In Love and War: Dealbreakers

Love is a choice. This is a lesson I have learned within the past year and it will be a lesson I will continue to try and comprehend day by day with the person I love. What I mean by love being a choice is that the honeymoon stage between you and your lover will inevitably fade and flaws will be exposed.

During this dating phase, you discover your partner’s character and personality traits — what works with you and what doesn’t. There are the obvious deal breakers. Dishonesty and unfaithfulness are a few that fall under this category. But there are also a few sneaky attributes that may seem tolerable now as we go about our days as a sleep-deprived college student but, will cause problems in the future when the reality of adult life begins to settle in and your relationship is taken to the next level.

From my experience and hearing the relationship troubles of family and friends, here are a few overlooked character traits that should be considered as deal breakers as well.

Beware of addictions. If someone is hooked on drinking, gambling, pot, food, work, porn or any other similar vice, this person is not available. The addict needs to fight this battle through their own personal realizations and not through your epiphanies for him or her. There is a line you must stop at before you get too involved as the fixer-upper. A person needs to know how to truly love him/herself before they can love others. I come from a broken family full of addictions. My father had a gambling, drinking and smoking addiction. My mother was just too deep into the relationship to know how to say no and get out. My father’s addiction drove our family into a bottomless pit of financial debts, pain and years of tears. Addictions come from the brokenness of one’s soul and unless they learn to fight their battle and overcome it, they will end up breaking some part of you in the long run.

Arrogance. I believe there are different types and levels of arrogance. The arrogance I am referring to is the type to constantly talk down to people and find pleasure in others’ misfortunes. Generally, these people think they are always right. They normally do not listen nor value your opinion. Arrogance and close-mindedness go hand in hand. You do not want to date someone who will not try to understand your side of the story or see things in a different light because when it comes down to it, they will not know how to compromise through the unavoidable problems life decides to impulsively throw at the two of you.

Lack of Passion. You want to be with someone who lives their life for something bigger than themselves. People who lack passion are generally lazy and do not want to put in the work. If they lack enthusiasm in their own lives, what makes you think they will have passion for an “us?” Being with an indolent couch potato can weigh you down and can make you forget about your personal goals and dreams. Be with someone who challenges you, someone who inspires you to be a better you through their passions and the way they live their everyday life.

Choose your relationships wisely. Find out the flaws of your significant other and recognize if they are or are not willing to work through them. At the end of the day, love is a choice for both parties. The best relationships are not only about the good times you share, they are also about the obstacles you battle through and overcome together, and the fact that you still say “I love you” and show it at the end of each day.