We all have our pros and cons, as do our partners. For the single people amongst us, prospective partners most definitely do. There may be something which happens during a relationship, past, present or future which seals the deal or shatters it to smithereens.
Here, a few members of the Kiki crew spell out what makes or breaks it for them when it comes to picking someone to snuggle up on the sofa with.
My Deal Makers and Breakers
I recently spent a weekend on a Divorce Retreat (more on that to come in the near future). One of the exercises we carried out was a fun game of ‘design your own partner’ – the ultimate list of what we’re looking for – and what we will steer clear from to avoid ending up in heartbreak hotel once again. Here’s mine.
A fruit loop: For me, a future partner needs to have a healthy dose of wacky to keep me on my toes. Personality and bags of it are the order of the day. Someone who I can laugh with until my belly hurts. But, also someone who I can cry with until all of my mascara has run away.
Ambitious: I am a working mum. I will always be a working mum. I am not passing comment on parents who don’t spend some of their week in an office. Parenting is the hardest job I have and I totally understand the numbers do not add up for some – both literally and otherwise. But, the working mum life is for me and long may that continue. I need a partner who will not only understand that but support me and push me to do my best, no matter what the task at hand is.
Shared values and interests: I need someone on my wavelength. I may not be the most avid reader of a daily newspaper but morals and values appear in everyday life – and my future Mr. Right needs to share a worldview with me. It would be handy if those values extended to everything from choice in music, film, and books too.
Emotional unavailability: Life with me can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster – in both the good ways and the bad. Whilst I don’t want someone who I will clash with because of that, I need someone who gets it because sometimes it happens to them too. Stupid society makes some men feel that they can’t truly express their emotions – I call bulls*hit on that. It’s also definitely not how I am raising my son, TJ.
Negativity: Quite naturally, I am a ‘cup is half full’ sort of person. Even in the wake of a divorce which came with more than the loss of a husband, I optimistically looked to the future and what new opportunities would present themselves. I try to do the same for my friends and family if they are in difficult situations. Negativity begets negativity, and I don’t have time for that in my life anymore.
Unhealthy living: OK, so I am no gym bunny – toddler parenting is workout enough for me. I may also enjoy the odd glass of wine or five after a hectic week. But, heavy smoking, daily drinking, and a consistently poor diet are all major no-nos for me. Respect me and your body – and we will be on to a winner.
Michelle’s Deal Makers and Breakers
They say you don’t really know a person until you start dating. I would say that whilst this is true the same rule can be applied once you move in together, get married and become parents. I have given it some thought in terms for me when you start seeing or dating someone what would be the absolute deal makers & deal breakers. Now let’s be clear, I wouldn’t be measuring a guy up to these as some sort of check or shopping list and expect him to tick every box. For me, it more about setting a standard for myself. If even one thing stood out to me about a person, it would help me to see if there was potential or ultimately be a non-starter.
- Someone who is honest & open
- Someone who doesn’t hide his affections towards me (even when around friends or family)
- Someone who is kind hearted
- Someone who champions and supports my successes (because deep down he wants to see me do well & success doesn’t
- scare him)
- Someone who is interested in growing with me
- Someone who tries to belittle me (and they also relish in doing so in the company of others)
- Someone who is manipulative.
- Someone who threatens the relationship all of the time.
- Someone who treats everything like it’s an attack on them.
- Someone who looks to cause confrontation, inflict damage and not solve any issues that might arise.
For me, these are just a handful of things to be mindful of and obviously on the deal maker front totally give him recognition for!! On the deal maker side of things, these are just non-negotiable, if a guy were to display traits like this!! If I’m being honest with myself I wouldn’t want to be around them or have my children around them for that matter. I don’t think you can fall for someone based on their skin, status or money. Give me their personality, their smile and their humour…I’ll show you a woman in love.
Sabena’s Deal Makers and Breakers
As far as relationships go, I have never really understood them. Always feeling forced into some sort of affinity with another person of the opposite sex in my case was tedious and very restrictive.
Years of what I look at as experimenting with a variety of cocks, ended up with me actually falling in love with one and ultimately losing my heart to it! I say the cock because the person was so unavailable. Needless to say, it led to my 2-year sabbatical into self and chastisement as I rediscovered myself whilst figuring out what I needed to be happy, without the help of a man or any other body.
My mind and body cleansed, I decided to cautiously get back into the dating world. Mind you I had spent the last few years exploring my clit and every aspect of my body that no one could ever fulfil, my standards were set pretty high. I said good luck to the next man in my life and here is what I unconsciously required to fill the gaps in my life.
Understanding, because my life was intricate. I was a foreign student with a short-term visa that was about to expire. I was not about to fall in love and then leave the country, so the new man would need to be someone to reveal my ‘breakers’, as swiftly as possible.
Kindness should be at the top of my list. This is a trait not many people have and is essential for me to have any sort of respect for you. Many men had fallen wrath to my lack of patience for a ‘meanie’. I dated a doctor who walked past a person who had fallen at a tube station, said he didn’t care because he was off duty! Respect lost straight away.
Freedom of self. I hate restrictions and I am utterly conscious of allowing people around me that sense of freedom. I am happy to improve if ever the situation arises but there are certain aspects of who I am that are non-negotiable, one being my fashion sense and music (I love Kelis and not everyone gets her, thus my sense of style).
Conversation. If I will be spending the rest of my life with you, it is nearly vital for a life with me to have meaningful conversations with you. If I needed a wall to talk to I would marry one.
Consciousness. During my sabbatical, I became extremely conscious of the world around me and what I needed to keep peace in my life. Bringing someone new into my world was daunting, I had just recycled some junk and a fresh start meant a fresh person. Question was, could I attract them?
Selfishness. When you have another person in your life, you have to become selfless at times. Having children with them means we both have to do so most of the time, I was not about to do it on my own.
Entrapment. As per above, freedom is key to my existence. My mind and body included.
Close minded. This can be so detrimental to growth. If he can’t find ways to develop new ways of thinking and evolve, well, he will get left behind.
8 Years later I’m married to the man who fits all the ‘makers’ I need to live a happy and fulfilled life. I write this now knowing that we had to work on a lot of them too but for the most part, he envelopes the essence of the woman I am now, happy and at peace.
Jude is a 30-something mum-of-one who charts her adventures as a single parent while juggling her kid with a career. There’s no sugar-coating the truth with Jude – she tells it as she sees it, hears it, lives it and experiences it. But, this isn’t a how-to guide to parenting – sometimes, it’s quite the opposite! Jude isn’t ashamed to admit to her own flaws whether that’s in raising her son or navigating the ups and downs of relationships. She hopes to show other parents out there – single or otherwise – that they are not alone with the tantrums, tears and all that goes with it. But, above all, Jude wants to show what a fabulous experience parenting is – for just when we all need that reminder of why we signed up to the mum/dad role in the first place!