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How And When To Discuss Relationship Deal Breakers

Everyone has something they consider to be a deal breaker; some even have several things. And those people who say they don't have any deal breakers most definitely do, they've just been fortunate enough to never come face-to-face with them.

It's important to have deal breakers, which fall somewhere between standards and boundaries. Everyone needs those when it comes to dating and relationships (via Zoosk). "We all come to the table with varying needs, experiences, and childhoods that make some deal breakers [specific] to us," New York-based licensed psychotherapist Raina Wadhawan tells The Zoe Report.

But as much as deal breakers are necessary factors when it comes to picking and keeping a partner, there comes a time when you actually have to sit down and talk to your partner about those deal breakers. Because if there's something about them that you're not into, there's a chance it can be tweaked a bit, so you want to get on that stat. There's also a good chance your partner has some bones to pick with you, too.

Figure out what you consider a deal breaker

Deal breakers come in multiple sizes. There are the major ones like having political beliefs that don't align, and the minor ones, like having a partner who blows their nose so loudly it sounds like a trumpet on its last leg. But while the noisy trumpet nose may be annoying, it's probably not as upsetting as, say, your partner being on one side of a protest march while you're staunchly on the other.

"It's not always possible to know what all of your deal breakers are in advance, because sometimes we need a bit of practice and experience dating to figure out what we do—and don't—want," Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist at The Kinsey Institute, tells Self.

The first step in knowing what your deal breakers are is thoughtfully considering what you're willing to tolerate and what is an absolute no-no. People can easily learn to lower the volume of their nose-blowing, but being on opposing sides when it comes to fundamental rights, for example, could be a different story. "Attraction and chemistry are great, but what happens when looks fade and the spark wears off?" relationship expert Rachel DeAlto tells Insider. "If your potential partner differs significantly on a core value, the relationship can be doomed."

How and when to address your deal breakers

As is the case with any big conversation in a relationship, consider the time and space before broaching the subject. According to Popsugar, effective communication is best achieved when you have taken into account the headspace of both parties. "Ideally, you want to have a deal breaker conversation when both parties are calm and not in a heightened emotional state, when both people are centered and grounded," says relationship therapist Jamie Bronstein, LCSW.

Once you're both at ease, start the chat and choose your words and tone wisely. Using feeling language, according to Bustle, can only improve the quality of your communication. Reassure your partner that you love and care for them, then "move into expressing how you are feeling and honor what's in your heart and on your mind," Bronstein says. "Use statements like 'I'm not comfortable with' or 'I'm feeling hurt because' versus 'You are untrustworthy.' Judgment is a relationship killer, and it puts the other person on defense."

No one is perfect, nor should we want anyone to be. But people do have quirks and they can quickly become annoying. Addressing your deal breakers with your partner early on is a sign of a healthy relationship and can help avoid issues in the future.