Are your deal breakers really deal breakers?

Are your deal breakers really deal breakers?

I haven’t done a lot of dating in the past year, but decided to give it a shot last week.

This guy I went out with was pretty posh! Tall, physically fit, very handsome (a full head of dark hair, with just the right amount of salt and pepper, bright blue eyes, a slight 5 o’clock shadow), 6 years younger, no children, a military general…wait for it, the British military, so a super sexy British accent.

What’s the problem, right?!?! I know! Hear me out.

The date actually went very well, there was an obvious physical attraction, the conversation was a good mix of serious and flirty, we were discovering compatibilities…and then he asks, “you don’t smoke, do you?” I shook my head no. He says, “I do, is that going to be a problem?” I’m like, “yeah, probably.” He proceeds to excuse himself to go outside for a smoke, leaving me to ponder my “deal breakers”.

He returns and the date continues, in a very pleasant manner for another hour or so. Nearing the end of the evening, I excuse myself to use the ladies room and when I return, the cheque is sitting on the table, in front of my seat. Peculiar, I think. I ponder to myself, did the server place it there (which would be out of character for most establishments), or did he move it there? Let me digress for a moment, we each had one beverage, he a beer and me a glass of wine, so we’re talking a $25 cheque. Anyway, he rises and helps me with my coat. We both stand slightly awkwardly beside the table for a moment, until he says, “I guess I should give her $10 for my beer.”

Yeah, I know, I had the same reaction!

I pay my share and we proceed to the parking lot, we are parked beside one another, he asks if he can kiss me, I agree. It’s a perfectly lovely kiss. We say good night and go our separate ways.

An hour or so later…

Him: I had a really great time tonight, Temple, thank you. You’re an interesting person and very pretty. I hope we can see each other again.
Me: I had a lovey time too, but I have to be honest, I was disappointed you didn’t pick up the cheque. I don’t expect that all the time, but on the first date…?
Him: I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that would bother you. Let me make it up to you. I would be gutted if I didn’t see you again. (Direct quote)
Me: …

Next morning…

Him: Good morning, Temple. I hope you have a great day!
Me: …

Later that day…

Him: So, are we ever going to see each other again, Temple?
Me: …

No, I’m kidding, I responded.

Long story short, he asked if he could take me for dinner and drinks the next night, I initially agreed, but a few hours before the date, I backed out.

I had spent the following day attempting to convince myself to give him another chance, but as the day when on, I realized I just wasn’t that motivated to see him again. He ‘looked good on paper’, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

Why? Because he smoked? Because he didn’t pick up the cheque? Because he lived in a different city?

I asked myself, are these deal breakers for me? They appear to be, because I seem to be turned off by them, at least with this guy. This guy who, save those few minor things, could hardly be any more appealing…on paper.

Then I thought about another guy I met about 3 years ago and dated for a while. Also tall, physically fit, very handsome, with a great profession. However, he had 10 year old twins, he smoked when he drank, and he lived in a city an hour and a half away. Now, having said that, I felt such a strong connection with this guy (on an emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual level), I was more than willing to overlook those things. Conclusion, they obviously weren’t deal breakers for me, not with him, anyway.

So, I reiterate, “are your deal breakers, really deal breakers?” Or are they strong preferences? Which are certainly important, but should we be placing less stock in these seemingly superficial matters and more emphasis on the overall compatibility and connection we feel with someone?

Disclaimer: There are blatantly obvious deal breakers, like violence, toward you or your children; criminal behavior; and debilitating addiction, to name a few. At least, if they’re not deal breakers for you, they should be! And that’s a whole other topic I am not equipped to address.

But, I digress, I’m simply referring to the subjective things we judge one another on, like height; body type; profession; or any number of other superficial matters. Recognizing, of course, these things can certainly impact our compatibility with someone, but are they in perspective?

I mean, ideally, I hope to meet a rock star of a guy, who checks off all my “strong preference” boxes (and none of my ‘for real’ deal breakers) AND who I feel an undeniable emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual connection with. And a sexy accent wouldn’t hurt, either. Just sayin’…

But my point is this, as I move forward, I am determined to spend less time evaluating a guy on the superficial qualities I may have placed too much emphasis on in the past, and more time focusing on our overall compatibility and connection.

Would you date yourself?

Would you date yourself?

We all have standards we expect a potential partner to meet and subjective measures of the qualities we look for in a mate, based on our personal preferences and beliefs.

Perhaps a general checklist of age, height, fitness level, attractiveness, education, professional success, financial health, talent, pedigree, social status, geography, etc. to more substantial qualities like skilled communicator, respectful, respected, loyal, honest, responsible, ambitious, has children, wants children, parenting style, spiritual beliefs, etc.

Have you ever measured yourself against those standards? Are you the person you want your potential partner to be? Would you date yourself?

If we’re honest with ourselves and the answer is no, then the chances of us measuring up to that person’s standards and desired qualities aren’t great.

If the goal is to attract that ideal partner into our lives, we should first do the work to be the person we’d like to date.

The end result will be a much healthier and happier us, accomplishing two things: 1. we will be much more content and complete on our own and won’t be as desperate to be partnered; and 2. we will be much more likely to attract our ideal mate into our life, because we will be the person they want to date.

So, I ask again, would you date yourself? It’s certainly a question I’ve been asking myself lately and I’m not afraid to admit that the answer isn’t always a resounding yes. I’ve got some work to do.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and experience with me in the comments or by email at

What is love?

What is love?

What does being in love mean to you? No really, think about that for a minute, before you answer.

I thought I knew what love, or being in love, meant to me, but I was wrong. Maybe you’ve got it all figured out and you’re good. If that’s the case, then I’m pleased for you! But I didn’t…and I don’t.

Nothing is mysterious, no human relation. Except love.

Susan Sontag

You see, when I was 16, my parents separated. It was messy, as was their entire marriage. My mother and I moved out, she promptly sat me down and through her bitterness, cautioned me to “never, ever become dependent on a man!” So, like an obedient daughter, I didn’t. I remained detached and aloof, just enough to protect myself from heartbreak, through every relationship I’ve ever had, my entire life.

Until recently.

I met and began to date an absolutely amazing guy. We hadn’t been dating very long when he professed his love for me. This wasn’t a new experience – a man expressing his love to me, but this time was different. This time I felt something for him I’d never felt before. Mercy sakes! Talk about uncharted territory. Well it took a while, but eventually, I returned the sentiment.

What I didn’t realize, was that I had all kinds of expectations attached to being in love.

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.

Katherine Hepburn

My brain was programmed to a certain definition of love.

You know the one. Meet, fall in love, get married (or in this day and age, perhaps move in together first), buy the house, complete with white picket fence. Yes, that’s the one!

If he’s in love me, he must want those things, right? And if I’m in love with him, then I must want those things, too. After all, that’s what people who are in love do, isn’t it?

Or maybe not!

Maybe that’s right for some people and maybe eventually, it’ll be right for us, I don’t know. But the beauty of it is, we don’t need to know, not right now.

We have a fantastic friendship, an abundance of fun together, a super cool combined group of friends, a compatible approach to parenting, a healthy respect for one another’s time and space, and a bodice-ripping sex life! 😉 So yeah, things are pretty great, just as they are.

Am I “in love” with him? Honestly? I don’t know. Because I had to “fall in love” to realize I didn’t actually know what being in love really meant…to me.

I don’t know if he’s the perfect man for me – my forever, but he’s my Mr. Right now and right now, he’s perfect for me.

And I love that about him!

The giving of love is an education in itself.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Why can’t we be that couple?

Why can’t we be that couple?

One Christmas, a few years ago, I was dating a very sweet guy and he arranged a romantic date at a local ranch. Dinner for two, wine, a box of chocolates and a single red rose, but first a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Everyone was inside the big tent, drinking hot chocolate, waiting for the sleigh to be ready. As we all filed outside, to my delight, he and I were ushered over to a private sleigh for two. As we got settled under the wool blanket, hot chocolate in hand, he leaned in and said “we’re that couple!” Read More

Ask Temple!

Ask Temple!
I often find myself in situations where folks come to me for advice or to be a sounding board and provide guidance on how I might approach a similar situation. I’d like to start sharing those conversations with you, in hopes they help others going through the same thing.

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