Author Topic: When To Share the Deal Breakers?  (Read 6616 times)

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LadyR

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When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« on: September 15, 2011, 04:19:13 PM »
At what point in a new realtionship is it a good idea to mention the non-negotiables? Things that could be deal breakers?

Example, on our first date DH explained that he could/would not get married/raise children outside of his faith. I was not a member of that faith, but open to converting. I appreciated knowing from the start and felt like I was able to make the decision to continue our relationship knowing that if it got serious, this would come up again. If I'd been super committed to the faith I was raised in, I would have walked away right then.

My bff doesn't want children. This is non-negotiable. She makes it clear from the 2nd or 3rd date and a lot of times it's meant the relationship has stopped, because a lot of men our age (late 20s) do want children. She feels she's wasting their time and hers if she doesn't put it out there.


Judah

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 04:24:11 PM »
I think it's one of those things you have to play by ear because it depends on so many factors.  Are both parties clear about expectations?  Is this relationship a prelude to marriage?  If it is, and you know that early on, I'd get the non-negotiables out in the open early.  Are you just looking for companionship/fun?  I'd wait longer.  For me, it depends on the nature of the relationship and the nature of the deal breaker. 
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

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SiotehCat

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 04:26:57 PM »
I would do it immediately. Even before the first date.

Judah

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 04:45:17 PM »
I think it's one of those things you have to play by ear because it depends on so many factors.  Are both parties clear about expectations?  Is this relationship a prelude to marriage?  If it is, and you know that early on, I'd get the non-negotiables out in the open early.  Are you just looking for companionship/fun?  I'd wait longer.  For me, it depends on the nature of the relationship and the nature of the deal breaker.

I wanted to expand on my own post a bit because I think the OP's question is a really good and important one. 

I would never have married someone that didn't share my faith, but I dated plenty of guys who's religion or lack of I didn't even know because it didn't matter in that particular relationship.  If I thought things were getting serious, I'd have brought it up. 

One of the guys I dated seriously decided he wanted to go into a line of work that I couldn't support.  It was not illegal or immoral, but it would have led to a lifestyle that I didn't want.  If we had not been serious it wouldn't have mattered, but were starting to talk about a future together, so I told him how I felt the moment he brought it up. 

I never even bothered to date anyone with kids because that wouldn't have worked for me at any level of relationship.

So, for me, it depends.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

magician5

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 05:40:54 PM »
Sometimes it slips by you entirely unnoticed:

I was talking over deep thoughts with my wife of 25 years maybe a year ago, and I mentioned that a desire for children was one of my deal-makers (if a woman had no desire for kids, then that ruled her out for me). She said she had no idea that was one of my requirements! I can't imagine how that slipped by, but since I'd found out on the first date that she really wanted kids, then maybe I checked off that item on my mental list and never brought it up again.

BTW, the boys are 20 and 24 now, and they're fantastic!
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WillyNilly

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 05:50:42 PM »
This is actually one of the reasons I loved online dating.  Because I could put the stuff out there on my profile and I could check out the guy's info on his profile, and any info not on one of our profiles was easy to bring up "So I noticed you left he 'want kids' line blank on your profile, any reason for that?"

So basically I guess my point is that info needs to get out ASAP, best before the first date, but at least on the first or second date.  I know I really, really resented a guy I dated for a long time who knew stuff about me and knew I was looking for a serious-leads-to-marriage relationship and only months later into the relationship let it out "oh.  I could never marry you.  You [insert some personal info about me]."

I have friendly if not close relationships with most of my ex boyfriends.  Even the ones I never, ever see I hope good things for... except that one.  He can [insert non ehell approved terrible things here] for all I care.

Its ok to want different things, its not ok to not communicate that.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 07:46:29 PM »
There are dealbreakers (same religion, no kids, etc.) and dealbreakers (K, he has to be tall, and really, really, cute, and I will never live in a weird state). I think the major ones need to be put out there very early on (ideally before scrabble and all the emotions that go with it) and the other ones are more 'wish list' and best kept to one's self. Personally, I would NEVER have lived in NJ, much less married a man with 3 young children, if you'd asked me - but I fell for the guy, so what are you gonna do? However, I have not - and will not - convert for him, nor would he ever ask me to (but I did get him to switch to my political party, so score one for me).

And I will add the following - flexibility and compromise in a long-term relationship are key. The children (when I met the King) were obviously being raised in his religion. I have some issues with some of the tenets of his religion and he & I strongly disagree, but I agreed to continue to raise the children as such and will do so. But if they ask me my opinion, I am honest - and the King is cool with that.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 07:49:11 PM by QueenofAllThings »

jessikast

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 08:02:39 PM »
Religion - my now-fiance and I had a conversation on our second date in which we established that neither of us were reigious AT ALL and were on the same page about it. I don't know that I would have found it a dealbreaker to date someone with a faith, as long as they didn't expect me to participate in it beyond polite acknowledgement. (My ex was a wee bit Wiccan/spiritual. It's not my thing at all, but I was happy to support her if it made her happy and it was something that she needed in her life that I didn't.)

It was a relief for us both to get it sorted quickly, because it meant there wasn't any akward, "Oops, did I just offend terribly?!" moments if we blasphemed!

Winterlight

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 08:26:21 PM »
If either of us is going into this relationship looking for marriage/permanency, then I think dealbreakers should be on the table early on. I want to know if he's a devout Catholic who attends Mass daily and expects his wife and children to attend as well. I want to know if he hates dogs. By the same token, he should be made aware that I'm Jewish with pagan leanings, do not want children and have no interest in converting. Neither of us is wrong- we're just wrong for each other.
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Gabrielle

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 11:36:18 PM »
Before they become important.
I.e. I discussed kids and my views on abortion before scrabble with BF, because if I got pregnant I knew exactly what I was going to do If he wasn't ok with that he wasn't suitable to be my BF.
Also generally just before you are too committed to leave - I've seen lots of people find out dealbreaking info about their SO but they are already in love by then and can't make themselves leave. It hardly ever works out

Texas Mom

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2011, 11:49:33 PM »
I would do it immediately. Even before the first date.

When I was single, I did.

It was much easier to weed them out on the front end than to even waste two or three hours of my time.

shhh its me

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2011, 12:07:46 AM »
  It depends on how you met..............any sort of dating service online or otherwise the dealbreakers should be right out in the open. friend introduce you?  hopefully your friends know that you are an atheist/Christan and would never consider dating an christian/atheist (or whatever) not everything but at least the top 3, you start as friends/coworkers? hopefully you've had a conversation or two about your personal philosophies before dating (not necessarily before having a coffee together) I guess acquaintances met up would be the most fraught?  Then I think you converse some things will become apparent like in Magiccat's case, you don't need to say " I will only consider marring a person who want kids." to someone who has said " Having kids is very important to me" KWIM?  Things that are very important to you , you just seem to naturally talk about.

Spoder

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2011, 12:19:02 AM »
I would do it immediately. Even before the first date.

When I was single, I did.

It was much easier to weed them out on the front end than to even waste two or three hours of my time.

I dunno...someone asks you out for a drink, and you're going to say 'Sure, that'd be great! I just have to tell you, though, I'd never get married outside a church and I want to try for at least 2 children. See you Friday!  :D'

I'm being a bit facetious (and hey, you guys are married and I'm not, so I do value your ideas), but....how does that work? The dude's going to run a mile, no?

Allyson

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2011, 02:30:19 AM »
Oddly, it's never come up with me very much--maybe because I have tended to date within my circle of friends, and we're all either not or not *very* religious, and tend to have similar views on a lot of things about lifestyle etc (for instance i could never date someone racist/homophobic, but that's not likely to happen in my social circle.) As for kids, I'm not really sold either way, though leaning towards no, if only because I feel like I shouldn't do it unless I *really* want to. But if I'd happened to fall in love with someone who really wanted kids, I'd consider it. The only thing I do make clear right away is that if I'm dating someone I want to be exclusive. Lots of open relationships among my friends, and while I don't have any moral issues with it, I've tried it and it's not for me!

blarg314

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Re: When To Share the Deal Breakers?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2011, 02:51:05 AM »

It's a tricky one.

Mention a deal-breaker too early and you'll scare off even people who agree with you.  I can't imagine someone saying to me "Hey, want to go for dinner some night?  If you want to have kids, I'd like to get to know you better" and actually agreeing to go out with the guy.  It's just way too intense, and gives off the vibe that he isn't particularly interested in me, it's mainly my reproductive organs he wants to get to know better. Same with going out for a first date, and having someone tell me they are only interested in dating women who want kids - I agreed to have dinner with you, that's a long way from discussing me bearing your children.

On an online dating system it's different, because those things are directly listed on your profile, so you're pre-screening before even contacting someone.

On the other hand, if you leave it too long, you risk getting invested in someone who is incompatible.

I think that the best way is to have it come up in discussion as you get to know each other - religion, kids, preferred lifestyle, etc, along with your backgrounds and interests.