play out. Will you be sitting through the obligatory cup of coffee even though you know there’s going to be no second date? What if you fall for someone who isn’t attracted to you?
In the midst of the process, you might miss the most important point of the date in the first place.
One of the biggest dating mistakes you can make is to forget why you’re going through all this in the first place.
This Deal-Breaker Checklist is a tool for you to think about your priorities proactively instead of reactively. It’s worth it to take the time to clarify what’s important to you so that you don’t waste your time.
Define Your Deal-Breakers
Some people have so many deal-breakers that they have trouble meeting someone who’s worthy enough, and others don’t have enough deal-breakers and they find themselves in unhealthy relationships. I want to help you find a balance so you are neither alone, nor settling.
It’s crucial for you to take a step back and think about the qualities that you are looking for right now.
Instructions for the Dating Deal-Breakers Checklist
- Choose the five most important qualities that matter to you in your dating life right now.
- Try to be as honest with yourself as possible. There is no need to feel guilty about what is on or not on your list.
- Remember, this is not an equal opportunity hiring situation. You get to make up your own rules and choose the person you want to date
- Don’t choose an item from the list because it’s an important quality to someone else (ie your family or friends). This is YOUR LIST.
- Notice the instructions say “Qualities that matter to you RIGHT NOW”. Context is important. If you’re looking for a life partner your list will be very different than if you’re looking for someone to have fun with over the summer.
- Try to focus your attention on what you DO want, not what you DON’T want. This isn’t a process of elimination. For example you DO want someone who has a good sense of humor vs you DON”T want someone boring.
- I know 5 might seem like a difficult number. No worries, if you can’t narrow it down, take this list and rank the items in order of importance to you.
- Feel free to grab a whole new piece of paper and add items that aren’t on the list. This tool is just a starting off point to help you get in a different head-space.
Once You’re Out on the Date
As a couples therapist, there are some things I can help you with and some things that are simply there or not there.
Bring a mental copy of your checklist. It’s your job to pay attention to whether your date has the five things on your list (and hopefully lots of bonus qualities as well). Pretend you’re shopping for a specific outfit for a specific occasion. Try not to get distracted by the other things on the rack.
If I were a fly on the wall, observing your date, I’d be paying attention to different things. I’d be looking to see whether your date is listening closely to what you’re saying. Are they asking questions? Do they genuinely seem interested in the answers to your questions? Are they talking about other people in their lives with respect? Are they speaking with a general sense of judgement? Are they curious about YOU?
One More Resource for You (especially if you checked off Ability to Communicate)
As you can see, communication is super important to me. That was one of my top five. (I married a couples therapist who is one of the most compassionate, empathic people I’ve ever met. I remind myself of this when I’m annoyed that he has no interest in learning how to fix drywall).
I’ve put together a quick empathy training course. It’s designed to teach people how to talk to one another so they feel understood. For your purposes, I think it will be helpful for you to evaluate whether or not your date has a natural tendancy toward empathy.
Also, these guidelines might also be helpful for you on the date to remember how important empathy is in both directions.
It’s a free audio course that will take you less than 15 minutes to listen to:
Hope you found this article helpful, and good luck our there in the Wide World of Dating!