Dealbreakers. Sometimes they protect us. Sometimes they just get in the way.

No matter what, though, if you’ve got a list of more than 10 dealbreakers and you’re wondering why you’re not in a relationship, it’s probably not them. It’s you.

Not sure if you’re being too picky? It’s hard to tell. After all, we want what we want, and shouldn’t we be able to have it?

Well, sure. The problem is that people aren’t profiles. They’re people. You never really know until you meet someone if you’re going to be interested or not. Sometimes you just have to say “Okay, they hate Harry Potter,” suck it up and go on a date with them.

Of course, there are some things that you might not be able to bend on, no matter what. Try this as an exercise:

1. Write down everything you can’t tolerate about people, from homophobia to stinky feet.
2. Eliminate half of the items on the list, leaving only those qualities that really repulse you.
3. Now eliminate half of that list.
4. Repeat this process until you are left with 4 or 5 offenses.
5. Rank them in order of unacceptability.
6. Cross off all but the top 3.

Now, make a deal with yourself. For the next month, you will go out with anyone who messages you as long as they don’t display any of the 3 qualities on your list. And anytime you come across a profile in which the person displays none of these 3 qualities, you will message them.

Relax. It’s just an experiment. One month. If it doesn’t go well, you can go right back to being Captain NoThankYou of the Yeah Right Squad.

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