And damn it – I can’t.
But we’re friends now – yes – and you can understand that I’ve had a full-on day with clients and just kinda want to veg on the couch.
Plus – there is no way to pretty this topic up in my eyes – it really gets me in the goolies (look it up.) and I see it far too often.
Let’s start with some of my relationship deal breakers:
At 10 – I wanted a boyfriend – so I could tell people I had a boyfriend – but it was a deal-breaker if he actually looked at me, talked to me or in any way at all mentioned me to anyone. Gone.
At 14 – I wanted a boyfriend – who would hang off my every word and promise to love and marry me as soon as they possibly could – but have no expectations of anything physical from me at all.
At 16 – I wanted a boyfriend who had to have a cool car – mine had a wagon with curtains on the rear windows – perfect – it insinuated that we were doing the dirty. We weren’t. My partner needed to be much older (22) , gorgeous looking, and adore me. Plot spoiler – they spent every minute of our time together looking at themselves in any reflective surface possible. Buttttttttttt – my friends thought they were gorgeous so that’s all that mattered. I’d scored. I got cred at parties.
At 18 – I wanted a boyfriend who wouldn’t look at anyone else ever. Who’d give me space, but constantly be at my beck and call. Another deal-breaker was that he needed to rescue me from my family. My last boyfriend had left me for a beauty pageant winner and cheated on me – so I now knew this one couldn’t do that. They had to stay in a room – not look at anyone else, not watch TV, not read magazines and tell me that I was prettier than any beauty pageant winner. This boyfriend told me I was like Marvin the Martian in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I thought that neurotic was just another word for careful.
At 21 – I continued the theme and they had to be someone my parents would hate. I’m going to sound really bad here – but you and I are friends. He had to be a model. He had to drive a Porsche. He had to wear Country Road or Hilfiger. He had to only want me (you see a theme). His parents would love me. He would want me to have his babies (even though I didn’t want kids). He would know how to trade in shares and love playing tennis on the weekends. He would take me to expensive restaurants and exotic countries. The list went on. Like it does at 21. Did I mention it had to be someone my parents hated? ;P
At 24 – my deal-breaker? Being cheated on and being stupid. And I got to define stupid.
Harsh but true.
And the list continues. And changed hugely with every passing year.
I think at one point I had a 3-year dry spell – and at that point abandoned all my deal breakers and threw myself at my gay male bestie. He was very good-looking – so he ticked one box. Cringe.
But times gone on and – thank f&&k I came to my senses.
I have another deal-breaker that has stuck for a good 24 (ish years). And really is the same thing.
They must not in any way try and control me.
And – it follows – there must be no sign of any psychological abuse.
Not a bit. Nothing shady. No confusion.
At the start of a relationship, there is always a bit of control argy-bargy. Especially as you find your feet with each other.
This is mutual. Both people are adjusting.
One partner insisting on being the one in control is one word – TOXIC.
And often very sneaky – other people rarely see it.
If you are being controlled you might sometimes be left wondering:
“What’s going on? Am I imagining this? But last week was so good?”
I find myself discussing this deal-breaker and its implication – AND – the biggy, if it can be changed…..A LOT.
It’s one thing I talk about with my clients because it is just so important.